As time passes, the remnants of human civilization can fade away, leaving ghost towns that stand as silent witnesses to the past. One such town is Krem, North Dakota, located 8 miles north, northeast of Hazen.
Established in 1899, Krem was once a bustling community with aspirations of becoming the county seat of Mercer County. However, the town’s decline is evident today, with no current residents and only partial remains of the old flour mill and two cemeteries. Krem’s story is one of a rise and fall, a metaphor for the fleeting nature of human progress.
Krem’s rise began with its establishment in 1899, when it was founded with grand plans to become the county seat of Mercer County. The town’s strategic location was on the Northern Pacific Railroad line, expected to bring in a steady stream of commerce and traffic. Krem’s post office was established in 1900, and the town saw a steady influx of settlers and businesses.
The town’s most significant feature was its flour mill, which was established in 1906 and became a significant economic driver for the town. However, Krem’s fortunes were short-lived, as the Northern Pacific Railroad decided to route its Mandan-Killdeer Branch through Hazen instead of Krem, causing many residents to move away and leaving behind a ghost town that stands as a reminder of what could have been.
- Krem was established in 1899 as a potential county seat and had a flour mill established in 1906.
- The rerouting of the Northern Pacific Railroad through Hazen led to a decline in Krem’s population and economic activities.
- Krem’s legacy is preserved in its two cemeteries and the ruins of the old flour mill, serving as a reminder of the challenges rural communities face.
- Krem’s decline was gradual, and it is now a ghost town with no current residents.
History and Establishment
The establishment of Krem in 1899 was a promising beginning for the town, with plans to become the county seat of Mercer County. Early settlers named the town after Crimea, where many of the German-Russian immigrants had moved from.
A post office was established in 1888 on the farm of Carl Semmler, and plans for the town’s growth were in motion. However, Krem’s eventual decline as a ghost town is a testament to the unpredictable nature of history.
The Northern Pacific Railroad did not build the Mandan-Killdeer Branch through Krem, but instead routed it 8 miles south to Hazen. Many of the residents of Krem moved to Hazen when the railroad arrived in 1913, and the town slowly faded away.
Today, Krem is a ghost town with only two cemeteries, the wall of the old flour mill, and several partial basements as remains.
Features and Residents
Located 8 miles north, northeast of Hazen, Krem’s two cemeteries, old flour mill wall, and several partial basements are the only remains of a once-thriving community. The cemeteries are a testament to the people who once lived in Krem, and the ruins of the flour mill are a reminder of the town’s economic history.
The main street of early Krem had a four-story flour mill in the background, built in 1899 to mill the local grain. However, the Northern Pacific Railroad did not build the Mandan-Killdeer Branch through Krem, which led to the town’s decline.
There are no current residents in Krem, but many of the residents of Krem moved to Hazen when the railroad arrived in 1913. Dr. L. G. Eastman had moved from Expansion to Krem and then moved to Hazen. The name Krem was a nickname for Crimea, where many of the German-Russian immigrants had moved from.
The cemeteries and flour mill ruins are a reminder of Krem’s history and the people who once called it home.
Decline and Abandonment
Following the rerouting of the Northern Pacific Railroad, Krem’s economic prospects began to dwindle, leading to its eventual abandonment. The railroad’s decision to route the Mandan-Killdeer Branch through Hazen, 8 miles south of Krem, was a significant factor that contributed to the town’s decline.
The rerouting of the railroad meant that Krem was no longer the transportation hub it was envisioned to be, and this led to a decrease in its population and economic activities. As a result, many of its residents began to move to Hazen, where economic opportunities were more promising.
The decline of Krem was gradual, and the town’s eventual abandonment resulted from a combination of factors. The town’s inability to attract new residents and businesses, coupled with its aging infrastructure, meant that it was no longer viable as a community.
Today, Krem’s legacy is preserved in its two cemeteries, the wall of the old flour mill, and several partial basements as remains. While the town may have faded into obscurity, its history serves as a reminder of the challenges that rural communities face and the importance of preserving their legacies for future generations.
Frequently Asked Questions
What was the reason for the Northern Pacific Railroad to route the Mandan-Killdeer Branch through Hazen instead of Krem?
The Northern Pacific Railroad chose to route the Mandan-Killdeer Branch through Hazen instead of Krem, likely due to economic implications and the potential for greater development in Hazen. This decision hurt Krem’s development. Railroad routes played a crucial role in shaping the growth and decline of towns in the American West.
Are there any efforts to preserve the remaining structures in Krem, such as the cemeteries and partial basements?
Efforts to preserve the remaining structures in Krem, including cemeteries and partial basements, are underway due to their historical significance. Preservation efforts aim to maintain the town’s memory for future generations.
What was the population of Krem at its peak, and how did it compare to neighboring towns?
At its peak, Krem’s population was not specified. However, neighboring towns like Hazen had more residents due to the economic benefits of the railroad. The lack of railroad access negatively impacted Krem’s growth and development.
Were there any notable events or figures associated with Krem’s history, aside from the establishment of the flour mill?
Krem’s decline had a significant impact on neighboring towns, but aside from the establishment of a flour mill, there were no notable events or figures associated with its history.
Is there any evidence of the German-Russian heritage of Krem’s former residents still present in the town today?
There is no evidence of German-Russian heritage preservation in Krem today. While German-Russian immigrants founded the town, it is now a ghost town with no current residents or cultural institutions.