Ghosts of North Dakota

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Neuburg Congregational Church

In 2014, we paid a visit to Neuburg Congregational Church, in Hettinger County, after we ran across a newspaper article which billed Neuburg Congregational as the most remote church in North Dakota–nearly 25 miles from the nearest town. We found the place on the brink of dereliction, with weeds growing up around the foundation, the paint thoroughly peeled, and pigeons making a home in the steeple. You can check out our original… Read More

Highland Township School

We just happened across this old country school in Highland Township, Hettinger County. It’s just west of the Neuberg Congregational Church, about thirty miles southeast of Dickinson.

Neuburg Congregational Church

This is Neuberg Congregational Church, in Hettinger County, rural Mott.  The church, which is quite remote, nearly 25 miles from the nearest town, was built in 1925 and it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2007. We visited Neuberg Congregational Church in July of 2014. The sky was thick with haze from forest fires (in Washington, Oregon, or Canada, depending on who you ask) which lent some weirdness… Read More

Watrous, North Dakota

Nate Reynolds posted these photos to our Facebook page with the comments: Watrous, between Bentley and Mott, this is all that’s left. Watrous was a stop along the Milwaukee Road railroad line about 75 miles southwest of Bismarck, and had a population of 15 in 1920.

It’s always a thrill to see enthusiastic residents get involved in saving historically and culturally significant places in their communities, but in North Dakota’s vanishing small towns, the losses frequently outnumber the wins by a significant margin. It’s something we’ve seen time and again in over ten years of photographing North Dakota. What follows is our personal list, by no means exhaustive, of ten significant North Dakota places that have unfortunately lost… 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

Burt, North Dakota

Burt, ND is along Highway 21 in Hettinger County, roughly sixty miles southwest of Bismarck/Mandan. The post office was established in 1910 at Burt, which had previously been known as Alton. The name was changed to avoid confusion with Alton Junction. Burt once had 200 people but is now home to a couple dozen. Burt even had a newspaper once upon a time — the Burt Echo was the “official paper for… Read More

We originally visited Bentley in May of 2007. See the pictures from our previous visit. In August of 2009, Ghosts of North Dakota visitor Kelsey Rusch visited Bentley and discovered the church steeple has collapsed. She submitted this photo.

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