Ghosts of North Dakota

Archives

Forbes, North Dakota

Forbes, North Dakota is in Dickey County, about thirty miles southeast of Ashley, right on the South Dakota border. On nearly every trip, we go out looking forward to seeing a certain town, but on the way home, we realize another town was better or more fun. In this adventure in June of 2011, Forbes was that town — the pleasant surprise.

Hanks, North Dakota

Hanks, North Dakota, in Williams County, about 33 miles northwest of Williston, is a lonely outpost on the prairie, just one resident away from being a ghost town. Hanks was the subject of some national media in 2008 when National Geographic published The Emptied Prairie (available at the link only with a subscription) by Charles Bowden, a polarizing piece roundly denounced by many North Dakotans in letters to editors, in the Dickinson… Read More

Barton, North Dakota

Originally called Denney, this unincorporated community was founded along the Great Northern Railroad in 1887.  The name was changed to Barton in 1893. Barton is in Pierce County, about twelve miles northwest of Rugby.  In the 2010 Census, it was listed as having 20 residents.

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.

Lefor, ND

These are a few more photos from our archive on Lefor, North Dakota, a place we visited in 2007. Lefor is still home to a small population, and the main landmark is the very impressive St. Elizabeth Catholic Church shown below.  Lefor is also the home of one of the best known cook books in North Dakota.  

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

Clif Nelson contributed these photos of Hanks, North Dakota, a near-ghost town in Williams County — population one. Clif’s comments: “It was never much of a town, but they had coal mines north of town and grain elevatorsin the early 1900’s.  My Grandfather Anton Nelson who farmed about 7 miles northwest of Hanks would haul a load of grain in and haul coal home from the mines just north of the town of Hanks…. Read More

This is the former King School, just a few miles south of Valley City along the Sheyenne River Valley Scenic Byway.  This building was erected in 1930, but it was preceded by another structure, also known as the King School, which was erected in the 1880’s on a different site. The plaque on location reads, in part: When the last students walked out of the King School in 1967, their departure marked the… Read More

Pingree is a small town in Stutsman County, northwest of Jamestown.  According to the 2010 Census, Pingree is home to 60 residents.  Pingree was founded in 1881 and reached a peak population of 268 residents in 1920. We didn’t have plans to visit Pingree, but we saw a few photo opportunities from the highway and decided to stop.  On the day we visited, several local residents were busy towing cars from the… Read More