Vanished: Pelto, North Dakota

Pelto, North Dakota is a town that no longer exists, except in the memory of those who grew up here. Located in Nelson County, between Grand Forks and Devils Lake, Pelto is an example of a settlement that has vanished with the railroad transportation culture that birthed it.

Pelto, North Dakota

Former site of Pelto. Image/Google Earth

In the era of the steam locomotive, there was a town every eight miles along the track, where engines could stop and refill their water tanks. Today, the tracks still pass just north of the site of Pelto, and there’s a nearby farm that looks abandoned, but nearly everything else has vanished.

Nathan Mastrud contributed these photos of Pelto with the following comments:

Pelto is about 42 miles east of Devils lake.  The only thing that really remains of the town is a Pelto tombstone. The fields that surround Pelto are slowing filling with water, abandoned farmsites & pelicans. The road to Pelto is Closed and has water up to the shoulder for most of the trip.

Pelto, North Dakota

The information on the memorial reads:

Pelto Merc Store-Closed 1957

Enterprise Consolidated School-Consolidated 1915-Closed 1969

Pelto Hall

Finnish Lutheran Church Established 1899

Pelto, North Dakota

A single metal milk container remains standing.

Pelto, North Dakota

There are only a few skeletons of the foundations buried in deep prairie grass with a couple automobile parts dumped in the swamp.

Pelto, North Dakota

Photos by Nathan Mastrud and Punchgut Studio

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