5th Avenue in Cleveland, North Dakota

Cleveland, North Dakota

Cleveland, North Dakota was founded in 1882 by settlers who came from Cleveland, Ohio. It is in Stutsman County, right along Interstate 94, about 20 minutes west of Jamestown.

Cleveland, North Dakota

Cleveland once had over 300 residents, but like many small rural communities, declined with the railroad transportation culture. In the 2000 Census, Cleveland had 112 residents in 52 households. By 2010, the number had dropped to 83 residents from 40 households. These buildings along 5th Avenue tell the tale of a slowly vanishing prairie town.

Cleveland, North Dakota

The former Cleveland Grocery looks like it has been deserted for quite some time.

Cleveland, North Dakota

The former bank went through some changes. You can see non-original brickwork that was used to fill the window and door openings, presumably to make them smaller and more energy efficient in a cold, North Dakota winter.

Cleveland, North Dakota

According to North Dakota Place Names by Douglas A. Wick, Cleveland did not officially incorporate as a city until 1968.

Cleveland, North Dakota

This building strongly resembles some of the old hotels and bunkhouses we’ve seen. Can you tell us what it was?

Cleveland, North Dakota

There is also an impressive former public school in Cleveland, but it looks like someone has purchased the property for use as part of a heavy-equipment business of some sort, so we didn’t photograph it.

Cleveland, North Dakota

The first Post Office opened in Cleveland in 1882 but closed in 1884, with Windsor, North Dakota becoming the closest mail stop. In 1900, a new post office opened in Cleveland. Today, this utilitarian structure is the Post Office for Cleveland.

Cleveland, North Dakota

Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, © 2016 Sonic Tremor Media

14 Comments on “5th Avenue in Cleveland, North Dakota

  1. That building was called the city hall. It was the center of alot of the town’s activities. They used to show movies there and also all basketball games were played there until the new school gym was built in the early 60’s. It has a stage on the west side and a balcony on the east side. My Grandfather Ben Haugen was the local carpenter that built it.
    Tim Haugen

    • Tim is absolutely right! That building is a Ben Haugen creation and I’m proud to call Ben Haugen my grand-father too!

      I’m so happy I stumbled on this site and your beautiful pictures.

      Connie Haugen

      Hi Tim!

  2. I lived there in ’75- ’76 and went to school there..the trees around the old school were planted one Saturday by all the school kids. It snow stormed very bad one year and we didn’t have anymore makeup days so it was decided to hold school on Saturday, the kids came and we spent the day digging holes and planting trees.

  3. That one building that looked like a hotel or other thing, I think was a community hall. I remember grain bins by the tracks, was like on main street. Where there was a bar and a couple of other businesses along side it. I seen on the Google map that the old church was replaced by new one.. It breaks my heart to see how run down those building are… I used to walk to the little store and get a pop or popsicle when I used to visit my cousins and grandpa…

  4. The old church was the Methodist I went to the old & new one. Also the the community hall had school dances every year there was the community night dance

  5. I group up on a farm near Cleveland about 2 miles north. Bought lots of candy and pop at that little grocery store. Still have the farm, and drove through Cleveland this last spring. Many great memories1

    • Hey Stuart..were are you these days? and what are you doing? Was thinking about Cleveland the other day and the days at the school…Hope all is well….

  6. My grandfather was in the bank, either as employee or as part owner. Does anyone have any information about the bank?

    • At one time there was 2 banks in Cleveland . My grand father and Great Grand Father had a carpenter shop. Two elevators,big hotel ,blacksmith shop,two churches, two gas stations ,beside the bar was a small cafe two grocery stores. Also a small bulk station.

      • Thanks, Mary Em Klassy Guenther, for your reply about the banks and for the info about the rest of the town. I’d still like to know if anyone knows anything about the Sachow family. Dan Sachow was my grandfather; his wife’s name was Mary, and his children were Irene and Leslie. Thanks, in advance.

  7. My Aunt and Uncle Bev and Marvin Oberlander lived in Cleveland for a time. They lived in an apartment above the bar where Marvin was the bartender. We were there in 1967 for some kind of celebration in town. I was seven at the time, and they had games for the kids where you could win money. (mostly nickles and dimes) I won a little money and bought candy at that little store. That building that looks like a hotel I think was the community centre. They had a dance there and I beleive its the first time I saw dance wax on the floor.

  8. My brother and I, heading for Fargo, stopped in Cleveland, we were just plain tired, and attended a movie at that building during the fifties. The movie was “Lilli” with Leslie Caron, and Jean Paul Aumond.

  9. Who was the farmer that gave away free land in the 70’s to keep the school going? How many families came and how many are left?

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