Passing Through Merricourt

Merricourt is a very remote town in Dickey County, about fifty miles south of Jamestown. There are fewer than a handful of residents in Merricourt — just one family remains in this near-ghost town. We didn’t intend to visit Merricourt when we went on an adventure in October of 2014, but some last minute route changes took us right through town, so we stopped to snap a few shots, nine years after our first visit.

Continue reading “Passing Through Merricourt”

Remote and Abandoned: Albion Township Country School

This is an abandoned country school in Albion Township, Dickey County, about eight miles northwest of Ellendale.

Albion Township Country School

There was a short stretch of gravel road that was pretty rough on the way to this place, but we got rewarded with the sound of pure prairie once we arrived — We arrived shortly before sunset and we were greeted by crickets and wind through the grass.

Continue reading “Remote and Abandoned: Albion Township Country School”

We visited Forbes in May of 2011 and got pictures of the town, plus this gallery of the former school.  There were so many great things to photograph, we decided to put the photos of the interior of the school into this separate gallery.

A green moss carpet covers most of the floor in this damp former classroom.

forbes school 6

Saplings have sprouted up through the floor, stretching to reach the sun through a hole in the roof.

That’s the former gymnasium in the background.

Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

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Forbes School

Monango is a small town in Dickey County, not far from Merricourt.

Monango was founded in 1886 as a Milwaukee Road Railroad settlement, and the post office was established that same year.  According to North Dakota Place Names by Douglas A. Wick, Monango peaked in population with 238 residents in 1910.  According to the 2010 Census, Monango has 36 residents today.

Monango is situated right along Highway 281, the most prominent north-south highway between US 83 and I29, but this area of the state is very spartan and quiet.  During our visit to Monango, we saw no fewer than six dogs and two goats, but not a single person.

Someone has turned this old building into a nice residence.

St. Pauls Lutheran Church.

Check out the tree. Monango survived a tornado in 2011.

That spot of dirt on the right is where a very large tree stood until the storm of 2011.

Photos by Troy and Rat, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

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Monango, ND

Return to Merricourt

Merricourt is located in south central North Dakota, Dickey County, about twenty minutes from the South Dakota border, and it is a place we’ve visited on a number of occasions. Each time we’ve visited Merricourt, we’ve found the former Soo Line Railroad town hovering near the end, with just one family (and at least one dog) still living in Merricourt. As is the case with so many vanishing towns on the prairie, there are no businesses in town, no industry, and no reason for new residents to settle in Merricourt in any significant number. It won’t be more than a generation or two before Merricourt is a true ghost town. Continue reading “Return to Merricourt”

A Robbery in Merricourt

merricourt-11-1Host/Author/Producer Keith Norman was kind enough to share a story about a Merricourt robbery, from his book – ‘Great Stories of the Great Plains, Vol. 1

Self Defense on the Back Roads

Roy Michaelson listed his occupation as a professional Boxer from Minneapolis Minnesota. His record in sanctioned bouts was 1 win, 1 loss, and 1 draw. In all likelihood he fought in many unsanctioned fights across the Midwest in his brief stint in the ring. Continue reading “A Robbery in Merricourt”

Merricourt, ND

A farm post office for Merricourt was established in October 1883. North Dakota Place Names by Douglas Wick lists Merricourt’s peak population at 153 in the 1940’s.

During our visit to Merricourt, we saw one home which was occupied, right in the middle of the townsite. We also heard someone calling for their dog, so we didn’t stay in that area long. There are quite a few abandoned structures, as well as some buildings which are still maintained. The surrounding miles of farmland are dotted with crumbling farms in every direction. Population loss was hard on this part of the state. Continue reading “Merricourt, ND”