Temple, North Dakota is a ghost town. It has been empty since the 1960’s, despite it’s relatively close proximity, by North Dakota standards , to a the decent-sized town of Tioga. This was the first ghost town I ever explored back in 2009, and I have been back their since, and a lot has changed. The town sits on the BN railroad line just west of Tioga, North Dakota, and you can see it out of your train window if you ever take the Amtrak Empire Builder west from Chicago. One thing I enjoyed about this place was that when I am out doing rural exploration, you usually find one or two farm buildings, or an old church, but Temple was different because it has a bunch of buildings to check out. It sits on a gravel road, and there is a farm not too far away that is still a going concern, so you are always wary that someone is going to come driving up and tell you to get the hell out there, but based on the condition of many of the places I checked out, I was far from the first person to visit. When I was there, there was the remains of the Lutheran Church, a beautiful two-room schoolhouse complete with cast iron bell and a bell tower, the remains of an old store that was collapsing, and a number of moldering old homes that looked to be built in the 1950’s. There was a 1970’s Pontiac Catalina parked in a garage, the car had disappeared before the next time I visited, a rusted chassis of a 1930’s pickup and the remains of a Chevrolet Bel Air that was picked clean of anything valuable. The pictures that are shown here are ones that I still had from this adventure, a hard drive crash on my computer taught me a valuable lesson about backing up important images. I came back to Temple later to find the plymouth valiant gone from the garage and the schoolhouse in the process of being prepared to move to become someone’s house. The school foundation is still there of course, the church is still standing, but for how long I’m not sure. With the oil boom out in Western North Dakota, who knows, maybe some life can be breathed back into this ghost town.
Here’s a brief description of the pics shown. The first is the stripped-down Chevy Bel Air near a locked shed. The second image is the school on its original site. It was filled with barnswallows who let me know in no uncertain terms that I was trespassing on their turf. The floor of the school on one side had a hole all the way down to the basement due to a fire someone had started. Another interesting thing I saw in the school were a number of canceled checks written in the 1930’s that were scattered all around on the floor. The third image is the well kept cemetery, obviously someone (or the county) comes and mows. The last pic is kind of a dreamy look at the church from inside the school…I’ll have to look again to see if I have any more images of Temple, I hope you enjoyed your glimpse at my favorite ghost town.