We first visited Sanger in 2004 and quickly fell in love with the County House. Someone had told us it was the former post office in Sanger, but we visited again in 2013 and an area resident told us it was known as the County House — the remnant of a boarding house from the horse and wagon days. Back then, it was a two day journey between Minot and Bismarck, and the County House’s location in Sanger was a convenient stopping point for travelers to spend the night. Continue reading “Say Goodbye to the Sanger County House”
It’s always a thrill to see enthusiastic residents get involved in saving historically and culturally significant places in their communities, but in North Dakota’s vanishing small towns, the losses frequently outnumber the wins by a significant margin. It’s something we’ve seen time and again in over ten years of photographing North Dakota.
What follows is our personal list, by no means exhaustive, of ten significant North Dakota places that have unfortunately lost their battle with time.
Nine years after our first visit to Sanger, North Dakota, we returned to see how things had changed. Imagine our surprise when we discovered Sanger is no longer a true ghost town. There had been no population when we visited in 2004, but today, Sanger is inhabited by two men, Ron and Dan, who moved to Sanger about four years ago. They have been renovating one of the existing homes in Sanger, and they’ve built several new structures as well. We had a nice chat with them and learned quite a bit, some of which you’ll see in the photo captions below. Continue reading “Sanger: No Longer a Ghost Town”
Sanger, North Dakota is located in Oliver County, on the west bank of the Missouri River. It was a true ghost town when we visited in September of 2004, but that would change by 2013.
Sanger was also known as Bentley, ND when it was founded in 1879, named after the town doctor W. Bentley, who was also a member of the territorial legislature. Bentley was considered the county seat until 1884, when the county seat was moved to Center, ND and the town was re-named Sanger, for Henry Sanger, the owner of the townsite.
We received an email from Bob & Caryl Rutten of Bismarck which told of two people who may have been Sanger’s final residents. It read in part: Continue reading “Sanger, ND”