The citizens of remote Temple, N.D., departed years ago. One by one, the buildings they left behind have disappeared, too.
Located in the upper northwest corner of the state, the tiny township was first settled in 1906, alongside tracks owned by the Great Northern Railway. By 1960, the population dwindled to 25 from its peak of 90. By 1965, the post office closed and most of the scattered buildings were abandoned.
Temple became another casualty in America’s shift away from rural life.
In the past decade, a store and the remaining houses have collapsed in on themselves. Someone plucked the school from its foundation and trucked it down the road to be used as a home, leaving a church as the last significant structure standing.
But now that, too, is gone. It was recently deemed unsafe and set on fire.
Just about the only thing left of Temple is the cemetery, but the dearly departed aren’t going anywhere.