Hamberg Flashback

We visited Hamberg, North Dakota, a near ghost town in Wells County, about 18 miles east of Harvey, for the first time in 2008, to photograph an old school which has since burned in an accidental fire.

Thanks to Heidi Ermer, we can now take a brief look at Hamberg as it appeared in yesteryear when there were residents numbering in the hundreds, as versus the approximate 20 residents who live there today. Heidi sent us the following postcards. The exact year of these photos is unknown.

Hamberg Depot

Above: The former Hamberg railroad depot. Below: The Hamberg Opera House. We did not see either of these places still standing when we visited in 2008.

Hamberg, North Dakota

What do you know about Hamberg, North Dakota? Please leave a comment below.

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5 thoughts on “Hamberg Flashback

  1. Heidi, we are having a Centennial celebration on July 23, 2011. Hope you will be able to attend. We are looking for pictures to make a souvenir mat, including the pictures of the opera house and the train at the depot. If you could send me copies of those pictures and any others that we could use, via e-mail at hambergmayor@hotmail.com it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Eric Johnson.


  2. My grandpa was deputy sheriff in the 30’s. he worked for Grand Forks PD . Rumor has it that he was a KKK. And might have been instrumental or a witness of a hanging of a black man near 1920. Is it true. You tell me. I worked on his election committee, going door to door in1952? about.


  3. I live up in Canada and my great grandfather in the mid to late 1800’s came from Hamberg and moved to Alberta Canada. His name was William Mueller/Miller last name was changed from when his parents came from Prussia I believe. I love history 😀


  4. My great grandfather Karl Pforr (from Pferdsdorf in Germany) had a farm (with his wife and 9 children) a few miles south of Hamberg in the first half of the 20th century. He’d had a band in Berlin before coming to America, and all his children had to play an instrument in the family band (my grandmother Ida played the French horn). Family lore has it that Karl Pforr was a poor farmer, because his only interest was in arranging music for the family band. The town’s name was originally Hamburg (note Bremen to the east – an echo of the map in north Germany), but it was changed around the time of WW 1 for obvious reasons. Several of the sons (Nicholas and Rheinhart) built houses on the east side of Hamberg (all empty when I visited). As a child, I met Uncle Henry (the youngest in the family), who in the end managed the farm (badly, I was told). He invented things, but seemed to always be too late in applying for patents. I’m delighted to know the town had an “opera house”. I wish I knew the history of that building!


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