It’s a young country, the United States; North Dakota is younger still. Yet the downtowns of the small town sometimes seem so old. You can tell the life ebbed out of main street long ago; the windows are soaped or shuttered, the second floor - if there is one - is blinded by wood. Some buildings don’t seem to have been occupied for thirty years, or more.

This doesn’t mean the towns are dead. People still live there. They drive a bit longer to a larger town to shop. The schools may have been consolidated, but they are still there. The state is doing better than ever, on paper; oil money is working wonders on the west part of the state. Perhaps some of these main streets will rise again.

Better hurry. Some of these buildings look as if they’re wanting for the excuse of a stiff breeze to give up the ghost.

All of these pictures were taken from Google Street View, and reworked in Photoshop to correct imperfections.