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Vanishing Hamlet: Admiral, Saskatchewan ?>

Vanishing Hamlet: Admiral, Saskatchewan

Admiral, Saskatchewan is located in Wise Creek Rural Municipality No. 77, about 195 kilometers southeast of Medicine Hat, Alberta. Until 2006, Admiral was an official village in southern Saskatchewan, but in August of that year it was reorganized into a hamlet (analogous to the dissolution of an incorporated town in the United States). It was the end result of more than eight decades of dwindling population for this quiet settlement on the prairie. As of 2006, Admiral had a reported…

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Abandoned 6 Arch Saskatchewan Bridge ?>

Abandoned 6 Arch Saskatchewan Bridge

This abandoned Saskatchewan bridge, a concrete arch bridge, also sometimes referred to as a “bowstring arch” bridge, is in southwestern Saskatchewan, just over two kilometers west of Scotsguard. The bridge spans the former line of the Great Western Railway and Notukeu Creek and was once the primary crossing of this coulee for traffic traveling along Highway 13. The bridge was built sometime in the 1920s or 30s (if you know exactly when, please leave a comment) but the highway was realigned at…

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This Must Be a Route 66 Hotel, Right? ?>

This Must Be a Route 66 Hotel, Right?

This must be a Route 66 hotel, right? A hotel borne of car culture, a lonely stop among the cacti on the most famous two lane highway through the American southwest. Right? Actually, it’s not. It’s about as far from Route 66 as you can imagine. This is the Cadillac Hotel, also known as the Range Line Tavern, in Cadillac, Saskatchewan. I’m not sure of the present status, but at one time, it was for sale with an asking price of…

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The Ghostly Remains of Neidpath ?>

The Ghostly Remains of Neidpath

Founded in 1909, Neidpath is in southern Saskatchewan, about 40 kilometers southeast of Swift Current, or 190 kilometers north of Saco, Montana. The Canadian National Railway arrived in 1924, and today, Neidpath is a relic of that simpler time when the railway was a primary means of transportation for people and goods. Neidpath (pronounced NEED-path) is in Coulee Rural Municipality No. 136, and depending on whom you ask, the population is between zero and fourteen–the number really dependent on who considers themselves…

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Tombstone, Arizona Before the Tourists ?>

Tombstone, Arizona Before the Tourists

Tombstone, Arizona is forever embedded in American Old West lore for its status as an outpost for scoundrels and heroes, and as the site of the infamous 1881 gunfight at the OK Corral (the actual gunfight happened near the OK Corral, not in it, but we’ll leave that subject for others to cover in-depth) in which the Earp brothers gunned down Tom and Frank McLaury (McLowrey) and Billy Clanton. Before the gunfight, however, Tombstone was a town like many others…

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Canada’s First Ukrainian Orthodox Church ?>

Canada’s First Ukrainian Orthodox Church

It took a year to gather the photos for this post, largely due to my own confusion about two churches named St. Michaels. I stopped in Gardenton, a tiny town in southern Manitoba, just over the international border from Minnesota, because I had been photographing some places in Tolstoi, which is just a short distance away. I hadn’t done much pre-planning or research on Gardenton, but I was pleased to discover some abandoned places I could shoot. Exploring Gardenton, I…

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Ghost Town on Broken Kettle Creek ?>

Ghost Town on Broken Kettle Creek

In Plymouth County, about twenty miles north of Sioux City, stands Ruble, Iowa, a tiny dot on the map near Broken Kettle Creek. Ruble was founded in 1900, and was never really more than a roadside pit stop, with the store serving weary travelers and regional residents under the leadership of H.C. Marbach. The small one-room country school served area students in the early days until a larger school was built on a different site. The store once had a hitchin’…

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A Brief Revival in Creede, Colorado ?>

A Brief Revival in Creede, Colorado

Nestled among the mountains in Mineral County, about 130 miles southwest of Colorado Springs, lies Creede, a mountain town originally founded on the silver boom. The end of the boom led to a rapid decline for this picturesque little burgh in the San Juan Mountains, but a wartime need for metals in World War II led to a brief revival in Creede, Colorado. The first silver discovery in this area was at the Alpha mine in 1869, and Creede started…

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The Invisible Beaches of Ridgeville, Manitoba ?>

The Invisible Beaches of Ridgeville, Manitoba

Ridgeville, Manitoba is a shrinking community in southern Manitoba, about ten miles northeast of Emerson, or sixty miles southeast of Winnipeg. The average visitor would never know it today, but about 9,000 years ago, Ridgeville was beachfront property. Glacial Lake Agassiz (one of the largest of all the glacial lakes and larger than all of the Great Lakes combined) created a successive series of beaches in the Ridgeville area as it drained. Today, the soil remains sandy, but Lake Agassiz…

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All That Remains of a Manitoba Ghost Town ?>

All That Remains of a Manitoba Ghost Town

The divided highway which straddles this tiny country church is the only hint that a metropolitan area of more than 700,000 people lies just thirty minutes to the north. Otherwise, this serene spot on the prairie is a place out of time, a remote spot on the table-flat plains that were once the bottom of glacial Lake Agassiz. This church, however, is the last structure from what was once its own metropolitan area. Union Point United Church is all that…

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Daydreaming on Main Street in Struble, Iowa ?>

Daydreaming on Main Street in Struble, Iowa

Struble, Iowa is in Plymouth County, about thirty miles northeast of Sioux City, and not far from another place we recently visited, the similarly-named Ruble, Iowa. According to the 2010 Census, Struble is a town of 78 residents, down from an all-time high of 327 in 1910. I was fooling around on Google Earth One day when I stumbled upon Struble, and we decided to visit so we could photograph the abandoned buildings in town. In April of 2016, we found…

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Here’s What It Costs to Buy an Old South Dakota Church ?>

Here’s What It Costs to Buy an Old South Dakota Church

We were out photographing some historic and abandoned places in April of 2016 and we had just decided to call it a day and head for home when we discovered this place by accident. Technically, this address is listed as Elk Point, South Dakota, but really it’s a spot along the Interstate 29, just a mile north of the Vermillion exit, about thirty miles northwest of Sioux City. This old church didn’t have any signs remaining that would tell us…

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Historic Rock River Crossing ?>

Historic Rock River Crossing

Anderson Bridge was built across the Rock River in 1900, on the northwest edge of Doon, Iowa. About thirty miles southeast of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Doon is a town of 577 people, and the hometown of western novelist Frederick Manfred, who published 22 novels between 1944 and 1992. Anderson Bridge is a riveted Pratt Through Truss bridge, and it was open to traffic at the time of our visit in 2016. It actually looked like it was in pretty…

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Ghost Town: Mondak, Montana ?>

Ghost Town: Mondak, Montana

This is Mondak, Montana, a true ghost town in Roosevelt County straddling the Montana/North Dakota border, two and a half miles west of Buford, North Dakota, and ten miles north of Fairview, Montana. Mondak has an incredible history as a rough and tumble outpost designed to serve liquor to thirsty North Dakotans after their state became one of the first to go dry. Mondak was founded in 1903 by businessmen intent on making money in the bootlegging and saloon trade….

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Capa’s Catholic Church, Just Before the End ?>

Capa’s Catholic Church, Just Before the End

In July of 2015, we stopped in Capa, South Dakota to get some photos of a place with only one remaining resident.  It was a beautiful place with plenty to photograph, but we discovered the former Catholic Church, which had been unused since 1940, had recently collapsed. Recently, Iowa photographer Dick Evans contacted us and offered to send some photos he took in Capa shortly before the church collapsed, which we’ve posted below. Judging by the condition of the roof,…

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Mining Relics and the Majesty of Spearfish Canyon ?>

Mining Relics and the Majesty of Spearfish Canyon

One of America’s greatest scenic byways winds through the Black Hills between Spearfish and Lead, South Dakota, featuring waterfalls, thousand-foot cliffs, and roadside turnoffs where travelers can stop and photograph the sights. Spearfish Canyon is so beautiful, some scenes from Dances with Wolves were filmed here. About halfway through the canyon stands the remains of the Homestake Mining Company’s Hydro Electric Plant No. 2, a now-closed relic of the gold mining operation just up the Canyon in Lead, South Dakota….

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Bad Luck and Bad Judgment Leave Owanka Nearly Abandoned ?>

Bad Luck and Bad Judgment Leave Owanka Nearly Abandoned

Not quite six miles south of Interstate 90 in the undulating green hills of Pennington County lies Owanka, South Dakota, a near ghost town with a story of bad luck and bad deeds that led to its present depopulated state. According to a number of sources, the present population of Owanka is two, although there are two more residents who ranch on the outskirts of town, effectively doubling the population. We first became aware of Owanka after our friend Maya…

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Devils Tower: The First National Monument ?>

Devils Tower: The First National Monument

A visit to Devils Tower National Monument gives one a sense of mysterious contentment; a degree of spiritual calm instilled by few of North America’s natural wonders. The tower is located in the Black Hills of northeast Wyoming, not far from Crazy Horse and Mount Rushmore in neighboring South Dakota, and just down the road from another place we visited — Aladdin, Wyoming.  It is a rare honor to visit a place like this and bask in the grandeur of the…

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The Final Chapter in Capa, South Dakota ?>

The Final Chapter in Capa, South Dakota

We visited Capa in July of 2015, near the end of a four day trip to explore some abandoned places in North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, and South Dakota. So many times, when visiting vacant, out-of-the-way places on the high plains, we find a regular, criss-cross grid of gravel roads, intersecting every mile or two, and we can easily drive right up to our desired places, but that was not the case in Capa. The road we traveled to Capa began…

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The Remains of Cottonwood, South Dakota ?>

The Remains of Cottonwood, South Dakota

On Highway 14, about halfway between Wall and Philip, lies sleepy Cottonwood, South Dakota. We visited Cottonwood at the suggestion of our friend Maya Greywolf who had been momentarily captivated by these abandoned places while passing through on a roadtrip. We had little idea what to expect, but we were thrilled at the photo opportunities when we arrived. Interstate 90 passes a few dozen miles to the south of Cottonwood, and travelers use that high speed corridor to access highly-photographed…

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