Thursday, April 5, 2012

Ghosts of North Dakota

At first glance you might think The Ghosts of North Dakota website is about haunted buildings in North Dakota. It isn't, it's better than that. 
Ghosts of North Dakota is a website dedicated to the ghost towns of North Dakota.  Some of the towns are so small no one inhabits them.  Some of the towns have only a handful of people living in them or on nearby farms.  There are photographs of empty streets and buildings, crumbling sidewalks, deserted playgrounds.  Towns that were once thriving with a busy main streets, churches and schools are now gone, but not necessarily forgotten. 
Many of these little towns popped up along the railroad lines.  The rail road came and went.  "Too much, too fast and too soon" as my college history professor would say.  Many of these small towns thrived in the 1910's, 20's, many even into the mid-century.  But now grass has taken over sidewalks and streets, and trees and bushes slowly cover old buildings that sit empty.  These buildings are reminders of the past, and to be honest, some of them are downright erie looking.
Ghosts of North Dakota is a great website for history buffs like me who wish we could preserve these places, and maybe even restore them to their former glory.  I wish there was a portal somewhere we could walk through enabling us to zip back in time for just a moment, so that we could get a quick glimpse of these past places.  I'd love to see these houses and schools while they were lived in and being used. 
Here is a news report done by a KVLY news crew in Fargo.  It explains what Troy and Rat (The G of ND guys) do.  (Don't forget to pause the playlist off to the right as you don't want to miss what they have to say!)

I come from the small town of Epping.  I was lucky enough to live the "small-town" life at an early age and often long for it still.  Little towns around us such as Springbrook and Wheelock were close to being ghost towns when I was a kid.  Schools were torn down, grocery stores were closed as well as churches.  It was strange to think that on occasion we would worship in the church that now stands empty in Wheelock.  And now that church building, along with the school, are being reclaimed by the earth. 
Well, enough of my rambling.  Here is the website.  I commend the guys who run it, Troy and Rat, and thank them for all of the time and effort they put into their site.  They do such a great job!!

One of my favorite locations is Forbes.  Other favorites are Ambrose, Gardenia, Regan, Marmarth (many pictures) and Merricort.

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