Ghosts of North Dakota


This is Acton School in Acton Township, Walsh County.  David Schultz sent in these photos with the following comments: Not sure if you would be interested in these pictures of the Acton School. First classes held 1883 Last term was 1956. My Mom attended this school and my Grand Mother taught at it. School was getting in pretty poor condition so it was torn down this Spring but I thought I better get few pictures … Read More

Ardoch is a town of around 60 residents in Walsh County.  We visited Ardoch once before to photograph the quite impressive Mondry Elevator, a visit during which we spent quite a bit of time looking for a phone lost in the tall grass.  Since I was in the area again, I decided to stop in for a better look. There are an unusually high number of trailer homes in Ardoch, both inhabited… Read More

Auburn is a very small town in Walsh County, north of Grafton.  There was an active harvest happening the day I visited, and most of the homes are still inhabited.  The population appears to be a dozen or two. Due to a finicky camera, I was only able to capture the photos you see below on my Android.  The church is the most impressive structure on the townsite.  It looks like it’s… Read More

Fordville just happened to be on our route as we explored a few towns in Walsh and Ramsey counties.  It is not a ghost town or a near-ghost town… more like Pleasantville.  According to the 2000 Census, Fordville had 266 residents, shrinking to 212 in 2010. The most prominent landmark was the Ford Theater, a beautiful brick building that’s been carefully tended, but in need of help with the roof. The owner… Read More

We stopped in Ardoch primarily to photograph the elevator which Terry had been wanting to shoot for some time.  We drove into town past the city hall and a little yapper dog promptly ran right in front of Terry’s car and stopped.  He just stood there staring at us.  So Terry started to back up, and a second dog joined the first in circling around his car.  We were kinda stuck, not… Read More

Conway is a near-ghost town in Walsh County, southwest of Grafton.  Conway’s peak population was reported in the 1900 census as 216.  Today the population is 23. On September 7th, 1897, the New York Times published the following story: KILLED TRYING TO ESCAPE Tramps Imprisoned in Conway Set Fire to Jail Fargo, ND. Sept 6th — The city marshal and a posse, after a hard fight, captured three tramps who had robbed several… Read More

Stardust 17 Drive-In, Grafton, North Dakota

In the course of his travels, Terry stumbled upon the Stardust 17 Drive-In on the west side of Grafton.  The Stardust held 300 cars and hosted movie showings for decades. According to one online account, the Stardust 17’s screen blew down in a windstorm in October of 1991.  There were some initial discussions about getting the drive-in going again, but cost put the brakes on a recovery.  When we visited in 2011, the theater… Read More