Balfour trip...

February 10, 2018  •  2 Comments

Today we finally got back out there and looked for a good "ghost town" to shoot some photos of. I heard, somewhere in my distorted head of mine, "RETRACTOR!" That gave me an idea... off to Balfour, North Dakota we go. The town of Balfour has a few people left living there but is very much falling apart. For us that peaks our interest from a photography standpoint.

The town of Balfour follows the famed highway 52 going from Minot to Jamestown. This town sits closer to Minot than it does to Jamestown. The railroad follows that same highway so one would think that all the towns along them would be doing pretty well. It seems to be the opposite though... the only towns that seem to be surviving well are Velva ,which seems to be more of a suburb of Minot more than an independent community, and Harvey which is a serious farming community right in the middle of that stretch of highway.

Balfour today was one of those towns starting to fall away to history like so many around North Dakota. It still has enough character left in it that it drove us to it in hopes of finding some good photos today. I brought all the gear along including the new drone, DJI Mavic Pro, but was not used today due to the sub 0 temperatures out there. I did not want to risk damaging or destroying my new toy so we used only the Canon 1D's today on our trip. 

There are a couple churches in town, an old brick school (though falling apart and fenced off preventing people from getting into it) & a main street with a handful of building still being used with some character to them. Even one of the buildings is made out of a metal tin material has turned into a beautiful red tone over time. We even found some things along our drive to Balfour that got our attention as well. So, if you would like to check out the North Dakota, ND Ghost Towns 2 & Wildlife albums and see what we found on our adventure today... please do. 

​​​​​​​Have a great day and keep shooting...


Comments

Cleone Jensen(non-registered)
I'm not sure when the Balfour School closed but they eventually ran out of students. They did have some good basketball teams. They were the Balfour Hornets. There used to be two gas stations located along Hwy #52 on the south edge of town. One had a good lunch counter we ate at in 1969 while doing a preliminary survey for the eventual widening of the Hwy. There was a dance hall in town called The Rainbow Inn with dances every weekend. They got some big crowds. Not sure when it closed down but it was a Quonset building which I think is now a granary.
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Cleone Jensen

I'm not sure when the high school closed but it must have been in the late 1970s. They didn't have many boys left in school back then but had some good basketball players. They were the Balfour Hornets. There used to be two gas stations on Hwy 52 in town. One had a good lunch counter. I worked for the DOT doing a preliminary survey for the eventual widening of the highway back in 1969. In the 1950s and 1960s there was a dance hall in town called the Rainbow Inn. Dances there every weekend. It was in a Quonset building on the west side of main street. Last time I drove through the town it was being used as a granary.

In the 1960s all the towns along Hwy 52 from Velva to Harvey had high schools. The small towns Bergen, Balfour & Martin played ball in the Class C division which was incorporated into class B when the small towns were closing their schools due to small farmers selling out to larger land owners. Voltaire kids went to Velva school. Drake and Anamoose are only about 8 miles apart. They used to be strong rivals in sports. Now they have a combined high school. Both towns have lost a lot of their population.
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