Ghosts of North Dakota

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Shepard View Estate

North Dakota’s longest State Highway is Highway 200, and it stretches over 400 miles from the Red River near Halstad, Minnesota to the Montana border at Fairview. As we’ve been exploring North Dakota’s vanishing places since 2003, it’s a highway we’ve found ourselves on again and again, and we’re due to show appreciation for a road that will take you to so many amazing places.

Sanger, North Dakota

We first visited Sanger in 2004 and quickly fell in love with the County House. Someone had told us it was the former post office in Sanger, but we visited again in 2013 and an area resident told us it was known as the County House — the remnant of a boarding house from the horse and wagon days. Back then, it was a two day journey between Minot and Bismarck, and… Read More

Sanger, North Dakota

These photos are a collection of some previously unpublished things and artsy stuff from our 2004 visit to Sanger.  Beauty in the ruins.

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

Sanger cattle drive

Nine years after our first visit to Sanger, North Dakota, we returned to see how things had changed. Imagine our surprise when we discovered Sanger is no longer a true ghost town.  There had been no population when we visited in 2004, but today, Sanger is inhabited by two men, Ron and Dan, who moved to Sanger about four years ago.  They have been renovating one of the existing homes in Sanger,… Read More

Sanger, North Dakota

Sanger, North Dakota is located in Oliver County, on the west bank of the Missouri River. It was a true ghost town when we visited in September of 2004, but that would change by 2013. Sanger was also known as Bentley, ND when it was founded in 1879, named after the town doctor W. Bentley, who was also a member of the territorial legislature. Bentley was considered the county seat until 1884, when the… Read More