As Dore’s only residents, they lived in a ghost town on the desolate northern Plains. But now the couple has neighbors _ and lots of them. The all-but-forgotten former farming village has been reborn as a hub of oil activity. And it may not be the last abandoned settlement to be resurrected from the dust.
“We knew it was inevitable,” Kerry Finsaas said of the oil boom that has enveloped the region. “We’re making the best of it, but it doesn’t mean we like it.”
Like many farm-dependent communities throughout the nation, Dore fell victim to changing agricultural practices and a harsh rural economy. By the early 1960s, the town on the state’s far western edge, near the confluence of the Yellowstone and Missouri rivers, was largely vacant. Most residents had either moved away or died.
One of the final blows came in the mid-1970s, when Dore lost its ZIP code. Since then, most surviving buildings have been leveled by bulldozers, weather and time. About all that remains is an empty grain elevator standing tall over the prairie _ a lonely memorial to earlier times.
These days, a century after its founding, the area is abuzz with development. Oil rigs drill in the distance, and mile-long tanker trains are topped off with crude here before heading to markets on the East, West and Gulf coasts.
Dozens of campers and trailers have popped up on the nearby prairie, and hundreds more improvised dwellings are expected to take shape to house oil workers.