Omemee, North Dakota, a ghost town in Bottineau County, has been a source of intrigue since we first became aware of it in 2005. We were initially made aware of Omemee by a North Dakota resident who alerted us that someone was trying to sell lots in Omemee to out-of-state buyers under questionable circumstances, an effort which amounted to nothing in the end. Later, Fargo resident Mark Johnson sent us some photos of Omemee taken around 2010, and we also received some correspondence and photos from people who had family roots in Omemee, too, but we had never visited Omemee ourselves until Easter weekend, 2017.
Unfortunately, we have to do a post like this from time to time. As the years pass, many of the places we’ve photographed also pass… into history. Whether it be the wrecking ball, weathering, or disaster, many of the places we’ve photographed since 2003 are now gone. We documented some of the losses in 10 Lost North Dakota Places and 10 More Lost North Dakota Places, now, unfortunately, here are 8 More Lost North Dakota Places.Continue reading “8 More Lost North Dakota Places”
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”
These photos were sent in by Cathy Zabel, a collection of things on Omemee, North Dakota, a true ghost town in Bottineau county. Omemee once had a population of 650 residents, and every kind of business one would expect from a prairie town of its size — a hotel, restaurant, grain elevators, opera house, even a newspaper — but today it has almost entirely vanished from the landscape, so we’re especially grateful for Cathy’s submission. It’s a chance to travel back in time and see Omemee as it was, a thriving North Dakota community from the turn-of-the-century. Cathy’s comments are included below. Continue reading “Omemee and the Batie Family”
We first learned about Omemee, North Dakota, a ghost town in Bottineau County, through contributors Mark Johnson and Tom Tolman, who contributed photos of Omemee as it looked around the turn of the millennium. Those images were all we had ever seen of Omemee until quite recently. Despite all the time we spend rummaging around at estate sales and antique stores in our free time, postcards and photos of Omemee just didn’t seem to pop up very often.
So, Tim Brannon of Georgia caught our attention when he posted some photos of Omemee, North Dakota on our Facebook page. He was kind enough to share these photos and comments. Continue reading “When Omemee Was a Town”
Sometimes we photograph a place and find out years later that it’s gone, sometimes the place is gone by the time we get there. But the one constant is that the list of places is growing all the time.
Here’s another list of ten more significant North Dakota places that have unfortunately lost their battle with time. When you’re done with this one, check out 10 Lost North Dakota Places, and 8 More Lost North Dakota Places.Continue reading “Ten More Lost North Dakota Places”
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 by two local residents in the 1980s to give away free land to families who would agree to move to Antler. It worked in the short-term, with 6 families receiving land.Continue reading “Vanishing Antler 2013”
Landa, North Dakota is a small town in Bottineau County, about seven miles south of the Canadian border. According to the 2010 Census, Landa is home to 38 residents, down from a peak of 150 in 1920.
When we first drove into Landa, we saw a lot of inhabited homes with children playing and people out doing yard work, and we worried we might not find much to photograph. Upon a little exploration we discovered some good photo opportunities, including two vacant churches, a one room school house, and more. There was also a somewhat modern school which someone has turned into an auto shop, and there some guys hanging around outside, so we chose not to photograph it.
Once upon a time, this was the heart of Landa… the stopping point where residents gathered their goods and caught up on each other’s lives. Today, groceries are bought in other places, in bigger towns down the road.
We just love these old filling stations like this. Tiny little places where a couple guys came out and filled your tank, washed your windows, and sent you on your way.
Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC
We weren’t expecting a lot when we visited Roth since it’s a very small town site, west of Bottineau, but we left disappointed after discovering a combination of factors would keep us from getting the photos we’d hoped. Much of the town is now heavily overgrown, hiding some of the vacant structures, and there are No Trespassing signs posted as well.Continue reading “Roth in 2013”
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 Bank (also known as the Customs House), where an American flag and a Canadian flag are still waving. Glenn Tennyson, the proprietor of the local auto shop and gas station, informed us that the town still has 35 inhabitants. This bank is in the center of town, with a road circling around it. It was also used as a Post Office, Rooming House, and Telephone office.
A look at the rear of the building located at the center of the town square. This building was also used as a rooming house and telephone office, as well as a bank
There are 2 former banks featured in this shot. This is a view from the rear of the bank in the town square, and a front view of the other former bank building. I believe the bank in the center of town to be slightly newer than the former bank in the distance.
This bench is situated in front of the old band, which is in the center of town. The blue bench is painted with the dates “1905” and “1984”, making it one year shy of their 80th anniversary.
This is the original entrance to the school, before the addition was built. The white structure in front of the brick building was also added after the brick building was completed.
An excerpt from http://www.Antlernd.com: “In 1907 a contract to build a brick, four room school went to Jas. Finnin of Devils Lake for $7,219.03 without a heating plant. The school was ready for use by late 1907.” Several additions were added on throughout the years, including a gymnasium in 1949-50, and a “science room, a commerce room, a library, a dining room, a well-equipped kitchen and an office” in 1964. This was the last addition to the school. High school classes were held in the new addition until 1976. Then, the grade children in kindergarten through sixth grade used the new addition until the closing of the entire school in 1987. That is the same year the school district was dissolved. “The older school is now occupied by the Antler Historical Society as a museum. The newer addition, at present, is owned by the City of Antler”. That was printed in 1989.
I took this photo from inside the school building on a staircase leading up to the higher floors. To the left of this shot would be the main entrance of the school.
This classroom is located on the 2nd floor of the original school building. As you can see, part of the 3rd floor caved in on it.
Another shot of a different classroom, also found on the first floor of the school building. This room is quite empty compared to the previous classroom.
My friends and I walked into this classroom in the school, and this is what we saw. A couple of desks still remain, containing several books still inside. This classroom is on the first floor of the 3-story school building.
This is a picture of the cafeteria in the school. On the left of this picture you can see the opening where the kitchen was located. This was part of the addition to the original school. The addition was built in 1964. The floor is littered with broken glass.
This is a shot of the basement in the old school building, located northwest of the town square. It was pitch black in that basement, so in order to see clearly what was down there we needed to take pictures and investigate more closely later.
The original Fire hall, built in 1907 on the east end of the town square.
A view from the town square eastward.
A look at the firehall and IOOF building. The Firehall was built in 1907, followed shortly by the Odd Fellows Hall.
This building is also known as the Odd Fellows Hall, and is located next to the Firehall just east of the town square.
This was the former First National Bank building, located to the west of the town square.
Many people don’t know that at one point in time, Antler, ND was the home of the World’s Largest Quilt. Here is an excerpt fron http://www.Antlernd.com: “Antler, North Dakota, birthplace of the largest quilt in the world. First certified by the Guinness Book of World Records July 14, 1988. 85 feet by 134 feet. The project was coordinated by Leona Tennyson, Executive Director.” I encourage you to check out the website and read the entire story behind this magnificent quilt.
I included these pictures because they give a detailed history of the town, printed in an Antler school yearbook dated 1928. The yearbook was called “The Screech Owl”, and commencement was held on Thursday, May 31, 1928.
This is known as the Antler Community Church, and is still in use today. This church has been around since 1906, and has changed denominations several times.
Photos by Vince Azzarello, all rights reserved.
Original content copyright Sonic Tremor Media