Advertisement

Reading the Landscape in Antler, North Dakota: Repeat Photography in an Atrophying Northern Plains Town

  • William A. WetherholtEmail author
  • Gregory S. Vandeberg
Reference work entry

Abstract

This study presents repeat photography as an effective method to construct a narrative of change for a cultural landscape. The technique of repeat photography is the process of revisiting the vantage point of a historic photograph and capturing a contemporary image. This chapter focuses on the town of Antler, North Dakota, which has lost more than 85% of its population in the last 50 years (the 2016 estimated population was 25). Repeat photography with eleven historic photographs in Antler began to uncover a story of abandonment and change over the last century. It is this telling of a story through photography that situates our chapter in a book regarding language. In addition to exploring some of the region’s precursors to population decline, previous scholarship using repeat photography is presented along with a methodological framework for anyone interested in conducting similar studies elsewhere.

Keywords

Repeat photography Rural geography Historical geography Qualitative methods North Dakota Great Plains 

References

  1. Armstrong, J. (2011). Everyday afterlife: Walter Benjamin and the politics of abandonment in Saskatchewan, Canada. Cultural Studies, 25(25), 273–293.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Benjamin, W. (1986). Illuminations. New York: Schocken Books.Google Scholar
  3. Brown, K. (2000). Ecosystem recovery: Ghost towns tell tales of ecological boom and bust. Science, 290, 35–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Butler, D. R., & DeChano, L. M. (2001). Environmental change in Glacier National Park, Montana: An assessment through repeat photography from fire lookouts. Physical Geography, 22, 291–304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Carlson, A. (1985). On appreciating agricultural landscapes. The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 43, 301–312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Daniels, S., & Bartlein, P. (2017). Charting time. Annals of the American Association of Geographers, 107, 28–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. DeLyser, D. (1999). Authenticity on the ground: Engaging the past in a California ghost town. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 89, 602–632.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dura, J. (2018). Probation over for N.D. white supremacist Craig Cobb. Bismarck Tribune.Google Scholar
  9. Forum News Service. (2016). Official: Town violated rules by demolishing old bank once sought by white supremacist Cobb. Fargo, North Dakota: The Dickinson Press.Google Scholar
  10. Hastings, R., & Turner, R. M. (1965). The changing mile; an ecological study of vegetation change with time in the lower mile of an arid and semiarid region. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.Google Scholar
  11. Hudson, J. (1973). Two Dakota homestead frontiers. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 63, 442–462.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hutchinson, C., Unruh, J., & Bahre, C. (2000). Land use vs. climate as causes of vegetation change: A study in SE Arizona. Global Environmental Change, 10, 47–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Jakle, J., & Wilson, D. (1992). Derelict landscapes: The wasting of America’s built environment. Savage: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers.Google Scholar
  14. Jorgensen, M. (2017). Antler, ND: Pride of the prairie. http://antlernd.com/History/School/page12.html. Last accessed 31 July 2018.
  15. Klett, M., & Manchester, E. (1984). Second view: The rephotographic survey project. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.Google Scholar
  16. Knapp, P. A. (1991). Long-term soil and vegetation recovery in five semiarid Montana ghost towns. The Professional Geographer, 43, 486–499.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lewis, P. (1979). Axioms for reading the landscape: Some guides to the American scene. In G. essays & e. D. Meinig (Eds.), The interpretation of ordinary landscape (pp. 11–32). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Library of Congress. (2018). Chronicling America: Historic American newspapers. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/. Last accessed 31 July 2018.
  19. Lorraine, L. (1966). On becoming a ghost town. Phylon (1960–), 27, 144.Google Scholar
  20. Manier, D. J., & Laven, R. D. (2002). Changes in landscape patterns associated with the persistence of aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado. Forest Ecology and Management, 167, 263–284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Meyer, J. L., & Youngs, Y. (2018). Historical landscape change in Yellowstone National Park: Demonstrating the value of intensive field observation and repeat photography. Geographical Review, 108, 387–409.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Miller, D. C. (1990). Ghosts on a sea of grass: Ghost towns of the Plains- Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Wyoming. Missoula: Pictorial Histories Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  23. North Dakota Public Service Commission. (2015). North Dakota rail abandonments. https://psc.nd.gov/docs/consinfo/railroad/rail-abandonments.pdf. Last accessed 31 July 2018.
  24. Popper, D., & Popper, F. (1987). The Great Plains: From dust to dust. Planning, 12, 12–18.Google Scholar
  25. Power, T. M. (1996). Lost landscapes and failed economies. Washington, DC: Island Press.Google Scholar
  26. Robinson, E. (1966). History of North Dakota. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Schell, E. (1973). West of the River. Antler: Earl Schell.Google Scholar
  28. Schell, E. (1975). Antler, North Dakota: Gateway to the U.S. 1882–1916. Antler: Earl Schell.Google Scholar
  29. Smith, D., & Roberts, W. (1993). The three links fraternity: Odd Fellowship in California. An introduction to the independent order of Odd Fellows and Rebekahs. Fresno: Linden Publications.Google Scholar
  30. U.S. Census Bureau. (2018). American FactFinder Community Facts. Last accessed 24 July 2018.Google Scholar
  31. U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service (USDA ERS). (2015). Frontier and remote area codes overview. http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/frontier-and-remote-area-codes.aspx#.Ut6v8rTnbcs. Last accessed 31 July 2018.
  32. Vale, T., & Vale, G. (1983). US 40 today. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.Google Scholar
  33. Webb, R., & Newman, E. (1982). Recovery of soil and vegetation in ghost-towns in the Mojave Desert, southwestern United States. Environmental Conservation, 9, 245–248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Webb, R., Steiger, J., & Turner, R. (1987). Dynamics of Mojave Desert shrub assemblages in the Panamint Mountains, California. Ecology, 68, 478–490.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Wyckoff, W. (2006). On the road again: Montana’s changing landscape. Seattle: University of Washington Press.Google Scholar
  36. Wyckoff, W. (2014). How to read the American West: A field guide. Seattle: University of Washington Press.Google Scholar
  37. Zier, J., & Baker, W. (2006). A century of vegetation change in the San Juan Mountains, Colorado: An analysis using repeat photography. Forest Ecology and Management, 228, 251–262.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyFrostburg State UniversityFrostburgUSA
  2. 2.Department of GeographyUniversity of North DakotaGrand ForksUSA

Personalised recommendations