We’ve long hoped to run across some photos of the town that was once Verendrye, North Dakota. We drove by the crumbling facade of the school a few years ago and snapped a photo, but we hadn’t yet seen any photos of Verendrye when it still looked like a town.  So, we were thrilled when we got an email from Kathy Haynes with some photos and a drawing attached.  She was very informative, and her comments and captions are shown below.

Continue reading “Verendrye in Black & White”

Verendrye in Black & White

Vanishing Antler 2013

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.

Landa, North Dakota
Landa, North Dakota

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.

Landa, North Dakota
Landa, North Dakota
Landa, North Dakota
Landa, North Dakota

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.

Landa, North Dakota
Landa, North Dakota

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.

Landa, North Dakota
Landa, North Dakota

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

Landa, ND

We first visited Crystal Springs in 2005, primarily to photograph the abandoned school which is quite visible from the Interstate.  We didn’t find out until later that we had neglected to photograph a portion of Crystal Springs which waits just north of the highway.  So, on Memorial Weekend of 2013, we returned to Crystal Springs.

While many towns suffered when they were bypassed by an interstate, Crystal Springs’ decline was hastened when it was bisected by the interstate, effectively cutting the town in two. Continue reading “Return to Crystal Springs: A Town Cut in Two by the Interstate”

Return to Crystal Springs: A Town Cut in Two by the Interstate

Berlin, North Dakota is a small town in Lamoure County in southeastern North Dakota. Although many of the structures which once existed in Berlin are now gone (the school for one), there are some impressive structures still standing. Sabrina Hornung contributed a few photos of Berlin in 2011. In the summer of 2012 we were able to get to Berlin and capture these photos for ourselves. Continue reading “Derelict Firehouse in Berlin, North Dakota”

Derelict Firehouse in Berlin, North Dakota

Manfred: Six Years Later

Manfred is a near-ghost town just off Highway 52 between Minot and Jamestown.  We visited Manfred previously in 2006, and decided to stop again for an overdue visit on our way to north central North Dakota.

Manfred is home to about five residents these days, and several of them are doing a fantastic job at buying up properties and securing/restoring them.  The Johnson Hotel was on the brink when we visited in 2006, but has since been repainted.  In addition, there was an old school in Manfred which we chose not to photograph last time because it looked as though someone had been living in it.  It is now undergoing a thorough cleaning, and the residents of Manfred have plans to restore the portico over the front stairs when they can raise the funds to do so. Continue reading “Manfred: Six Years Later”

Nekoma’s population was 50 in the 2010 Census, slightly more populous than most of the towns we photograph.  At the same time, there were a few cool abandoned structures and/or throwback reminders to simpler days… like the little orange gas pumps.  Since we were in the area to photograph the Safeguard Missile Complex, we decided to take a few shots in Nekoma.  It’s a fun town to photograph.

A nice small town post office still operates in Nekoma.

Excuse some artistic expression, please.

A sticker in the window of one of the local stores.

We have a hunch that the building on the left in the photo above might be the original fire station.  The building on the right appears to be used as a residence at present.

See our photos of the Stanley R. Mickelsen Safeguard ABM Complex

See John Kelly’s photos of Nekoma in Winter.

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

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Nekoma, ND

Erie is a small near-ghost town in Cass County, about 45 minutes northwest of Fargo.  We visited Erie during a trip to nearby Brewer Lake, also known as Erie Dam State Recreation area due to the small earthen dam which created Brewer Lake.  It’s a very nice, out-of-the-way campground that gets little traffic if you’re looking for a nice little spot to relax.

This is the now-vacant Erie State Bank building.

This is the earthen dam at Brewer Lake, about three minutes drive from Erie.

Photos by Troy Larson, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

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Erie, ND

Fredonia is a small town in Logan county, about 80 miles southeast of Bismarck.  We had not intended to stop in Fredonia, but we saw a few buildings we wanted to photograph, so we made a quick stop.

Occasionally, residents (or former-residents) of some of the towns featured on this site to take offense when we post photos of and/or talk about their town. We have encountered several visitors who are clearly offended that we have chosen to feature Fredonia on this website — users who believe we have somehow labeled Fredonia as a “ghost town” by featuring it on this website. Nothing could be further from the truth and we stand by what we’ve posted here.  This website is not only a chronicle of ghost towns, but individual abandoned places and buildings.  There are several locations which fit that description in Fredonia.

So, to make sure it is quite clear, Fredonia is not a ghost town, and we wouldn’t even classify it as a near-ghost town at this point, although in another decade or two, it may be.  The census data below supports that conclusion.  If we’re wrong and Fredonia begins to grow, we’ll be thrilled.

US Census Data for Fredonia
Total Population by Place

1920 – 296
1930 – 394
1940 – 309
1950 – 268
1960 – 141
1970 – 100
1980 – 82
1990 – 66
2000 – 54
2010 – 46

Fredonia, ND

A sleepy Sunday in Fredonia. Not many of the reported 46 residents around.

fredonia1

Fredonia, ND

This church was in really good shape and we’re told it is still used. The brick work is simply amazing.

Fredonia, ND

Fredonia, ND

fredonia5

Fredonia, ND

We were intrigued by this abandoned farmstead on the outskirts of Fredonia.

Fredonia, ND

Fredonia, ND

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Fredonia, ND

Fredonia, ND

Fredonia, ND

Fredonia, ND

Fredonia, ND

Fredonia, ND

Fredonia, ND

Fredonia, ND

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

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Fredonia, ND