When we started this project in 2003, there were plenty of places where we arrived too late; we showed up to discover there wasn’t much left to see in many cases. Now, years later, we’ve been sad to see many of the places where there were things to see… vanish just the same.
If you didn’t see these places already, a visit now would reveal that you’ve arrived too late. Here are 8 more lost North Dakota places.
Mose, North Dakota
Mose is sometimes known in North Dakota lore as “The Town That Blew Away” because it was largely wiped out by a tornado. We haven’t been to Mose since 2004, but we’ve been told there’s almost nothing left to see.
Susan Webb Hall Memorial Congregational Church
We visited the Susan Webb Hall Memorial Congregational Church in 2014 in an unplanned stop. We ran across it on the side of the road and stopped to take some photos, but our visit was seen as an unwelcome intrusion. A fence was soon erected around the property and no trespassing signs were added to a church that once stood in the now-underwater town of Elbowoods. For a church with such a rich history as this, it was a real tragedy to see it burned to the ground by an arsonist in 2019.
First State Bank, Merricourt
The former First State Bank in Merricourt is a place we visited and photographed on a number of occasions, and people have had plenty to say about the good times they had when it served as a local watering hole years ago. Unfortunately, once the roof became porous, it couldn’t hold out forever. Visitors have told us the roof and upper facade have now collapsed.
The Whitman Elevators
When we originally visited Whitman in 2015 we were told the population was 2. A recent visitor to our Facebook page sent us a message to say Whitman’s former grain elevators are gone, and although the church remains active, actual residents in town might now be zero. If anybody has an update, we’d love to know.
Grand Harbor School
Based on what we’ve heard, Grand Harbor School has not been “lost” in the same context as some of the other places on this list. It’s just no longer the school (or antique store) that it used to be, and it no longer stands in its original location. In 2017, site visitor Shelley Kenner posted a comment to let us know the school has been moved to 6 Mile Bay overlooking Devils Lake with plans to restore it. If anyone has a recent photo, we’d love to see it.
Hurricane Lake Church
It was clear during our visit to Hurricane Lake Church that it stands on borrowed time. We found a church that has had a lot of its wood harvested, leaving the interior open to the harsh North Dakota weather. More recently we’ve seen pictures from some of our like-minded friends that seem to indicate even more of the church’s weathered wood has been salvaged, and barring dramatic intervention, the end is near.
Stady, North Dakota
Our friend MJ Masilko photographed Stady, North Dakota at a time when everybody had left and only the buildings stood as a reminder of what once was. Not long after, the site was razed and Stady now exists only in photos and fond memories.
Freda, North Dakota
The last time we visited Freda, North Dakota, there was one structure remaining standing on the original town site and a train depot that had been moved to an adjacent spot. Neither building looked in great shape and their remote location made it seem unlikely that they would survive much longer. Much like the old church in Deisem, Freda’s former structures look like they’re one heavy snow away from the end.
Do you have updates on any of these places? Let us know in the comments.