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Friday, July 29, 2016


I will be on vacation until August 15th. I will update this site depending on internet connections at the lake.

J. B. Reed Transfer and Storage –

 JB Reed Transfer and Storage was one of the oldest operator of moving trucks in Minot. They got their first truck, a Winton, in 1911. The crank on this vehicle was on the side. After the driver cranked it and got it started, he would most likely have to run after and catch up to the moving truck. Eventually Reed Transfer went to using GMC and International trucks. Before that, some of the trucks they had were a Republic, an Overland and a Maxwell. In 1933 , Reed Transfer became the agents for Aero-Mayflower Moving out of Indianapolis. Cliff Reed was also a lover of fine cars. In 1934 when President Roosevelt was in Devils Lake, he was chauffeured by Cliff Reed in his Sport Model Buick. He was and his car also chauffeured the Mexican ambassador to the United States in 1935 when he was visiting Minot. Pictured below is a Dakota Transfer truck from the 50’s .

Thursday, July 28, 2016

The Boston Store –

Herman Gordon arrived in Minot in 1905 and opened a small tailor shop in town. His first shop was on First Street South West. Later he moved to Main Street and opened the Boston Store. Eventually, The Boston Store moved to First Street Southwest, just south of what is now the Federal Building. Herman was ten years old and still living in Russia when he “ went on the bench”. The term used at that time applied to learning the tailor’s trade. He learned from his father. After coming to America in 1902, he worked for three years as a tailor in Petrosky, Michigan before moving to Minot. Herman and his wife, Helen, lived at 613 East Central Avenue, or in what is now know as Eastwood Park.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Fair Enhancements:

 In 1934, water lines were added connecting the fair grounds to the Minot city water supply. In 1935 the “Pioneer Settlement” was established in the west/northwest rea of the fairgrounds in the shade of the trees by near the Mouse River.  In 1936 the Pioneer Bowl was added in the area which is now a parking lot just south of the State Fair Center. The Pioneer Bowl was WPA project that could seat well over 2000 people. The Pioneer bowl was used for pageants, mass meetings and at times, old time dances. The Pioneer Bowl survived until the 1969 flood.  In the spring of 1937 a bridge was built over the Mouse River connecting the fair grounds to a camp ground. .. After many years of different fair dates, including July 4th, the date was set for late in July in 1948. The reason was so the fair could obtain better agricultural exhibits and attract better entertainment programs. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Annual Fairs Established:

 By 1919 there was renewed interest in holding a fair in Minot. A bill was introduced in the state legislature and in November, 1920, residents in Ward County voted to hold a fair. There were 8 to 10 sites proposed for the fair but it was narrowed down to land west of Oak Park or the land east of the city. The 80 acres to the east was purchased for $20,000.00 in 1922. It was originally known as the Northwest Fair with other regional fairs in Fargo, Grand Forks and Mandan… For the 1926 fair, the original entrance was first used. It consisted of two large arches with five smaller arches in between. This entrance was used until the 1970’s.  

 Northwest Fair - 1920
Northwest Fair - 1926
The original State Fair Entrance

Monday, July 25, 2016

Minot - Early Attempt with Fairs

Past Fairs in Minot  - Early Efforts… as early as July, 1904, business men in Minot were trying to form the Ward County Fair and Racing Association. By that fall they had purchased land just east of the old race track on south hill. This was about 3 /4 mile from the city limits. In 1905 this association had turned the land over to the Ward County Agricultural Society whose intent was to hold annual county fairs… apparently this did not pan out. In 1909, the Ward County Fair and Racing Association defaulted on the land and concentrated more on racing than fairs. … Later in 1909, a few prominent businessmen in Minot formed the Ward County Agricultural Fair Association and held a fair on Sept.28 through the 30th. Fairs were also held in 1910 and 1911. Financial difficulties forced the sale of the land on south hill in 1915.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Scandinavian Hotel & Windsor Hotel –

The Windsor Hotel was on the corner of 1st St and 1st Ave. SE. This is where the old YMCA was located. The Scandinavian Hotel was on the east side of the block on1st Avenue, just east of the Blue Rider Bar. The original Soo Line Depot was across the street, on Third Street SE. When the early settlers arrived at the Soo Line Depot, they would see they Scandinavian Hotel. Most if not all of the Scandinavian languages were spoken here. Many of the early pioneers in the northwestern part of the state arrived at the Soo Line depot and may have stayed at the Scandinavian Hotel. Eventually the Scandinavian Hotel was demolished to make room for an expansion on the Windsor Hotel. The Windsor Hotel was demolished to make room for the YMCA.