What compelled those who settled North Dakota’s vast prairies? Summers are characterized by heatwaves, drought, and violent thunderstorms. Winter is harsh, with crippling temperatures and surprise blizzards.
North Dakota is a land of extremes, creating a unique, raw, and dangerous beauty. As the railroad industry flourished in the late 1800s, the Northern Pacific Railway quickly built its way west across the northern Dakota Territory, birthing new towns as it went. A strong advertising campaign and the promise of land attracted flocks of workers and immigrants.
Business was booming, and Dakota Territory was growing. By the mid-twentieth century, new technology rendered many of the once vibrant railroad towns useless. Residents trickled out as employment prospects dwindled and once lively communities were left to decay, alone in the elements.
This book is a photographic journey that documents these remains. It showcases images that tell haunting tales of another time, reminding us how illusory human permanence truly is.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Zachary Hargrove is a meteorologist and photographer who resides in Bismarck, North Dakota, with his wife and three children. As a boy, Zachary became fascinated with extreme weather after a tornado nearly struck his home in northern Georgia. While attending college in North Carolina, studying meteorology, he took up the hobby of storm chasing, which led him into the world of photography. He began teaching himself photography theory and technique, aiming to capture the drama of the extreme weather he witnessed in a single frame. After graduating in 2012, Zachary married his college sweetheart and they moved across the country to North Dakota. It was here where he began to take his hobby to a new level and expand it to a new passion: rural exploration and abandoned photography.