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Monday, May 2, 2016

North American Sales

North America Trail-R-Ama – Originally known as North American Sales began operation in 1960. they were first headquartered in the Braasch building on South Broadway. They moved to  South Highway 83 in 1963.  North American Trail-R-Ama was owned by Ed Erie. Prior to setting up this business, Ed Erie was in the grocery and meat business in Powers Lake for 21 years. 13 of those years he was owner and operator of Erie’s Market. He was also the mayor of Powers Lake for 8 years.

North America Trail-R-ama sold pickup toppers and campers along with Tent Campers, Travel Trailers, 5th Wheel Trailers and Mini Motor Homes


Friday, April 29, 2016

Montgomery Wards

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


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Martin Jacobson Home –

 Martin Jacobson was well known in the early days of Minot. He had a large ranch south of Burlington and built the Jacobson Building on the north end of Main Street that housed Jacobson Hardware, Union National Bank and the Opera House. The large house he built at 304 South Main Street was a surprise for his wife who suffered from tuberculosis. He built the house to accommodate his six children and also because he was fond of hosting large social gatherings. During the 1920s and into the 1930s, the home served as a rooming house for nurses employed at Trinity Hospital. From the later 1930s until 1944, it served as a public rooming house. Ben Thomas purchased the home in 1944 and with some remodeling, opened it as Thomas Funeral Home in 1945



Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Minot's Wholesale Seed Co.

The Valker-Christensen Company – This was a wholesale-retail seed and feed business, operating  one of the largest seed houses in the state, eventually making a specialty of processing and distributing grass seeds throughout the United States and many foreign countries. It was founded in 1920 by George Valker and A. M. Christensen. Christensen, who became sole owner in 1928, came to this state in 1910 as a teenager. He walked from Chicago to his uncle’s farm west of New England, North Dakota and then got a summer job at the Dickinson experiment station. The boy became so interested in his work there that he devoted much of his life to the seed business. Later in his career, he also served as president of the Dakota Transfer and Storage Company and the Minot Building and Loan Association (now Midwest Federal), as well as the Minot Association of Commerce.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

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.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Ranch Real Wild West Show

July 6, 1912 Minot Daily Optic – 101 Ranch Real Wild West Show – On July 10, 1912 the Wild West show was coming to Minot. 50 cents was the admission and they featured two shows, rain or shine. 101 Ranch Wild West Show claimed to be the largest exclusive western show in existence showing the west as it was. The show featured Dusky Demon of Oklahoma, the only man in human history who fought barehanded a Spanish Bull. The show also had Cowboys, wild west girls, Indians, homesteaders, pony express, senoritas, vacqueros, buffalos, bucking horses and long horned steers. It claimed to show the history of frontier life. The Wild West Show also held a parade in the morning of the day of the event.

Friday, April 22, 2016

The Store with the Yellow Front --

P.W. Miller Company- P.W. Miller was well known in county and the state for his many business interests. He was also involved in farming and ranching north of Velva. In 1943 he founded the PW Miller Co. in the Grand Hotel on Central Avenue. It was known as “The Store with the Yellow Front”. The PW Miller Co. specialized in Army and Navy Surplus. After the Grand Hotel fire they moved temporarily into the Westlie Building on the corner of Central Avenue and Broadway. In August of 1960 PW Miller Co. moved into the Weinrebe Building on 1st Avenue nest to the Clarence Parker Hotel. The location is now offices and the home of a law firm.