Ghosts of North Dakota

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Kloten, North Dakota

Kloten is in Nelson County, situated about forty miles south of Highway 2, about halfway between Devils Lake and Grand Forks. Accurate population figures are difficult to find. Kloten’s population was reported at a suspiciously round number of 150 for many years, however our census records going back as far as 1960 do not include population reports for Kloten. Nathan Mastrud contributed these photos of Kloten with the following comments: Sign leading… Read More

Bucyrus, ND is along Highway 12 in southwestern North Dakota, east of Bowman. It was founded in 1907 as Wolf Butte, and was also known as Dolan for a time. Bucyrus is just down the road from some other places we’ve visited, like Gascoyne, Haley and Griffin. US Census Data for Bucyrus Total Population by Place 1920 – 113 1930 – 124 1940 – 117 1950 – 111 1960 – 60 1970… Read More

Hettinger County Inhabited as of 5/07 The town of Bentley, ND was founded in 1906, fifteen miles south of its present location. In 1915 the town was rebuilt at the present location. Bentley should not be confused with Sanger in Oliver county, a town which was also named Bentley for a time. At one time it may have been home to as many as 200 North Dakotans, but the 1960 census indicated… Read More

Manfred, North Dakota

Manfred, North Dakota is in Wells County, about 30 miles south of Rugby, near the geographical center of North America. Manfred reportedly had 439 citizens in 1920, but that declined to 70 by 1960, and about a dozen when we took these photos in 2006. We actually hadn’t planned on stopping in Manfred, but we drove right by it on the way to Silva and Fillmore, and when we saw the hotel… Read More

Merricourt, North Dakota

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… Read More

Arena, ND

Arena was founded with a rural post office January 23rd, 1906. It is said to have had a peak population of 150 around 1920, but had withered to 35 residents by 1930. It is now abandoned. The photo shown left is the former Arena School, photo contributed by Stephen Berg. As of our visit in 2004, the school was gone. This was the only photo we’d been able to locate of the school for… Read More