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Most People Have No Idea There’s An Underwater Ghost Town Hiding In North Dakota

One of the most popular spots in North Dakota is Lake Sakakwea. Tons of people visit it for fishing, boating, and other water recreation, and there are many towns and cities located around its edges. The lake itself is massive, the biggest body of water in the whole state, and has more shoreline than California. But to create such a lake took unfortunate sacrifice.

Lake Sakakawea is not a natural formation, of course. It was created as a result of the Garrison Dam. Before the Garrison Dam was built in 1947, the Missouri River lazily flowed through that area of North Dakota. Two towns were located along the river and those towns were completely submerged as soon as the dam was completed.

The towns were Sanish and Van Hook. As soon as the dam project went into place, the residents of those towns were forced to leave. The land was originally owned by the Three Affiliated Tribes and had been for hundreds of years and were now being taken away with no choice in the matter. They fought the government to keep the land but were forced to accept a $7 million settlement, and with that they would not be allowed any use of the land along the lake.

Replacement towns were settled by the displaced residents of the now inundated towns. These were New Town and (new) Sanish. Very rarely does the water drop enough to reveal the ruins of the old towns. For the most part, they are completely submerged and lost like the city of Atlantis.

These are the state’s only hidden underwater ghost towns, but some people worry that Devils Lake will soon swallow up some of the towns on its edges due to its ever increasing size each year – and Devils Lake is completely natural. Only time will tell, as of now we only have these.

If you’re interested in some other creepy ghost towns, take a look at this abandoned town in North Dakota. Though not underwater, it is hauntingly beautiful in a way.

Leah
Crazy old cat lady in training, includes enthusiasm for knitted sweaters. Farm livin', film lovin', pasta cookin', graphic artist and writer from the good ol' midwest!