We visited this beautiful place, Norway Lutheran Church, in April of 2017. It’s in McHenry County, about 15 miles southwest of Towner, North Dakota, and it is perched on the hill above the Souris River Valley. The Souris, known to locals as the “Mouse River”, has flooded many times, particularly in 1969 and 2011 (a 1976 flood was serious, but not as severe as ’69 or ’11), and 6 years later, the legacy of the 2011 flood can still be seen everywhere. Just down the way from this church, a gravel road still stands blocked-off, partly underwater. Dead wood lies along the river bank in heaps, piled there by land owners after thousands of trees, live and dead, were uprooted and sent drifting downriver in the deluge. In places, there are the remains of flooded buildings, but in many more, new constructions, nicely landscaped and brightly painted. From a safe spot well above the flood plain, and in the tradition of the hardy settlers who came here more than a century earlier, Norway Lutheran Church overlooks perseverance.
Continue reading “Norway Lutheran Church Overlooks Perseverance” →
Bergen is a near-ghost town in McHenry county, just off Highway 52, about 30 miles southeast of Minot. The town was founded with a post office in 1905, and the railroad arrived in 1907. Bergen’s peak population was reportedly 98 residents.
Continue reading “Bergen, North Dakota: Population 7” →
Kief is a near-ghost town in McHenry county, and is home to the first Russian Baptist Church ever established in the United States. Although only listed as having a population of 13 in the 2010 census, the amount of activity we saw on our visit to Kief seemed to suggest a larger population, perhaps twenty? Kief has a bar which was open for business on the day we visited.
Update: we’ve been told the bar has since closed.
Continue reading “13 People and 3 Churches in Kief, North Dakota” →
We visited Balfour in November of 2014, nine years after our first visit, to get some photos of all the things we missed the first time. We actually tried to revisit Balfour in 2012, but a road construction crew had traffic at a complete stop on Highway 52, complicating our travel schedule, and we decided to wait until another time, so it was nice to finally get back there. Continue reading “Back to Balfour” →
Yesterday, Steve Lee sent us some photos of flooding in Verendrye, North Dakota. They were taken by his father during the Mouse (Souris) River floods “sometime in the mid to late forties.”
Continue reading “Watch Verendrye Age Forty Years” →
My father, Howard Lee, took these photos. He grew up on his grandfather’s (Herbrand Lee) farm, 2 or 3 miles northeast of Verendrye. Herbrand Lee homesteaded in the area.
Steven Lee sent in these photos of Verendrye, North Dakota with the following comments:
Continue reading “Flooding in Verendrye” →
My father, Howard Lee, took these photos. They were taken during the flooding of the Mouse River sometime in the mid to late forties. He grew up on his grandfather’s (Herbrand Lee) farm, 2 or 3 miles northeast of Verendrye. Herbrand Lee homesteaded in the area.
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” →
Sometimes we photograph a place and find out years later that it’s gone, sometimes the place is gone by the time we get there. But the one constant is that the list of places is growing all the time.
Here’s another list of ten more significant North Dakota places that have unfortunately lost their battle with time. When you’re done with this one, check out 10 Lost North Dakota Places, and 8 More Lost North Dakota Places.
Continue reading “Ten More Lost North Dakota Places” →
This is the former Balfour Public School. It was built sometime between 1899 and 1910. Other than that, we know very little about this school, or what happened to it. If you know more about this school, we would invite you to click on the photo below and add your comments on the ensuing page. Note the former Balfour church in the background.
We found this postcard going through some old files but we have no record of who sent it to us. Thank you, whoever you are.
Kongsberg, North Dakota is a tiny near-ghost town in McHenry County, just a few miles east of another near-ghost town, Ruso. Originally dubbed Olivia, the name changed to Kongsberg in 1916. The population of Kongsberg never exceeded 50. Kongsberg’s church celebrated their 100th anniversary on July 1st, 2012.
This was actually the second town in North Dakota named Kongsberg. The first Kongsberg was near Abercrombie, but their Post Office closed in 1905.
If you know anything about Kongsberg’s present status… number of full-time residents, the nature of the buildings shown etc… please comment below. Thanks to R. David Adams for contributing these photos.
The former Kongsberg State Bank
St. John Lutheran Church
St. John Lutheran Cemetery