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12:30 pm - Tue, July 9 2013
Omer Durfee said:
The National Geographic used a picture from Ardmore from 2004 in article called "The Late Great Plains." It's now a wallpaper for my computer monitors.
01:01 pm - Tue, July 9 2013
jetta schwader said:
Beautiful pictures. Love looking back to what it used to be and feel I'm not thankful enough what God has given us now.
01:02 pm - Tue, July 9 2013
Don Schmeichel said:
Great Photos, Joel! How do I buy that beautiful rusty Chevy?
01:03 pm - Tue, July 9 2013
Marlys Huber said:
I love reading about the history of a town. The pictures are wonderful!
03:47 pm - Tue, July 9 2013
Vicki Schultz said:
Great pics, Joel! So interesting learning about South Dakota's past.
05:53 pm - Tue, July 9 2013
Cindee Evenson said:
Your pictures make me feel like I'm
right there. Awesome photography, Joel!!
06:00 pm - Tue, July 9 2013
Doug and Danette Sell said:
These are so enjoyable to look at. Thank you, Joel, for sharing your photography gift with us.
07:40 pm - Tue, July 9 2013
Gary Trusty said:
This group of pictures just makes one want to go there to experience it all over again.
08:14 pm - Tue, July 9 2013
Cheryl Girard said:
Great photography ! I love the history of old towns.
08:52 pm - Tue, July 9 2013
Ann Chapman said:
There is such loneliness in abandoned towns. When you walk the streets it's as if the memories are blowing past you in the breeze. These photos reflect that feeling.
11:26 am - Wed, July 10 2013
Marlin Saner said:
Impressed again with Joel's photos. And the story is enlightening. Of course, without water life is limited.
07:12 pm - Sun, July 14 2013
Sara B. said:
Beautiful photographs. Joel Schwader has such and eye and really knows how to tell a story. Interesting that the grass looks so lush in a town that died from a lack of water.
09:18 am - Sat, July 27 2013
Amy Murphy said:
I remember going to Ardmore for the annual firemens ball...good times and good people. We would always stop on our way to Cascade falls and buy some picnic supplies at the general store. Lots of good memories!
09:49 am - Tue, July 30 2013
James Reimer said:
I just finished an historical fiction thriller set in Ardmore. I made the town come back to life through a scary perspective that is befitting to the deserted little town out in the middle of the lonely plains.
The book takes place in Ardmore and western Nebraska and includes some local folklore like the Witch's Grave, the Ghost Ship of the Platte, the School Children's Blizzard of 1888, Ft. Robinson, Ghost Dancers and strange occurrences along the Oregon Trail.
Check out my pictures and more about the book on my Face Book page @jamesreimerardmore. The book is titled ARDMORE, by James Reimer.
06:41 am - Sat, August 31 2013
Kelly Hourscht said:
Ardmore comes to life each November on the opening weekend of west river deer season. 3 hunting camps make the population explode to 20-25 people. One camp has refurbished the hotel in town & now they are working on the VFW building. They host a burger feed & a pancake feed each November to benefit the Ardmore volunteer fire department. We have been hunting the area for 15 years & built our cabin in Ardmore 10 years ago. We have made lifelong friendships with several local ranch families. Great people out there!
06:00 pm - Sat, September 21 2013
Rebecca Wasserburger said:
I have had so many memories here in Ardmore. I am so sad to see my family having to leave the area and all the wonderful people from the area as well. My dad was a firefighter for the Ardmore Volunteer Fire Dept for MANY years and a local rancher as well. I will always think of Ardmore as home and I will always think of the friends in the area and the hunters who come down for hunting season as family.
Along with what Kelly said: I always thought of hunting season in November as a holiday, and hope I still make it down to see everyone for the good time! :)
09:52 am - Tue, March 25 2014
gloria lachelt grummons said:
I lived in Ardmore 1956-58 and loved it! These pics bring back so many memories, wonderful memories. I was so saddened to go thru there a couple of years ago reminiscing and saw the Sunshine Café that my parents, Ted and Julia Birdsall owned so falling down.
11:46 am - Thu, April 10 2014
Merle Muhe said:
grew up on a ranch by Rumford. We used to go to church there and also were members of the fire dept. Also sold furs there at Harry's store in the mid 70's. I have fond memories of there and would like to relocate back there maybe when I retire. Rebecca, tho I do not know you my dad (Charles Morris and I used to hunt deer there on Duck Creek and Hat Creek.
01:29 pm - Tue, June 17 2014
Duane Thompson said:
Although I was raised in Illinois, during the early and mid-1960's, my parents and I vacationed near Ardmore while we looked for Fairburn agate on the grasslands and near Orella, NE. Remember meeting Harry Hartman and specifically remember his Moon Pies with the worm holes in them. Also met the good folks who ran the Hat Creek Cafe on the south side of town. Have many wonderful memories of Ardmore, Scenic, Crawford, and Orella, with its Sugar Loaf Butte.
05:04 pm - Fri, July 4 2014
Jerri Griffith said:
The hotel mentioned above, once the Ardmore Hotel, was owned and run by my great grandparents, Harriet and George W Joseph. I am thrilled to hear it still stands and hope to one day see it for myself!
04:04 pm - Tue, July 29 2014
Gary said:
We just drove through and stopped at Ardmore. Very interesting if not a little scary and irry place. Looks like lots of the town just up and left at once! What happened?
08:36 am - Tue, December 2 2014
Rich said:
Maybe there needs to be a new effort to revive the town! I'm looking to retire in this very area. Anyone else interested? It would be a challange but what fun!
01:06 pm - Wed, January 14 2015
Kim said:
Hey Rich, I'm game. I've been looking around for very small towns or Ghost towns that I could move to. I have a self contained camper I can always live in if I can't buy a building to renovate. You can contact me at
01:21 pm - Sun, January 18 2015
Rich said:
Everyone, I just returned from South Dakota yesterday, Jan.17, 2015. I made a special trip down to Ardmore to look around. The town is in serious deteriorated shape. You couldn't live in any buildings and most should be condemned. Entering them would be very risky. There is evidence that a couple of building are being maintained on a shoe string budget. There are a few people living there but I don't know how many. The cars in these photos above are still there. There are a lot of cars there that are not shown in the pictures. Near by small towns are basically old car parking lots like Ardmore. A metal scrapper would make good money here. The Ardmore water tower is still up and looks like it hasn't been painted in 50 plus years. What appears to be a pumping house also is in bad shape and the roof has collapsed. There was enough snow to make exploring by foot difficult so I just drove around. I will be out again in June this year to look some more, take pictures and possibly talk to people that are living there to ask there perspective on the towns future. I will also be bringing a hard hat.
09:33 am - Thu, April 16 2015
Dear all,
in 2007 we did a TV piece about prairie ghost towns for German TV.
We`ve been to Ardmore SD because we saw the article of National Geographic and found out that there was still one old lady living there: Laureen Hartman.
Can anybody tell, if she is still alive?

Many thanks
Wolf Truchsess
02:14 pm - Fri, April 24 2015
Rich said:
Wolf, I had planned on visiting Ardmore this year but sadly, those plans have now changed, well for this year. However, I will be making a trip out there next year. If no one responds to you, I wll make the effort to get an answer.
p.s. If you return, make sure you visit Hot Springs SD, and the Mammoth Site. Very interesting stuff there.
03:32 pm - Fri, September 18 2015
Margie Wilson said:
I'm searching for a book about Ardmore, or that has Ardmore in the title by Calvin Inman. Anybody out there know the title or how I can get a copy for a fine old gentleman who grew up in that neck of the woods?

09:18 pm - Thu, November 19 2015
John doe said:
I am in ardmore regularly. If you have questions definitely ask me. The last 2 remaining ladies were transfered to nursing homes I want to say 5 years back. Every 2 years on labor day weekend I think it is there is an ardmore reunion. Ardmore may not look like much but it is a great place to get away. Rebbeca Was. Wish your family still lived out here along with many more families that have sold there ranches. There is a history that still lives in this old town that I which could be brought to life. Many buildings are getting demolitied but if your interested in visiting during the Reunion weekend or opening week of hunting which is usually 2 or 3 week in November it would be great.
06:36 pm - Thu, December 17 2015
Rich said:
Who owns all the abandoned cars?
03:34 pm - Fri, January 22 2016
Bob said:
I'm interested in any property or abandoned cars for sale.
05:41 pm - Tue, February 9 2016
John said:
I have an aunt who was born in Ardmore in the 20s. Her family was one of the originals in the area. The last name is Williams. I don't know if any of them have surviving relatives. I have many, many black and white photos of Ardmore, the people and buildings, railroad station, ranch life there, horse diving, etc., if anyone is interested.
12:16 pm - Mon, June 20 2016
John said:
I'm doing a documentary type show on abandon town across South Dakota, for South Dakota Public Broadcasting (SDPB, our PBS channel). I'd like to visit with you or others who have some history to share or know some information about Ardmore. Feel free to email if you can,
I'd appreciate any help.
Thank you.
10:43 am - Mon, August 1 2016
Ann Hundeby said:
My husband's first teaching job was in Ardmore. We were there one year and it was a wonderful experience. We plan to visit this fall. Does anyone know if there is a reunion this year? If so when will it be? I would really like to find out!
07:51 am - Sat, August 13 2016
Stan Mitchell said:
Hello to all, I was born in Ardmore in 1937 and raised in Crawford, NE, spending summers on my grandparents (Henry) ranch east of Ardmore.
John, I am very interested in photos you mentioned. I have a few old photos, not much. Also, I'm interested in the book "I Remember Ardmore"; I think that's the name of it.
Please contact me by e mail:
Stan Mitchell
11:24 am - Fri, March 24 2017
Norma Hutchison said:
I lived right across the road from the water tower. I enjoyed seeing the picture. I was so happy living there, back in the 50-60's. Anyone seeing this post and wants to contact me, it is fine.
09:14 pm - Mon, April 10 2017
Maegan said:
I am trying to locate pictures of the O'Connell home in Ardmore. My grandfather grew up there and was one of two graduates of Ardmore high in '41. The family finally sold the property to someone who travels through there and wanted a place to store the RV they use. I have pictures of when he was home but it is just a door or a window in the background, I would love to be able to put some family names to homes and pictures posted. Thank you.
09:14 pm - Mon, April 10 2017
Maegan said:
I am trying to locate pictures of the O'Connell home in Ardmore. My grandfather grew up there and was one of two graduates of Ardmore high in '41. The family finally sold the property to someone who travels through there and wanted a place to store the RV they use. I have pictures of when he was home but it is just a door or a window in the background, I would love to be able to put some family names to homes and pictures posted. Thank you.
06:06 pm - Wed, July 26 2017
Carol A Mieske said:
Is there anyone, who has a copy of "I remember Ardmore" by Calvin Inman, that can make a copy for me. I know it is not in print. My mother-in-law was born in a boxcar near there in 1906 and her grandfather build the alter in St Aloysius Catholic church. I would also like a picture of the alter. He also built the alter in Immaculate Cenception Catholic Church in Montrose, Neb. I live in California and have visited Ardmore and Montrose.
06:42 pm - Sun, August 27 2017
terri collins said:
My mamas home town. Letha Wasserburger.....I do believe my mom had a copy of this. I have it somewhere in storage. God only knows where it is at. Visiting next month to bury my moms youngest sister Hazel Wasserburger (Anderson) at Montrose Cemetery on September 29th, 2017
03:00 pm - Wed, August 30 2017
Roxanna said:
So sweet to see my grandmother's car, the rusted Chevy , I hope people keep in mind, This is still people's private Properties ,u can be prosecuted for theft and damages , Rick be smart. And leave your hard hat at home.
03:10 pm - Wed, August 30 2017
Roxanna said:
I also remember the day the census was taken ,I was at my grandmother's for the summer, most of the remaining residents were my family 8 of them ,Hermes, and probably the Hunters and the couple that owned the store. My grandma got a gun before she opened the door, poor guy. Still giggled then when I was 8 seeing his face.
11:30 am - Sun, October 1 2017
Cheryl said:
Just drove through this town on our way back to Texas. Wish I had paid more attention while passing through. I only saw 3 people and was saddened at the deterioration of the buildings. My sister thought maybe a tornado had passed through so I decided to research and found this post and all your comments. I'm so sad about your little town. It must be hard on those of you that lived here or had relatives that did. Thanks for sharing your memories.
12:05 pm - Mon, November 13 2017
Danielle said:
Hey to all! My family actually stays here during hunting season. We would love to have any old photos of the buildings or inside the properties that anyone would like to share, especially the old hotel. Feel free to email me at would love to see the livelihood of the old town.
08:47 am - Mon, November 20 2017
Curt Smith said:
The last time I was in Ardmore was 1977 with my father, Terry. His mother (my grandmother), Katherine "Kay" O'Connell, and all his aunts and uncles were born there. Dennis O'Connell and his wife, Elizabeth Gayhart (my great-great grandparents), homesteaded in the Hat Creek area; both are buried in the Montrose Cemetery.
01:35 pm - Sun, January 28 2018
Rich said:
Roxanna: All those cars in this town are abandoned. If you have title to the Chev, then I suggest that you remove the car to another secured location. Just a thought. I have no interest in it. But any scrap dealer would and he/she isn't going to take the time to find the owners.
I hope to return this summer.

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