Ghosts of North Dakota

Archives

When we started this project in 2003, there were plenty of places where we arrived too late; we showed up to discover there wasn’t much left to see in many cases. Now, years later, we’ve been sad to see many of the places where there were things to see… vanish just the same. If you didn’t see these places already, a visit now would reveal that you’ve arrived too late. Here are… Read More

Freda, North Dakota

Freda, North Dakota is a true ghost town in Grant County about 35 miles southwest of Bismarck.  Freda started out as a Milwaukee Railroad town, and once had a population  of 50 plus its own bank.

Raleigh, North Dakota

Raleigh is a secluded little town in Grant County, just a short drive southwest of Mandan. The population is nine, and there are exactly two businesses in operation. The grain elevator does a brisk business, and the local tavern is called The Dogtooth — named after the hills which cut a ragged swath through the township.

Defining what exactly constitutes a “ghost town” can sometimes be tricky.  In our years of exploring North Dakota’s abandoned places, we’ve often encountered former towns where the townsite itself is empty, but there’s a farm about half a mile down the road.  Sometimes a former town like Sims, North Dakota has an active church, but nobody actually lives on the town site.  And still other times, we will hear objections from people… Read More

Heil, North Dakota

Our journey to Heil, North Dakota, in Grant County, about fifty miles southwest of Mandan, took place on an evening when the forecast said there was a chance of scattered thunderstorms in the area. We got more than we bargained for and ended up driving through a pounding thunderstorm with rain coming down in torrents. By the time we got to Heil, however, the storm had moved through and we were able… Read More

Leith, North Dakota

We first visited Leith, North Dakota, in Grant County, about fifty miles southwest of Mandan, in May of 2007. We had heard that it was a shrinking rural community with a few abandoned places to photograph, and we found that to be true, but we could not have known that Leith would become a place of conflict just a few years later when a white supremacist would move-in and thrust Leith into… Read More

We first visited Leith in May of 2007, and you can see that gallery here (temporarily offline for maintenance).  These photos from the Leith area were in in our archive, not previously published.  Enjoy! Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

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