Ghosts of North Dakota

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The AP did a story in April about the oil boom and Ghosts of North Dakota supplied one of the photos of Appam, North Dakota. Watch the video from the AP’s Martha Irvine.

Front Street Fargo, 1909

If you’re fascinated by history, you know postcards are really a simple pleasure. You can tease so many stories out of a few fine details when you look close. This intersection in Fargo is significant in the history of our state as the place where Fargo literally rose from the ground after the NP Avenue Railroad Bridge was completed in 1872, less than a mile to the east.  It was the first… Read More

Antler, North Dakota

We’ve wanted to visit Antler for several years but it never quite fit into our travel plans until 4th of July weekend, 2013.  Antler is a very small town in Bottineau County, just two miles from the Canadian border.  The 2010 Census pinpoints Antler’s population at 27, although local residents claim a population of 35.  Local residents have fought valiantly at times to keep the population figure from dwindling, including an effort… Read More

We found a couple of vintage Nome postcards at an antique store not too long ago, including a postcard of the now-abandoned Nome School in Barnes County which we snapped on a whim while passing through Nome in 2005. We had to make some guesses on this card due to the handwriting — This postcard was sent on September 24th, 1919 from Laura Sigurdson to Miss Signe Bratt (who was a teacher… Read More

Kongsberg, North Dakota is a tiny near-ghost town in McHenry County, just a few miles east of another near-ghost town, Ruso.  Originally dubbed Olivia, the name changed to Kongsberg in 1916.  The population of Kongsberg never exceeded 50.  Kongsberg’s church celebrated their 100th anniversary on July 1st, 2012. This was actually the second town in North Dakota named Kongsberg.  The first Kongsberg was near Abercrombie, but their Post Office closed in 1905…. Read More

Clif Nelson contributed these photos of Hanks, North Dakota, a near-ghost town in Williams County — population one. Clif’s comments: “It was never much of a town, but they had coal mines north of town and grain elevatorsin the early 1900’s.  My Grandfather Anton Nelson who farmed about 7 miles northwest of Hanks would haul a load of grain in and haul coal home from the mines just north of the town of Hanks…. Read More

Antler is a small town in Bottineau county, just two miles south of the Canadian border.  The 2010 Census tallied 27 residents, but a local resident says there are 35.  We’ve been meaning to get to Antler for some time, but we just never made it.  Thankfully, Vince Azzarello recently sent in these photos for your enjoyment.  Vince’s comments are included as captions below. This is a front view of the former Antler… Read More

Kathryn is a beautiful little town in Barnes county, nestled perfectly into the landscape of the Sheyenne River Valley. It is more of a small town than a near-ghost town with a population of 57, but with an abundance of abandoned places and other photo opportunities. There’s a nice little bar in Kathryn and one or two more businesses, plus some nicely maintained homes. If you decide to drive the Sheyenne River… Read More

Manfred, North Dakota

Manfred is a near-ghost town just off Highway 52 between Minot and Jamestown.  We visited Manfred previously in 2006, and decided to stop again for an overdue visit on our way to north central North Dakota. Manfred is home to about five residents these days, and several of them are doing a fantastic job at buying up properties and securing/restoring them.  The Johnson Hotel was on the brink when we visited in… Read More

Erie is a small near-ghost town in Cass County, about 45 minutes northwest of Fargo.  We visited Erie during a trip to nearby Brewer Lake, also known as Erie Dam State Recreation area due to the small earthen dam which created Brewer Lake.  It’s a very nice, out-of-the-way campground that gets little traffic if you’re looking for a nice little spot to relax. This is the now-vacant Erie State Bank building. This… Read More