Abandoned Maza School

Maza School

This former schoolhouse is virtually all that remains of a town that was once Maza in southern Towner county, a short drive south of Cando.  In 2000, the population of Maza was listed as 5.  In 2002, the city was dissolved.  Today, there are some scattered buildings in the area and a farm or two.

Maza School

We ran across this building in 2008, sitting right beside the highway. Terry snapped a few quick photos, and we promptly forgot all about them. We rediscovered them eventually, but couldn’t remember where they were taken.  Our Facebook fans were able to identify the location as Maza. Fun!

Update: a visitor has commented to say this school apparently burned sometime in 2015/2016. Maza School is no more.

Maza School

Does anyone know the official name of this school? What do you know about this place? Please leave a comment below.

Maza School

Photos by Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright © Sonic Tremor Media

15 Comments on “Abandoned Maza School

  1. I want to thank you for posting the pictures of Maza. We used to go to Rolette when we were kids to visit our grandparents and I remembered Maza from those memories.

  2. I worked for an elderly lady who grew up on a farm south of Cando.The train would stop for them when they waved and caught a ride to Maza, just a few miles away.

  3. I moved to this area in 1983 and no one “lived” in Maza back then. I think families who had ties to Maza kept it a “town” but decided to dissolve in 2002.There was never anything there in 1983 that isn’t there now.

    • Wow! I miss the old school house structures. Now, when you drive out of town you see these huge brick structures that house students from many surrounding towns. I once went to a wedding in an old school house in a smalll town in North Dakota. Not sure, but for some reason I wanna say it was in Balfour. It was a really neat ceremony and a very unique but old structure. I would love to be able to renovate an old school house and turn it into a home. Thanks for sharing. Never been to Maza, but have been to some of the surrounding communities.

  4. Pingback: Day 13: Grand Forks, ND to Bismarck, ND | By the Seat of My Pants

  5. I actually lived in Maza, ND from Summer 1957 until Jan., 1961 when we moved to Cando, ND (graduated from Cando). I went to school in this school house for 3 1/2 years with 7 Elsperger kids & 2 Martin kids (only part of the time-train depot agent family). We had just one teacher for grades of first thro’ 8th grade. The school closed, after school ended in Spring of 1961 and all kids (3 Elsperger families) came to Cando. My Dad was an elevator manager for which the moves were made. The Martin family moved also due to their Dad being a Train Depot Agent. The other families were farmers in the area.

  6. Maza school appears to have met its demise. Streetview from Oct 2015 shows it standing, but the latest overhead imagery from April 2016 shows it appears to have burned.

  7. Being from Massachusetts, I’ve not only enjoyed both the photos of the towns that Troy and his crew have visited through North Dakota over the years but reading comments from those who actually lived in or worked in them with families, relatives and friends. To me, you folks who post the comments are human history books and my deepest appreciation for sharing your stories.

  8. How sad! I lived on a farm just south of Maza and about 3 miles north of Churchs Ferry–another small town disappearing due to rising Devils Lake. I have many relatives in Cando, and have passed by Maza many times. We would often stop at the Maza store, which was owned and run by the Gundersons, if I recall correctly. They lived in the back of their store–the living quarters were separated from the store by a curtain and I remember always being so curious as to what their home looked like. Such wonderful memories….

  9. I grew up on a farm about ten miles northwest of Maza. The school was closed before I was of age, but I will never forget the Gunderson Store, which sat a short distance away, and had everything from “soup to nuts” as I recall. Mom used to take my brothers and myself in with her when shopping, but only if we promised to behave. We must have done so, as MR or MRS Gunderson referred to us as “The Gooder Boys”, and would usually treat us to a piece of candy.

    I also remember riding with Dad sometimes when he delivered grain to the elevator that MR Grosser managed. That structure is long gone – I remember the day it got moved to Rock Lake, passing down the highway behind the Cando School while we were in the playground over the Noon Hour.

    The farm I grew up on was only three miles from another “neat” old school, the Metcalf School. It was brick, and stood up to the elements for several years before finally succumbing to the years and the excess moisture we’ve received in the last 30 years. Dad and both of his sisters attended that school, and his oldest sister taught there for a few years. She was always proud to share the fact that one of her students was Dave Osborn, which she was never afraid to mention to anyone.

    • My grandparents, Howard and Myrtle Gunderson ran the store and post office. They always had at least one hunting dog as Grandpa was an avid hunter. I was terrified of the last – Rex – who was a watchdog behind the store. We never met in person, just a peek through the kitchen window.
      My cousin Kelly Smeltzer from Cando and I would occasionally get to share an orange or grape Crush from the chest cooler.
      I heard more than once about the “Gooder boys” Mike Farbo mentions. We were friends from UND. Who knew he was famous?

  10. Fun fact: I’m reading a new Sylvia Plath bio and apparently Plaths’ grandparents settled in Maza in 1906 or 1907 before moving to Oregon.

  11. My uncle and aunt Oscar and Mildred Wood and family lived in Maza a long time ago. I do remember visiting there and have passed by MANY times since, the most recent being 2018. I grew up on farms in the Crocus and Roklake areas. Went to HS in Rocklake.

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