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Saturday, July 30, 2011

City Bakery

City Bakery was in the 300 block on the west side of  Main St. The location is now the parking lot for wells Fargo Bank. City Bakery also had a lunch counter, of which I do have some pictures. The eating area had wire metal tables and chairs and a number of ceiling fans. People would stop for lunch and take home many of the pastries offered. I remember City Bakery during the 1969 flood. I was working at Downtown Red Owl.  City Bakery and their van(s) were used by the Red Cross to send out food and drink to the people working on the dikes and other flood protection. After our shift at Red Owl, a few of us would go to the back entrance of City Bakery, hop in one of the vans and deliver food and drink to the workers, sometimes all night long.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Potato Chips in Minot

In 1933, a Minot native who lived in the northwest part of town figured out how to beat the depression. T.J. McIlhargey worked for the Great Northern Railroad for eighteen years. Since he was unemployed, he and his wife started making potato chips in the basement of their home. He sold the potato chips under the “Green Hill” label to over 40 retail establishments in Minot. In time he not only sold the potato chips, but he expanded into selling donuts also. They would process 2 to 3 bushels of potatoes a day, yielding up to 13 pounds of chips. The plan was to expand into other area communities with the chip and donut business.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Evacuated 2011 - Day 37 - July 28, 2011

Today we finally got our temporary power completed. Xcel came and installed the meter. Still not power. we then figured out that the main line into the house had been disconnected. After that we hooked up the power came on. Now we don't have to use the noisy generator for the house. We will use that for the garage when we need power.
Tonight is the meeting with all the residents of 1st Ward, the Ward for which I am the Alderman. I am expecting a lot of people tonight with many questions. I have the following organizations lined up to hopefully answer those questions: FEMA, SBA, IRS, Red Cross, Salvation Army, Senator Hoeven representatione, Sate Legislators, Public Works, City Engineer, Minot Fire Dept, Minot Police Dept, 1st District Health, Minot Area Community Foundation, Corp of Engineers, TV stations, and I think a couple others. I am not sure if they can answer all the questions as some have no answers yet................. More tomorrow

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, 2011

Evacuated 2011 - Day 36 - July 27, 2011

It is hard to believe that we have been out for 36 days. Not too much is Happening. I met with Darla from Muus Lumber yesterday. She took measurements of the kitchen and will come up with some designs based on what was there and ideas we want to incorporate. Still waiting for Xcel to show up and hook up our temporary power. We just need them to add the meter, then we can quit using the generator for everything. We took last night off but will be back in the house again tonight. We try to get a bit done daily if possible.
Tomorow night is the meeting for residents of Ward 1. We will not be in the house tomorrow because of that. In setting up the meeting, I have invited the Governor, All the Congressional Delegation, (not that I expect any to show up). Also will have the following there:, FEMA, SBA, Red Cross, Salvation Army, City Public Works, Engineer, Police, Fire dept, 1st District Health and Army Corps of Engineers, and a couple other groups.
Not sure if they can answer all the questions but it will be interesting.

Opera House Barber Shop

Edward Henjum, a barber in Minot, owned the Leland Barbershop. During its busy days, the Leland Barbershop employed as many as five barbers and grossed over $15,000 annually. This was big money back in the 1920’s. Before starting out on his own, Edward Henjum worked at the Opera. The Opera was a barbershop located in the basement of the Jacobson Opera House. The Opera was a big barbershop. It boasted nine barber chairs. A Turkish bath parlor was run in conjunction with the barber shop. Besides the nine barbers, The Opera employed a cashier and two porters

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

J B Reed Transfer & 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.

I just added pictures to the two gold mining articles and to the iron lung article. Looking for my picture of J B Reed Transfer

Monday, July 25, 2011

Evacuated 2011 - Day 34 - July 25, 2011

We are still waiting for Xcel to come and add the meter to our temporary power outlets. Yseterday we came into town with the help of Tom and Susan and cut down all the lilac bushes and Spruce trees in the front yard and on the morth side of the house. The lilac bushes may come back.... I'm not sure anything will kill lilacs. The spruce trees were dead on the bottom 6 - 7 feet and probably would have died in the future. The ash trees and the Pine trees in the front corner for the yard seem to be ok. We rescued a few more items from the basement and worked more in the garage. The north wall has been stripped of plywood, pegboard and insulation so it can dry. I bought more X-14, a product made by WD-40 that seeems to kill mold. sprayed all the mold spots in the wall, even though most of them are going to be coming down. I also opened up the motorhome to let it air out and dry out.

Schaefer Barn

As told by Dan Schaefer…. Lumber loaded in Minot for barn built on W A Schaefer farm, Sitting on the wagon far right front is my grandfather. The farm is 7 miles southwest of Minot. My grandfather, farmed my dad, W J Schaefer farmed and I farmed. My Dad and I grew up on this farmstead and I still live there.W A Schaefer moved from Iowa in 1908 and bought the farmstead from a homesteader named Babst. When I would talk to people from my father’s generation and tell them where I live and farm, I would often hear the stories about the many barn dances they had attended in that barn. It is a very large barn, with a big hay mow. The 3 cupolas on the roof were attached to wooden vertical air shafts for ventilation to the main floor of barn. The barn was used for housing horses and cows in the horse drawn farming days. Loose hay was pulled up into the hay mow from wagons on the ground via a pulley and brought into the hay mow on a rail running at the top just under the roof. Hay was pulled in and moved into the hay mow and then dropped inside. The hay mow would be filled with loose hay, then pitch forked to main floor via holes in hay mow floor. Later in mechanized farming times small square bales were moved into the hay mow via electric chain bale elevators. The bales were stacked high inside by another electric elevator. Half of the main floor of the barn was converted for milking cows in early 1960's. Myself and 4 brothers, would shoot baskets in the hay mow. We still have a hoop and backboard in the hay mow.
Pictured below are the wagons of lumber for the barn loaded at the Piper - Hove Lumber Company in Minot.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Evacuated 2011 - Day 32 - July 23, 2011

Last night after we had a bite to eat we stopped by the house for a brief moment. The electricians were at the house installing the temporary power. Now we need Xcel to come out and hook up the temporary meter and we will be set. Today we will be working in the garage to clear out more stuff.
I have scheduled a meeting for all the residents of Ward 1 on Thursday evening at 7pm in the Municipal Auditorium. People want answers to a lot of questions that have no answers yet. I have many entities coming, including the head od the Army Corps of Engineers, 1st District Health, Public Works, City Engineer, SBA, FEMA, State Legislaters, Red Cross and an invitation to Senator Hoeven. I am expecting a large crowd.

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 came 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.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Evacuated 2011 - Day 31 - July 22, 2011

Not a whole lot to add today. We moved all the kitchen stuff that was in the upper cabinets to our storage unit. Temporary power still not there. I spoke with the electricians and they were to be at our house last night or today sometime. Then Xcel has to put a meter on and we will be set. The humidity in the house is coming down. We have 2 dehumidifiers and a number of fams going on the main floor. When the basement is gutted the humidity should come way down. This weekend we are going to cut down the trees in the yard that the flood seems to have killed. It will be the pine trees and lilac bushes. We will see if the lilac bushes come back or not. It seems they usually do. In the beginning of planning a Ward 1 meeting for all residents, possibly next Thursday evening. Everyone wants answers to questions that the answers are not known yet. The big questions are: Should I rebuild or is our house going to be in the greenway, (flood zone). Maybe more info will be available by the meeting.

Iron Lung

Iron Lung come to Minot – in 1939 the Minot Junior Association of Commerce, lead by Les Maupin, conducted a fundraising drive to raise money to purchase an Iron Lung or mechanical respirator for the City of Minot. The respirator, a Drinker-Collins type was fitted with a mechanical and manual operating equipment. Rules and regulations for the operating of the Iron Lung in emergency cases were adopted by the Minot City Council. The Iron Lung was presented to the city at a special ceremony held in the Minot High School Auditorium on August 16, 1939.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Evacuated 2011 - Day 30 - July 21, 2011

It was a good day yesterday as far a flood sutff goes. Still no temporary power. Hopefully today we will have it installed so we can cut back on using the noisy generator. The neighbor across the street found a part of her basement collapsing. She has halted work on her house until a structural engineer can inspect it. This makes 17 basements in Eastwood Park with foundation problems that I know of. There could be more.
We met with the representatives, the advance guard you might say, for the "mud out" team with the Southern Baptist Church. The group will come in and remove all the debris from the basement, remove all the sheetrock from the walls and ceiling in the basement, power wash it and treat the basement with a mold repellant. They will also demo the sheetrock where needed on the main flor, remove kitchen cabinets and treat what is left with the mold stuff. The demo teams could be in twon as early as this weekend. We will be working on the garage to remove debris, sheetrock and insulation.
Relatives are planning on coming to town this weekend to cut down all the pine trees, lilac bushes and Japanese Lilac trees that have been killed by the flood waters.
We have settled into a routine..... much different than before. Our new routine includes a few hours a day, most days, working at the house. I think we are progressing slowly and we are farther than I thought we would be by this time

Stop Lights in Minot

Stop-Go Light – A suspended stop and go signal was ordered for the City of Minot in August of 1939.  Some years before, I believe it was in 1934, a post type signal was tried in Minot. It was located at the intersection of Main Street and Central Avenue. The use of this signal was discontinued as most drivers ignored it and a number of drivers ran into it. The installation of the signal light was an experiment at the intersection of 2nd Street and 4th Avenue Northwest, (now known as Broadway and 4th Avenue), at the north end of the overpass. The signal weighed about 115 pounds and was equipped with red, yellow and green lights. It was timed with 30 second intervals on the north-south lanes and 20 second intervals on the east-west lanes. The signal went into operation on September 16, 1939. Motorists were given time to get used to the signal. Violators were not arrested on the first day. The signal was in operation 7 days a week, (yes, Sundays included), from 7 am to 1 am. The experiment proved to be successful as signals were also ordered for: Central Avenue and Second Street West, Central Avenue and Main Street, Central Avenue and Third Street East, Main Street and First Avenue and Main Street and Fourth Avenue, (Burdick Expressway.) By the end of 1939, these additional signals were installed and operating.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Evacuated 2011 - Day 29 - July 20, 2011

Update for Today -- Just received my construction dumpster. Now all the construction materials can go into the dumpster which is right outside the back door..... Temporay power not in yet but maybe by tonight when we get there or else tomorrow. We will be meeting with a "mud out" team representative from the Southern Baptist Church Assocation. They have teams of people who go to disasters and help in situations like ours. What ever they do will be greatly appreciated. More on this tomorrow.....

More progress is being made in the house. Thanks to one of radio listeners I was able to get a waterbed pump. The bed is drained and now on the boulevard with the other stuff. The final bit of carpet is out and the floors are clear of carpet but we have some residue to get off. Some of the carpet was rubber back and left behind the black remains of the built in pad. All dishes are boxed up, (the ones from the kitchen upper cabinets.) Hopefully today we will have temporary power hooked up. We have been running on the generator while we are there. With temporary power we can leave the dehumidifiers and fans going all night.
I looked into the basement last night. What a mess. Plans are to finish cleaning the trash out of the garage first then start the basement.
I suspect that the back door will have to be replaced. Not sure if any of the doors we "rescued" will fit when the time comes due to wood swelling. Time will tell


Squirrels in Minot – there are not too many places in the Souris Valley in Minot that one does not see a number of squirrels. At times there seems to be a number of black squirrels in the mixture. I often wondered if these were a different breed of squirrel. Back in 1939, the same question was on people’s minds. It seems that in the early 1900’s, the Minot Park Board imported squirrels from Iowa and Wisconsin. One story had it that the squirrels were brought in to provide wildlife for Riverside, (now Roosevelt), Park. The idea was the squirrels, once released in the park would stay on the east side of the river, confined to the park. Obviously the early Park Board did not realize the ingenuity of the squirrels. George Valker, a long member of the Park Board, recalled that the black and foxtail squirrels were introduced to the Park in 1916. In 1939, Perna Stine, a biologist at Minot State Teachers College said the black squirrels are a variation of the grey squirrel family. Although the black squirrels are not as prevalent as the grey squirrels, there are still some in the city today.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Evacuated 2011 - Day 28 - July 19, 2011

We are in the process of emptying out the upper kitchen cabinets and pantry. Storing everything in bins for later use. The basement is empty of water and it appears to be staying down. We  did not get our drains plugged in the basement before evacuation, In retrospect that was probably good. The houses with plugged drains had more water to pump out. We have been in contact with a couple different agencies to see about getting some help to clean out the basement and demo all the walls. We will see what develops there. In the mean time we keep doing some everyday to make slow progress. Temporary power should be installed today or tomorrow. This will eliminate the need for the generator going all the time. It is  abit noisy but it was great to have it when needed. Minot water supply is back to normal except for in the evacuation zones. We can not use water and so have not been able to flush the contaminated water through the system. The debris is piling up on boulevards all around. Contractors have been hired to remove it. We have a construction dumpster on order and it should arrive in the next few days. The lawn will probably have to be dug up and replaced with new dirt and seeded or sod put down.... next year perhaps. It is covered in 2 - 3 incheds of clay silt that is like concrete when dry and like slick ice when wet.
Work is still progressing on new channels, dikes and future flood control. No word yet as to what or where it will be.

Gold Recovery Plant

Aug 26, 1938 – A gold recovery plant has been established east of Minot near the Mouse River by the Herman Hanson Syndicate. Soil travels up a conveyor belt to a circular drum. There it is washed and whirled. The coarse gravel is discarded and the finer material, carrying the gold content passes across a vibrating screen, which sifts the material even finer. Water pumped from the river, washes the screened material down into sluices where a series of riffles and special cloths trap the gold. The concentrate is then pit through a special electro-amalgamated process, which extracts the gold dust. Between 2,000 and 3,000 cubic yards of material will run through the plant daily.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Denbigh Gold Mining

Minot Men Hunting Gold at Denbigh – in 1932, three men from Minot, Joseph Gleske, Robert Hill and Christ Enger, employed by the Willard – Wallace Company were extracting gold from the sand hills at Denbigh. The special machine was made in Denver. Gravel enters the machine at the front. After a series of screens and filters, it  removed larger sized pieces. The fine sand that was left entered “flotation” cells at the rear of the machine where it was agitated in water that had certain oils and chemicals added. Froth would rise to the top of the cells and was brushed into containers by small which scraped the surface of the mixture. They hope was to recover 90 cents of gold per yard of material at a cost of 15 cents per yard. Apparently it was not too successful as it did not last very long and is not around today. I have a picture of the machine used in the minig process, however it is on my desktop computer in my home..

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Evacuated 2011 - Day 26 - July 17, 2011

Today was  spent getting the rest of the carpet out of the house, All is out on the main floor except for under the waterbed. We are one of the few people who still use a waterbed and we need a pump to get all the water out. The hardwood floors are good in the bedroom and kitchen. The main floor bathroom and the back dressing area do not have hardwood floors. The back area was a porch at one time and the bathroom has had too many changes with the apartments that were there over the years. The album with flood pictures shows the large closet doors. These were the originally the doors to the carriage house that was behind our house when it was built. Most of the water is out of the basement. Today we pumped out about 18 inches. Tomorrow we will empty the upper kitchen cabinets into bins for storage. We will be redoing the kitchen and looking at perhaps a different layout.
Still more work to empty the garage and then we start the basement.
So far there are 16 houses in the neighborhood with collapsed basements. 6 of these are on our city block. One is next door to the north and another directly west of this house, across the alley. One for sure will not be rebuild and perhaps the other. We may have the opportunity to purchase additional lots in the future, There are other neighbors I have spoken with that may just not want to redo their houses. This will probably be the case in many areas around town. It is a lot of work but everyday we get a bit more done. Our goal is the same . By October we would like to have the house rewired, at least one furnace and one water heater back in with a functioning kitchen so we can move home. Time will tell.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Evacuated 2011 - Day 25 - July 16, 2011

Last night after work we went to the house and decided our mission for the night was to remove as much of the carpet on the main floor s we could. We succeeded. We pulled out all the carpet in the dining room, living room, den, hallway and entry way. It was a messy job. I would not have believed that carpet padding could hold so much water and weigh as much as it did. We have never seen the floring below the carpet. The original hardwood floors are there and so far it appears there if very little warpage. We will be restoring them to their original condition. We have a few spots to patch in where the original floor has been filled in with other wood, but these are small areas. We wanted to get the carpet off so the floors would dry.
Most of the slippery muck that has been deposited on our yard, sidewalks and driveway as dried. It is now almost like shoveling thin concrete and it leaves a black residue behind. I believe our task for a while today will be to start on the garage. The basement pumping will probably begin tomorrow. Last night the water level in the basement was about 2 feet lower than the day before. I seems to be draining away on its own. When we left last night we drove through the neighborhood. Within 1 1/2 blocks of our house there are 10 houses with collapsed basements. 5 of these are on our block. As bad as our situation is, others have it worse. A number of trees are down. The ground was just to wet to hold them.

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, July 15, 2011

Evacuated 2011 - Day 24 - July 15, 2011

Yesterday afternoon we were allowed into Eastwood Park to view the damage. Pat and I went on a scouting mission. What we saw was bad, actually terrible, but not as bad as we expected. The biggest problem initially was getting into the house. All the wood, doors included have swelled due to being in water and the humidity. We finally got the back door open and entered. The water was about 2 1/2 - 3 feet deep on the main floor. All carpeting is covered with a layer of mud. Wallpaper is peeling off the wall. We had left most of the windows open when we evacuated so we did have airflow through the house. We did manage to get the front door open and we were able to open more windows. The smell was not as pungent as I thought it would be BUT there is mold growing on the walls in every room. Our wood work, all quarter sawn oak, seems to have survived. we will have some refinishing to do but no warpage to speak of. Just some on a couple big closet doors. Pat pulled back some of the carpet in the dining room and the hardwood floors, (which we had never seen due to carpet covering them), are intact and not warped. If the rest of the main floor is OK we will try to sand and refinish them. There is a lot of paint on them but I believe they can be saved. We will have to replace kitchen cabinets also. The basement has about 5 feet of water in it. We will start pumping it out this weekend. The two fireplaces survived but the brass inserts are a bit rusty. Some people actually pay to get the look the flood gave us for free. The garage looks like the water came in and some one turned on a mixer and spun everything around.
All in all there is a lot of work to do. It will take some time but we intend to put the house back to what it was and maybe even a bit better in some ways. some views of the house below. The driveway and yard are covered in about 3 inches of wet, slippery mud. Lots to clean up

KCJB - New Minot Radio

New Minot Radio KCJB 910 AM and KCJB-TV  - KCJB arrived on the scene with several new personalities and shows. Two of these were Dean Thurrow, and Cis Hadley. Cis went out to neighboring towns grocery stores for remote broadcasts. One of these was from the HiLo Groceries at Van Hook. Of course the show was called "Hello from HiLo" .  Many remember being at the remote shows and  also listening to the shows to see if your neighbors might be interviewed on the radio.
Another Minot Memory would be when KCJB TV went “On Air”. The first year they were at the state fair they did closed circuit from several locations on the fair grounds. The broadcasts were not very  clear, having a lot of “snow” on the scene. This led to the famous statement of one fair attendee watching the dairy cattle judging in a different building. His statement to his wife was “lets go over to the dairy barn,  its hot here but looks like it’s snowing over there"  “Live”  TV at its best

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Evacuated 2011 - Day 23 - July 14, 2011 Part 2

Just returned from a meeting with Eastwood park residents. While there a press release came out and I read it to the group. We are allowed back into the neighborhood as long as we do not have to drive through water to get to the house and as long as there is no water standing in the yard on the grass. If there is water in the house (basement) we are not to enter until Xcel Energy has removed the meter and made sure power is off to house. If we have a red tag on the door, Xcel has been in and the power is dead. I have been told there are a few trees, (one being a large cottonwood), in the neighborhood that are down. Not sure which ones or where they are located. We will make a trip in I will add more in the morning, hopefully with a picture or two.

Evacuated 2011 - Day 23 - July 14, 2011

Not a whole lot more to add to yesterdays update. The river is now down below 1552..... it is at 1551.91 this morning. We are hoping to get into our neighborhood this weekend or early next week. Some neighbors have been entering illegally. One informed me that there are areas of dry pavement on some of the streets in Eastwood Park. However, until the area is deemed safe by the city officials, we will not be going in. This is happening in other areas.... people sneaking in to see and sometimes work on their homes. It is supposed to be a $300.00 fine if caught. Not sure if anyone has been fined yet, but perhaps if some were it would deter others from entering where they should not go. I did hear that one house on 9th St. lost its basement.... foundation caved in. All for now.

KLPM 1390 Radio

Old Minot Radio -  KLPM 1390 AM. KLPM was referred to as “Old Minot’ Radio. One of the on air personalities was Les Maupin. One of his radio shows was called Tello-Test. This was a program where random people were called to answer a question to win a prize. When dialing the phone number, over the radio it was 8 – 3 – 8 – 1 – 4 – 5 - ??? the listeners would not know the complete number until the last digit was dialed.
Saturday morning the station had a program called Birthday Train for kids. Parents would send in information on the child’s age and birthday for an announcement on the radio. The radio station would wish the children Happy Birthday and give them clues as to where their presents were hidden at home.

In the very early days of KLPM radio, they broadcast from The Fair Building, (Ellisons) in downtown Minot

Evacuated 2011 - Day 22 - July 13, 2011 - Part 2

I just returned from a City Council meeting to approve the area for FEMA to sset up a camp for their workers who are going to be here for a considerable time. Also went to the Municipal Auditorium and received a tetanus shot at the temporary clinic set up. I did find out a few things about Eastwood Park. The block on 9th Street as you enter off Burdick Expressway is dry. In conversation with the chief of police it sounds like those few residents who live in that area may be allowed into their homes soon, maybe tomorrow. I met for a time with the Asst. Public Works Director about the rest of the neighborhood. It appears that there is a couple breaches in the dikes in our area. In one breach the water is flowing into the neighborhood and in another breach the water is flowing back into the river. the river is now about 1553. When it drops to the 1549 mark, maybe by Sunday, the city will open the overflow gates on the dead loop. These are usually opened when the river is high to alleviate the river channel. This time they will open them to drain the dead loop back into the river. We, the city, had a number of large pumps, 12-15 inch diameter pumps, reserved but they ended up in other flooded areas. When more are available, the city will begin pumping some areas to speed up the re-entry process.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Evacuated 2011 - Day 22 - July 13, 2011

Time goes on. The river is supposed to drop to normal flood stage by Sunday, the 17th. Normal flood stage is 1549, right now the river is at 1554 approximately. If it drops that low by this weekend the storm sewers my start draining and that would empty the water out of Eastwood Park. This would allow us the ability to get in and assess damage. Then we will start the task of demolition and reconstructing. The by pass bridge is in need of repair. Not sure if that can start until the water recedes so the west bypass is closed. Broadway and Third street are now open for north - south travel. I rented another storage unit to unload the trailer all my tools are now stored in so the owner can have it back. The tools and saws will be some of the last items to go back into the house.

Puppy Dog Coulee

So far no one has been able to tell me how Puppy Dog Coulee was named. One story of how Puppy Dog Coulee was named is this. Puppy Dog referred to a watering hole or pond in the coulee just a bit south and east of where the Highway patrol office is now. This would be just off 6th Street Southeast. The pond in the 30’s, was deep enough that his horse had to swim across when he was riding. In the drought years it always had water, the watering hole never dried up. Supposedly the Indians named it Puppy Dog but he did not know why. At the turn of the century they would make camp at this spot and then had about a mile walk into Minot. I am still looking for any information on how Puppy Dog Coulee got its name...... After putting this episode "on the air" on my radio show, a friend called and said he has an almanac from 1907. In that year the coulee was referred to as Puppy Dog. I am guessing that the Puppy Dog name was given to the coulee in the late 1800's and the reason why may never be known.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Evacuated 2011 - Day 21 - July 12, 2011

Three weeks since we have been out of the house. Getting ready to one day go back in to assess damages. I have been trying to be proactive in anticipating what we will need for the cleanup process. I have purchased a generator and assorted tools. Last night I ordered some N95 face masks to help keep out of our lungs whatever we may be breathing. I also ordered some disposable tyvek coveralls and some 12 mil longer, disposable rubber gloves. Many residents are calling me to see if I have any power to get them into their homes or if I have any idea of when they may enter. I do not and have told them if they are caught they will be arrested and fined. In some places the river current is strong and deep and even air boats are having trouble. Extra law enforcement officers have been brought in to help patrol neighborhoods. 10 people taken out of the Perkett area by air boats, not sure if they were arrested. $300.00 fine if you are. Still a waiting game as to when we and others will get to their homes. Work is being done on the bridge on the west bypass. Army Corp of Engineers is reinforcing it so it stays where it is.

Windsor & Scandinavian 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 Scandinavain Hotel was demolished to make room for an expansion on the Windsor Hotel.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Evacuated 2011 - Day 20 - July 11, 2011

It has been 20 days since we have seen our house. Yesterday we came into town for groceries and then drove down to the railroad tracks just south of the Coke Plant. Pat and I and another friend and his kids walked into Eastwood Park. Something we were not supposed to do and we did get in trouble with the National Guard as we were coming back to the cars. There is no water on the street for about 1 block off of Burdick Expressway, on 9th Street. It was amazing the amount of garbage that was deposited at the entrance of Eastwood Park. I have some pictures but have not downloaded them to this computer. Will do so soon and post them. So far we have not seen our house other than in the video last week. Broadway is now open 24 hours a day and Third Street Northeast has reopened. I have a girls softball game to coach this morning at 9 am and should have no trouble getting across town. ( I Hope)... and then Rotary at noon. The State Fair has been cancelled this year. I am not sure how Hostfest will go on. They rely on residents of Minot to house not only the people displaying items but also the spectators coming to town. many house where people stayed are gone and the others are probably housing displaced flood victims like myself. This will be the first year that I will probably not emcee one of the stages as I am sure I will have a lot to do on my house. I have now also registered with the Red Cross in case any type of assistance is available. According to reports, there will not be money to help flood victims with much of anything. I will have more on that in a future blog.

Cab Drivers's - Knock Down

This informations came from a friend who drove cab back in the early 50's. He was also a great source of information about Minot's High Third Street which will be the topic of this blog later this fall. The "Knock Down" may still be going on for all I know. When some cab drivers were hired they were paid an hourly rate, about $1.00 and hour and all they could steal, or knock down. A knock down goes like this. A cab driver takes a fare to a specific location. After delivery the cab would head back to the office to wait for the next call. If the cabbie could pick up another fare on the way back and deliver them to their location they could keep the money collected. They “knocked down” another fare that was not recorded or known to the cab company. Many cab drivers would have an on-going contest to see who could “knock down” the largest fare. The cabbies also would pick up small pints of booze and sell that when they could for a profit to their patrons after the bars were closed. Shown below is a fleet of taxi's in front of the State Fair Entrance in 1944.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Evacuated 2011 - Day 18 - July 9, 2011

Yesterday on the way to our new temporary home we went down to the railroad tracks just south of the Coca Cola Plant. For the first time we could see 9th Street as you entered Eastwood Park. The street was visible for about a block. It appeared as though there was standing water on 2nd Avenue, which runs past our house. However, last night we had about an inch of rain so I am not sure what that will do to the water level in Eastwood Park. The city is planning on reopening the 3rd Street Overpass, but with the rain last night, Broadway is temporarily closed. The water is pooling behind the dike and needs to be pumped out. Bus service is returning to parts of North Minot. Tide and the Red Cross are offering free laundry service to flood victims. The "boil" order for the water is close to being resolved. Perhaps in a day or two we will be able to get to the house to assess damage. Our goal is to be back into the house by October. Hopefully by then we will have the rewiring done, at least one furnace and water heater in.

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.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Evacuated 2011 - Day 17 - July 8, 2011

Today is day 17. We are still not able to get into our neighborhood to see the house. Maybe sometime next week, possibly this weekend if the river drops enough. I have met with FEMA and SBA and the appilcations for low interest loans are in process. I don't know if we will qualify , depends on damage, amount of loan and our income level my preclude us from loans.... we will see. The city is beginning to go into the recovery and repair mode. Many homes will be structurally damaged and will have to be destroyed. I have been told that many new homes are at risk. The walls, roofs and some of the support beams are made out of chipboard. This is less expensive and in some cases stronger than regular wood. That is, as long as the chipboard is dry. When wet, chipboard will act like a sponge, soaking up moisture, it then expands and when it dries, chipboard tends to disintegrate. Some newer homes in deep water are showing signs of this with roofs already starting to sag. The city and others are working on a new flood control plan which may call for the removal of more homes. There is no "buy out" plan out there for most people. the removal and/or repair of their homes will be up to the individuals. I would suspect that many people will walk waya from their homes. I suppose the removal then goes back to the mortgage company, not sure about that. As you clean up, debris needds to be sorted into 6 categories. Various contractors have been hired to remove it from the streets. All electrical together, regular garbage, construction debris, trees and green waste, etc. I am not sure where it is all going to be put...

Horses for the Fire Dept.

In the early days of the Minot Fire Dept when it was located on 1st Avenue, the first fire trucks were horse drawn wagons. The horses were kept on the ground floor, toward the back of the Fire Hall. When the first motorized vehicles were added in 1912 they had smooth tires and had very little traction. At times the horses were put into service to pull the motorized fire trucks. There was a gentleman name Mike Savage, with two horses, who lived out by Porter Brothers. The horses were named Babe and Bess. He had a contract to provide horses, if needed, to get into tight spots or to help in the winter months.  It turns out that the horses were owned by the city and Mike took care of them and provided them room and board. In return he was allowed to use the horses for his personal use, which was digging basements among other things.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Evacuated 2011 - Day 16 - July 7, 2011

Yesterday I spent about an hour with the FEMA Disaster Team. Picked up a lot of information on cleaning up after a flood, tax info and started the process to apply for a low interest loan through the SBA for repair and renovation. Not much more can happen until the water recedes enough to get into the neighborhood. The house needs inspections by a various people to trigger the repairs and loan process. Not sure when that will be, hopefully in the next week to 10 days. It sounds like pumping the basement will be a slow and methodical task. A foot or two a day and then wait a day or two before pumping more. I have heard of people pumping out 2-3 feet of water and within a day or two it is all back due to the level of the ground water. The river is now below 1557 feet, (flood stage is 1549), so we have a ways to go. The storm sewers will not start functioning until the water is in the channel and lower. It is believed that the river channel is deeper than it was due to the volume and speed of the water going through. May allow storm drains to kick in and work a bit faster. On the other hand, the city is not sure about water lines and sanitary sewer lines that were crossing below the river. They may or may not be there. One question that is arising is this. As neighborhoods return to work on their homes, what do we do about sanitary facilities. In many areas there will be no water for a while. We may have to drop Porta-Potties in locations around town for residents to use. Many questions and problems continue to rise.

Hotels & Motels Of Days Past

Gelking Motel – 1524 S Broadway
Walsh Motel – 17th Ave – Hwy 83 south
Pat’s Motel – Hwy 52 Southeast
Gordon’s Holiday Spot – 1901 S Broadway
Clarence Parker – 1st St and 1st Ave SE
Leland Parker – Main Street and Central Ave
Paradise Motel - 20th Ave and Broadway
Sterling Motel – 20th Ave & Broadway
Roosevelt Hotel – Broadway and 1st Ave.
Ho Hum Motel – Burdick Exp & Bypass West
Home Motel –Hwy 2 & 52 West
Dakota Hotel - 30 South Main Street
Windsor Hotel - Corner of 1st St and 1st Ave SW
(pictured below are the Roosevelt and the Windsor)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Evacuated 2011 - Day 15 - July 6, 2011

Yesterday we learned the city is setting up teams of inspectors to check out the houses. When we are able to get to our house we will call the inspectors in to evaluate the condition of the house. If it is deemed repairable, we will start the renovation process. We will begin by slowly pumping out the basement, 2- 3 feet at a time. If you pump it all at once their is danger of the foundation collapsing. While that is in process we will start removing all the carpet on the main floor. Once that is done we will make the decision on what to do with the floors. We will see if the hardwood under the carpet is worth saving. We will also evaluate the condition of our kitchen cabinets. After the basement is free of water the next step is to empty it. First to go will be the stuff left behind that we had no time to get out. Then it will be all the sheetrock and insulation. The electrical will be the first thing to replace. Anything that got wet will have to go. When electrical is in the next thing will be a water heater. One of the furnaces will go in prior to winter, the second later and the central air conditioner will be done next year. But, nothing can start until the water is down enough to get to the house and get the initial inspection done. 

Bars and Restaurants From the Past

From the Centennial Newspaper – Entertainment Businesses of the past.....
The Parkway Diner (across from Roosevelt Park)
– Happy Joe’s Pizza ( 816 20th Ave SW) 
– A&W Drive-In (1819 S Broadway)
– Hitchin Post Restaurant (3 miles East of Fairgrounds)
– Kings Food Host (711 S Broadway)
– Village Inn Pizza (1929 North Broadway)
– Torchlight Bar (Downtown Minot)
– Schoenwald’s Lil Red Caboose Bar (614 3rd St NE )
– Howdy’s (1734 South Broadway)
– the Agate Lounge (Surrey)
– Club 52 (between Minot and Burlington)
– Stockman’s Bar (east Burdick Expressway)
– El Greco Lounge (on North Broadway)
– Fireside Lounge (at the Sandman Hotel)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

American Cafe

The American Café opened in September of 1922 in the Scofield Block on Main Street by a Chinese-American named Louis Lolling.  The  menu featured Special Chow Mein at 25 cents a plate and Lobster Egg Foo Yung at 55 cents a plate. Mr Lolling, while looking for an employee at the Dakotah Hotel, 60 South Main, was arrested in an opium raid. After convincing authorities that he was just looking for an employee, charges were dropped. However, Lolling became discouraged with Minot, sold his new café and left Minot in 1924.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Evacuate 2011 - Day 13 - July 4, 2011

Today is day #13. Thirteen has always been a good number for me as I was 13 on Friday the 13th, many years ago. Today a couple of videos of Eastwood Park were posted on Facebook. Both were taken from a boat passing through the neighborhood. One of the videos went past our house. Now we now know that we had water on the main floor. About a foot at the most, I am estimating. The stuff we left in the garage that was higher than 4 feet should be ok unless the water entering the garage knocked over the shelving units I had it stored on. Christmas decorations should have survived. I am guessing it will still be at least 2 - 3 weeks before the water recedes enough for us to get into our neighborhood to start working on the house. We are stocking up on supplies we will need once we get into the house. Items like hammers, pry bars, crowbars, generator, utility and trouble lights, knife cutters to remove carpet, boots and other  things we might need.
Minot is proceding with regular events. Festival in the Park has moved to the Scandinavian Heritage Park on South Broadway, across from Town & Country Shopping Center, on a bit smaller scale. Fireworks will still go off tonight from the Souris Valley Golf Course. The State Fair will be held, Nodak racing is to start in early August, so life goes on. A lot of this is still dependant on the river getting back in its banks and the storm sewers functioning again to remove standing water in neighborhoods and on the streets.

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.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Evacuate 2011 - Day 11 - July 2, 2011

Now starting day 11 of the evacuation. Some things are improving in the city. Residents in some evacuation zones that have no water on their lawns are allowed back into their homes. If they discover water in basement they need to get in touch with Xcel Energy to make sure power is off. Seminars are being conducted to teach people the sequence invovled in cleaning and repairing flooded basements. Anything electrical, including the wiring, will have to be replaced. So far, we have lined up dumpsters, electrician, clean up company, plumber for water heater and someone to replace both furnaces. Also have a generator, extension cords, trouble lights, waders and some supplies. I will need to get tools such as pry bars, crow bars, hammers, heavy duty rubber gloves and misc. for demolishion. From what I hear, the smell is quite unpleasant. Also have to get a tetnus shot prior to entering to start cleanup.
Broadway is now open daily from 7 am to 8 pm. No turning, stopping, pedestrians or bicycles allowed. This gives us 2 routes across the valley.

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.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Evacuate 2011 - Day 10 July 1, 2011

It has now been 10 days that we have been out of the house. I have been running the Flood Hotline Call Center At the EOC. I spoke with a lady from Wisconsin who called with questions about her monther's house. She thought it was in Eastwood Park but turns out it is on the east side of Roosevelt Park. She told me that she did have pictures from a video of Eastwood Park which she emailed to me. One is shown below. The bottom of the picture would be the 4 way stop sign at 8th St SE and 1st Ave SE. Our house is at the other end of the block to the south. Judging by the water level on the small trees on the boulevard, I am estimating the water depth in this picture to be between 4 - 4 1/2 feet. I will probably have water on the main floor but hopefully not too deep. Yesterday, June 30th, at 4:30 pm I was able to tour the Souris Rivewr Valley in a Blackhawk Helpcopter, thanks to the ND National Guard. Quite the sight when one actually sees the amount of water in person rather than on a video. Plans are being formulated by city and other officials on how to safely and orderly allow people back into their homes. Will write more about that as the plans develop.

Headlines from the 1940's

Headlines from the 40’s –
1940 – Sawyer ran a a band of Gypsies out of town ---
1940  - Unemployment checks averaged $9.68
1943 – The Waverly Hotel burned down ---
1943 -  North Dakota Speed limit lowered to 35 mph
1945 – Construction began on the Empire Theater
1945 -  Thomas Funeral Home moved to its Present location
1946 – Minot City Council approved parking meters ---
1946 -  Propane gas came to Minot
1947 – More than 1400 rats killed at Minot Dump in one day --- 
1947 -  Westland Oil Fire
1948 – New Clarence Parker Hotel opened
1949 – Parking meters abolished in Minot