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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Nelson Motors

Nelson Motors was located at 614 Second St NW. The business began as “Ted and Markies” repair shop. In 1940 they entered in the new car field. The owners were Mark Nelson and Ted Hugh. The business was known as Hugh-Nelson Motors. In 1960 Nelson and sons bought out the interest of Ted Hugh. The Rambler was the vehicle line the carried. Eventually the name was changed to Nelson Motors and the car line became American Motors. One of the popular vehicles in the late 60’s was the Javelin and the AMC. Both were sports cars and were meant to rival the Mustangs and Camaros. The AMC was one of the cars I always wanted to own, but so far never have.

Monday, May 30, 2011

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 EC 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. I had the opportunity to meet with the current owner of the building that houses Cookies For You. I toured the vacant top floors of the building. The third floor has the remnants of an office and living quarters complete with a large fireplace with a solid oak mantel. The top or fourth floor is made up of a series of small rooms about 8 X 12 in size. Looking at the layout and size of the rooms, I would guess that this was the hospital on Main Street. There was also a Dr. Stone who worked out of a Hospital on 9th Avenue NW, across the street from MSU. Not sure which building it was in. Some say the hospital was referred to as the Stone Hospital.. That could have been because of the name of the Doctor or the structure of the building. The hospital on Main Street, I my theory is correct, would be the talles building on the right in the forfront of the pictures below.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Grand Hotel Fire

The Grand Hotel was completely destroyed by fire o January 27,1960.  A number of other businesses were also destroyed by the fire. Those include The Triangle Dress Shop and PW Miller Co. Both were next door and the either one may have been where the blaze started. Other businesses lost in the fire were the Grand Barber Shop, Grand Billiard Parlor, Grand CafĂ©, Pioneer Bar, Grand Studio and the S&H Green Stamp Store. Another business, in a building to the north of the hotel was Minot Roofing and Cornice. One person stated that he had “saved the day”, referring to his part in the Grand Hotel fire. He maintains that they ran out of beer at the bar located on 1st street so he made and emergency trip to the Gamble Robinson ware house. Gamble Robinson was across the street from the now Rail Road Museum. Being an employee of Gamble Robinson he loaded up the city delivery vehicle with 100 cases of beer and delivered it to the bar. Well I guess maybe he did save the day?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Grand Hotel

The Grand Hotel, at one time known as the Lexington Hotel, was on the Northwest corner of Central Avenue and 1st Street NW. The Grand Hotel was built by Olaf A Olson in 1906. An addition was added in 1912, making it one of the largest buildings in Minot at the time. The Grand Hotel had 100 rooms and flourished until it was destroyed by fire on January 27,1960. More than 1000 people turned out to watch the fire. In addition to the Minot Fire Department, men from the Minot Air Force Base rushed to help fight the fire and provide crowd and traffic control. I was informed that one of the fireman from the base wanted to drive the new pumper truck into the Grand Hotel on the Central Avenue level. He was not aware that there were two more floors below the main floor on Central. The pumper truck would have ended up in the basement. The location of the Grand Hotel is now a below grade parking lot on Central Avenue used by the Brady Martz Accounting Firm.

Friday, May 27, 2011

North American 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 withTent Campers, Travel Trailers, 5th Wheel Trailers and Mini Motor Homes. North America Trail-R-Ama is now Magic City RV, located across Hoghway 83 from Walmart.
The picture is not that of North American Trail-R-Ama but it is a similar business that was located on North Broadway at the base of North Hill.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

American State Bank

American State Bank of Minot received State Charter No.1347 on December 1, 1936 and began operation by the end of the year. The new American State Bank was organized to take over the deposit liabilities and business of the First International Bank of Minot. The new bank also occupied the offices of the former bank at 24 South Main Street . The first president of American State Bank was C.H. Parker. For 10 years American State Bank was located on Main Street then 1946 American State Bank moved in to the First Avenue Building. The assets of the bank had doubled by this time to 12 million dollars. In 1957, American State Bank moved to its present and final location on the northwest corner of 1st Street and 1st Avenue Southwest. The most outstanding feature of the new bank was its drive-in teller. This was the first in Minot at the time. In 1959, American State Bank installed the first electronic banking system in Minot. American State Bank is still operating today… It is now Bremer Bank

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Swenson's Furniture

Swenson Furniture was located on South Broadway at the entrance to the Kmart parking lot. Before the days of Kmart this was the intersection of Highway 52 and 83 South. The business started by Oscar Swenson in 1950 with an old canopy truck and $350.00. Customers would drive up the alley to the one stall garage which was also their residence. Later a partially finished home was added. This served as display room for the furniture and the family lived in the basement. They had to move as they were conducting commercial and at times industrial business in a residential area. The business moved to their final location and continued to thrive for a number of years. Swenson’s carried a full line of furniture, appliances and some plumbing supplies. The store became Marion’s Furniture and Tumbleweed Toggery was located on the south side.  The building and both businesses were destroyed by fire about 1983. The Water Bedroom Store was in this location for a while and it is now the home for Computech, a computer sales and service store ..... no picture available

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Dan Hornbacher, better known as Trader Dan opened his first sporting goods store in a small location at 525 East Central Avenue in August of 1945. Changing the name to Fast-O-Trade, in 1949 moved to 16 North Main Street.. In 1961 Trader Dan built a new building on Highway 83 South. The new location provide a lot of outside room for boats, trailers and motorcycles. They akso carried a full line of sporting goods inside. Trader Dan stocked western clothing for hunters, archery equipment and all types of fishing tackle, along with firearms and ammunition. I have been informed that at one time Trader Dan would appear on late night TV selling his wares over the airwaves. I have been informed that for a while Dan Hornbacher went into the construction business with his son. Apparently they built a house which exploded due to a gas leak when lighting the furnace. Dan’s son was killed in the explosion. Dan and his wife lived in a house, behind his business, located at County Road 14 and Highway 83 South..... No picture at this time

Monday, May 23, 2011

First National Bank

First National Bank has had a varied name history, beginning with Great Northern Bank in 1897, then long known as the Second National Bank (avoiding any connection with two previous First National Banks, which had failed amid considerable publicity and bad feelings), then finally as the First National Bank. The bank remained on the northwest corner of Main Street and Central Avenue for many years. A new building was built on South Main. The new bank and parking lot now take up half the city block. The name changed to Norwest Bank and finally to Wells Fargo Bank.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Northwest Sporting Goods

 Northwest Sporting Goods began in 1946 as Mellum’s Sporting Goods at 110 Central Avenue. In 1948 it moved to 15 1st Street SW and became Northwest Sporting Goods.  When the building  they were in was going to be demolished  Northwest Sporting Goods moved into the empty S&L Building on main Street. Another move happened in 1974 when Northwest Sporting Goods moved to South Broadway into the former South Hill Super Value building. They offered a full line of sporting goods from hunting and fishing to team sports. The building is now the home of the Goodwill Store.

Charlebois Shop

The first location for the Charlebois Blacksmith Shop was at 1st Street and 1st Avenue Southeast in 1887. They eventually moved to 313 East Central Avenue where the business continued until closing in 1984.  John Charlebois, who started the blacksmith shop also had a homestead in the 188o’s. His homestead covered a large area in Minot east of Main Street and up South hill. John Charlebois donated a lot of the land to the Rosehill Cemetary. The term blacksmith came to imply an assortment of tasks as time went on. Starting out in 1887 doing a lot of horseshoeing, that has become a thing of the past. At one time they would sharpen 1500 to 2000 plow shares a season. That task disappeared with the coming of throw away” plow shares. At the end of their reign in Minot, the Charlebois Shop did a lot of ornamental iron work. I remember delivering Coke products to The Charlebois Shop on Central Avenue. In the late 60’s they had one of the few table top Coke machines that still dispensed the 6 ounce bottles for a Nickel.
The first picture I believe is from 1888. The other picture is from 1886.

Friday, May 20, 2011

F W Woolworth

FW Woolworth – Frank Winfield Woolworth opened his first store in 1879 in Watertown, NY. He began with $410 worth of items and nothing sold for more than 5 cents. Woolworth’s opened in Minot in 1912 after buying out the New York Store. The Second floor was added in 1953.  Included in the remodel was the motor stairs or escalator, the first in a retail store in North Dakota. Other improvements were fluorescent lighting on both floors, new dust proof candy counters, 40 stool lunch counter, pet department complete with goldfish, parakeets and canaries and air conditioning. I have been informed that the pet department also sold hamsters, for $2.00. my source tells me if you had baby hamsters, Woolworth's pet department would purchase them for $1.00 to resell them. The lunch counter was on the south side of the store next to the escalator. As a young lad when my grandfather would take us to Woolworths for a dish of ice cream, my brothers and I were more interested in riding the escalator up and down than we were in our ice cream. as I recall, the housewares department was on the second floor when you got off the escalator. I also recall a stern female clerk who was usually not happy with our many trips up the escalator. Woolworths closed in 1982. I understand the the building now has a new owner. I also have been told the escalator is still there.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The New York Store

New York Store –   In many pictures of Minot’s Main Street one sees The New York Store. It was on the Southwest Corner of Main and Central. This location was at the turn of the century the home of Jack Doyle’s Saloon. The best known saloon in Minot at the time. Peter P Lee replaced the saloon with a general store. The building was known as the Lee Block. In 1906, Julius Fauchald  bought the building and Lee’s Store became known as the New York Store. The building contained offices in the upper floors and was known as the New York Store Block.  In 1912 Julius Fauchald sold the New York Store to Woolworths, which operated until 1982. Fauchald moved next door and established Fauchald’s Department Store which continued until it was sold to Abraham Bader in 1943.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Minot Optic

The Minot Optic was founded by a colorful, outspoken and politically active Marshall McClure.  McClure sold the newspaper to H. A. Zimmerman, someone who was in constant political hot water, according to past history. The paper passed through various crises until it was purchased by W. M. Smart and published by him until May 1, 1914. Smart is well known in Minot for his real estate, and hotel businesses, and a long career in the House of Representatives. On May 1, 1914,  C. A. Johnson and Smart consolidated their papers, The Ward County Reporter and the Minot Optic,  as the Minot Optic-Reporter, and on November 25, 1916, they changed the name to The Minot Daily News. In 1920, Norman B. Black, H. D. Paulson, and Hal S. Davies, all of The Fargo Forum, purchased the News. Davies was then general manager of the Forum and became the new publisher of the News. It was the beginning of a long relationship between Davies and the city. The News paper was originally located in the Flat Iron Building on Central Avenue, then in the form Legion Club building on Broadway before moving to its present location in 1952.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Ward County Reporter

The Ward County Reporter began as the Burlington Reporter but moved to Minot with a new name but the same owner, J. L. Colton, who then sold it to C. A. Johnson. Johnson himself sold the paper in 1897.  George W. Wilson owned the newspaper from 1897 to 1906 and sold it to Sam H. Clark who owned it from 1906 to 1912. Both of these men were politically active, Clark being elected a Minot mayor; outspoken, and intensely interested in local affairs. C. A. Johnson re-purchased the Ward County Reporter in 1912 and owned it until 1916.
Pictured below is the linotype press in the Daily Optic Reporter from the early 1900's

Monday, May 16, 2011

Clarence Parker Hotel

 Ellison’s planned a three story department store with another two floors of office space on top. The first three floors were built but not floor 4 and 5 as George Vaulker started building his office building on the northwest corner of 1st Street and 1st Avenue Southeast.  Thinking there would be a surplus of office space, the Ellison Building remained at only three floors. The restaurant in the Ellison Building was 0n the second floor. The Vaulker office building  was never completed. The bottom two floors were all that was finished. The top floors were open with just the supports showing. The building was referred to as “The Sparrow Hotel” for many years as the birds were the only tenants. Twenty years later Clarence Parker bought the unfinished building and converted it to the Clarence Parker Hotel. In 1953 President Eisenhower  stayed in Minot while visiting the Garrison Dam. While in town, he rented a suite rooms at the Clarence Parker Hotel. He also had Charlie Damakis as his personal chef during his stay in Minot. By the way, it seems that President Eisenhower was a bit disappointed when he saw the Garrison Dam. Apparently he was expecting a dam similar to the Boulder Dam.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The 13 Club

 The 13 Club was located 13 1st Street SW. It was located between Central and 1st Avenue on the east side of the street. It is now a parking lot. From the 13 Club was part of the Gordon Family bars which also included Gordon’s Holiday Spot on South Broadway. The Holiday Spot included the Copperpot Restaurant, the Trails West Bottle Shop, a 40 unit motel and The Sundowner Lounge. I remember the 13 Club as I would visit it off and on when working as a stock clerk in the Downtown Red Owl Store. I remember the Sundowner Lounge very well. As the drummer for the Wilder Days Band in the late 80’s and early 90’s, we performed at the Sundowner frequently. The Sundowner is now Sidekicks.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Piggly Wiggly Stores

The first Piggly Wiggly Store opened in the mid 40’s at 213 South Main Street. In 1957, at a cost of $300,000, Piggly Wiggly opened a new store by the Fairgounds. Piggly Wiggly East was one of the largest grocery stores in the state at that time. In 1961 another store opened in the Oak Park Center. The store on Main Street closed in 1960 and shortly after a third store was opened in the Town & County Center. In 1982 the Oak Park store moved to the Arrowhead Shopping Center. At one time Piggly Wiggly employed over 250 people. I worked at the Town & Country store in 1966-67. I started at $1.25 per hour, soon got a raise to $1.32 and shortly after the minimum wage increased to $1.40. Gas was about 25 cents and I was “rolling in the dough”. Cliff Overberg was the manager at the time. One Sunday night after unloading a truck, while racing to the front with a bunch of shopping carts, I wiped out a display stack of bubble bath in assorted colors. I learned that water only made the situation worse. Bubbles all over.

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Leland House / Hotel

The Leland House – In 1896 the Parkers leased the Leland House from the original owner, Allen Tompkins. They bought it from him in 1898. Located on the corner of Main Street and Central Avenue, The now Leland Parker Hotel had 10 rooms with their own bath. The hotel also had its own sewer system which was constructed after the city council turned down a proposal for city sewer. It was also Minot’s first brick building. The Leland Hotel – in 1904 the Leland Hotel had a pretentious dining room that could seat 100 people. Buffalo steaks from Clarence Parker’s famous herd were one of the popular items on the menu. The Leland advertised 110 rooms, steam heat, electric lights and fine furnishings. The Leland was remodeled and improved six times over the years. In the 50’s some of the businesses included the KG Men’s Store, Gambles, and a cafeteria.
Leland Hotel - Early 1900's
Leland Parker - 1947

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Parker House

The Parker House was Minot’s first hotel. It was established in 1886 by Mr. and Mrs. W.H. Parker, parents of  Clarence Parker. The hotel was in downtown Minot on 2nd Avenue. It was temporary home to many travelers and many of the buffalo bone wagon drivers. Buffalo bones were the cash crop for many early settlers in and around Minot. The bones were hauled in by the horse drawn wagon full and piled next to the railroad tracks. When loaded on the trains the bones were shipped to the east and I believe ground for fertilizer and other uses. Depending on the market in the east, buffalo bones were bringing $4.00 to $12.00 a ton. At one time there were so many buffalo bones stacked by the tracks that the railroad laid down a spur line just to load all the bones

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Parker Motor Compnay

Parker Motors was started in 1922 by Clarence Parker and JL (Louie) Smith.. It was located on 1st Avenue Southeast, across for the Scandinavian and Windsor Hotel, now the location of the old YMCA. The top floor of Parker Motors was the Parker Ballroom. A large auditorium with hardwood floors that was the home to roller skating and dances. In 1949, Burton Lahart was hired as General Manager and Don Moe was hired as Sales Manager. In 1953, Lahart bought out Parker’s share of the business. In 1957, Don Moe bought Smith’s share and the business became Lahart – Moe Inc. The Dealership had moved to its location on 3rd St and 1st Ave. SE. Alvin Officer purchased Lahart’s interest in 1963. Eventually in 1968, Don Moe acquired sole ownership and moved the business to South Broadway and County Road 14. In 1989  Don Moe sold the business to Mark Gulbrandson and it became Minot Chrysler Center.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Frosaker Motors Update

Additional information courtesy of Bob Frosaker --  Frosaker Motors was located on Broadway (2nd Street), south of Stearns Motors, about where the Wells Fargo Drive-up Bank is now. Frosaker Motors was a Chevrolet Dealer and the building 3 stories. The basement was used for auto parts storage and also a car wash. The main street level were offices, show room for 1-2 vehicles, and parts department. The 2nd floor was used for mechanics and new car get-ready. The 3rd floor was used as the paint and body shop. In the 50's a new one story service department was constructed on the west end of the building. The 2nd floor was then utilized for used cars. The used cars were brought to the upper floors by way of a large freight elevator… That elevator may have been the main access to upper floors.
Th1s is a  picture of a train load of Chevrolet automobiles. Chevrolet had asked Ole "How many new cars he wished to order?" he said "Send me a trainload" The trainload was sold before it reached Minot.    Frosaker Motors eventually became Ryan Chevrolet.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Frosaker Family History

Frosaker Family History - Courtesy of Bob Frosaker --  Ole Frosaker, my grandfather, originally came to Minot with his brother Knute. They came from Gol, Hallingdal, Buskerud County, Norway with their parents Guttorm and Anne in 1883, homesteading at Walcott, ND. As young men, they moved to Fordville in Walsh County purchasing a mercantile store. From there they moved to Bowbells, ND establishing the Frosaker Auto Garage from 1909-1919, selling Buick and Ford automobiles.
In 1919 Ole and Knute  came to Minot where they were associated with the Frosaker Brothers Implement Company. In 1921 they purchased the Holt Motor Company at the corner of  1st Ave & 2nd St SW, (Broadway) selling Dodge automobiles. In 1922 J.J. White became a partner and in 1923 he  sold his interest to J.C. Blaisdel .  That year J.J. White and Ole's brother Knute moved to Fargo establishing the Frosaker-White Company, dealers in Ford automobiles.
In 1922-1924, in Minot, the Frosaker-Blaisdel Motor Company opened the first Chrysler agency handling also Studebaker and Maxwell products.
Since 1925 they handled Chevrolet cars and trucks. Ole also handled Oldsmobile and Packard automobiles during the 1940's and 1950's. Eventually Frosaker Motor Company handled only Chevrolet Cars and trucks until 1960. At that time the dealership became (Carmen) Johnson Chevrolet. Carmen passed away while constructing the new dealership on south Broadway. This became Auran Chevrolet until Mr. Auran (Tim) was killed in a car accident around Jamestown, ND. The dealership was then purchased  by Jim Ryan, and is now Ryan Chevrolet with his daughter now as owner.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Waverly Hotel Fire

There were other businesses in the Waverly Hotel at the time of the fire. They were Bader’s, a womens clothing store,  Anderson Jewelry, Service Shoe Repair and Brady’s Bar. Most of these businesses had time to remove the majority of their inventory before it was destroyed by the fire. Bader’s were able to remove the clothing stock, alterations and lay-aways but lost most of the fixtures. Bader’s eventually reopened in another location on Main Street. Service Shoe repair saved some but not all of their equipment. They moved to another location and are still in business today in the Oak Park Center. Brady’s Bar moved most of their inventory out of the building, as did Anderson Jewelry. Anderson Jewelers had many items survive as they were locked in a safe. I do not know the fate of the bar or the jewelry store

Waverly Hotel

The Waverly Hotel was located on the southeast corner of Main St. and 1st Ave. I believe it was built in the early 1900’s. The Waverly was predominately a wooden structure. I did an interview with a gentleman who worked as a night desk clerk in the late 30’s and early 40’s. He informed me that the Waverly had a old coal fired furnace that would throw hot clinkers out. One of the tasks of the night desk clerk was to check the furnace every two hours, as the clinkers would sometimes start on fire. If the 2 hour inspection was made , the night clerk could usually  extinguish the fire by himself before it got out of control. In the case the flames were to intense, a quick call to the Fire Dept, (located about a block away), would bring more help to control the fire. This was done without alerting the guests. On January 20, 1943 the Waverly Hotel was destroyed by fire. The temperatures were in the 30 below range. Four people lost their lives in the fire and their bodies were frozen into the ruins until all the ice melted later in the spring. The former night desk clerk at that time was in the service in Europe and assumed the current night desk clerk did not make the mandatory 2 hour check of the furnace.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Steenstrup Jewelry

Olaf Steenstrup, a native of Norway and member of a family of a long line of jewelers, founded Steenstrup’s Jewelry in 1919. The first store was in the Johnson building in downtown Minot. In 1926 Steenstrup’s moved into the State Theater building on Main Street. Harry Steenstrup, son of the founder, purchased the Smart Building in 1953 and the store moved to 30 West Central Avenue. Eventually Tom Steenstrup, son of Harry and grandson of Olaf, took over the business and moved to the Town & Country Shopping Center until it closed.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Greengard Cranston Clothing

The first Greengard store was established in the early 1900’2 by Samuel and Joseph Greengard in Williston. Then came stores in Mandan and Bottineau prior to World War 1. The first Greengard store was established in Minot in the early 1920’s.  The first Greengard Store had the slogan, “Greengards Snappy Clothing”. It was located on Central Avenue just west of the First National Bank. The top floors of the store were home to rooms that were rented to many employees of the railroad and others. One lady informed that she lived there and worked at Sears (on North main) after the Second World War. Marv Greengard entered into a partnership with CF “Fergie” Cranston in 1946. Greengard – Cranston moved to South Main Street. Floyd “Dusty” Roed and John Merrill took over the operation of the business in 1974. Greengard Cranston continued business on Main Street until the 80’s

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

B&B Drug

B&B Drug began its existence in1933 on the corner of 1st Street and 1st Avenue SW. B&B was the first discount drug store in North Dakota. The original owners of B & B Drug were Henry Burges and John Bonenko, neither one was a pharmacist and they hired Reinhold J Berg, known as Mike Berg, to go to work for them in 1939. Reinhold J Berg, never liked his name and got the nick name of Mike in school. (Reinhold's son, Mike always said that he was the real Mike and his dad was the fake one.) Reinhold, (Mike #1), was working in Carrington and was given a salary of 50 dollars a week. There were three B & B Drugs at the time. One in Minot, Stanley and Williston. When Mike #1 went to work for the B & B Drug they were on COD’s from their supplies. He organized the pharmacy and got thing going in the right direction. Mike bought one of the partners out in 1942. The original name was the B & B Cut Rate Drug, because they sold below the recommended manufacturer price put on their products. Mike #2, Reinhold's son, went to work for my B&B right out of college in 1965, We were the only store to have 3 locations in Downtown Minot and move twice. The first location was on the northeast corner of 1st Avenue and 1st Street Southwest, now a parking lot. They moved to the in 1971 at 108 South Main, just south of Jay’s Men’s Store. This location was a larger store so they added more cosmetics, toys and expanded other departments. The third and final location was on the south west corner of Main Street and 1st Avenue, at 100 South Main.

The Frank Building

  The Frank Building was located between the old 1st National Bank Building and the alley just south of the Soo Line Depot. The Frank Building was the home to Cox’s Bakery. Before that this was also the home to Saunder’s Drug Store and at one time the North Main Tavern and Billiards. I believe the common name for the pool hall was The Hole. First National Bank bought the property and had the building torn down to make more room for parking for their customers. The site was turned into and still is a parking lot.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Vince Lee's Terrace Lounge

The Terrace Lounge was located on the east side of South Main between Central and 1st Avenue. I have pictures of the front and inside of the Terrace Lounge. In its day, this could very well have been one of the nicest and fanciest lounges in Minot. The Front of the bar was glass blocks. Upon entering you would find a semi circle bar in front of a wall of mirrors. Booths lined the north and south walls all the way back. In the center between the booths were smaller booths in an “S” shaped pattern. My experience was years later, in the later 60’s. Vince Lee owned a bottle shop on 3rd St NE and I delivered “Coke” products to the bar. That location is now TJ’S Bar which is one block north of the Firestone Store.

Frosaker Motors

 Frosaker Motors was located on Broadway (2nd Street), south of Stearns Motors, about where the Wells Fargo Drive-up Bank is now. Frosaker Motors was a Chevrolet Dealer and the building was 3 stories. The Service Dept was entered on the west side of the building and was located in the lower level.  The east side of the lower level had a small 1-2 car showroom for new cars. Apparently there was a used car show room on the 2nd floor . The used cars were brought to the upper floors by way of a large freight elevator… That elevator may have been the main access to upper floors. Frosaker Motors eventually became Ryan Chevrolet.

Gaffaney's On Main St.

Gaffaney’s was located on the west side South Main in to 100 block. It was between  Shark’s Men’s Store and Strauss Jewelers. Gaffaney’s was started in 1917 by JE Gaffaney. Current owner Rich Pardon started working there, ( I believe in High School, and one of his jobs was dusting shelves. He and Ben Wald bought the store in 1975 and moved it from main Street to it’s current location on 20th Ave Southeast. … Rumor has it that Rich may still be dusting shelves, at times.

Ellison's - The Fair Dept Store

Ellison’s was on northwest corner of the intersection of Main Street and 2nd Avenue. The original Ellison’s was the second building to the north of the intersection. After they acquired the building to the south, Ellison’s doubled the size of the building to what it is now. Ellisons had a restaurant/cafeteria on the second floor, overlooking the shoppers,.   They also had an elevator… probably one of the few in Minot way back when. I have been informed that Ellisons also had tubes running to the various cash registers… similar to those used by drive up banks today. The tubes in Ellison’s were transparent so you could see the money moving through them. today. Ellison’s planned a three story department store with another two floors of office space on top. The first three floors were built but not floor 4 and 5 as George Vaulker started building his office building on the northwest corner of 1st Street and 1st Avenue Southeast.  Thinking there would be a surplus of office space, the Ellison Building remained at only three floors. The restaurant in the Ellison Building was pn the second floor. The Vaulker office building  was never completed. Twenty years later Clarence Parker bought the unfinished building and converted it to the Clarence parker Hotel.

Larson's Food Store

 This store was owned by Clarence Larson. It was located across the street from the Ward County Court House, where the parking lot is now. Larson’s Food store was the home for Jorgenson & Berg fine coffee. Long after Larson’s Food Store was gone, in the same area was Minot Food Store. Minot Foods was on the Southeast corner of 3rd street and 3rd Avenue SE, across for the Ward County Court House. Minot Food was a typical neighborhood grocery store and catered mainly to students from Minot High School at Noon and after school. Minot Food was owned by George Chumas… the store is now a parking lot as is Larson’s Food Store.

National Grocery Store

 The National Grocery  Store was on the southwest corner of 2nd Street and 4th Avenue SW… the intersection now known as Burdick Expressway and Broadway. The Building was built to be a grocery store.  After National Food closed, the building went through a number of owners and various businesses. For a short time after the National Grocery closed the building was home to a case lot, wholesale type store. The when the Ace Hardware Store on 1st Street in downtown Minot lost their building to the construction of a parking lot, it became Ace Hardware. The Scheel’s Hardware & Sporting Goods. In the early days of Scheel’s, they were more hardware than sporting goods. After Scheel’s moved out, Schlotsky’s Deli occupied the north part of the building. The other side of the building was home to Tom’s Home Furnishings, a smaller furniture store.  Later, the building was purchased by and became the home of Zimmerman’s furniture, which is still there.

SS Kresge Store - Jupiter

 The Kresge Store was just south of the Woolworth . If I remember correctly from my Kresge history I learned during my 20 years working for Kmart, there were two Kresge Stores, The Dollar Store and Five & Dime Store. The Five & Dime was the early days version of the discount store.  Eventually both were combined into the Jupiter Store. There was at one time a snack bar or cafeteria in the Jupiter Store. Many remember the wooden floors that were somewhat warped and creaked when you walked on them…The huge, oak icebox that was in the basement is now in my basement. I was told if I could get it out of the store when Jupiter closed, I could have it… he icebox actually was bolted together and was easy to disassemble. The refrigeration unit was shot and some of the base had to be rebuilt. When Kresge established the Kmart store chain, one of the names considered before the Kmart name was picked was Jupiter. Some speculate that had Kresge used the Jupiter name, the chain of stores would not have achieved the success enjoyed by Kmart. The Kresge location is now Western Paint & Glass.

Headlines fromt the 1950's

1951 – the YMCA opened on 1st St in downtown Minot
1951 -  Ward County Historical Society formed
1952 – Year round garbage service began in Minot
1952 -  President Truman Spoke from the back of a train
1953 – President Eisenhower was in Minot For the dedication of the Garrison Dam
1954 – Minot selected to receive an Air Force Base
1955 – MDU opened --- Ground breaking for MAFB and Gavin Yard
1959 – Minot became the site for an International Airport

Tollefson's Furniture the early years

Tollefson’s Furniture – Downtown Minot – Tollefson’s Furniture was started in 1925 by O.T. Tollefson. In 1925. In 1941, Tollefson’s was located at 13 First Street Southeast. This location had a main floor, balcony and full basement. In 1946, Tollefson’s moved to the Interstate Transportation Building located one block north of the Courthouse on Third Street SE. This building had three full floors and a warehouse located on the south side. In 1963 the city purchased this location to construct a new fire station (#2), which is still there. Tollefson’s then moved back to the location on First Street in 1964. They remained there until they moved 4 miles north of Minot in 1973.