St. Paul’s Lutheran Church was organized in 1894 and is in Monango, North Dakota, which was founded a few years earlier. The latest census has the population at 36 so it was expectedly quiet the morning I stopped by.
Vang Evangelical Lutheran Church is in Manfred, North Dakota and was built in 1906. Vang was named after a town in Norway. The church was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2001 and is considered Victorian Gothic. Its importance, similar to many of the other Dakota churches included in the blog, is mainly that it evidences the Norwegian pioneering settlements found throughout the region. The church is largely the same as when built, but, in 1918, they dug a basement, jacked up the church building and used rollers to roll it over the basement. A very detailed book, written on the 75th anniversary of the church (1970) is available free online.
Built in 1903, Viking Lutheran Church is in a rural area in Benson County, North Dakota. The listing on the National Register of Historic Places, describes the style as Victorian Gothic. The cemetery behind the church was started a few years earlier and both it and the church served the Norwegian community that were settling in this part of North Dakota.
I showed an abandoned church in Kief, North Dakota previously. But close by is a better maintained building, but it’s used for storage and is privately owned today. Kief was founded officially in 1908 so I would speculate that this church would have been from around that period. Today the population in Kief is about a dozen.
Ringsaker Lutheran Free Church was organized in 1891 and built their first church the following year. A tornado destroyed that building in 1902 so for 15 years the services were held in a schoolhouse. The replacement and current church was finally built in 1918. There’s also a small cemetery behind the church before you reach the surrounding cornfields.
Pingree Congregational Church was one of those “happen to see churches” as I passed through a small town in North Dakota. I have no idea who designed it, but maybe they were a relative of Frank Lloyd Wright. The town of Pingree was founded in 1882, but is another North Dakota spot with only a few dozen residents.
It was a gloomy and cool afternoon when I stopped by the abandoned Langberg Church in Bowman County, North Dakota. I tried to photograph the interior but it was very dark and generally gutted, so it wasn’t worth showing here. From what I’ve read, the building has served as a church, a school, and even a home for awhile.
Lewis and Clark passed north of Bowman at the start of the 1800s. Later, settlers from the eastern U.S. and immigrants from Europe began settling the area after the Homestead Act of 1862 was enacted. Union Prairie’s congregation was founded in 1908 and initially held services in Norwegian. As the population dwindled due to bad farming years and the changing practices of the farming business, Union Prairie Church was closed in 1994. The building was moved to the Bowman museum location to preserve it and show an important early part of pioneer life in North Dakota.
Sims Lutheran Church is a North Dakota Church that requires some time driving on dirt roads. Sims was founded in 1883 as a coal town and grew for a short time, but by the early 1900’s had a population under 100. The Sims Scandinavian Evangelical Lutheran Church was built in 1884 and is still attended by those in the surrounding areas. The town of Sims is considered a ghost town and there are a few abandoned buildings and houses nearby.