This page documents in pictures my July 5th 1999 visit to Slope
County North Dakota and was updated after my April 2004 visit. It has no official endorsement from Slope County or the State
of North Dakota. I'm also including photos of the county seat, Amidon, and the town
of Marmarth. Finally, any links I've found about Slope County are included on this
Census 2000 reports 15% population drop in Slope County to 767 residents - Least populated North Dakota county
Thanks for your on-line visit and I hope you, too, enjoy a trip to Slope County. Before you visit, I'd suggest you read the book "Badland" by Jonathan Raban. He writes an award winning history of why the area developed in the early 1900's and touches on why it is becoming vacant.
You may email me here.
Why Slope County?
Slope County is interesting to me because fewer than 1000 people live in an area larger than the State of Rhode Island. The county seat, Amidon, is the smallest county seat in the USA with only 13 people. Even though a county seat, Amidon is so small that Rand McNally does not index it in their Road Atlas. Amidon is the seat of government for the county and the courthouse is there.
Research on the Internet in 1999 about Slope County provided very little information and only one picture. I decided then that I'd photograph as much as I could in Amidon, Marmarth, and the surrounding countryside and build this webpage. I visited again in 2004 and spent four days in the county visiting with the locals and taking more pictures for this website.
Where is Slope County?
Slope County is in far southwestern North Dakota on the border with Montana and near South Dakota. As you'll see, the landscape varies between huge tracts of grassland with some "Badland" type landscape in the western part of the county. A beautiful river, The Little Missouri, wanders back and forth through western Slope County. The Little Missouri is a typical Western river; broad, shallow, and usually slow moving. There are no interstates in Slope County. US Highways 12 and 85 are the major throughways. Numerous gravel county roads provide access to the ranches and ranching is the primary occupation in the county. Railroad service is provided in the SW corner of the county.
Any attractions in Slope County?
I don't believe Slope County actively promotes any attractions found in the
county.The highest point in North Dakota, White Butte, is near Amidon. "Highpointers" know
the area and have one of the few Internet resources about Slope County.The Burning
Coal Vein Campground also is an attraction. I was satisfied spending an entire
day in the area enjoying the broad unpopulated vastness, friendly people, and strange (for
a Minnesotan) terrain. Lunchtime chatter at the Pastime Bar in Marmarth included a
discussion between the locals and bartender about when the Magna Carta was signed. Food at
the Past Time is plentiful and delicious.
The only gas station in the county is in Marmarth too. You've been warned.
Slope County Genealogy, follow this link.
Slope County countryside
photos, follow this link.
Photos from the town of Marmarth follow this link.
Amidon (County Seat) photos - scroll down.
On the edge of Amidon is a real police car with a mannequin
behind the wheel. You can see the car in the above picture just to the right of the
Click the photo for Closeup of the police car. (1999 photos)
2004 photo of now damaged police car.
Other photos I took in Amidon:
The Lutheran Church in Amidon.
The Courthouse (1999 photos) -
2004 Courthouse photo. Note the addition to the north side. It provides a handicap access to the building as well as additional space. The small courtroom is in this new addition. The courtroom is also used for the twice monthly county commissioner meetings. The US Forest Service was hosting a meeting that morning which brought a large number of people to town.
Memorial to Fallen Soldiers from Slope County in front of the courthouse.
Amidon Post Office
Amidon Fire Department
Amidon School I was told the school is used but the number of students is dwindling. From the looks of the playground (next photo set) I believe it.
Senior Citizen Center
Amidon's Refuge Campground
Views of Amidon from Highway 85
Two pictures of that attraction.
All photos except above (c)1999 2004 Jim Attwood