Ghost Towns of North Dakota

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DISCLAIMER: We are still working to find updated information for every town. We started in 2016 and with roughly 4,000 ghost towns in the United States, we hope to eventually have as much accurate information on each town as we can. If you notice any incorrect information, or if you have any information to help fill in the blanks for any towns, please feel free to contact us.

Alfred

County: LaMoure
Zip Code:
Latitude / Longitude: 46° 36′ 11 N, 98° 59′ 57 W
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Time Zone: Central (CST) (UTC-6)
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Comments: Alfred is an unincorporated hamlet in LaMoure County, North Dakota, United States. It was one of five towns founded by Richard Sykes.
Remains: Its population is estimated at about 10 and it consists of a few houses, a licensed boarding home, a grocery store and a Protestant church, as well as grain storage bins and a boat-dock at the small lake which borders the hamlet on the northeast.
Current Status: Alfred is surrounded by numerous grain farms. There are no local police, fire, medical or educational services, and its post office was closed some years ago but it is far from being a ghost town, as one website alleges even while admitting it remains populated.
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Arena

County: Burleigh
Zip Code:
Latitude / Longitude: 47° 7′ 38 N, 100° 9′ 44 W
Elevation:
Time Zone: Central (CST) (UTC-6)
Established: 1906
Disestablished: 1996
Comments: Arena is an extinct town in Burleigh County, North Dakota. The GNIS classifies it as a populated place.
Remains: Arena was founded in January 1906 and never had a population of more than 150. It withered during the Great Depression and now little stands there but the remains of St. John’s Lutheran Church, and an old wooden schoolhouse.
Current Status: A post office called Arena was established in 1906, and remained in operation until 1996.
Remarks: Arena was named to note its location in a shallow valley surrounded by hills – a natural arena. Postcards from approximately 1924 show several businesses such as a hardware store, farmer’s store, general merchandising, and a pool hall. It is also noted that at one time there were five cream buying stations and a large grain elevator located there.

Aurelia

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Bently

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Time Zone: Central (CST) (UTC-6)
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Brisbane

County: Morton
Zip Code:
Latitude / Longitude: 46° 20′ 33 N, 101° 29′ 28 W
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Time Zone: Central (CST) (UTC-6)
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Comments: Brisbane is a ghost town in what was then Morton County but today is Grant County in the U.S. state of North Dakota. A 1910 application for a new post office at Brisbane from the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, D.C. locates Brisbane in section 9 of Township 133 north, Range 86 west.
Remains: In the spring of 1906 there were only a few people living in Brisbane vicinity. The first settlers were men, but in that year women arrived there. The attention of the first settlers was entirely given to stock raising, and no farming was done. Now all is changed and hundreds of acres of rich and fertile soil are annually producing under intelligent and careful farming, thousands of bushels of wheat oats and flax. The village of Brisbane started two years ago, and it is a hustling little town.
Current Status: The business interests are represented by a splendid general store owned and run by E.H. Robinson, a hardware and grocery store run by Sorum and Kindschi, and elevator managed by Martin Jacobs. There is also a blacksmith shop, a cement block building and a restaurant building. There are three school houses in the township and all the pupils within easy reach of the schools. There are four steam breaking outfits and threshing rigs in this township and they all have plenty of work for the coming spring.
Remarks: An article in the Leith, North Dakota, Index newspaper dated March 1, 1913 states that Brisbane had been established 2 years earlier and that a general store, a hardware and grocery store, a grain elevator, a blacksmith shop and a restaurant were located there. The article also indicates that 3 schools were located in the same township.

Charbonneau

County: McKenzie
Zip Code:
Latitude / Longitude: 47°51′12″N 103°45′48″W / 47.85333°N 103.76333°W / 47.85333
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Time Zone: Central (CST) (UTC-6)
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Comments: Charbonneau is a ghost town in northwestern McKenzie County, North Dakota, United States.
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Current Status: It was abandoned when the post office was closed in the 1960s.
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Churchs Ferry

County: Ramsey
Zip Code:
Latitude / Longitude: 48°16′8″N 99°11′47″W / 48.26889°N 99.19639°W / 48.26889
Elevation: 1,450 ft (442 m)
Time Zone: Central (CST) (UTC-6)
Established: 1886
Disestablished:
Comments: Churchs Ferry is a city in Ramsey County, North Dakota, United States that has been impacted by the expansion of nearby Devils Lake. The population was 12 at the 2010 census. Churchs Ferry was founded in 1886.
Remains: On January 10, 2012, Churchs Ferry residents voted 5 to 2 to remain an incorporated town.
Current Status: Devils Lake began rising in the early 1990s, and more than 400 homes around the lake have been relocated or destroyed. This includes Churchs Ferry, one of two municipalities that have been bought out by government agencies. The other is Penn, although some people remain in both communities.
Remarks: Devils Lake keeps getting larger as its outlet (Tolna Coulee) is significantly higher than the rest of the lake. In the 1880s, the lake was large enough that a man by the name of Irvine Church once operated a ferry in the area (hence the town’s name), but by 1940, the lake had all but dried out. The lake is now growing back towards its maximum size again.

Dogtooth

County: Grant
Zip Code:
Latitude / Longitude: 46° 23′ 38 N, 101° 20′ 49 W
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Time Zone: Central (CST) (UTC-6)
Established: 1876
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Comments: Dogtooth is a ghost town in Grant County, North Dakota, United States. It was so named because the shape of the nearby buttes resembled the molars of a dog’s lower jaw. The town was located in Section 11 of survey township T133 North, Range 85 West.
Remains: Dogtooth was first established in 1876 as a station along the Deadwood – Bismarck Trail. The station closed in 1880 when the Northern Pacific Railroad was completed, but settlers continued to homestead in the area. A post office was established and operated by Robert Pearce March 20, 1900. The November 26, 1909, edition of the Mandan Pioneer reported that Dogtooth had “a great out look for a thriving metropolis as the Milwaukee have surveyed a town near where Dogtooth now stands
Current Status: The Pioneer on April 8, 1910, described the new town of Raleigh, located just two miles to the east along the Milwaukee Railroad with “a few buildings have already been built, including a store and blacksmith shop. The population is mixed, largely Scandinavian.
Remarks: In 1910 Charles Leonard, who operated a store in Dogtooth, moved his business to Raleigh and opened a post office that October. Dogtooth slowly died out as Raleigh grew. The Carson Press reported on January 12, 1911, about Mr. Leonard’s decision to move his store and establish a post office in Raleigh, suggesting that this move put “the finishing touches on Dogtooth.”

Fort Buford

County: Williams
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Latitude / Longitude: 47°59’11 N 104°00’05 W
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Time Zone: Central (CST) (UTC-6)
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Comments: Fort Buford was a United States Army Post at the confluence of the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers in Dakota Territory, present day North Dakota, and the site of Sitting Bull’s surrender in 1881.
Remains: Due to the settlement of the region and the poor condition of the post, Fort Buford was decommissioned by the Army on October 1, 1895. In 1896, all of the remaining structures were sold at auction to be either hauled away or torn down. All but 3 were moved
Current Status:
Remarks: Company C, 2nd Battalion, 13th Infantry, 3 officers, 80 enlisted men and 6 civilians commanded by Capt. (Brevet Lt. Col.) William G. Rankin, first established a camp on the site on June 15, 1866, with orders to build a post, the majority of which was built using adobe and cottonwood enclosed by a wooden stockade. The fort was named after the late Major General John Buford, a Union Army cavalry general during the American Civil War.

Hartland

County: Ward
Zip Code:
Latitude / Longitude: 48° 23′ 58 N, 101° 49′ 14 W
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Time Zone: Central (CST) (UTC-6)
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Comments: Hartland is a ghost town in Ward County, North Dakota, United States, in the west of Carpio and north of Berthold.
Remains: The post office of Hartland was established on March 23, 1908. Ward County folklore says that the name was meant to show the town as the heart of the area. The elevation is 2091, and the peak population of 150 was claimed in 1920, but by 1940 the population was less than 100 an eventually, and in 2000 a population of less than 10. The post office closed May 6, 1966.
Current Status: Grocery store building was moved from Foxholm, Ward County, North Dakota to Hartland, later turned into a residence and then moved to Berthold, North Dakota where it is still lived in.
Remarks: Zion Congregation of the Synod for Speaking Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church of America was organized March 1, 1903 at the homestead of Jens Erickson. Church building constructed in 1910 on a lot secured from M.D. Johnson. Last services held in 1969. Church building moved to Kenmare Pioneer Park in 1972.

Heaton

County: Wells
Zip Code:
Latitude / Longitude: 47°28’42 N 99°32’52 W
Elevation: 1,706 ft (520 m)
Time Zone: Central (CST) (UTC-6)
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Comments: Heaton is an unincorporated community in Wells County, North Dakota, United States. It is located 20 miles west of Carrington, North Dakota.
Remains: It was heavily damaged by a tornado in 1907 and some blame the decline of the town on that event.
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Remarks: Anti-government tax protestor and cop-killer Gordon Kahl was born in Heaton.

Leipzig

County: Grant
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Time Zone: Central (CST) (UTC-6)
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Comments: Leipzig is a ghost town in Grant County, North Dakota, United States. It was abandoned in 1910 when it was bypassed by the Northern Pacific Railroad.
Remains: The Leipzigers then moved their settlement to that location in May and founded New Leipzig, North Dakota.
Current Status: In 1896, 15 German-Russian Leipziger families travelled to the United States and started a new community named after their former home. In 1910, the Northern Pacific Railroad bypassed Leipzig and instead ran 11 miles to the southwest.
Remarks: The name “Leipzig” is a Slavic word that originated around 1015 in Germany, meaning “a settlement by the lime trees.” A settlement named Leipzig was founded in Bessarabia in 1843 by request of the Emperor of Austria.

Lonetree

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Time Zone: Central (CST) (UTC-6)
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Melville

County: Foster
Zip Code:
Latitude / Longitude: 47°20′05″N 99°02′08″W / 47.33472°N 99.03556°W / 47.33472
Elevation: 1,604 ft (489 m)
Time Zone: Central (CST) (UTC-6)
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Comments: Melville is an unincorporated community in Foster County, North Dakota, United States. Melville is located along U.S. Route 52, U.S. Route 281 and the Red River Valley and Western Railroad 9 miles (14 km) south-southeast of Carrington.
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Remarks: Melville was originally named Newport after Northern Pacific Railway treasurer R. M. Newport; its name was changed to Melville for landowner Melville D. Carrington.

Omemee

County: Bottineau
Zip Code:
Latitude / Longitude: 48°42′23″N 100°21′18″W / 48.70639°N 100.35500°W / 48.70639
Elevation: 1,512 ft (461 m)
Time Zone: Central (CST) (UTC-6)
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Comments: Omemee is a ghost town in Bottineau County in the U.S. State of North Dakota. It was a railroad hub in the early 1910s, located at the junction of two major railroads, the Soo Line Railroad and the Great Northern Railway. Incorporated as a city in 1902
Remains: Omemee has been abandoned since 2003.
Current Status: Omemee was founded in 1887 in Willow Vale Township. It is named after Omemee, Ontario, in Canada, which was the hometown of Omemee’s first post master. Omemee itself is an alternate spelling of the Ojibwe word omimi, meaning “dove.” The post office opened in 1890 and closed in 1967, with mail service transferring to nearby Willow City. The town was incorporated in 1902 and was moved slightly in 1903 to the junction of the Great Northern Railway and the Soo Line Railway in 1903. Omemee disincorporated as a city prior to the 1990 Census. It currently has no population.
Remarks: A 1906 review by the North Dakota Department of Agriculture and Labor indicated Omemee was the fourth largest town in Bottineau County. However, by the time it was founded, the cities of Bottineau and Willow City had grown to dominate trade in the region. Omemee, located between both towns was at a disadvantage, since many farmers had grown accustomed to doing business in those towns. Many predicted its status as a hub between two railroads would lead to substantial growth, making Omemee the railroad center of Bottineau County.

Petrel

County: Adams
Zip Code:
Latitude / Longitude: 45°56′54″N 102°16′38″W / 45.94833°N 102.27722°W / 45.94833
Elevation: 2,566 ft (782 m)
Time Zone: Central (CST) (UTC-6)
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Comments: Petrel is a ghost town in Adams County, North Dakota, United States. It is located just across the border with South Dakota, between Lemmon, South Dakota, in Perkins County and Haynes, North Dakota. Petrel is a former railroad townsite and siding on the Milwaukee Railroad. The town was named for the long-winged pigeons seen in the area.
Remains: BNSF Railway operates the railroad today. Petrel is located at mile marker 909.7. The city of Rhame in neighboring Bowman County was originally named Petrel when it was founded in 1908, but the name was soon changed to avoid confusion.
Current Status: Petrel was established as a townsite along the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad in Gilstrap Township. A post office was established in the town on October 29, 1908 when the post office for the neighboring area of Thebes was moved to the new townsite and assumed the new name.
Remarks: The Petrel post office closed September 30, 1939, and mail service was transferred to Lemmon, South Dakota. As a result the town and the surrounding area share the Lemmon ZIP Code of 57638, even though they are in North Dakota. Little remains of the physical town today, other than a few deteriorating building foundations and other equipment.

Sims

County: Morton
Zip Code:
Latitude / Longitude: 46°46′20″N 101°29′55″W / 46.77222°N 101.49861°W / 46.77222 -101.49861
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Time Zone: Central (CST) (UTC-6)
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Comments: Sims is a ghost town in Morton County, North Dakota, United States. The town was founded in 1883, and Sims Scandinavian Lutheran Church was constructed the following year.
Remains: Sims was founded in 1883 as a coal town. Coal mining and the town’s brickyard helped Sims grow to a population of more than 1,000 people. However, the 1910 Census recorded a population of just 86 people. The population fluctuated over the years, with an estimated 98 people in 1940.
Current Status: Today, the church has been restored and still worships every other Sunday. The church parsonage has also been restored and is home to the Sims Historical Society Museum.
Remarks: The post office was founded in 1883 and closed in 1947, with mail routed through Almont, North Dakota, to the south.

Tagus

County: Mountrail
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Latitude / Longitude: 48° 20′ 47 N, 101° 56′ 3 W
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Time Zone: Central (CST) (UTC-6)
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Comments: Tagus (/’tegs/ TAY-gs) is a ghost town in Mountrail County, North Dakota, United States. The town was founded in 1900 approximately forty miles west of Minot and along the Great Northern Railway’s transcontinental route. It incorporated in 1908 and reached a peak population of 140 in 1940. It was originally named Wallace, but was later renamed Tagus to avoid confusion with the town of Wallace, Idaho.
Remains: In 2001, the sole remaining church was destroyed by fire, and local residents attribute the fire to vandalism. The spot is now marked by a memorial plaque. Tagus is now primarily abandoned, with a handful of residents and numerous vacant structures.
Current Status: Tagus reported a population of just 14 during the 1970 Census, and the town disincorporated after the last business in town closed in 1976. The area is now part of Egan Township.
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Temple

County: Williams
Zip Code:
Latitude / Longitude: 48° 23′ 20.31 N, 103° 3′ 21.66 W
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Time Zone: Central (CST) (UTC-6)
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Comments: Temple is an abandoned township located in Williams County, North Dakota.
Remains: The township known as Temple was first established on July 16, 1906, and was originally named Haarstad, for Ole G. Haarstad, the township postmaster and townsite owner. The town was later renamed to “Temple” by officials of the Great Northern Railway.
Current Status: There are few remaining structures which include: a small garage, a couple small outbuildings and a couple caved-in houses. The Temple school and church have been destroyed recently and the foundations filled in. There are some residents, mainly campers which are used by oilfield people.
Remarks: Temple’s post office was created on March 12, 1908, and was closed April 30, 1965.

Temvik

County: Emmons
Zip Code: 58574
Latitude / Longitude: 46°22′11″N 100°15′30″W / 46.36972°N 100.25833°W / 46.36972
Elevation: 1,939 ft (591 m)
Time Zone: Central (CST) (UTC-6)
Established: 1911
Disestablished: 1968
Comments: Temvik is a ghost town in Emmons County, North Dakota, United States. It is situated between Linton and Hazelton, North Dakota.
Remains: Temvik Cemetery is located west of the town along U.S. Route 83. Temvik was founded in 1904 as the town of Godkin. It was alternatively known as Brophy after local store owner L.W. Brophy. The town was renamed Larvik in 1908, and after a short-lived dispute with the nearby townsite Templeton (named after the Tempel brothers), was renamed Temvik in 1911 after the two towns merged. Residents originally wanted to name the combined town Union City, but that application was denied by the Postal Service.
Current Status: The town had a school and several grain elevators early in the twentieth century; all that remains today is a farm.
Remarks: Temvik operated a post office with the zip code 58574 from 1911 until 1968, when the post office was closed. Mail service is handled through Linton to the south, and Temvik shares Linton’s zip code.

Van Hook

County: Mountrail
Zip Code:
Latitude / Longitude: 47.945°N 102.36°W
Elevation: 1,850 ft (560 m)
Time Zone: Central (CST) (UTC-6)
Established: 1914
Disestablished:
Comments: Van Hook is a ghost town in the north central United States, located in Van Hook Township in Mountrail County, North Dakota.
Remains: Van Hook was founded in 1914 as a station on the Soo Line Railroad. It is named after Fred Van Hook, who was one of the first to survey the area in 1911. It was incorporated in 1915, and reported a peak population of 372 in 1930. In fact, the town grew so fast that it earned the nickname “The City of Speed.”
Current Status: The original town site was inundated when Lake Sakakawea was formed in the 1950s behind Garrison Dam, and most of the residents moved to New Town. Much of the old townsite is underwater, and that which remains was converted to a park. Lake Sakakawea’s Van Hook Arm gets its name from the town.
Remarks: When the Garrison Dam was built in the early 1950s, forming Lake Sakakawea, the town’s residents relocated to New Town, which the government had built to house those displaced by the dam. Residents from Sanish, which was also flooded, also moved here. The town’s last reported population in 1950 was 380.

Verendrye

County: McHenry
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Latitude / Longitude: 48° 7′ 16 N, 100° 44′ 21 W
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Time Zone: Central (CST) (UTC-6)
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Comments: Verendrye is an unincorporated community in McHenry County, North Dakota, United States, located about 8 miles northwest of Karlsruhe and 13 miles northeast of Velva within Falsen Township. Although classified by the USGS as a populated place, it is considered a ghost town.
Remains: The community was first known as Falsen, founded in 1912 by Norwegian settlers, who named it for Norwegian statesman Christian Magnus Falsen. Falsen was also the name of the station on the Great Northern Railway. The post office was established with the name Falsen in 1913, but the name was changed in 1925 to honor Pierre de la Verendrye, an early French-Canadian explorer who was the earliest known European to tour the North Dakota prairies.
Current Status: A monument to the later North West Company fur trader and explorer, David Thompson, erected by the Great Northern Railway in 1925, remains on a hilltop overlooking the former townsite.
Remarks: Along with Norwegians, Falsen was originally settled by German-Russians from the villages of Kandel and Selz in the Ukraine.

Wheelock

County: Williams
Zip Code:
Latitude / Longitude: 48°17′47″N 103°15′09″W / 48.29639°N 103.25250°W / 48.29639
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Time Zone: Central (CST) (UTC-6)
Established: 1902
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Comments: Wheelock is a ghost town in Wheelock Township, Williams County, in the northwestern part of the U.S. state of North Dakota.
Remains: Wheelock was founded in 1902 along the transcontinental rail line of the Great Northern Railway. The name comes from Ralph W. Wheelock, an editorial writer with the Minneapolis Tribune who wrote favorably about the site.
Current Status: In 1938, the Federal Writers’ Project found a population of 115 in Wheelock. In the 1990 census, the population was 23. The town was disincorporated in 1994, and now is reverting to the elements.
Remarks: Unlike some ghost towns, Wheelock’s homes, churches, and commercial buildings have the look of just recently being occupied. The paint is peeling, but it is still there. The grass is green, although it is not mowed. The roof of the two-story brick schoolhouse has caved in, carrying with it the back wall and exposing the four classrooms and the gymnasium roof girder. The town garage stands empty. A handful of commercial buildings and the church appear almost as if they could be occupied—but are unoccupied and deteriorating. The railroad track, now owned by BNSF Railway, still runs through town. Wheelock remains the location of a passing siding. The grain elevator stands empty by the tracks. The general store burned down in 2005.