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Friday, September 30, 2011

Evacuated 2011 - Day 101 - Sep 30, 2011

The hardwood floor is now out of the den. At this writing it is in the back of my pick up and when I am done with the radio show I will haul it to the city landfill..... I wonder how many memories are now buried in the landfill after the flood cleanup.
The driveway/patio is now almost done. The last section will be poured and stamped today. The color of the driveway is a dark copper to accent the dark brown on the house.
This weekend I have a friend from the City Council coming to help. We are going to remove the warped hardwood floors in the bedroom. Then all the bad floors are out. We picked out flooring last night with the help of Madison,(youngest grandaughter).
If the weather is warm this weekend I think we will scrub more of the river off the south side of the house...

Stearn's Apartments

Stearn’s  Apartment Rental Business – There were three apartments on the top floor of Stearns Motors. Lou Stearns lived in the largest one with his girlfriend Florence Brown. Lou and Florence had a turbulent relationship. At one time they were going to be married in Minneapolis, but by the time they arrived on the train, they had a terrible disagreement and fight. Both returned to Minot, but on separate trains. There is a story that whenever Florence would go Minneapolis, Lou would load a car on a flatbed rail car and send it to her destination so she would have something to drive.

Used Records - I was informed by one of my radio listeners that there was also a used record shop in Stearn's Motors, I believe in the basement. They store would sell records at a very reasonable price. The records were from jukeboxes around town.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Stearn's Beveage Business

Beer & Wine Wholesale Business  -- Bill Langer was instrumental in helping Lou Stearns in getting his license to start his wholesale business, Minot Beverage Company. According to one of his past office managers, part of the deal was that Langor received a payment of 5 cents for every bottle of beer or wine distributed. However the checks were always sent to a judge in New York rather than to Bill Langer. One would suppose that the money eventually reached him.
The Soft Drink Business – The soft drink business started in the Stearns Motors building as part of Minot Beverage Company. My understanding is that at one time there was a bottling operation in the basement of Stearns Motors. This was eventually moved to South Broadway and became Northern Bottling Company, which is still in business today

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Evacuated 2011 - Day 99 - Sep 28, 2011

Tomorrow will be 100 days since we moved out of the house. A busy and productive day yesterday. Pat and I removed the hardwood floor from the kitchen. Musch of it, especially under the sink was warped and beyond saving. The hardwood floor in the den will be coming out this weekend and out to the dump it goes. We saved quite a bit from the pantry and kitchen so we have enough to use for patching when needed in the living room, dining room, entry way and hallway. The concrete floor is poured and dried in the basement. By tonight the sealer should be on so we can better see the color and texture. The driveway/patio is being poured today, at least 1/2 of it. The rest will be poured tomorrow and by early next week the staining will be done.
The Roxul insulation arrived yesterday as did the sub flooring I ordered for the kitchen and den. The only thing left to demolish will be the bedroom floor if we decide to, (which I think we will), and to remove more lathe and plaster.
Last Sunday we cleaned the inside of the porch.... (1st time through). We also scrubbed down the front of the house and started on the south side. We have come to realize that there is no magic cleaning solution to remove the dirt from the flood. It takes elbow grease and scrubbing.

Stearn's Auto Storage

Stearn’s Auto Storage and Parking Business – One of the main parts of the operations at Stearns Motors was the parking and automobile storage. Stearns Motors was at the north end of Minot’ infamous High Third Street. This area of Minot was known for it’s after hour bars, houses of prostitution gambling rooms and at one time opium dens. Many of the prostitutes would rotate in and out of Minot about every two to four weeks. Some arrived by train, some by bus and some by automobile. Many of those arriving by car were brought to Minot in large, fancy vehicles owned by their pimps. While the car was in town it was probably stored inside at Stearns Motors

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Stearn's Auto Repair

Stearn’s  Auto Repair Business – Jack Foley was the Service Manager of  the automobile repair shop affiliated with Stearn’s Motors. At one time there was a gas station out in front of the building. The gas station was on the southwest corner of the intersection of 2nd Street and Central Avenue.  In those days there was a ramp that went west from Central Avenue down to the Great Northern Depot. One day a minister pulled up and was having his car filled with gas. He jokingly told Jack to charge the gas to the Lord. Jack replied without batting an eye, “Send him down to sign for it and I will.”

Monday, September 26, 2011

Stean's Motors

Stearns Motors -- Lou Stearns was the owner of Stearn’s Motors. In its day Stearn’s Motors was a automobile repair shop and also a garage to park and store automobiles. There were actually five businesses in Strearn’s Motors. The Auto Repair, the Auto Storage Business, a soft drink bottling and wholesale business, a beer and wine wholesale business and apartment rentals. Lou Stearns was reported to have been a generous man. If someone he knew came to him and was down on their luck he would give them a five dollar bill. In those days that was a decent sum of money.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Evacuated 2011 - Day 95 - Sep 24, 2011

The floor in the basement is in. It still needs to be power washed and then sealed after it sets up for a few days. The walls can then go up and rewiring can proceed in the basement. The driveway / patio has been removed so by early next week we may have that replaced. The insulation has arrived. Muus Lumber is going to deliver that on Tuesday afternoon about 2 pm. We can start insulating the main floor. I removed the hardwood floor from the pantry and 1/2 the kitchen. Most of the kitchen flooring is bad. We are saving quite a bit for use in patching areas on the rest of the main floor. I will have Muus drop off new subflooring. The kitchen will get some sort of tile.
The hardwood floor in the den is also coming out as it has been patched and is covered with the residue of rubber back carpet. We will replace that with new hardwood to accent the original on the rest of the main floor. The Corps of Engineers is not picking up debris anymore so we will be hauling to the dump ourselves.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Evacuated 2011 - Day 94 - Sep 23, 2011

One half of the basement floor has been poured, textured and stained. The other half is going to be done today.... pending the availability of concrete. The driveway is about half gone. It suffered damage due to the flood and the big roll off dumpsters that came and went during the demolition phase. We are going to get rid of the weeds in the yard and rake it so it looks better. This weekend should be warm. One of the tasks is to wash down the outside of the house.... as much as possible. The other tasks are to remove more lathe and plaster and also remove the floor in the kitchen and den. We want to save some of the flooring to use for patching in some areas. Things are profressing....

Volunteers of America

Volunteers of America –   The Great Depression of the 1930s stretched the nation's private social welfare system almost to the breaking point. Volunteers of America mobilized to assist the millions of people who were unemployed, hungry and homeless. Relief efforts included employment bureaus, wood yards, soup kitchens and "Penny Pantries" where every food item cost one cent.  The Volunteers of America in 1932 were serving several hundred meals a week to school children at their food station on Second Avenue Southeast. Children sent to the food station are selected from various schools in Minot, according to Capt Richard Das.  Volunteers of America was founded in 1896 by social reformers Ballington and Maud Booth. They envisioned a movement dedicated to “reaching and uplifting” the American people. On behalf of the organization, the Booths pledged to “go wherever we are needed, and do whatever comes to hand.” In turn-of-the-century America, there was no shortage of work to do. The Volunteers moved into tenement districts to care for people in poverty. They organized day nurseries and summer camps, provided housing for single men and women, and established the nation's first system of halfway houses for released prisoners.   

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Walter's Women's Wear

The first Walter’s Women’s Wear opened in July of 1955 at 115 South Main Street. The store was formerly known as Zollie Vida’s. Walter’s was owned by Mr & Mrs Walter Feldman. In 1961 they leased the Bon Bon Store across the street at 114 South Main and opened as Walter’s Bon Bon. Additional departments were added including a Children’s Dept, Lingerie  and shoe department. In April of 1964, Walter’s expanded to a second location in the Town & Country Shopping Center. In March of 1974, Walter’s added The Attic to the downtown store. The Attic featured styles for young, juniors and teens.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Evacuated 2011 - Day 92 - Sep 21, 2011

I stopped by the house this morning.... concrete is going into the basement. One half of the open dirt area will have concrete by tonite and the other half will be done tomorrow. I believe they have to stamp and stain this half today before the concrete sets up. Ray, (concrete contractor), wants to remove the patio/driveway and get that done within the next week, also.
The electricians were not there today... I think they are staying out of the way of the concrete guys. I went up stairs and we can now turn on the overhead lights..... They are starting to run the phone and coaxial cables also.  It is progressing..... as soon as insulation arrives we can start putting it in the walls on the main floor and then rebuild missing walls in basement.

Sears Gas Prices - 1976

In 1976 when Minot was threatened by a flooding Mouse River, Sears was located in the Town & Country Shopping Center. The main Sears store was on the south end of the shopping center. Sears also had an automotive center and gas station where Gate City Savings & Loan is now located. In a newspaper ad on April 20, 1976 Sears stated: Our gas prices will stay the same during the flood emergency. We will not take advantage of people who must travel extra miles during this emergency. Sears kept their gas prices at 52.9 cents per gallon during the flood crisis. Also During the 1976 flood crisis, South Hill Red Owl extended its store hours to midnight to help people with their grocery shopping needs. South Hill Red Owl was in the building where Tractor Supply is now located.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

January Picnic

1892 Picnic -- On a mild day in January of 1892, almost the entire population of Minot enjoyed an outdoor picnic without having to bundle up in warm clothing. The picnic was held near the Great Northern Railroad Bridge across the Mouse River, which was about where 3rd Street crosses the river. At the time of the picture, the picnic grounds were outside the City Limits of Minot. This site is very close to where the Minot Flour Mill would be built. At the picnic were C. A. Johnson, principal of the school and some of his students. One of those students was Joseph Rowan who went on to become and undertaker and owner of Rowan’s Funeral Home on Main Street. The Funeral Home was an establishment involved in the illegal booze running during the prohibition days.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Evacuated 2011 - Day 90 - Sep 19, 2011

Things should move forward this week. The electricians will be back today to continue on. Ray, our concrete contractor says he can get "mud" today and will pour the basement floor. He is going to stamp and stain the floor also. The staining process uses colored powders that will get all over. After the process is done, the basement will be power washed. When dry new perimeter walls can go up and electrical run. I ordered the Roxul insulation last week. It should be here next week. In the mean time we are removing more lathe and plaster, especially on the outside walls to get more insulation in place.
We may get the patio redone this week also. The weather is supposed to be good except for some wind the next couple days.

1st National Bank

1st National Bank -- 1st National Bank was originally known as the Great Northern Bank when it was established in 1897. The building was constructed of brick made in a brickyard just west of Minot. This building stood until it was demolished in 1929 to make room for the new building. The bank was name the Great Northern Bank in honor of Jim Hill who was a close friend of Joseph Roach, one of the founders of the bank. Later the name was changed to the 2nd national Bank and eventually to the 1st national Bank. In 1887 the Bank of Minot was formed and eventually became the 1st National Bank. In the early 1900’s there were two banks chartered under the name of the 1st National Bank. Both of these failed, hence the name 2nd National Bank for a period of time. No affiliation with the failed banks was wanted. In the early days, trees were planted in the boulevard to the south of the bank. They grew to be quite tall before they were cut down due to the paving of the streets. Below is a picture of the 2nd National Bank about 1900. the next picture is of 1st National Bank in the early 20's

Friday, September 16, 2011

Main Street 1890

Main Street 1890 – Looking North -- In the picture of Main Street in 1890 the teams of wagons belong to local Indians and are filled with buffalo bones which were traded to merchants for groceries and other merchandise. The bones were taken to a railroad spur and eventually shipped to St Louis to be used in refining sugar. The bones were worth ten to fifteen dollars a ton. The small building on the left is the Post Office. Next to that was the office of J.B. Rourke, Justice of the Peace. The taller building was a drug store owned by W. E. Mansfield. This is the intersection of Main Street and 1st Avenue. The two story brick building was a large general store owned by the Strain Brothers. North of Strain Brothers was John and Peter Eher’s meat market. The original Jacobson Hardware was a few doors down the street and at the end of the street is the Great Northern passenger depot.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Minot Business Institute

The Minot Business Institute was located in the First Avenue Building in Downtown Minot. Their phone number was 571. The President and owner of the school was H. French. In 1935 it was said to be the northwest’s most modern Business School. The school featured university trained instructors to train students in the most modern business methods known at the time. The Minot Business Institute boasted that their students were employed and making salaries from $50 to $120 per month. Some of the courses offered were, Bookkeeping, Accounting, Banking, Typing, Shorthand, Dictaphone, Mimeographing, Public Speaking and Advertising. Minot Business Institute were pioneers in modern business education and featured “Business Training with Distinction”.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Evacuated 2011 - Day 85 - Sep 14, 2011

The electricians have gutted all old electrical in the basement and are working on the Main floor. I am going to do a walk through with them in about an hour to let them know of any special things we want that would be above and beyond what the codes call for. Extra outlets, switches, etc. The company they work for is sending in more people with a motorhome or 5th wheel to live in. I have given them permission to park it next to or behind the garage if they need to.
The power washing should begin today. Ron will do the basement and wall also spray off the outside of the house.
We cleaned all the "stuff" off the patio between the house and garage. Ray, our concrette contractor is planning on pouring the basement late the week or early next week. It would be nice if they could pour by the weekend. We could start rebuilding walls in the basement next week, get electrical in and then insulation. The patio may get done next week or the week after is weather holds.
Furnace and A/C scheduled for the 24th of October, maybe sooner. All old ductwork is out and it will be a completely new system.
I am going to measure walls and height to figure out how many square feet of insulation we are going to need. We are going to insulate with Roxul. A canadian product made out of spun stone fibers.... basalt and lava rock melted down and spun into fibers. Goggle it if you are interested.... interesting product.

Bowling - 1932

From a 1932 newspaper – Bowling …… in 1932 the sport of bowling was a main topic of conversation in the sports pages of the newspaper with close to ¼ page devoted to the standings. (in 1932 the newspaper pages were bigger and the fonts were smaller.) Some of the teams making the news were: Fisher Motor Straightaway ….. (league champs at the time) beating out Blackstead Builders.  Other teams mentioned in the article were Gem, Minot Laundry, Grand Café, Finnegans, Dakota Hardware and Motor Service. There were a number of leagues at the time and many more teams. I am not sure which bowling alley(s) the leagues competed at.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Evacuated 2011 - Day 84 - Sep 13, 2011

The electricians arrived and started to work yesterday. When Pat and I stopped by the house about 4:30 Monday afternoon, they had the electric panels out and replaced with a large 200 amp entry.
Ray, the concrete guy, is still planning on getting the basement in by the end of the week if all goes well and he can get concrete.
Ron was not at the site but his new power washer is to arrive today so we will be power washed soon. I picked up a quart of Shock Wave from the Southern Baptist Command Center. It is reportedly one of the best mold inhibitors available. We will use it after the power wash.
The rolloff dumpster is gone...... things are progressing.

Social Clubs in Minot

From a 1932 newspaper – Meeting notices for Minot Clubs – Coterie Club - The word "coterie" is of French origin and means "a gathering of friends." The essence of the Coterie Club is building friendships and participating in varied activities including daytime and evening bridge, a literary group and day and evening social events. Coterie supports the community by collecting and contributing funds and appropriate items to worthwhile charities…… The Progressive Club ……. PEO Clubs …… primary focus on providing educational opportunities for female students worldwide…… Criterian Club ….. Goal was to enhance life, morally, socially and culturally…..

Monday, September 12, 2011

Delphian Society

From a 1932 Newspaper -  the National Delphian Society, which has its head office in Chicago, Il and had  organized chapters in most large cities and town across the United States. It is a society for study, culture and personal improvement. It has a six years course, a year of study being given to each of the following: Ancient History and Literature, Drama, Art, Modern Literature, Poetry and Music…. The Delphian society was active in Minot in the 30’s and usually met on Tuesday’s at Minot High School. The announcement in the newspaper reminded all members to note that the meeting was opening at 7:30 pm… I imagine an admonishment not to be late.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Evacuated 2011 - Day 81 - Sep 10, 2011

Progress was made yesterday. Real Builders finished the installation of the new beams to replace 2 of the load bearing walls. They also rebuilt another load bearing wall. Thanks to Joel Feist, Kenny Aberle and the others who came to our rescue in a short period of time and did the work.  The main floor is now much more level as they raised it about 1 1/2 inches in the center of the house.
I met with the guy from the company putting in our new heating and A/C. He was fun to talk with and I believe Blaine knows his stuff. Today I am tearing out all the old duct work. The new system will be built from scratch. He says it will be about a week long job.
Electricians should be starting on Monday..... Greg Baumgartner (Trading Post Wrecking Yard) removed the motor home yesterday afternoon. The big rolloff dumpster will be removed this weekend or Monday morning. The house will begin to look a little less like the construction zone that it is.

Club Cafe

Club Café – Located at 24-26 West Central Avenue. Featured Miller High Life and Fauerbach beer. I was emailed a menu from the café by a listener. His father was the chef at the café many years ago. Some of the menu items include wheat cakes – 40 cents, club steak – 50 cents, hamburger – 10 cents and ham & eggs – 40 cents

Sponsors of the Club Café menu:
Mosco Clothing – 1100 7th Ave SW  -- Phone number 1651-J
Royal Shoe Repair – 14A south Main
Leland Pocket Billiards

Friday, September 9, 2011

Evacuated 2011 - Day 80 - Sep 9, 2011

Yesterday was a day of progress. Real Builders is working in the basement replacing the load bearing walls. 2 are being replaced with a large beam and one wall will be rebuilt with a new 2 x 6 wall. They could be done by tonight. The dumpster is full and ready to get picked up for the last time. I was able to get all the sheetrock and pegboard out of the garage so it is stripped down. We hired a heating and a/c contractor from Grand Forks. They referred an electrician to us. I met with them and hired them also. The electricians will be starting next week, possibly Monday. The first thing will be to get us a 30 or 50 amp breaker in our temporary power so we can run the big fans, dehumidifiers and heaters when we dry the basement. Ray, our concrete guy, is going to see about pouring concrete in the basement next week. Ron, our power washer and carpenter, will rebuild walls in basement so we can run electrical. All seems to be moving ahead.

Goodyear Tires

From a 1932 Newspaper - Goodyear Tires – The Goodyear ad in 1932 features tires as low as $3.95 each with another 95 cents for the tube. A set of four was available for $15.32. If you wanted to step up to the Goodyear Pathfinder with a lifetime guarantee, they were available for $4.79 each and another $1.03 for the inner tube. A set of four Pathfinders was $18.60. One could also “trade in” their old tires on a set of new. The name of the tire company was torn off the newspaper page so I do not have that information.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Newspaper Ads - 1932

More ads from the 1932 newspaper found in the wall of my home --- KC Baking Powder - same price for over 40 years. Millions of pounds used by our government ...... Doan's Pills - a diuretic for the kidneys - used everywhere - sold by all druggists for over 50 years....... Yellow Cab Company - phone number 91 - new rates - 1 passenger 25 cents, each additional passenger 10 cents ....... Greengards - For Good Clothes - style clothes - $15, $20, to $35...... Rowan Funeral Parlor - JW Rowan proprietor and Jack Spratt - licensed embalmer

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Evacuated 2011 - Day 78 - Sep 7, 2011

Today we should see some progress. The new beams to replace the damaged load bearing walls are going in. The concrete will perhaps get poured this weekend. I am going to the house all afternoon to finish the garage. Pat and I worked in it all weekend. The south wall has shelving to remove and then the sheetrock and insulation go into the dumpster. When that wall is done,(hopefully by tonite), we will have the dumpster removed for the last time. We filled the big roll-off construction dumpster 6 times. I have an electrician inSt. Cloud looking at the floor plan of the basement and main floor to give me a bid on wiring. They will be in Minot next week to work. I am supposed to have an electrician and a heating/ac guy coming by today to give me an estimate. Most electricians, even the ones advertising for work, do not return calls....
More later

Stevenson's Ladies Store

From the 1932 newspaper found in my house --  On April 14, Stevenson’s was holding a “Style Revue of 1932” at the State Theater on Main Street. Stevenson’s motto was “ When you think coats, think Stevenson’s. Their Tuesday Special in the newspaper included the following: New Famous Name Polo in greens, tans and blues for $14.85…. Paris Chic Dress Coats for $14.85 … and 150 hats specially priced at $1.85. Stevenson’s carried becoming styles for young and old.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Northern States Power Ad

From a 1932 newspaper found in my home – Northern States Power ad – 145 – That was the price of a new  1932 five foot capacity Kelvinator – the best buy in electric refrigeration. Last year’s model was $184.50, this year’s new model is only $145.00. Red Rooster Ad – The Red Rooster was 4 miles west of Minot on Highway 52 (known in more recent times as the 52 Club.) In the paper the band being promoted was “Polly and Her Boyfriends”. Tuesday was ladies night . Ladies free…. Men 50 cents admission. As the ad stated – C U There.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Ellison's Ad - 1932

From 1932 – Ellison’s Advertisement. – Ellison’s, The Fair Department Store had this ad in 1932. Mesh garments for the ladies must have been the style.  Their ad stated – “Mesh has us in its net stronger than ever. It’s invaded practically every summer fashion. We have mesh hose, mesh frocks, mesh gloves and mesh undies. – you’ll find them all at Ellisons.” --  In the ad Ellisons featured Lacey Mesh Sweaters were on sale for $1.00 and $1.95.  Mesh Stockings and mesh gloves  were only $1.oo and mesh undies for $1.00. (They also had mesh undies for 59 cents on the main floor.) Picture below is from the 30's.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Evacuated 2011 - Day 73 - Sep 2, 2011

I met the contractor replaceing the beams. They were ready yesterday so either today or Tuesday after Labor Day the beams will be installed. We have picked out a new door to replace the back door..... It will be here in about 6 weeks. I am going to try to sand down the current door so it will close and hopefully lock. Then we can get rid of my chain that now serves as a lock. The Concrete should get poured by the end of next week if all goes well. The basement will be powerwashed prior to the concrete going in and then the dryers and fans come in to dry it out. The upstairs is pretty well dried out. The guys doing the concrete are going to stamp and stain a design into the basement floor. This should eliminate the need for flooring other than some throw rugs. If weather holds the same concrete company will tear out our patio and replace it.... also stamping in a design and staining it..... depends on price.....
Today could be interesting. The Governor is going to be in Minot and has chosen Eastwood Park to spend about 2 hours talking to residents. I will be at the house by noon... He is to be in the neighborhood between 1:30 and 3:30 today. I met him and his wife when I was running the EOC Call Center prior to getting access to the house. Will comment more on this later.

Winter Sports Week

From a 1932 Newspaper found in my house – A group of civic boosters in Minot in 1932 were promoting the idea of  holding a Winter Sports Week in Minot. The event would begin the next year in 1933. One of the promoters was Casper Oimoen, of Olympic Skiing fame. Some of the events considered were skiing, Curling, Hockey games, Figure Skating, and Dog Sled races, (which were already held and sponsored by the Linos Club.) There was a possibility of holding the state bowling tournament to kick everything off.  Indoor events were also considered such as basketball. The Minot  Winter Sports week, if held, would be similar to the St. Paul Winter Carnival. Pictured below.... Casper Oimoen and the Great Northern Hockey Club.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Ward Week - 1932

From a 1932 newspaper found in my house….  While my brother Mark was in town helping with the house, hefound an old electrical bax behind a wall in the entry way. A couple pages of the Minot Daily from 1932 were stuffed into the box. The next 10 days or so will be based on that newspaper. .....Montgomery Wards was celebrating Ward Week. Some of the specials included a special buy on men’s overalls for 77 cents a pair. Boys overalls were on sale for 3 pair for $1.00. Women’s coats in tweed, crepes or diagonal linens were sale priced at $8.88 each. Men’s wool sweaters priced at $1.44 and a 2 gallon can of Pennsylvania Motor Oil was only $1.00. And with every clothes washer purchased received a free clothes basket.