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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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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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This Terrebonne Church is in Danger of Demolition ?>

This Terrebonne Church is in Danger of Demolition

This is St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Terrebonne, Minnesota, and it is a place in danger of being demolished. Update: This church was demolished in a controlled burn on April 29th, 2016. Some of the photos on this page are featured in our book, Churches of the High Plains, which you can order in our store, or ask for it at your favorite local book store or gift shop. According to the Star Tribune, the Crookston Diocese sent…

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Caribou Church: Beautiful and Remote ?>

Caribou Church: Beautiful and Remote

This is the St. Nicholas Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Caribou, in northwestern Minnesota just a little more than a mile from the Canadian border. Many of the parishioners at this church lived in Canada and crossed the border regularly without too much trouble, but US Customs began enforcing boundary laws in the thirties, and this church soon waned. When I arrived, I was blown away by the simple beauty of the site. The remote location, the huge white crosses in…

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A Haunting Abandoned Port of Entry in Noyes, Minnesota ?>

A Haunting Abandoned Port of Entry in Noyes, Minnesota

Noyes, Minnesota is the most northwestern settlement in Minnesota.  It sits right on the Canadian border, and just across the Red River from Pembina, North Dakota, two miles west.  Although there are inhabited farmsteads in the area, there are very few residents (we only saw two inhabited places) in the actual town, largely due to the closure of the former Port of Entry station from Emerson, Manitoba. In 2003, the Canadian government closed the Emerson Port of Entry.  Three 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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Churches of the High Plains ?>

Churches of the High Plains

Churches of the High Plains is a 120 page, hardcover, coffee table book featuring photos of churches, both active and abandoned, across the High Plains of North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska and Manitoba. Churches of the High Plains is part travelogue, part photo essay, and all history appreciation, and includes comments from the photographers, historical tidbits, stories from current and former church members and staff, and a lot more. A wide variety of faiths are represented in this volume, including Catholic, Lutheran,…

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