August 28, 2013

Prairie Homestead : Rural North Dakota

Sometimes when we explore, there are little places that stay with us as we continue on.  Places where I find myself daydreaming about what it would be like to live there.
While spending some time in the northwest corner of North Dakota, we found this house.

We waded through tall grasses, grown up around buildings, and fell in love with it all.

Peeking through sheer-curtained windows on tip-toes, it looked as if someone had just gone off to town one day, and left everything as is.  Everything pretty and in it's place.


We were staying on the next farm over, so we were able to get some background on the house.  The woman who lived there had lived in this house until recent years, without running water, or protection from those North Dakota winds. (Some homesteads we came across looked as if their settlers couldn't plant enough trees around their dwellings for protection. Others, not a single tree. This was one without.)  She had been moved to town in her late age. 
We learned most people who had farms out on this land kept houses in town, so kids could get to school, and anyone who had a job in town could get there throughout the winter whiteouts & drifted closed roads.

Aside from being very weathered & not being painted in many years, the house still stood straight against the prairie winds.

Doors were locked up, but there was already a broken window or two.   Left abandoned, things won't hold up for long. 

The outbuildings were left filled with every kind of farm tool treasure.
We were smitten with the tidy twin granary buildings.




We explored several abandoned homesteads..  each one unique.  So much beauty in that vast country.  So many places left behind.  Most are nearly blown over, gone, or taken over by raccoons.  This one stood like a small museum, which maybe led to it's appeal to us.  There was so much left to be salvaged here, and I still wonder about it from time to time.

You can see more of our photos from the prairie here:
Northwest North Dakota, Prairie Pothole Region : A 20 photo Tour

Sharing with Rurality Blog Hop

27 comments:

  1. i hope there is family that will come back for those treasures and memories. so very sad...

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  2. Your pictures are poignant and yet beautiful. I love the B&W with the child in front, holding a sheaf of grass in his hand.

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  3. Makes you realize that living in the prairie is not for the faint-hearted. Love the photos, each one of them.

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  4. I never got to that part of the country, sadly, but I always imagined it as wide, open spaces like this. I find abandoned houses quite intriguing, too. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. What an interesting read. And I love the photos.

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  6. What an interesting read. And I love the photos.

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  7. This is so beautiful in history, words and photos it brings tears to my eyes and thoughts or Laura Ingalls-Wilder's memorable book, The Long Winter. No wonder you find yourself pondering such amazing places.....

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  8. I grew up in South Dakota, and remember seeing lots of these abandoned homes and farms in my travels across the state. You got some great photos!

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  9. These are some very expressive shots. That second photo is my favorite.

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  10. You can take the old lady out of the country but I wonder, can you take the country out of the old lady. I know I could no more live in a city than fly, I find them so stifling.
    A lovely place indeed and just begging for a young family to take it over and love it again.

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  11. Fantastic shots....you've captured the loneliness of the prairie. My Rurality: http://lauriekazmierczak.com/orb-with-interest/

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  12. Your photos of the abandoned place are wonderful Makes me think of how the place in North Dakota might have looked where my mother grew up.

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  13. Stunning images, Amanda. I love the mix of bw and color. And the one of your kids sitting on the steps is precious. What a great reminder for them in future years of this fun trip!

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  14. Gorgeous images. It looks like a wonderful place to explore. So sad the place will probably deteriorate into nothing. How wonderful you could preserve it at least through images.

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  15. Sadly such beauty is becoming more and more a part of the past. Your children are very fortunate to have not missed this experience.

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  16. What a wonderful post! I enjoyed both your photos and your words about this beautiful place you found out on the prairie. Your picture past the granaries shows the vastness of the prairie, while your photos of the house show the loneliness of the location. Very well done!

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  17. One can almost see how the Wind and the Snowy storms have left their tracks to the walls ... Yet the house is standing, being inviting and cozy, bathing in the sunlight! My eyes keep on returning to the 3rd last Picture ... the warm Shades of the wall, and the beautiful scenery - lovely! And the Picture with your children, off course! it's liek time is standing still in a place like that, ain't it ... at the same time you get the feeling of generations passing by, and the house keeping the memories of the small feet going about, the men returning from hunting and from the field ... Beautiful series, Amanda!

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  18. Such gorgeous photos! I especially enjoyed the ones in black and white. It's sad that the house has just been left abandoned. It does make sense that people would have houses in town as well because I bet the snow can be so hard to deal with. What a beautiful piece of history!

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  19. There are so few abandoned farmhouses and barns here -- usually dozed to plant more corn or soybeans.

    You photos are lovely and that house -- I would like to live there too. :)

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  20. Oh, what lovely shots. A summer paradise - but perhaps not such fun in the winter?

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  21. What an amazing area.... Bet it's REALLY REALLY frigid in winter though. Yipes!!!! Surely --someone in that woman's life has access to her house/area. Maybe some kids/relatives only come on occasion. Too bad that nobody is there to take care of it... It would be neat to have during the summer months... Wonder why they won't sell it before it totally goes into ruin????? Too Bad ----and kinda sad...

    Great photos of that area. I've never been that far north before ---and would love to visit there. BUT--I wouldn't want to live there in the winter. As much as I love snow, I just want a 'little' --not a lot. Do you all get lots of snow where you live? Bet you do!

    Great photos.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  22. I just love these photos. So sad that the house was abandoned. We have seen so many old abandoned house here in Idaho. I wonder the same thing.. How could you just walk away.

    Hugs~

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  23. What a hard and simple life iy must have been! I don't even want to imagine how it must have been during winter time without running water, snow drifts around the house,wind blowing ....Today it looks very romantic and like a "Little House on the Prairie".
    Wonderful pictures ,love the peeling color and the b/w!

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  24. What a wonderful opportunity you had, to be able to explore this farm and its buildings. Lovely, lovely images!

    Thanks for your visit and comment on my RBH post.

    ~Lindy

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  25. Oh my gosh Amanda... I want to go there, right NOW! I LOVE stumbling upon these abandoned places... especially the one's (as you rightly say) look like someone simply shut the door and walked away... it always makes my mind whir into top gear wondering why, and what was life like these, the successes/failures, hopes/dreams... Thank you for joining in 'Rurality Blog Hop #29' Hope to see you next Wednesday for #30...

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  26. Haunting, beautiful, and a little sad. I would love to take a peek into that kitchen.

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  27. What an amazing thing to see and appreciate... It does however occur to me, imagining that somebody went out of their way to wade through the grasses too--and break windows. There sure are a wide range of people on this earth, and we don't always comprehend one another's actions. I find it incredible though that all the belongings were simply left there, and the lady is still alive in the town somewhere. Amazing stuff--and I'm glad you bring your children to see such things.

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