If you didn’t know better, it would be easy to look at these photos and assume this place was struck by a powerful prairie tornado. Grain bins are ripped open, the roof of the former bar has caved-in, and the building leans at a precarious angle. Pieces of several structures have blown down and lie decaying in the grass some distance away with their rusty nails pointed skyward, waiting for an unsuspecting explorer to test their tetanus shots with an errant step. Nobody would blame you for believing Dorothy and Toto just blew away minutes before, but the reality is, it’s been a slow-motion disaster in ghost town Aylmer, North Dakota.
Defining what exactly constitutes a “ghost town” can sometimes be tricky. In our years of exploring North Dakota’s abandoned places, we’ve often encountered former towns where the townsite itself is empty, but there’s a farm about half a mile down the road. Sometimes a former town like Sims, North Dakota has an active church, but nobody actually lives on the town site. And still other times, we will hear objections from people who feel as though we’ve misrepresented their town, or somehow labeled it a ghost town because it appears on this website, in which case we clarify that this site is about ghost towns and abandoned places, like the former First National Bank and Barber Auditorium in Marmarth, North Dakota, a town with a population numbering more than a hundred.Continue reading “20 True Ghost Towns: Population Zero”
Sara Schindler of Harvey contributed these photos of Aylmer with the following comments:
Aylmer sits about 40 miles south/southwest of Rugby ND (or just northeast of Anamoose ND) along the Burlington Northern Railroad. It is currently home to two residents. Aside from the residence, there sits a former general store (the larger building), a garage or storage shed, an abandoned home, and another building that was possibly some kind of blacksmith or other repair shop (there are also a few grain bins and a large machine shed). The general store building has moved off it’s foundation and the basement is filled with water so probably won’t stand much longer.
Photos by Sara Schindler, original content copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC