Ghosts of North Dakota

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These two dramatically different views of Blabon, North Dakota vividly depict how quickly things changed for some small North Dakota railroad communities in the twentieth century.

Central School, Minot

The space where Minot High School’s Central Campus now stands has a long history as home to several impressive schools, one of which also happens to be my alma mater.  In 1893, a far-too-small schoolhouse was replaced with the building below – Central School, sometimes referred to as “Central Graded School” with the “d”.

Front Street Fargo, 1909

If you’re fascinated by history, you know postcards are really a simple pleasure. You can tease so many stories out of a few fine details when you look close. This intersection in Fargo is significant in the history of our state as the place where Fargo literally rose from the ground after the NP Avenue Railroad Bridge was completed in 1872, less than a mile to the east.  It was the first… Read More

Sanish, North Dakota, 1926

Old Sanish, North Dakota came to an end in 1953, when the river valley it occupied for over half a century became the bottom of North Dakota’s newest reservoir, Lake Sakakawea. Sanish’s residents left for higher ground, as did the residents of other low-lying towns like Van Hook and Elbowoods.

Straubville, North Dakota

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… Read More

LaMoure County Courthouse

This is a vintage post card view of LaMoure County Courthouse while it was still under construction in LaMoure, North Dakota.  The courthouse was constructed in 1907.  Today, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The wikipedia entry for this courthouse reads, in part: The structure includes a highly-detailed, metal-covered dome with bull’s eye windows topped by a ball finial. An octagonal tower with columns and arched windows supports… Read More

Nome School in Barnes County — 1919 and 2005. Animation by Troy Original content copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

We found a couple of vintage Nome postcards at an antique store not too long ago, including a postcard of the now-abandoned Nome School in Barnes County which we snapped on a whim while passing through Nome in 2005. We had to make some guesses on this card due to the handwriting — This postcard was sent on September 24th, 1919 from Laura Sigurdson to Miss Signe Bratt (who was a teacher… Read More

I found this postcard in a box at an antique store.  It’s a postcard of San Haven Sanatorium in 1940.  I was impressed that this postcard shows an overview of the grounds including the beautiful gardens and water feature which are now completely dry and overgrown. This postcard was sent by someone named Olga, who must have been visiting a patient named Hilda, to Mrs. Harold Wendt in Columbia, Wisconsin on February 19th, 1940…. Read More

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… Read More