Chaseley, North Dakota: 12 Years Later

Chaseley, North Dakota

The last time we visited Chaseley, North Dakota, was in June of 2005, and it was a spur of the moment stop that we hadn’t planned. We took a few photos but didn’t run into anybody wandering about, so we moved along to the next stop without learning much about this tiny town in Wells County, right in the middle of North Dakota.

On the way home from a trip to western North Dakota in July of 2017, however, we decided to make another stop in Chaseley, and we’re glad we did, because we got to meet a couple Chaseley residents and learn a lot more about this slowly vanishing place. 

Chaseley, North Dakota

We stopped in front of the home shown above, where a young man named Bailey was getting ready to do some painting in advance of a big Chaseley reunion that was just a couple of weeks away. He said he was doing the work for a lady who owned the property and, after we had chatted for a few minutes, he said “Here she comes right now.

Chaseley, North Dakota

Terry and I introduced ourselves to the property owner, a delightful lady named Dorothy who owned a number of properties in Chaseley, a town which once had 125 residents. We asked Dorothy how many people live in Chaseley today and she said, “Six, if you count me.” She told us she has struggled with some health challenges and lives in Georgia about six months of the year.

Dorothy told us the building shown above was once the grocery store in Chaseley.

Chaseley, North Dakota

When we visited in July of 2017, it marked twelve years since we had last visited Chaseley, the longest gap between visits to any place in the history of this project. It had been so long that we had very little memory of our first visit, and we had to go back and review our photos from 2005 to refresh our memories on what we had photographed. Above: In 2005, the grocery store looked much worse. See more from our 2005 visit.

Chaseley, North Dakota

Behind the old grocery store there is an abandoned home and a former one-room school.

Chaseley, North Dakota
Chaseley, North Dakota
Chaseley, North Dakota

This little red storage building was once a one room country school.

Chaseley, North Dakota

Above: a view inside the former one-room school, today used for storage.

Chaseley, North Dakota

Dorothy told us the grand white home shown above was once a banker’s house, so inside, it is finished with gorgeous hardwoods and fine touches throughout. I might be mistaken, but if I remember correctly, I believe Dorothy told us planning was underway for this house to be moved somewhere else.

Chaseley, North Dakota

Chaseley, North Dakota

Above: a view from the porch.

Chaseley, North Dakota
Chaseley, North Dakota

Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright © 2017 Sonic Tremor Media

28 Comments on “Chaseley, North Dakota: 12 Years Later

  1. Thank You for sharing the wonderful Old Communities and the Ghosts of North Dakota! Enjoy every time you share a new adventure! Thanks Again!


    • There was a young man named Kleinsasser from Carrington, N, Dak. At some point he was with the Mn. Vikings. Any relation ??

  3. As always, I’d like to thank both Troy and his crew for finding and documenting the towns that they’ve found throughout North Dakota and to the good folks here for sharing their personal stories. It’s why I enjoy visiting Ghosts Of North Dakota.

    John M. from Massachusetts.

  4. I always look forward to your posts and pictures!! I am originally from North Dakota but moved to the St. Paul area in 1989 for jobs with my husband and family. We do visit ND at least once a year to see my mother-in-law who still lives there. I miss the plains, the clouds, and storms. I have met many former ND residents in the Twin Cities.
    Thank you for all of your wonderful pictures!!

  5. I always wonder what is the power, water and heat source for a town with 6 residents. Of anyone knows I am interested in learning.

    • Electricity, propane or fuel oil, and we’ll water or Rural water . I lived Six miles west of this little town. Heaven on Earth !!!

    • They get their water from the Art Emerson well that was piped to several residents. Ottertail Power served the town with electricity. Heat is furnish by LP gas as each residence has their own tank just like the farmers have.

  6. My mother’s relatives Hart’s lived in Chasely, Nathan Hart has a very large farm there still

  7. I lived in the house that Bailey is fixing up…it looks like he is painting it blue! I remember it was right next to the store owned by Harry and Laura Hoff. Great memories!

    • Beth, This Dorothy and I am the person painting this house. What is your last name as I know many of the folks who lived in that house. It is so much fun to have people stop by . I am there EVERY SUMMER. Come see me some time.

      • Dorothy, I am Gary Heintz’ daughter, granddaughter of Leone Renschler & Gideon Heintz. My heart skipped a beat to hear familiar names, yet think the Dorothy Heintz that is Gideon’s sister died in 2001. Do you recognize any of these names? My father was born in Chaseley in 1932, as was Verna Hanson Heintz in 1925, Gideon’s second wife. Would love to connect with you and hear stories of Chaseley!

  8. I grew up in Chaseley, ND (born 1999). I know every person that lives in the town now and those who have lived there in the past 18 years. There was never a Dorothy, was that possibly a pseudonym?

  9. Dorthy’s maidan name was Heintz – her brother Gary still lives there.

    • Jim, I am Gary Heintz’ daughter, granddaughter of Leone Renschler & Gideon Heintz. My heart skipped a beat to hear familiar names, yet think the Dorothy Heintz that is Gideon’s sister died in 2001. Do you recognize any of these names? My father was born in Chaseley in 1932, as was Verna Hanson Heintz in 1925, Gideon’s second wife. Would love to connect with you and hear stories of Chaseley!

      • Hi. Verna Hanson s name comes up in some of my family history research as the daughter of Ludwig Hanson who is from the Boyd, MN. area. He had moved to the Chasely nd area as a younger man. Wonder if this is the same family?

  10. I see those water containers in a lot of pictures of these little towns. Have the wells all gone dry or is it just a matter of residents/locals being accustomed to hauling drinking water in from elsewhere?

  11. My Dad, Dennis Carson, is from the Chaseley area (very close). He and some others have raised money to fix the “round house” and eerie wellhouse next to it. The round house was, to my knowledge, the place where land transactions took place.

    If you want to do a story on that, my Dad has lots of pictures and info.

  12. My dream is to be able to buy one of these places in North Dakota just like that gorgeous “Bankers” house and move there to live. The flatness of the plains that the wide open space is extremely appealing for someone like myself that has lived in a big city all his life. Frankly, I’m sick of the city and would love to move here. If anyone knows of a house/farm for sale, I’d really be interested. is my email – Thanks

  13. I really enjoy reading about the history of towns like this. I often wonder why so many towns and farms become abandoned. The history of these places is very interesting.
    I moved to North Dakota in 1981. Most people I knew thought I was crazy, moving from Maryland. Best move I ever made though. The crazy ones stayed where they were.

  14. My father, Rod Flanders, was born in Chaseley in 1918. His mother died of the Spanish flu when he was a baby. My husband and I visited Chasely in summer 2016 and found a grave for my great grandparents at the Chaseley Cemetery, but no stones for my grandfather or grandmother, which have likely crumbled into dust. I appreciate these wonderful photos of the town. Any information/photos of the early twentieth century in Chaseley would be appreciated.

Leave a Reply