Days Gone By

There are many truths of which the full meaning cannot
be realized until personal experience has brought it home.
– John Stuart Mill

In an attempt to organize photo albums in Lightroom, I ran across a few that I have not reviewed.  The images published today are from back-roading in the charming area surrounding our home, Southeast MN and Southwest WI.  Working on these images brought back wonderful memories and will display buildings that are not standing any longer.

For instance, the images of the one room school house in Elgin, MN seen below, is no longer standing.  Visit an earlier post from 2014: When the School Bell Rang

The next couple of images are views seen around our area due to Frac Sand Mining.  I still remember passing by the beautiful trees, hills, and marshes, when all of a sudden we ran into a large mound of golden sand.  Thankfully, the Frac Sand Mining industry here in our area is dying down.

While we are blessed to share our lives now with “the new kids” on the block, Clover and Lucy, we will forever miss the two inseparable, mischievous, opportunists we called Tindra and Audrey.

Enjoy the sights from this day as we traveled the small towns and dirt roads.

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When the School Bell Rang

The first time seeing this one room schoolhouse along side a country road near the small town of Elgin, in southern Minnesota, was exciting to say the least.  As we got out of the car and walked closer to the shell of this former schoolhouse, I could almost hear the chalk as it slid across the black board or the children that used to learn under her roof.  The images in this post are from the two times we have visited this little gem at two very different times of the year.

This old schoolhouse reminded me not only of the children that walked through the door, but also of the teachers that encouraged these students daily to learn and grow.

I would like to take the time to thank every teacher I have had the privilege of learning from.  My fourth grade math teacher that pushed me to apply myself to the schoolwork when I didn’t want to because he knew that I could… and I did.  To my Chemistry teacher in college that made learning the subject so fun that I completely understood, without even trying.  Math and Science is now one of my strong points, Thank you.

To all the teachers out there, I thank you for your time and dedication you put forth on a day-to-day basis…  Keep believing in all of your students and they will believe in themselves.

North Dakota Ghosts- The old school in Forbes, North Dakota

Dan and I were on a mission to find abandoned properties near Fargo, North Dakota as we were heading north on a business trip last year.  My father grew up north of Fargo in the small town of Crookston, MN and I still have family living in Moorhead, MN.  What a great way to mix business with pleasure and take some extra time to explore this area and visit some family.

Stumbling upon ghostsofnorthdakota.com (take some time to stop by their website), we were surprised to see just how many towns, excuse me,  ghost towns, North Dakota actually has.  The decline of the small town in North Dakota and how they have captured these sites before they disappear off the land forever was inspiring to both Dan and I.  The trip sounded interesting, exciting, and educational all at the same time.  We grabbed the Gazetteer and planned our route of the road less traveled.

Northeast North Dakota, although flat, has its own beauty.  There may not be majestic mountains, enormous river gorges, or the sounds and tranquility of the ocean waves in this part of the world.  However, the flat land makes its own palette as shades of the blue sky, and the green, yellow, and gold in the fields combine to make art.  The sound you hear, is the song of the tall grass as it sways in the wind, or the flutter of wings of the migrating birds.  Perhaps it is the silence… at least that is what we encountered in the northeast portion of the State.

Our plan was to see some of these ghost towns that ghostsofnorthdakota.com speak of and to capture a piece of these sites before nature takes over and slowly deteriorates the walls that provide strength to a structure.  Follow the abandoned rails, and you will see what was left behind.  Oh, the stories that these small towns can tell.

For the next few posts, I will share the sites we encountered.

Forbes, ND

Welcome to Forbes, North Dakota.  Founded in 1905, the population at the 2010 Census was 53.  

According to a former student, the school closed its doors in 1987 and is now left to decay.  Walking through the halls, you can almost hear the laughter of the children and the wisdom of the teachers as they guide their students through the coursework.  The grass on the playground is tall and the chains have now succumbed rust.  The ceilings crumble, the paint is peeling, and the moss grows rampant.  Soon, she will be gone.