Isabel, North Dakota was an unincorporated community in the north central part of the state, about 50 minutes southeast of Rugby. We were on our way to Baker when we came upon the sign marking the former site of Isabel Country School. We did not realize we were on the site of a ghost town until we began to research the location after we had returned home. The monument to the school and the abandoned farmstead shown here are all that remains.
Isabel appears as a town in some publications, but not in others. Calling it a ‘town’ is a term to be used loosely, as explained by Travis Woyen in comments below — his family occupied Isabel for quite some time.
This site is in a very sparsely populated portion of the state. According to the 2000 Census, Isabel township only boasts 70 residents. It is a beautiful place to drive on a rolling but knotty stretch of highway, though. There is no better way to spend a hot summer day than to breeze down the back roads with the windows down and the air conditioner off (sometimes), searching for a place where, when you turn the car off, the silence is loud.
Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp
Fillmore, ND is in Benson County, about 20 miles SE of Rugby, the geographical center of North America. Fillmore reportedly had 150 citizens in 1920, but that declined to 74 by 1960 and today Fillmore is home to only two part-time residents. When we arrived, we were surprised to find Fillmore was one fo the best North Dakota ghost towns we’d run across so far.
There is a defined Main Street in town with vacant buildings staring each other down from opposite sides of the street. There are many vacant homes too, not to mention two vacant churches.
The townsite pictured here is actually the second townsite to bear the name Fillmore. The original townsite several miles southeast is now wiped from the prairie.
Like most ghost towns in North Dakota, Fillmore was another casualty of the decline of the train and the rise of the automobile.
CLICK PHOTOS TO ENLARGE
Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC
See also: Fillmore’s Lost Legacy
See also: Return to Fillmore
Our trip to Devil’s Lake in early winter 2005 proved disastrous when our vehicle broke down on the highway. However, we did get some great pictures of this house on the outskirts of Devils Lake. The lake has been growing in size due to a cycle of wet weather for the last few decades, which, coupled with Devils Lake’s lack of a natural outlet, has caused surrounding areas to suffer from inundation.
The house has since been consumed by the rising waters and no longer stands. Continue reading “Devils Lake Consumes a House” →