Defining what exactly constitutes a “ghost town” can sometimes be tricky. In our years of exploring North Dakota’s abandoned places, we’ve often encountered former towns where the townsite itself is empty, but there’s a farm about half a mile down the road. Sometimes a former town like Sims, North Dakota has an active church, but nobody actually lives on the town site. And still other times, we will hear objections from people who feel as though we’ve misrepresented their town, or somehow labeled it a ghost town because it appears on this website, in which case we clarify that this site is about ghost towns and abandoned places, like the former First National Bank and Barber Auditorium in Marmarth, North Dakota, a town with a population numbering more than a hundred.Continue reading “20 True Ghost Towns: Population Zero”
We stopped in Cogswell specifically to photograph the beautiful United Methodist Church, and to see if a church shown on our postcard from 1918 was still standing. In the process, we ran across another boarded-up church we didn’t know was there.Continue reading “Three Cogswell Churches”
In summer of 2014, I stopped in Cayuga on my way back from South Dakota and was shocked at the number of great photo opportunities. I was at the end of a long day and just snapped a few shots, making a mental note to come back. We were thrilled to discover it’s just as beautiful in the fall as it is in the summer.Continue reading “Another Visit to Cayuga”
This is Cayuga, North Dakota, in Sargent County near the South Dakota border. It was founded in 1887 in the Dakota Territory, two years before statehood.Continue reading “Cayuga, 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 North Dakota Places.Continue reading “Ten More Lost North Dakota Places”
We visited Straubville, North Dakota, a ghost town south of Jamestown, on a cloudy day in 2005 and found it totally abandoned. Unfortunately, we arrived a few years too late to capture the major remaining buildings when they were still standing. We’ve been told that things have deteriorated since our last visit, so we’re hoping to go back to Straubville some time in the near future for an update.
We were recently digging through our archive and realized we had a good selection of photos from Straubville that we had never posted, so here they are for your enjoyment. Continue reading “Straubville, North Dakota: A True Ghost Town”
Stirum was a spur of the moment stop while I was out taking a new car on its first roadtrip. This area of Sargent County was hit pretty hard with some of the extremely wet weather we experienced in the years around 2010 and 2011, and it shows in Stirum. There was a lot of apparent ‘cleanup’ going on the day I arrived, so I didn’t photograph much. We’ll quite likely go back again some time in the future. Just guessing, I would estimate a population around a dozen.
This is the former Sargent County Maintenance shop.
This house has a huge, two story porch on the back.
The building on the left, though closed on the day I visited, appeared to be an operational bar.
Photos by Troy, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC
Harlem is a town that no longer exists. We believe this former voting precinct building is the only structure left from what was once Harlem. This building stands right near a farmer’s home and he is farming the land on all sides.
According to North Dakota Place Names by Douglas Wick, Harlem was once at the terminus of the Milwaukee Railroad line from Andover, South Dakota and had 225 residents by 1890, but the construction of the nearby NPRR line caused many Harlem residents to move to nearby communities like Cogswell. When the railroad was taken up in 1923, it spelled the end for Harlem.
The former site of Stirum, ND is just two miles north of here.
Photos by Terry Hinnenkamp, Copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC
About 60 miles southwest of Wahpeton, in Sargent County, stands the ghost town known as Straubville, North Dakota. It was named for the first settler, Joseph W. Straub, who donated ten acres for the town site, in 1883. A Great Northern Railroad station was founded in 1886, and population peaked at 40.
This was a place we visited early in our Ghosts of North Dakota adventures, in 2005, and it was one of the first places we encountered where it seemed obvious that if we had arrived ten or fifteen years earlier, there would have been much more to photograph. Continue reading “The Ghost Town Known as Straubville, North Dakota”