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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Vault Lights

Sidewalk Lights – Vault Lights or as they were commonly called, Sidewalk Lights, are glass prizms set into sidewalks to let light into vaults and basements below. Prizms were used instead of  flat glass to disperse the light. Flat glass would cast a spot on the floor below whereas the prizm would spread the light out over a larger area. The idea originated in the 1840’s as Deck Lights. They were used on ships to let light below decks, especially when an open flame would be hazardous. The idea caught on in cities in sidewalks to illuminate below grade.  Many businesses in Downtown Minot had the Sidewalk Lights in the sidewalks in front of the store. The basements of many businesses went under the sidewalk. This was because many had freight elevators in the sidewalk. The heat from the basement below helped to keep snow melted. By the 1930’s they were on their way out as electricity became less expensive. Now they are endangered relics, or antiques. There are probably still some in sidewalks in Minot’s downtown area.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Empire Theater

 The Empire was located next to the Thomas Funeral Home. It was one of the last theaters of its type with the screen situated as it was, behind you as you enter the theater itself. The Empire also had a balcony, reportedly the home of many budding romances. At one point they also sold a Movie Series Package that provided a strip of 10 tickets for $2. Each ticket got you into a Saturday movie. They had the line-up set in advance with the movie name on each ticket. Among the movies shown as part of the series were "Five Weeks in a Balloon", "Zotz" and some of the "The Three Stooges Meet..." movies. As a Child, you could save the medallions form your milk cartons and redeem them for tickets to the Saturday show. At times various churches used the Empire Theater for their services when their church was going through construction or other mishaps. I believe the Empire also held “live’ concerts at one time. In the late 60’s, my name was on a list of people banned from the Empire and at that time Oak Park Theater. One of my friends lit a cigarette in the balcony and inserted the fuse of a Cherry Bomb, (a very large firecracker) in the cigarette. When it burned down, the Cherry Bomb exploded. We could not go to the movies unless we found someone to open the back door so we could sneak into the theater. The site is now a parking lot for Trinity Hospital.




Monday, April 24, 2017

1933 - Montgomery Wards Builds in Downtown Minot

Montgomery Wards – The building that was home to Montgomery Wards started life in 1933 when construction began. It is on the Northwest corner of Main Street and 1st Avenue . It replaced two smaller buildings that over the years, housed a lodge hall, a meat market, telephone exchange, a bank, post office, department store, and drugstore, among others. It became Montgomery Wards in May 1934. All floors with the exception of the top floor were used for retail. There was also an automotive repair department on the south side, near the alley. The Greenberg Men’s Store was next door. Greenberg’s exploded and burned in 1947. In 1958 Montgomery Wards added 25 feet to their building, expanding into the former Greenberg’s location. At that time they moved their automotive repair department to 3rd St Northeast, next to the White Ice Cream Building. The building was known as the Emporium and was owned by James McClintock of Edina, Minnesota. In September of 1982, the building was purchased by local business men and renovated to what it is today


Friday, April 21, 2017

Minot Auto Club

 The Minot Auto Club was organized to promote road building and maintenance, to better regulate traffic and to prevent Auto thefts. It held its first annual picnic at Rice Lake in June of 1921. It was attended by over 4000 people and more than 512 cars. In 1930 after his sixth accident, Judge William Murray considered issuing himself a restraining order prohibiting his diving an automobile anymore. Traffic signals were tried in various locations, but most drivers ignored them. They did not use them again until 1939. The city installed a signal at 2nd St NW and 4th Avenue and also in downtown Minot. In 1935 the State Patrol came into existence and drivers licenses were required. The new Patrol Superintendant and his four officers went to county seats like Minot and issued drivers licenses to reluctant drivers for payment of a small fee.


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Palda Family and the Elks Lodge

Elks Lodge – The Minot Elks Lodge Number 1089 was chartered on July 12, 1908. The first location was on the Southwest corner of Main Street and 2nd Avenue. The cornerstone for this building was laid on May 22,1909. The First Exalted Ruler was LJ Palda. The Palda Family is the only family in Minot to have had father, son and grandson serve as Exhalted Rulers. The Elks Lodge eventually moved west to a new home on the Northwest corner of Broadway and 2nd Avenue. This building was 2 floors and a bar and parking in the basement. The upstairs ballroom was home to many parties and wedding receptions. 

Elks Lodge - 1910
Elks Lodge - 1964

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Dr. E C Stone – Pt 2

 Dr. Stone also worked out of a Hospital on 9th Avenue NW, across the street from MSU.. Some say the hospital was referred to as the Stone Hospital, as the picture shows it was Mercy Hospital. In 1935 Minot’s Mercy Hospital was located at 505 9th Avenue NW. The phone number was 114 and the resident surgeon was Dr. E. C. Stone. The first appendectomy performed was in a sod house in 1905. Mercy Hospital was regarded as a modern hospital that offered facilities equal to the best in the land. The patients received necessary care from doctor and registered nurses at a minimum expense. From June 1, 1934 to Jun 1, 1935, 697 surgical operations were performed at Minot’s Mercy Hospital. In addition to that, 536 mediacal cases were done during the same period. The total number of patients cared for was 1233. Prior to moving to the location on 9th St. NW. Mercy Hospital was located on Main Street in Downtown Minot.


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Mercy Hospital

Dr. E C Stone – I received a call from a listener a while back about a Dr. EC Stone. She has a pill box from Anderson Drug. The physician was Dr E C Stone from Mercy Hospital. What I have discovered is this. In 1907, a Dr. Ringo came to Minot from Chicago to assume the medical practice of Dr. James Windel. In 1916, Dr.Ringo opened a 30 bed hospital in a downtown building to be used by his patients. Later the hospital was managed by a Dr. EC Stone. I do not know the name of this hospital, but it could have been Mercy Hospital. This hospital was eventually closed as the St. Francis sisterhood expanded facilities at St. Joseph’s Hospital. In the 1930’s, Dr. Stone was the Ward County Coroner. Listeners have informed me that a Dr. Stone had an office on the west side of Main Street, back in the 40’s. I believe the hospital was on the east side of Main Street, in the 100 Block that houses Cookies For You.