Ghosts of North Dakota

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Coteau, North Dakota

Coteau, ND was founded in 1906 in Burke County, northwest of Minot, just over a dozen miles from the Canadian border. Like many, many other towns on this website, Coteau’s population peaked around 1920, at the apex of the railroad transportation era (and just before the Great Depression) with a population of 150. Coteau was actually on our list of towns to visit in May of 2010, but we ran out of… Read More

Larson, North Dakota

Larson is a near-ghost town in Burke County, about 38 miles northwest of Kenmare, or sixty miles northeast of Williston. It was established in 1907 and had a peak population of 114 in 1920. Larson, and the nearby town of Columbus, were named for Columbus Larson, an early postmaster.  There’s a good-sized concentration of residents with Scandinavian heritage in the area. US Census Data for Larson Total Population by Place 1960 –… Read More

Berwick, North Dakota

Berwick is a near-ghost town in McHenry County, about 7 1/2 miles east of Towner, or 11 miles west of Rugby, and very much off the beaten path. At one time, this was the main street in Berwick, North Dakota. A brick, single-story building wears a sign that reads “Holmes’ Bar,” and it stands one lot over from an abandoned building with peeling siding, the two conjoined by a weathered picket fence…. Read More

Lostwood, North Dakota

What’s in a name? In a place like this, maybe everything. Our initial interest in Lostwood was aroused by the name… Lostwood. It brings to mind images of an old-fashioned, silent town, lost in a haunting copse of elms and knotty oaks; a place where time moves slowly and the residents wouldn’t have it any other way. With a name like Lostwood, we felt compelled to visit and see for ourselves what remains…. Read More

Bantry is a small near-ghost town in McHenry county, about 15 miles northwest of Towner. It is very picturesque and harbors numerous vacant structures. According to North Dakota Place Names by Douglas A. Wick, Bantry peaked at a population of 315 in 1920. US Census Data for Bantry Total Population by Place 1960 – 93 1970 – 40 1980 – 28 2000 – 19 2010 – 14 Bantry township hall. The former… Read More

Brantford was established in 1910, two years before the Great Northern railroad arrived. Brantford reportedly had 200 residents in 1920, but slowly lost population over the years until the post office was finally closed in 1973. The following photos of Brantford today were contributed by Mark Johnson. His comments on the church shown below: “Church located immediately next to farm, note the steeple has been removed and is setting right in front… Read More

Temple, North Dakota

Temple, North Dakota is the kind of place you drive by on a hot summer afternoon or an overcast morning. The kind of place you pass through on your way to a place called Ray from a place known as Tioga. Temple, however, has a destiny now-defined by those prepositions “by” and “through.” You drive by, you pass through, but you’re never going to Temple, North Dakota, because the town as we knew… Read More

Heil is in close proximity to Leith, ND and a site visitor pointed out that we had mistakenly included these photos in the Leith Gallery. So, these photos are officially identified now — Heil, ND. Heil is listed as a CDP (Census Designated Place) since it is not an officially incorporated town and as of 2010 had a population of 15. We returned to Heil eight years later, during a crazy thunderstorm… Read More

Absaraka, North Dakota

This church has an urban legend attached to it which we have heard referred to as the Absaraka Lights (strange description) but more commonly as the Glowing Cross. Visitors have reported a Glowing Cross above the altar.  If you have a story about the Glowing Cross, please feel free to comment below.  Make sure you check out the comments anyway, because that’s where the really good stories are. There are several other… Read More