Loss of Faith-Abandoned North Dakota

A church built in 1910 southeast of Williston, North Dakota, made it 101 years before being torn down.

The Ploom Creek Church in Williams County, North Dakota just southeast of Williston, was built in 1910. The full name was THE PLOOM CREEK HAUGES NORWEGIAN LUTHERAN CHURCH. I think I have read that the land the church sat on was once owned by the Hauges family, and the Norwegian part isn’t that difficult to reason, since a large percentage of people who lived in North Dakota at the time were of Scandinavian descent. I photographed this church in 2009, due in part to the fact that my in-laws, who used to live in Williston, did a little scouting of locations for me, so I just had to drive out and take the pictures. I’m not sure why this particular church was abandoned. My Father-in-law, who sometimes preaches at some of these small churches, said that the congregation from this church had merged with another and built a newer building about 1 mile away up on the hill. When I checked it out, there were still pews inside and the requisite tipped-over piano, along with some graffiti that some small minded individual felt inclined to decorate the walls with. I recently heard from a contact on Flickr, who went to shoot some images of this church last summer, that the church is no longer there. Nothing but a mound of dirt marks the place where a church stood for over 100 years. I hope someone took the time to remove the wooden sign from the front of the church, or re-used some of the pews….it seems like such a waste. I feel fortunate that I got the opportunity to see it, and feel good that I documented this church before it was gone forever.

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One thought on “Loss of Faith-Abandoned North Dakota

  1. The reference to “Hauges” in the title of this congregation is not a family name, but rather the particular church organization that Ploom Creek was a member of: “Hauge’s Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church in America,” which merged with two other Norwegian-American Lutheran groups in 1917 to form the Norwegian Lutheran Church in America. The group was named after Hans Nielsen Hauge, the Norwegian Lutheran lay preacher, 1771-1824. Just for your information.

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