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Golva, North Dakota
The Golva Bar and the Golva post office
The Golva Bar and the Golva post office
Location of Golva, North Dakota
Location of Golva, North Dakota
Country United States
State North Dakota
County Golden Valley
 • Total 0.32 sq mi (0.83 km2)
 • Land 0.32 sq mi (0.83 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
2,831 ft (863 m)
 • Total 61
 • Estimate 
 • Density 212.50/sq mi (82.04/km2)
Time zone UTC-7 (Mountain (MST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-6 (MDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 701
FIPS code 38-31420
GNIS feature ID 1034887

Golva is a city in Golden Valley County, North Dakota, United States. The population was 61 at the 2010 census. Golva was founded in 1915.


Golva is located in Lone Tree Township. The homesteaders that arrived in the area between 1900 and 1910 found only one tree in the area. That tree was standing about one mile (1.6 km) east of modern-day Golva till it died around 1980. According to the Homestead Act, the homesteaders got 160 acres (0.65 km2) if they lived on the land for 7 years. In western North Dakota, they were also given another 160 acres (0.65 km2) if they planted trees on the land, so there are now trees around most farmsteads in the area. The last living homesteader from the Golva area, Mrs. George (Emma) Geary, died in 1978, still owning her homestead and the house on it, although she had left the homestead in 1958 after breaking her hip. The doctors told her, due to the seriousness of the break, she would be bedridden for the rest of her life. Being a true pioneer, she responded "The hell I will". She walked with one crutch and lived alone until shortly before her death at 89. Her neighbor for over 40 years, Eva Weinreis, wrote an autobiography entitled A Note On the Tea Kettle about her life and coming from Aberdeen, South Dakota in 1906 with her husband, Peter Weinreis, to homestead two miles (3 km) west of Burkey, North Dakota and two miles (3 km) south of modern-day Golva. The book told of the early history of the Golva area.

Golva was founded in 1915, when the Northern Pacific Railroad line came down from Beach, North Dakota. It was originally supposed to be the county seat of Golden Valley County and got the name Golva from the first three letters of Golden and first two letters of Valley, the name having been suggested by the original townsite owner, A.L. Martin. The "Golden Valley" name comes from the rolling valleys of golden wheat just before harvest. Prior to 1915, most of the local businesses were in Burkey, situated about four miles (6 km) southwest of Golva. St Mary's Catholic Church was built in Burkey in 1906, but moved to Golva shortly after it was founded. Other businesses moved from Burkey to Golva and Burkey literally disappeared within a couple of years. Golva once had a business community which consisted of a hardware store, a grocery store, a car dealership, a lumberyard, two grain elevators, two bars, a few restaurants, and several other businesses. As of 2007, the only business in the city include a lumberyard, a gas station, a bank, a grocery store, a grain elevator, and one church.

Golva post office was established February 15, 1916.


Golva, North Dakota bank
First State Bank in Golva

Golva is located at 46°44′6″N 103°59′10″W / 46.73500°N 103.98611°W / 46.73500; -103.98611 (46.735099, -103.986172).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.33 square miles (0.85 km2), all of it land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1950 174
1960 162 −6.9%
1970 104 −35.8%
1980 101 −2.9%
1990 101 0.0%
2000 106 5.0%
2010 61 −42.5%
2019 (est.) 68 11.5%
U.S. Decennial Census
2018 Estimate

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 61 people, 37 households, and 13 families residing in the city. The population density was 184.8 inhabitants per square mile (71.4/km2). There were 52 housing units at an average density of 157.6 per square mile (60.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 100.0% White.

There were 37 households, of which 21.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 29.7% were married couples living together, 5.4% had a male householder with no wife present, and 64.9% were non-families. 62.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 21.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.65 and the average family size was 2.77.

The median age in the city was 51.2 years. 18% of residents were under the age of 18; 3.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 9.8% were from 25 to 44; 47.5% were from 45 to 64; and 21.3% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 45.9% male and 54.1% female.


According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Golva has a semi-arid climate, abbreviated "BSk" on climate maps.


Golva High School and Golva Elementary School were in the same building from 1920 until 1972, when a new elementary school was built next to the high school. In 1989, the high school was closed and eventually torn down due to low enrollment and the cost of updating the building to new building codes. K-8 still attend Golva Elementary School, but the high school students go to school in Beach, North Dakota.

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