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The Night the Lights Went Out in Fergus Falls

The Night the Lights Went Out in Fergus Falls

In the early morning hours of September 24th, 1909, Ben Snyder was sleeping in the power house of the Fergus Falls City Light Station, a hydroelectric power station on the Ottertail River near Fergus Falls. On-duty was a second man, N.P. Johnson. At 4:20 in the morning, a rumble awakened Snyder, and he noticed the lights flickering and water splashing onto the platform of the dam, which was barely a year old. He immediately recognized that something was seriously wrong,…

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The Oldest Home in Moorhead

The Oldest Home in Moorhead

To be clear, the Bergquist Cabin is described by the Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County as the oldest home in Moorhead still on its original site. (There is another cabin, built in 1860, which has been moved a number of times, even disassembled and put in storage at one time, which now stands in Memorial Park at the Hjemkomst Center) At any rate, it’s fascinating to stand before this little, one-room log shack and imagine what it must…

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Togo: Where the Pavement Ends and the North Begins

Togo: Where the Pavement Ends and the North Begins

Togo, Minnesota is a remote outpost in Itasca County, about thirty five miles northwest of Hibbing. Located in George Washington State Forest, a wilderness covering more than three hundred thousand acres, Togo is an outdoor paradise in warm and cold weather. This part of Minnesota is characterized by numerous marshes and bogs, punctuated with tamarack and black spruce trees, thousands of which are dead in the wet, low-lying areas. The result is acres of bare tree trunks, devoid of foliage —…

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Bagley Lost Highway

Bagley Lost Highway

There’s an abandoned stretch of road sandwiched between US Highway 2 and Airport Drive on the outskirts of Bagley, Minnesota. A visitor to this website suggested this place to us after seeing our post on the lost highway in what was once McHugh, Minnesota, near Detroit Lakes. Based on the map, it looks like US Highway 2 was realigned at some point, leaving this stretch of highway abandoned. If someone knows the details, please leave a comment. This abandoned road…

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A Minnesota Beach Where There is No Water

A Minnesota Beach Where There is No Water

As school children, most of us learned about the last ice age, in the Pleistocene Epoch, during which the Laurentide Ice Sheet covered more than half of North America. Between 13,000 and 8,500 years ago, the ice sheet went through multiple melt phases in which the ice sheet created a giant glacial lake–Lake Agassiz, named for Swiss-American Geologist Louis Agassiz, one of the first to postulate about our past ice ages. Lake Agassiz was a massive body of fresh water…

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Aged and Rusting: War Memorial Bridge

Aged and Rusting: War Memorial Bridge

This is War Memorial Bridge, sometimes known as Climax Bridge due to its proximity to Climax, Minnesota. The bridge’s official designation is MNDot Bridge #7097. War Memorial Bridge spans the Red River on Minnesota’s western border, between Polk County, Minnesota, and Traill County, North Dakota. War Memorial Bridge was built in 1957 and it is considered a significant historical bridge by the state of Minnesota, due in part to its unique construction. As described by MNDOT’s historic bridges page: The…

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Donnelly School and an Abandoned Church

Donnelly School and an Abandoned Church

Donnelly is in Stevens County, Minnesota, about 10 minutes northwest of Morris, and home to about 241 people as of the 2010 census. It was founded in December 1871, and was originally known as “Douglas”, but was renamed Donnelly in honor of Minnesota Congressman Ignatius Donnelly. Congressman Donnelly is perhaps better known for his book Atlantis: The Antediluvian World, a work which maintains Plato’s writings on Atlantis are factual. The book became the basis for many of the Atlantis legends of…

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Haunting Abandoned Border Station

Haunting Abandoned Border Station

The former Port of Entry in Noyes, Minnesota was a haunting abandoned relic when we visited in 2013. Check out our new video featuring some history and updates on the fate of this place after a government auction in 2014. This video was uploaded at high quality, so if you have the capability to stream it to your TV, definitely check it out on the big screen. See also: A Haunting Abandoned Port of Entry in Noyes, Minnesota Original content copyright ©…

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Two Abandoned Schools in Beardsley, Minnesota

Two Abandoned Schools in Beardsley, Minnesota

Beardsley is in Big Stone County, in the “elbow” of Minnesota, where Lake Traverse, Big Stone Lake, and the Little Minnesota River carve into what would otherwise be South Dakota’s territory. Beardsley had a population of 200-plus residents in the 2010 Census. Beardsley’s schools were consolidated with Graceville and Clinton, Minnesota long ago. In the photo above, the former High School is in the foreground, and behind it on the left, Beardsley’s other abandoned school, which now appears to be…

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Why Was This Structure Built as a Fortress?

Why Was This Structure Built as a Fortress?

As we were planning a shoot that would include some Minnesota and Iowa places, we decided to visit Johnson, Minnesota, in Big Stone County, not far from the South Dakota border, to investigate one structure. The aerial view of the structure in our mapping software seemed to indicate a rectangular building with some kind of bell tower or steeple at one corner, so we marked it and made plans to visit under the assumption we would find an old fire…

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Effie’s Logging Legacy

Effie’s Logging Legacy

I stopped in Effie on a whim when I happened to drive by the boarded-up public school on my way home from Togo. Effie is a quiet little town in Itasca County with a population around 130 according to the 2010 Census. In 2000, however, the Census only listed about 91 residents. If anyone knows the reason for the influx of residents between 2000 and 2010, I’d love to hear it in the comments. Effie, like most of the settlements…

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Abandoned Art Deco School in Norcross, Minnesota

Abandoned Art Deco School in Norcross, Minnesota

Norcross is a small town in Grant county, a short drive southeast of Breckenridge, directly west of Alexandria. The sign on the outskirts of Norcross proclaims a population in the sixties.  We decided to visit Norcross after seeing a photo of the beautiful art deco public school building. We spoke to a Norcross resident who told us this school is owned by a couple from Arizona who intended to fix it up, but haven’t been seen in about two years….

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