There’s an undeniable charm that comes with pre-World War II American architecture, characterized by high ceilings, crown molding, hardwood floors, and ornate details. In fact, 12.8% of all housing units in America were built in 1939 or before, showing the popularity of the preservation of these units. Owning a piece of history can sometimes come with a cost: Many old homes come with asbestos, lead piping, knob-and-tube wiring, and other outdated building styles that can rack up a hefty price tag to modernize. However, with more and more modernized pre-war homes on the market, generally located just outside bustling downtown metros, investing in property that has withstood the test of time is an attractive prospect.

Stacker compiled a list of the counties in North Dakota with the oldest homes using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Counties are ranked by the median year the structure was built according to 2020 5-year estimates. Ties are broken by the highest percentage of homes built before 1939.

The country’s domestic architecture is perhaps best characterized by a rugged individualism as opposed to the hybridization of disparate architectural elements. As Maya Angelou once perceptively observed, “the ache for home lives in all of us,” a phrase that has meant very different things to different people.

Modest or palatial, there is no shortage of noteworthy homes in the U.S. Log cabins constructed by industrious pioneers have dotted the landscape alongside traditional Native American dwellings ever since immigrant Swedes introduced them to the New World in 1638. The unprecedented personal fortunes amassed by the so-called “Robber Barons” at the close of the 19th century gave way to the construction of a staggering number of Gilded Age estates.

The ravages of time spared neither the sumptuous nor the humble. Stately mansions, often prohibitively costly to maintain in the modern era, were frequently neglected; simple structures were forgotten, discarded by their owners, and damaged by natural elements. However, the tireless efforts of architectural preservationists and local historical societies have saved many of these homes from demolition, leading to their inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places and thereby safeguarding them for future generations.

Keep reading to learn more about which counties in North Dakota have the oldest homes.

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#53. McKenzie County

– Median year homes built: 2005
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 7.9% (541 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 55.3% (3,790 homes)
– Total homes built: 6,856

2 / 53JERRYE & ROY KLOTZ MD // Wikimedia Commons

#52. Williams County

– Median year homes built: 1997
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 7.9% (1,540 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 49.0% (9,549 homes)
– Total homes built: 19,490

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#51. Cass County

– Median year homes built: 1990
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 7.7% (6,474 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 35.4% (29,605 homes)
– Total homes built: 83,604

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#50. Burleigh County

– Median year homes built: 1986
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 5.4% (2,338 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 32.6% (14,024 homes)
– Total homes built: 43,022

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#49. Stark County

– Median year homes built: 1986
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 7.8% (1,154 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 35.5% (5,251 homes)
– Total homes built: 14,796

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#48. Ward County

– Median year homes built: 1983
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 8.7% (2,884 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 33.1% (10,951 homes)
– Total homes built: 33,083

7 / 53Andrew Filer // Wikimedia Commons

#47. Rolette County

– Median year homes built: 1979
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 4.5% (250 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 13.5% (754 homes)
– Total homes built: 5,590

8 / 53Andrew Filer // Wikimedia Commons

#46. Sioux County

– Median year homes built: 1979
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 10.5% (142 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 17.7% (238 homes)
– Total homes built: 1,347

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#45. Grand Forks County

– Median year homes built: 1979
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 12.9% (4,294 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 24.6% (8,182 homes)
– Total homes built: 33,267

10 / 53Andrew Filer from Seattle (ex-Minneapolis) // Wikimedia Commons

#44. Mountrail County

– Median year homes built: 1979
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 15.9% (826 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 29.5% (1,529 homes)
– Total homes built: 5,181

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11 / 53Bob Pool // Shutterstock

#43. Morton County

– Median year homes built: 1978
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 12.0% (1,817 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 29.2% (4,445 homes)
– Total homes built: 15,204

12 / 53Andrew Filer // Wikimedia Commons

#42. Mercer County

– Median year homes built: 1977
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 11.3% (545 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 13.8% (664 homes)
– Total homes built: 4,824https://148390f072063f5d042d04a3f67b54ea.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

13 / 53Andrew Filer // Wikimedia Commons

#41. Dunn County

– Median year homes built: 1977
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 16.4% (427 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 20.9% (544 homes)
– Total homes built: 2,606

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#40. Billings County

– Median year homes built: 1975
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 16.2% (90 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 18.3% (102 homes)
– Total homes built: 557

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#39. Oliver County

– Median year homes built: 1974
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 10.9% (110 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 11.5% (116 homes)
– Total homes built: 1,006

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16 / 53JERRYE & ROY KLOTZ MD // Wikimedia Commons

#38. McLean County

– Median year homes built: 1974
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 13.7% (855 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 18.7% (1,169 homes)
– Total homes built: 6,248

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#37. Sargent County

– Median year homes built: 1973
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 24.5% (528 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 16.1% (346 homes)
– Total homes built: 2,154

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#36. Cavalier County

– Median year homes built: 1972
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 12.7% (299 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 7.9% (186 homes)
– Total homes built: 2,353https://148390f072063f5d042d04a3f67b54ea.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

19 / 53Matt // Wikimedia Commons

#35. Foster County

– Median year homes built: 1972
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 14.3% (261 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 16.9% (307 homes)
– Total homes built: 1,820

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#34. Bottineau County

– Median year homes built: 1972
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 18.1% (807 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 18.0% (803 homes)
– Total homes built: 4,461

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#33. Richland County

– Median year homes built: 1972
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 20.7% (1,605 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 12.3% (957 homes)
– Total homes built: 7,761

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#32. Ramsey County

– Median year homes built: 1971
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 15.7% (924 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 14.8% (869 homes)
– Total homes built: 5,867

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#31. Stutsman County

– Median year homes built: 1971
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 15.8% (1,616 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 15.2% (1,557 homes)
– Total homes built: 10,253

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#30. Benson County

– Median year homes built: 1970
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 19.8% (609 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 9.1% (279 homes)
– Total homes built: 3,074https://148390f072063f5d042d04a3f67b54ea.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

25 / 53Andrew Filer // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Bowman County

– Median year homes built: 1969
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 20.6% (366 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 12.6% (224 homes)
– Total homes built: 1,779

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26 / 53Andrew Filer // Wikimedia Commons

#28. Renville County

– Median year homes built: 1969
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 24.0% (329 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 14.6% (201 homes)
– Total homes built: 1,373

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#27. Steele County

– Median year homes built: 1969
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 29.8% (352 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 12.1% (143 homes)
– Total homes built: 1,180

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#26. Kidder County

– Median year homes built: 1968
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 19.4% (338 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 10.3% (179 homes)
– Total homes built: 1,743

29 / 53Andrew Filer // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Pierce County

– Median year homes built: 1968
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 23.9% (529 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 7.5% (166 homes)
– Total homes built: 2,212

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#24. Pembina County

– Median year homes built: 1967
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 18.1% (700 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 4.7% (181 homes)
– Total homes built: 3,859

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31 / 53Andrew Filer // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Walsh County

– Median year homes built: 1967
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 21.8% (1,215 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 6.9% (385 homes)
– Total homes built: 5,571

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#22. LaMoure County

– Median year homes built: 1967
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 25.5% (581 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 10.9% (249 homes)
– Total homes built: 2,280

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#21. Dickey County

– Median year homes built: 1966
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 19.9% (526 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 10.2% (269 homes)
– Total homes built: 2,641

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#20. Adams County

– Median year homes built: 1966
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 20.7% (299 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 9.0% (130 homes)
– Total homes built: 1,443

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#19. Sheridan County

– Median year homes built: 1966
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 27.5% (244 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 10.0% (89 homes)
– Total homes built: 887

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#18. Barnes County

– Median year homes built: 1966
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 29.9% (1,786 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 11.1% (666 homes)
– Total homes built: 5,982https://148390f072063f5d042d04a3f67b54ea.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

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#17. Wells County

– Median year homes built: 1965
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 22.1% (556 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 9.2% (232 homes)
– Total homes built: 2,517

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#16. Logan County

– Median year homes built: 1964
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 19.9% (227 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 6.7% (77 homes)
– Total homes built: 1,141

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#15. Eddy County

– Median year homes built: 1964
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 23.6% (303 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 7.8% (100 homes)
– Total homes built: 1,283

40 / 53Andrew Filer // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Nelson County

– Median year homes built: 1963
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 24.3% (473 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 4.8% (93 homes)
– Total homes built: 1,946

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41 / 53Andrew Filer // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Grant County

– Median year homes built: 1963
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 25.7% (440 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 8.9% (152 homes)
– Total homes built: 1,715

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#12. Traill County

– Median year homes built: 1963
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 31.5% (1,211 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 8.1% (310 homes)
– Total homes built: 3,850https://148390f072063f5d042d04a3f67b54ea.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

43 / 53Andrew Filer // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Divide County

– Median year homes built: 1962
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 30.1% (471 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 16.3% (256 homes)
– Total homes built: 1,567

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#10. Towner County

– Median year homes built: 1962
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 30.9% (460 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 2.0% (30 homes)
– Total homes built: 1,488

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#9. Burke County

– Median year homes built: 1962
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 33.6% (473 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 11.1% (156 homes)
– Total homes built: 1,408

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46 / 53Andrew Filer // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Emmons County

– Median year homes built: 1961
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 23.9% (514 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 9.4% (202 homes)
– Total homes built: 2,153

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#7. McHenry County

– Median year homes built: 1961
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 27.9% (882 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 12.2% (385 homes)
– Total homes built: 3,163

48 / 53Andrew Filer // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Ransom County

– Median year homes built: 1961
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 32.2% (867 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 11.1% (299 homes)
– Total homes built: 2,690https://148390f072063f5d042d04a3f67b54ea.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

49 / 53Andrew Filer // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Griggs County

– Median year homes built: 1960
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 33.0% (491 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 6.3% (93 homes)
– Total homes built: 1,486

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#4. McIntosh County

– Median year homes built: 1959
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 20.2% (370 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 7.7% (142 homes)
– Total homes built: 1,833

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#3. Slope County

– Median year homes built: 1958
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 34.3% (159 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 15.1% (70 homes)
– Total homes built: 464ADVERTISING

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#2. Golden Valley County

– Median year homes built: 1958
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 36.1% (375 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 6.0% (62 homes)
– Total homes built: 1,039

53 / 53Andrew Filer // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Hettinger County

– Median year homes built: 1957
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 30.3% (448 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 7.4% (110 homes)
– Total homes built: 1,480

This story originally appeared on Stacker and was produced and distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio. This article has been republished pursuant to a CC by an NC 4.0 License.