Ghosts of North Dakota

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Hartland, North Dakota

Hartland is a tiny rural settlement in Ward County, about 25 miles northwest of Minot. We were on our way back to Fargo from Williston on a two day trip to explore a few places and we visited Hartland to see what we could see. Unfortunately, much of what remains of Hartland is now fenced and posted “no trespassing,” so we were unable to get closer to the two abandoned homes shown… Read More

Roseville, North Dakota is a former Great Northern Railroad station at the intersection of County Roads 11 and 16 in Traill county, about ten minutes southwest of Mayville. Roseville was never much more than a loose collection of farmsteads surrounding a grain elevator. Today, the tracks have been pulled up and the grain elevator is crumbling, but you can imagine a time, in the steam locomotive days, when a train passed through… Read More

Bentley, North Dakota

These photos have been in our archive since we visited Hettinger County in 2007 and we are posting them here for the first time.  The church shown below has since partially collapsed. Bentley was founded by Arthur A. Bentley who, after moving from Eden Valley, Minnesota, started a photography business in Fargo in the 1890s.  In 1907 he moved to Hettinger County and founded the town of Bentley.  Someone has started a… Read More

Ardoch is a town of around 60 residents in Walsh County.  We visited Ardoch once before to photograph the quite impressive Mondry Elevator, a visit during which we spent quite a bit of time looking for a phone lost in the tall grass.  Since I was in the area again, I decided to stop in for a better look. There are an unusually high number of trailer homes in Ardoch, both inhabited… Read More

Wellsburg is a small town in Wells County, both of which are named for the Edward P. Wells, a former legislator.  It was founded in 1910 and harbored a population of 150 in 1920.  According to Douglas Wick’s North Dakota Place Names, the population had dropped to 14 by by 1981.  Scenic Dakotas has a Wellsburg gallery too. These photos were contributed by R. David Adams.  His captions are included below. Only… 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

Knox is a rarity as near-ghost towns go — it is located right off a major highway — US 2, between Rugby and Devils Lake.  According to the 2010 census, Knox is home to 25 residents, has 13 occupied households and 13 vacant households.  Knox was founded in 1883 and reportedly had a peak population of 330 in 1910. We drove into Knox and realized there are a lot of impressive vacant… Read More

Pingree is a small town in Stutsman County, northwest of Jamestown.  According to the 2010 Census, Pingree is home to 60 residents.  Pingree was founded in 1881 and reached a peak population of 268 residents in 1920. We didn’t have plans to visit Pingree, but we saw a few photo opportunities from the highway and decided to stop.  On the day we visited, several local residents were busy towing cars from the… Read More

Fordville just happened to be on our route as we explored a few towns in Walsh and Ramsey counties.  It is not a ghost town or a near-ghost town… more like Pleasantville.  According to the 2000 Census, Fordville had 266 residents, shrinking to 212 in 2010. The most prominent landmark was the Ford Theater, a beautiful brick building that’s been carefully tended, but in need of help with the roof. The owner… Read More