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Aged and Rusting: War Memorial Bridge

Aged and Rusting: War Memorial Bridge

This is War Memorial Bridge, sometimes known as Climax Bridge due to its proximity to Climax, Minnesota. The bridge’s official designation is MNDot Bridge #7097. War Memorial Bridge spans the Red River on Minnesota’s western border, between Polk County, Minnesota, and Traill County, North Dakota. War Memorial Bridge was built in 1957 and it is considered a significant historical bridge by the state of Minnesota, due in part to its unique construction. As described by MNDOT’s historic bridges page: The…

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Togo: Where the Pavement Ends and the North Begins

Togo: Where the Pavement Ends and the North Begins

Togo, Minnesota is a remote outpost in Itasca County, about thirty five miles northwest of Hibbing. Located in George Washington State Forest, a wilderness covering more than three hundred thousand acres, Togo is an outdoor paradise in warm and cold weather. This part of Minnesota is characterized by numerous marshes and bogs, punctuated with tamarack and black spruce trees, thousands of which are dead in the wet, low-lying areas. The result is acres of bare tree trunks, devoid of foliage —…

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Bagley Lost Highway

Bagley Lost Highway

There’s an abandoned stretch of road sandwiched between US Highway 2 and Airport Drive on the outskirts of Bagley, Minnesota. A visitor to this website suggested this place to us after seeing our post on the lost highway in what was once McHugh, Minnesota, near Detroit Lakes. Based on the map, it looks like US Highway 2 was realigned at some point, leaving this stretch of highway abandoned. If someone knows the details, please leave a comment. This abandoned road…

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Abandoned 1911 School in Louisburg, Minnesota

Abandoned 1911 School in Louisburg, Minnesota

Louisburg is a small town in Lac qui Parle County, Minnesota, about 55 miles west of Willmar, or 50 miles northeast of Watertown, South Dakota. We visited on a Saturday afternoon and it was very quiet.  We saw two or three vehicles drive through while we were there, and there were some kids playing too, but just a little activity from what we saw.  We visited with the intention of getting photos of the historic 1911 Public School. The Louisburg…

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Donnelly School and an Abandoned Church

Donnelly School and an Abandoned Church

Donnelly is in Stevens County, Minnesota, about 10 minutes northwest of Morris, and home to about 241 people as of the 2010 census. It was founded in December 1871, and was originally known as “Douglas”, but was renamed Donnelly in honor of Minnesota Congressman Ignatius Donnelly. Congressman Donnelly is perhaps better known for his book Atlantis: The Antediluvian World, a work which maintains Plato’s writings on Atlantis are factual. The book became the basis for many of the Atlantis legends of…

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Haunting Abandoned Border Station

Haunting Abandoned Border Station

The former Port of Entry in Noyes, Minnesota was a haunting abandoned relic when we visited in 2013. Check out our new video featuring some history and updates on the fate of this place after a government auction in 2014. This video was uploaded at high quality, so if you have the capability to stream it to your TV, definitely check it out on the big screen. See also: A Haunting Abandoned Port of Entry in Noyes, Minnesota Original content copyright ©…

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Two Abandoned Schools in Beardsley, Minnesota

Two Abandoned Schools in Beardsley, Minnesota

Beardsley is in Big Stone County, in the “elbow” of Minnesota, where Lake Traverse, Big Stone Lake, and the Little Minnesota River carve into what would otherwise be South Dakota’s territory. Beardsley had a population of 200-plus residents in the 2010 Census. Beardsley’s schools were consolidated with Graceville and Clinton, Minnesota long ago. In the photo above, the former High School is in the foreground, and behind it on the left, Beardsley’s other abandoned school, which now appears to be…

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Why Was This Structure Built as a Fortress?

Why Was This Structure Built as a Fortress?

As we were planning a shoot that would include some Minnesota and Iowa places, we decided to visit Johnson, Minnesota, in Big Stone County, not far from the South Dakota border, to investigate one structure. The aerial view of the structure in our mapping software seemed to indicate a rectangular building with some kind of bell tower or steeple at one corner, so we marked it and made plans to visit under the assumption we would find an old fire…

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Effie’s Logging Legacy

Effie’s Logging Legacy

I stopped in Effie on a whim when I happened to drive by the boarded-up public school on my way home from Togo. Effie is a quiet little town in Itasca County with a population around 130 according to the 2010 Census. In 2000, however, the Census only listed about 91 residents. If anyone knows the reason for the influx of residents between 2000 and 2010, I’d love to hear it in the comments. Effie, like most of the settlements…

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Abandoned Art Deco School in Norcross, Minnesota

Abandoned Art Deco School in Norcross, Minnesota

Norcross is a small town in Grant county, a short drive southeast of Breckenridge, directly west of Alexandria. The sign on the outskirts of Norcross proclaims a population in the sixties.  We decided to visit Norcross after seeing a photo of the beautiful art deco public school building. We spoke to a Norcross resident who told us this school is owned by a couple from Arizona who intended to fix it up, but haven’t been seen in about two years….

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Abandoned School in Williams, Minnesota

Abandoned School in Williams, Minnesota

Williams is in Lake of the Woods county in northern Minnesota.  According to the 2010 Census, Williams has 191 residents. On October 7th, 1910, Williams was decimated by the Baudette Fire–a wildfire that scorched over 300,000 acres and nearly a dozen communities in both the United States and Canada.  Varied sources report the death toll between 29 and 42.  Thousands were left homeless and The American Red Cross and The National Guard assisted in the recovery effort. Today, Williams is a…

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Pioneer Remains in Strand Township

Pioneer Remains in Strand Township

In Strand Township, Norman County, not far from Gary, Minnesota and about twelve miles west of Mahnomen stand the remains of a pioneer community. I ran across this church and school by accident as I was returning from a trip to northeast Minnesota to photograph some spots in the forest, including Togo. This was Immanuel Lutheran Church, possibly built as early as 1910. If anyone knows the history of this church, please leave a comment. I poked my camera through…

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Timber Town: Hines, Minnesota

Timber Town: Hines, Minnesota

Just down the road from Blackduck, in Beltrami County, I found Hines, Minnesota, totally by accident. I glanced over my shoulder as I passed through a highway intersection and caught a glimpse of the weathered wood facade of the Pioneer Store, so I turned around and went back to snap a few photos. Hines, Minnesota dates back to the 1890s and is named for William Hines, a lumberman. It was originally founded a short distance to the north, on the…

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