Arlo Levisen is the President of the Grant County Historical Society. He has extensive knowledge on the history of the area, including: Grant County History, Big Stone Lake History, the History of the Holland Grist Mill, the History of the Milbank Congregational Church and much more! Send in your questions. Arlo will have the answers!
On an old Grant County Map (circa 1899) there is a town between Big Stone City and Milbank on the old Railroad line grade near the Whetstone River. What do you know about this lost town? Was there a depot there? T.S.
Your question relates to Nubia, which was located on the north side of US Highway 12 between Milbank and Big Stone City. It is unclear on which side of the tracks it was situated.
Peterson Map is the only 1899 map of Grant County with which I am familiar, but it doesn’t include Nubia. A map of Grant County from 1918, however, has Nubia marked.
Though the exact location is not certain, I estimate it to be about at the point where 482nd Avenue crosses under the railroad tracks which run along the north side of the highway.
My placement is based on a large wooden sign with Nubia painted on it. The sign is owned by the family living on this farm site today. The family has offered to donate it to the Grant County Historical Society, but the sign is so big the Historical Society has not yet figured out a place to display it.
In all of the printed historical documents I have read relating to Grant County, I have not found a reference to Nubia as an actual town. On the other hand, I have not read all of the often hand-written and/or hand-typed family memoirs. Maybe the answer is hidden away there. Surely, someone had to be familiar with this little spot.
I can only speculate, given the presence of the railroad, that it became a convenient place to load bags of wheat. Milbank had grain elevators and Ortonville boasted a large elevator at the foot of Big Stone Lake. Grain was moved about in large bags in wagons pulled by horses during the early 1900s. So, it might simply have been a matter of local convenience.
Another possibility points to the early development of the granite industry. The first granite quarries were just getting started in the early 1900s. Moving this material using the rail lines might have been the reason for such a place to exist.
To my knowledge, there were never any buildings associated with Nubia.