Ayr, North Dakota: Town Trapped in Time

Keith Johnson spent years acquiring, moving, and restoring stores, homes and other buildings, creating his Cass County Pioneer Village.

Cass County Pioneer Village

Main St., Ayr, ND
Cass County Pioneer Village. I-94 exit 314. Drive north on Hwy 38 for 11 miles, then east on 26th St. for three miles. Ayr will be visible on the left.
Save to My Sights

Visitor Tips and News About Town Trapped in Time

Reports and tips from RoadsideAmerica.com visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.

Town Trapped in Time

Mr. Johnson has passed away and the contents of the village will be sold at auction the end of June.

[ND native, 05/25/2012]
Town Trapped in Time

The town is still there, but the site looks abandoned and neglected.

[M Kerr, 09/19/2011]

Uh oh... maybe Time has started up again, to Ayr's detriment.

Old gas pumps.

Town Trapped in Time

Keith Johnson's village is still there. Drove into Ayr, past the large grain elevator, turned left and into the "town within a town." He has at least 8 buildings restored and looks like a couple more at the end to be worked on. Very interesting.

[Sandy, 07/19/2010]
Town Trapped in Time

A few years ago (5+/-) I was in North Dakota on business and had a Sunday to myself. There wasn't a lot to do in Fargo so I started driving west on interstate 94. I headed north at some point and came upon a very small town called Ayr (About 20 miles from Fargo). It really was a nondescript town and I was just going to turn around and leave. I turned the rental car left onto the next street I came to and thought I'd driven into the Twilight Zone. It was as if I'd entered a turn-of-the-century town. There was an old gas station, one room school house, barber shop, fire station, general store, train station etc.

They were all restored and in excellent condition. I parked my car and wandered around for a while when an older gentleman named Keith Johnson came out of a house. He had done all of this work himself. He bought the buildings and moved them to Ayr and restored them. It was a hobby for him. I'm guessing that he probably donated these buildings to the Frontier Village in Fargo by now...but if he didn't, and they are still there in Ayr, it's an amazing site to see.

[Ray Gomes, 06/09/1999]

November 2008: Keith Johnson's town is still in Ayr. He received recognition in 2007 from the North Dakota Historical Society for his persistence in acquiring his own town. Its official name is the Cass County Pioneer Village.

Nearby Offbeat Places

Carl Ben Eielson Memorial ArchCarl Ben Eielson Memorial Arch, Hatton, ND - 43 mi.
Roger Maris's GraveRoger Maris's Grave, Fargo, ND - 33 mi.
Space Aliens Grill & BarSpace Aliens Grill & Bar, Fargo, ND - 32 mi.
In the region:
Standing Rock, Nome, ND - 35 mi.

Latest Tips Across Roadside America

Catch up on the latest discoveries from the road.

Explore Thousands of Oddball Tourist Attractions!

Unique destinations in the U.S. and Canada are our special obsession. Use our attraction recommendation and maps to plan your next road trip.

August 29, 2016

My Sights

Create and Save Your Own Crazy Road Trip!

Try My Sights

Roadside America app
Roadside Presidents app

North Dakota Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Famous Gunfighters Wax Museum, Dodge City, Kansas (Aug 29-Sep 4, 2016)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings

Sightings. Arrives without warning. Leaves no burn marks. A free newsletter from RoadsideAmerica.com. Subscribe now!
RoadsideAmerica.com Hotel & Motel Finder

Special online rates for hotels & motels.

Nearby Hotels and Motels, Ayr, North Dakota

Nightly rates found:

Book Online Now