Ghosts of North Dakota

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Sherbrooke, North Dakota

We shot these photos of Sherbrooke Cemetery during a visit to the nearby ghost town and namesake, Sherbrooke, North Dakota, in Steele County in October of 2013.

Blabon, North Dakota

In October of 2003, we visited Blabon, North Dakota, a tiny near-ghost town in Steele County with a handful of residents, and it was the first stop on what would become a ten-year exploration of North Dakota’s ghost towns and abandoned places.  In 2013, we returned to Blabon after ten years to snap some photos and reflect on one of the stories sent to us by a very early fan of our… 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

Alfred is a near-ghost town in Lamoure county, southwest of Jamestown.  Alfred is unincorporated, hence official population figures are hard to come by, but there appear to be perhaps ten permanent residents in the actual town site with more in the surrounding rural area.  Alfred’s reported peak population was 150 in 1930. Alfred has a well-maintained cemetery and a Seventh Day Adventist Church which was in session the day of our visit…. Read More

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. In the era of the steam locomotive, there was a town every eight miles along the track, where engines could stop and refill their… Read More

We returned to Heaton, in Wells County, nearly six years after our first trip in 2004, to find things had changed noticeably. This is an animation showing the former Heaton Bank and the Hawks of Heaton Gift Shop (which we believe may have been the Post Office at one time as well).  As you can see, sometime between 2004 and 2010, the structures disappeared.  We don’t know what happened to them.  Several… Read More

Silva, North Dakota

Pierce County Inhabited as of 4/06 Silva was founded in 1912 as a Soo Line Railroad settlement. It reportedly reached a peak population of 125 in 1920 and has been on the decline ever since. Silva’s most famous former resident would be Julius Thompson who at one time was the world’s tallest man at eight feet, seven inches. Thompson died in 1955. In the late nineties, North Dakota State University did a… Read More

Old Lucca, North Dakota

Lucca, North Dakota was founded in 1891 as a Soo Line railroad town, about a mile south of the present town site, and just north of a ghost town known as Binghamton, of which nothing remains today. Lucca was moved north, to be near the Soo Line/Northern Pacific Railroad junction, in the southeast corner of Barnes County, in 1900. We visited in 2005 and found present-day Lucca looks a lot like a… Read More

Steele County Inhabited as of 10/04 Blabon, ND is in Steele County, not far from another ghost town on this site, Sherbrooke, ND. Blabon is the first ghost town we ever investigated. It is presently inhabited by approximately 8 to 12 people. As many as three houses were clearly occupied and one trailer home had a satellite dish on the side. Blabon was founded in 1896, named for Joseph Ward Blabon, a… Read More