Ghosts of North Dakota

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We revisited Manfred last summer for the first time in six years and found some things had changed for the better.  Look at the Hotel Johnson in 2006 compared to how it looks now… the residents of Manfred have made amazing progress on the old hotel. Copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

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

We added a postcard of the Fargo Waldorf as it looked in 1911 a few days ago.  Here are a few more looks at this long gone Fargo landmark.  In the first postcard below from 1906 or ’07, the Northern Pacific Depot is center-left, and the Waldorf is the four-story building center-right.  This view is looking southeast from the tracks at 8th Street North. The postcard above was sent to Miss Margaret… Read More

Most North Dakotans know what has been going on in Devils Lake over the last few decades.  A steady rise of water levels on the lake has inundated towns like Church’s Ferry and Minnewaukan, plus numerous farms, homes, and businesses.  Without a natural outlet, the lake has continued to rise and has been the subject of contentious political battles.  One of Terry’s best photos features a home which was overtaken by the… Read More

Fillmore, North Dakota

We first visited Fillmore in 2006 and we were completely blown away. Fillmore was one of the most impressive near-ghost towns we had ever been to. At the time, there just a couple of part-time residents, and more than a dozen abandoned structures including a bar, a store, a community hall/gymnasium, an auto shop, and numerous homes. For some time, we had known the gymnasium had been listed for sale. In summer… Read More

After visiting in 2004, contributor Mark Johnson made a followup visit to Omemee. We were able to match Mark’s photo of the Superintendent’s house with an old postcard. The picture says it all… there’s not much time for Omemee. Mark’s comments: “Attached are a couple updated photos of the “superintendent’s house” in Omemee from last October… the house has seriously deteriorated further since I was there originally. The whole front of the… Read More

We returned to Heaton, in Wells County, nearly six years after our first trip in 2004, to find things had changed noticeably. This is an animation showing the former Heaton Bank and the Hawks of Heaton Gift Shop (which we believe may have been the Post Office at one time as well).  As you can see, sometime between 2004 and 2010, the structures disappeared.  We don’t know what happened to them.  Several… Read More

Manfred, North Dakota

Manfred, North Dakota is in Wells County, about 30 miles south of Rugby, near the geographical center of North America. Manfred reportedly had 439 citizens in 1920, but that declined to 70 by 1960, and about a dozen when we took these photos in 2006. We actually hadn’t planned on stopping in Manfred, but we drove right by it on the way to Silva and Fillmore, and when we saw the hotel… Read More

Arena, ND

Arena was founded with a rural post office January 23rd, 1906. It is said to have had a peak population of 150 around 1920, but had withered to 35 residents by 1930. It is now abandoned. The photo shown left is the former Arena School, photo contributed by Stephen Berg. As of our visit in 2004, the school was gone. This was the only photo we’d been able to locate of the school for… Read More