Forbes, North Dakota is in Dickey County, about thirty miles southeast of Ashley, right on the South Dakota border. On nearly every trip, we go out looking forward to seeing a certain town, but on the way home, we realize another town was better or more fun. In this adventure in June of 2011, Forbes was that town — the pleasant surprise.
The Schulstad Stone House Museum in Forbes is open May to September by appointment only.
According to the 2010 Census, there were 53 residents in Forbes, and the town’s Wikipedia page lists a number of legislators (former, in some cases) who have called Forbes home.
Former Governor and US Senator John Hoeven spent time there at the Hoeven Ranch owned by his grandparents […] Senator Tim Flakoll (R) and former Senator Don Moore (R) and Rep. Jim Brokaw (D) all lived, or continue to live in Forbes.
At one time, the Great Northern Railroad had an agreement with the Milwaukee Road not to build west of their rail lines in this area. When the agreement expired, the GNRR extended their line from Ellendale and gave birth to Forbes. There are several ghost towns west of Forbes which were served by the Milwaukee Road, including Freda, North Dakota.
The view above is Forbes as seen from State Line Road, right on the border with South Dakota. It’s one of few roads we’ve ever driven where you could pass somebody on the highway and when you’re side by side, each vehicle would be in a different state because the state line runs right down the middle of the highway.
There were so many good shots to be taken of this school, we couldn’t put them all here. Check out this post for more photos of the former Forbes Public School.
The white building shown above was the gymnasium.
More photos of the Forbes School
Above: an empty home where someone decided to paint faux-shutters on the exterior.
More vacant, silent homes in Forbes North Dakota
Below: Without a doubt, one of the nicest, best kept little Post Offices we’ve seen. In an era when our elected officials are failing small town post offices, it was nice to see somebody takes pride in this place.
Below: Some classic firepower out in front of Legion Post 277.
We’re told the church above no lionger has regular services, but still hosts occasional events. The little church shown below is now a museum.
Downtown Forbes, looking west on 2nd Avenue toward the intersection with County Road 2.
Above: A structure with two previous lives — first as Forbes State Bank, then as the Long Branch Saloon.
Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright © Sonic Tremor Media
89 thoughts on “The Quiet of Forbes, North Dakota”
Hello! Anyone from Forbes still living there? We would love to hear from you as we are contemplating moving to Forbes. It sounds like a wonderful place for peace and quiet. Hope to hear from someone. Thank you!
Hi Kathleen. My name is Tim bertsch my brother was Larry bertsch I had an older sister named Peggy sister named Terry just wondering if you heard of us I was born in 1960 and moved away from Forbes in 1977
Hi, Wondering if anyone has info on the town’s history, my Grandpa Forbes was always mentioning a family connection to the town. Always believed the stories since our area of southern Wisconsin is right on the rail lines that would head west to your area and many families around here have relatives still living in SD/ND after they migrated west with the rails. We were able to stop in town for lunch a few years ago and enjoyed the visit. Looking to document some of this for future generations! If you know of any histories we could access that would be helpful. Thanks!
Hi Nancy – my grandmother was Florence Nixon, adopted daughter of the Harrisons. She passed away last week at age 94. Just in the last year or two she started talking about her friend Shirley, who played piano with her. Could this be your aunt referenced in the other reply to your comment?