28 images Created 9 Jan 2019

I encourage you to look at these images as large as they can be seen on the web. Don't click on the images because when the site shows single images they conform to the height of the page rather than the width of the image. Because this particular software has a vertical limiting factor built in I would recommend copying the link below and pasting it into your browser address bar to see these panoramic images as full width presentations.


I grew up in North Dakota. It's 50% sky most places there. My world, as a boy, was windswept and horizontal. I think that's why I've been drawn to this kind of photo ever since I figured out how to make them.

The first photo in this gallery is as near as I can figure the last remaining structure in Maza, North Dakota.

If you go to google maps and enter Maza North Dakota you get, "Maza is a former city in Towner County, North Dakota in the United States. The population was 5 at the 2000 census. Maza was founded in 1893. Maza was incorporated as a city until 2002, when the city was dissolved and governance reverted to the surrounding Maza Township.

I think ever calling it a city is a bit of a stretch.

I was heading for Cando from Churchs Ferry driving north on US Highway 281 at a normal Hwy 281 speed—Somewhere near 100 miles an hour. When something to the left caught my eye. By the time I could stop that old Subaru Forester I was more than a mile further up the road.

It was June 20th. The spring had been rainy and now the landscape had succumbed to the early summer sunshine. Everything was impossibly green. There wasn't the idea of a cloud and the air around the old schoolhouse was filled with barn swallows who had made the old place home.

It took me years of looking at this photo and reading what showed up on my screen to figure out what was so special about this old schoolhouse. I originally thought it was a private home.

In all of North Dakota this little building stands out because of its origins. Most of North Dakota was settled by practical, somewhat grim Norwegians and Russians. Their idea of a building is a square foundation with a door in the middle and a window on either side. White works. Grey is better.

Look at this photo. There is a round window over the front door and two sets of delicate windows on either side of the door. The roofline ends in a gentle curve at the eves and the green shingles are scalloped. Around the round window are wooden shingles—Some rounded, some pointed.

Not Russian. Certainly not Norwegian.

This part of North Dakota has had the presence of Europeans longer than anywhere else—French traders. The Voyageurs, settled here first. They most certainly would make a school that looked like that.

Every picture tells a story. Every story ages well.
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