Nosodak, ND: Abandoned Before it Could Even Become a Ghost-Town

Nosodak, ND, a portmanteau of sorts of NOrth & SOuth DAKota was a proposed townsite located on the Missouri River immediately north of the South Dakota border. The name was coined by The Western Townsite & Development Company noting its geographical location.

In 1910, It was planned to be a station on the Northern Pacific Railway's overly ambitious expansion from Mandan, ND to Galveston, TX, which it inherited from the Midland Continental Railroad, who planned a similar route starting in Winnipeg, MB. 

At least the Midland Continental wound up opening 86 miles of railroad; the Northern Pacific line south of Bismarck completed less than fifty.

Digital Horizons Online Map of North Dakota, 1914.


Ghost Towns Map of the townsite.

The line would only be constructed to near Carnigan, ND, about 20 miles north of Nosodak's proposed location, and what was built of the route has since been abandoned. 

Another NP line emanating from Cannon Ball, about 15 miles north of Carnigan to Flasher, ND, and also abandoned, was the only junction of this proposal to be built.

In 1914, Northern Pacific dropped plans for the route any farther south. Despite never having been completed, one can still see a few grades and scars of where the line would have been located nearly as far south as the South Dakota border. Any grades that would have been cleared south of there are likely underwater today.

USGS 1953 Topo Map. At this point, Nosodak had no longer been placed on maps.

Nosodak remained on maps for approximately 30 years, despite never being more than a railroad construction camp, and one that never yielded an active line at that. It is perhaps one of the best examples of a true ghost town, never truly existing at all.

Since the townsite was never fully realized, it is hard to pinpoint where the town would have been located. It is possible that some or all of the area would be under what is now Lake Oahe, but without any ruins to explore, this is purely speculation on how the town would have grown.

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