Browsed by
Author: Troy Larson

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.

Norcross, Minnesota

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.

Norcross, Minnesota

Norcross, Minnesota



Norcross, Minnesota

Norcross, Minnesota

Norcross, Minnesota

Norcross, Minnesota

Norcross, Minnesota

We spoke to a local man named Jerry who told us the home above was his mom’s house, and he suspected it might have been a store at one time as well. I thought it had a certain depot-type appearance too.

Norcross, Minnesota

This post office is still in use. Very picturesque.

Norcross, Minnesota

Jerry showed us some historic photos of Norcross, including this one which shows the same post office on the far left.

Norcross, Minnesota

Norcross, Minnesota

Norcross, Minnesota

Norcross, Minnesota

Norcross, Minnesota

This was the office for a lumberyard which no longer exists. Just to the left of this building there was once a large community center which is now gone too.

Norcross, Minnesota

If you build it……….. they will go?

Norcross, Minnesota

Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright © 2016 Sonic Tremor Media



Join 1,253 followers.

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 quiet little community with plentiful resort traffic.  Emma Katka contributed these photos of the Williams abandoned school, which was also used as the Williams Community Center for a time.

Photos by Emma Katka
Original content copyright © 2016 Sonic Tremor Media

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.

strand township church

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 a window to get a photo of the inside, disturbing the pigeons in the process. You can see them in flight near the ceiling.

strand township church

strand township church

We featured dozens of country churches like this in our hardcover coffee table book, Churches of the High Plains, available now.

strand township church

strand township church

Just three miles west, this abandoned one room school stands crumbling at the intersection of Highways 200 and 32. This school predates the church by roughly thirty years, dating to the 1880s. This school and the church down the road are just a few miles from Gary, Minnesota, and not far from a few other places we’ve photographed, like Sundal and Lockhart, Minnesota.

strand township school

strand township school

Photos by Troy Larson, copyright Sonic Tremor Media

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

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 south shore of Blackduck lake, but moved to this location when the allure of the railroad and logging job opportunities offered by the old growth forest brought settlers and homesteaders to the area. The post office opened in 1904.

Hines, Minnesota



Hines, Minnesota

The sign on the door reads: Open by appointment or chance.

Hines, Minnesota

Hines, Minnesota

The sign in the window of the Studebaker asks $1000.00

Hines, Minnesota

If you enjoy photos of old buildings, abandoned places, and small, rural communities, check out our hardcover coffee table book, Churches of the High Plains.

Hines, Minnesota

I found this old service station to be very photogenic. There was once a lot more of Hines. There are detailed histories here and here where you can read a lot more, and see photos of buildings which no longer exist.

Hines, Minnesota

Photos by Troy Larson, copyright Sonic Tremor Media

Join 1,253 followers.



Churches of the High Plains

Churches of the High Plains


churches-dust-jacket-web-thumbChurches 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, Congregational, Methodist, Seventh Day Adventist, Greek and Ukrainian Orthodox Churches, and more.

See the photo index.

See a preview

$34.95 in-stock Order today.








 


Go Back to the Ghosts of Minnesota store.


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 — just stalks pointing to the sky like a scene from a post-apocalyptic disaster movie. In truth, it’s just a stage, a momentary snapshot in the natural renewal of the forest.

Read More Read More

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.

Bagley Lost Highway
Image/Google Earth

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.

Bagley Lost Highway



Bagley, Minnesota Lost Highway

Bagley Lost Highway

This abandoned road stretches about six-tenths of a mile and parallels the railroad line.

Bagley Lost Highway

In North Dakota, we photographed another lost highway, created by a man-made flood.

Bagley Lost Highway

Photos by Troy Larson, copyright Sonic Tremor Media

Join 1,253 followers.

St. Peter and St. Paul Russian Orthodox Church

St. Peter and St. Paul Russian Orthodox Church

St. Peter and St. Paul Russian Orthodox Church stands in the forest of the South Koochiching unorganized territory in Koochiching County, Minnesota, about 35 miles northwest of Hibbing. I made a five hour drive from the Red River Valley to photograph this place at peak fall color in October of 2015.

An autumn drive through the Iron Range to reach this place is a treat like few others I’ve ever experienced. The small communities along the drive have a particular character — adorned in the color of rust, it’s almost as if they’re carved into the landscape, and in some places, they are. Working-class neighborhoods line the streets, where men and women work largely blue-collar jobs, equally at home operating heavy machinery as they are working with their hands. A dugout on a local baseball field shows two shades of paint, one layer applied decades earlier, beneath a more recent application, and a banner reads “Spartans.”

Read More Read More

Colors of Autumn in Tamarac

Colors of Autumn in Tamarac

Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge lies just north of Rochert, Minnesota, about twenty minutes northeast of Detroit Lakes. The US Fish & Wildlife website describes Tamarac like this:

“Tamarac lies in the heart of one of the most diverse transition zones in North America. Here Eastern deciduous hardwoods, Northern coniferous forests and Western tall grass prairie converge, creating a rich assemblage of both plants and animals. Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge was established as a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife by Executive Order 7902, dated May 31, 1938.”

I went out looking for some fall colors on the roadside and found more than enough here. These photos were taken in the second week of October, 2015, on the hiking trail known as Old Indian Trail.

Old Indian Trail, Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge

Old Indian Trail, Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge

The inscription on the monument reads:

“This trail was used by early settlers and Indians to reach the maple sugar and wild rice campsite located at the north end of Tamarac Lake. It extended east to the Ottertail River and then brached to the south and north the south branch followed along the west side of the Ottertail to the centuries old Indian crossing and campground at the outlet of Rice Lake now known as Mitchell Dam. The north branch followed along the Ottertail River to the outlet of round lake. Five miles north of this location the heavily used Yellowhead Indian trail joined the Ottertail. Look for this trail at the marker near the ancient Sioux burial ground.”

“Most of the maple forests in the vicinity of Tamarac Lake were used by the indians until the 1930’s. The trees were gashed into the sapwood and the maple sap was collected in birchbark containers placed at the base of the trees look for swollen bases on the larger maple trees along the trail the clearing to the north of this marker is the original family settler clearing of Mr. Ole Dahl who occupied the site in 1905.”

Old Indian Trail, Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge

Old Indian Trail, Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge

I walked about half-way up the trail with my family and we encountered a dozen other hiking parties and photographers. This is a popular place in the fall.

Old Indian Trail, Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge

Old Indian Trail, Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge

Old Indian Trail, Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge

Old Indian Trail, Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge

Old Indian Trail, Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge

Photos by Troy Larson, copyright Sonic Tremor Media

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.

Terrebonne, Minnesota

According to the Star Tribune, the Crookston Diocese sent a letter to parishioners in March as notice of their intent to knock down St. Anthony’s by the end of 2015 due to maintenance costs and concerns over black mold and a sloping floor due to frost heaves.

Terrebonne, Minnesota

There is a local group, passionate about preserving this place, and they’ve done a fantastic job raising the funds to delay demolition thus far, but they need your help to save this church. Their Facebook page is here.

Terrebonne, Minnesota

There was a very friendly and pettable golden retriever who paid me a visit while I was at St. Anthony’s.

Terrebonne, Minnesota



Terrebonne, Minnesota

Terrebonne, Minnesota

Anybody know if there’s anything in this cornerstone? Hopefully, it will be another hundred years before we find out.

Terrebonne, Minnesota

Photos by Troy Larson, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

Get Notified

Join 1,253 followers.