Total Pageviews

Monday, October 31, 2011

Evacuated - Day 131 - Oct 31, 2011

Just returned from the house after a special City Council Mtg and a quick trip to the noon Rotary Meeting. It is a bee-hive of activity. The sheetrockers are in the process of mudding and soon to be taping and texturing. They have most of the main floor done and soon to be working on the basement.
The plumbers have arrived. they are already working on getting rid of the old vent pipe and the few water lines remaining. They will have most of the plumbing by this weekend, if all goes well. Will keep you posted on how this goes.
The heating and a/c company is in. I met with Blaine after Rotary and I think he has a game plan. By this weekend we may have heat.... not sure about a/c but won't need that until next summer. Electrician will stop back this afternoon and move some ceiling lights we installed in the furnace room to make room for ductwork.
All the flooring has arrived. We need to get taping and texturing done so we can paint and then install the flooring .

Rowan's Funeral Home

This information was given to me by Les Maupin back in 1986 while researching Minot for the Centennial.  Rowans’s Funeral Home was on the corner of Main Street and 2nd Avenue, where Rueb’s Camera and Cards was located. Apparently the owners were affiliated with some aspect of the booze running in the days of Prohibition. I was told that the viewing rooms of Rowan’s Funeral during this time were home to many high stake poker games. Maupin was not sure if they ever actually held any funerals during this time. During Prohibition, the alcohol was brought in in one and two gallon metal containers. Rowan’s Funeral Home would fill a casket, or two, with these cans of booze and load them into the hearse. They had at least one if not more. The hearse would then deliver the booze throughout the country under the guise of transporting a body in a casket. Diving prudently and obeying the speed limits they successfully delivered the product. After all, who would stop and search a casket in a hearse?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Pop Shaw's Garage

 At the turn of the century, the area known as High Third was originally located on 1st Street SW, south of Central Avenue. This area also the future home of Harry’s Tire Service, known back then as  Pop Shaw’s Garage. The garage was on the main floor and the basement, There was a bowling alley on the second floor. The third floor was a gambling den and after hours night club. The garage was next to what is now Bremer Bank, and had an elevator. The bootlegger cars would enter the garage and the owner would ride the elevator down to the basement with the car full of booze. Rumor had it that he would booby trap the car in case someone tried to steal the liquor, lock it up and walk back up via the stairway. No one knew for sure as nobody was about to risk tripping the booby trap. By the 50’s the top floor was converted to an apartment where the family that the bowling alley lived.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Evacuated - Day 127 - Oct 27, 2011

Things are moving along at the house. Sheetrock was going up as of yesterday. The bedroom is done and they are working on the den. Some of the new flooring is in. The new furniture for the den is here but we will not take delivery for about 2-3 weeks. The furnace is to arrive today and be installed. The dustwork installation will start tomorrow or Monday. By early next week we should have heat.... needed to get taping and texturing done ... also painting. Tomorrow, (Friday), I am going to the house after the radio show is done to move insulation from garage to basement and then install it.... this should help with the heat also.

Prohibition - Free Car

 There is a story out there about a well known Booze Runner and free cars. The story says that this individual would offer a free car to anyone who could make three successful runs from Canada to Minot without getting high jacked or stopped by the law. The car was to have been a Buick, reportedly they were the fastest and most powerful vehicle at the time. In fact an entry in a national magazine claims that during the days of prohibition, Minot had more high performance cars per capita than any other city. Back to the free Buick. The problem for any takers on the offer was that if someone made two successful runs, this individual would make sure the third run failed. Since he knew the route and times, he would send his own men out to highjack the shipment so he would not have to give away a Buick.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Turn Arounds - Prohibition

A scenario for at least one of the Revenuer’s, (the Government Agents) in Minot: When his car arrived at their destination there was a “turn around” in the garage . The “Turn Around” was a very large motor driven turn table. Upon driving into the garage, the car would drive onto the “turn around” and the vehicle was turned around so it was facing the same direction it had entered from. This way it could make for a hasty exit without having to back out of the garage. The car could just drive straight out, often in hot pursuit of a bootlegger.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Evacuated - Day 125 - Oct 25, 2011

Yesterday the Electrical Inspector was at the house. Other than a few minor things to correct, we passed the inspection. The electricians will be there this morning to correct things. The Sheetrockers will probably be starting today on the main floor. Plumber is still scheduled for next Monday, the 31st, and the heating company is still scheduled for arrival this Thursday.
I am going to take tomorrow afternoon off and move the insulation in the garage to the basement. Will start putting that up later this week. With the insulation out of the garage, I can move things away from the walls so the electricians can get back in to wire the garage.
Cabinets and flooring should be in the first week of November and ready for installation.   Things are progressing......

Prohibition - Booze cars

When the booze car or cars got to their destination in Minot, a number of scenarios were possible. Some of the garages had special elevators. When the car entered with the booze, it would drive into a special elevator. This would either raise the car up to the floor above or lower it to the floor below. If followed by officers, they would enter the building and find no vehicle. By the time they would conduct a search, the booze would have been unloaded and stashed safely or moved to another location.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Triple Cars

The booze runners would travel in groups of three. Three vehicles, one with the alcohol and two decoy vehicles. The Choice of vehicle back in those days was the Buick. The alcohol was stored in a metal tank under the back seat. All the cars had a tank so all were weighted equally. The two decoy cars were loaded down with bricks. The reason for the equal weight was to leave the same track on dirt, muddy roads or grass when sneaking across the border. If the two decoy cars were not weighted down, the police could follow the car with the deeper tracks. The three cars would travel in line. The Booze car generally drove the speed limit, while the decoy cars would be speeding. If they were chased  by the law, the two decoy cars would split and go in different directions. If the decoy cars were caught the worst they would get was a speeding ticket. With the law enforcement people busy with the decoy cars, the booze car was free to travel on to Minot or wherever their destination was

Friday, October 21, 2011

Dee Dee's Bar & Grill

The Grill was located at 316 third St. SW… The Grill was a part of the area known  as “High Third” although it did not have the reputation of some of the other businesses on Third St.  Dee Dee Govan operated The Grill for many years. He acquired the property from “Ma” Butler, a legend on Third Street and the subject of another article. Dee Dee served pretty good food  and at times would offer coffee laced with liquor, if so desired. After the decline of Third St. The Grill was home to Dee Dee’s Hot Tamales. He made them, packaged them and sold them out of  The Grill.  I was offered a job by Dee Dee selling the Hot Tamales when I was driving truck for Coca Cola Bottling back in the late 60’s.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Evacuated - Day 120 - Oct 20, 2011

Stopped by the house a couple times yesterday. At one time there was 5 or 6 electricians working in the basement. When we were there last night about 6:30 to drop off a new toilet, 2 or 3 were working on running the phone and cable tv cables. They expect to be done today and ready for inspection. Once that is done and passed we may be sheetrocking next week.
We stopped by Slumberland and set an arrival date for the new bed and bedroom set for Nov. 18th. This weekend we are going to work on cleaning up some of the stuff in the garage. Items that we are going to try to salvage. We also need to move things away from the walls so the electricians can get the garage wired in the next week or so.
Flooring has been ordered and the plumber will start on Monday the 24th. We are still shooting to be in the house by Thanksgiving.

High Third Street

There were a number of businesses that flourished on Minot’s High Third Street. Third Street over the years was the home to Bars, Restaurants, Hotels and houses that participated in illegal activities that ranged from illegal alcohol sales during Prohibition, after hour alcohol sales, high stake card games  and prostitution. Some of those Third Street Businesses were: The Avalon, The Coffee Bar, Metrol Café (Saul’s Barbecue), Famous Pit Barbecue (Twilight Inn & Kay’s Café), The Grill, and later after Third Street was shut down, The Flame in Radio City. Business was brisk until 1960 when the Jaycee’s mounted a successful campaign to close down the area

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Bienfait, Canada

The Canadian Liquor companies would rent a portion of the railroad depot warehouse in Bienfait. The liquor was stored in a closed off room. They would have a manager in town who would sell what was desired to the bootleggers, not to bars, just to the bootleggers. The depot is still in Bienfait, although it has been moved to different location and is now a museum. However, the original depot was purchased by and moved to a local farmstead about a mile outside of town.  The railroad tracks still go through the town. The route out of town goes south to Ross Percy in the Souris Valley, then to Sherwood, splitting off to Columbus and Portal.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Drug Raids

Besides the highly profitable liquor traffic, Minot was also known for other questionable activities.  An illegal drug trade flourished but not at the same scale as the liquor business. Between December of 1922 and December of 1924, enforcement officials cracked down on certain hotels, cafes, and other opium dens, most of them on the infamous Third Street. By the end of 1924, the opium and cocaine traffic was about at an end. In one raid on Third Street police confiscated over $100.00 worth of opium in the form of “decks” and “books”. The street value of a “deck” was $1.00. A “book” contained three times more opium than a “deck”, but it was still a relatively small amount.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Evacuated - Day 17 - Oct 17, 2011

Things are progressing.... Yesterday we met eith the plumber, also from Idaho. He will be starting on our house on Tuesday. He is in Bismarck today to get his ND license. The subflooring is down in the bedroom, kitchen and den. Quinn was working on the main floor bathroom when we left on Sunday. Today he will start on the cabinet wall in the kitchen. rebuilding it to a 2x6 wall for more support. The basement is done as far as the walls go. The rest of the floor will be finished with a concrete overlay so the whole basement is level. The basement floor work should begin today.
I am going to call the electricians and get them back to finish the house. Wiring the entire basement and finishing the main floor. They just have to install outlets, put in the stove outlet and pull the cat 5 and coax cables. When all that and plumbing is done we will insulate the basement and start the sheetrock process.... Thanksgiving is still out target dat to be in

Prohibition - Gun Battle

Minot was also the home of many high speed automobile chases in connection with the bootlegging activities. One national magazine was quoted as saying “Minot has more high performance vehicles per capita than any other city in America”. These powerful cars, Buicks at the time, were the favored car of the bootleggers. One high speed chase resulted in the arrest of the proprietor of the Last Chance Barbershop on Central Avenue. In a shootout, whiskey-runner Avery Erickson was fatally shot by Officer F.S. Fahler, who later died from wounds received in the same encounter. In 1921 when state prohibition forces opened their northwest regional headquarters in Minot, they announced that their cars would be equipped with Browning machine guns. The office was closed a few years later.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Little Chicago

Minot had a reputation as a rowdy and “wide open” town. When nationwide prohibition went into effect, Minot became known as “Little Chicago”. It had the reputation of being the most wide open city between Chicago and Butte, Montana. It was believed that the police would raid speak easies of those who had supported the losing side in the election for city officials. In 1921, soon after W.M. Smart was elected president of the city commission by defeating W.S. Shaw, (a six year incumbent), he was the subject of a recall petition. It was alleged that he allowed gambling and the operation of “Blind Pigs”. (Blind Pigs were illegal drinking establishments.)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Evacuated - Day 113 - Oct 13, 2011

Last night we ordered all the flooring for the main floor. It should be here in about 2 weeks or so.  We then stopped by the house to check on progress. Quinn, our carpenter from Washington, had made real progress. He had thewalls up in the area where the concrete had been poured. We looked over the rest of the basement and decided that he should replace most of the rest of the walls. Especially a couple load bearing walls that have been somewhat compromised by cutting them to allow the passage of drain lines and heating ducts. I think he will still have the basement ready for electricians by early next week. Today I am taking the afternoon off and spending it in the house putting in  ore insulation. my goal is to finish the main floor by the time I pick up Pat and Dacotah. A friend may stop by to give me a hand.

Inequity Hollow

 Fred Hines at one time was a cab or bus driver in Minot in the early 1900’s. He drove for both the Leland Hotel and Waverly Hotel at different times. His task was to pick up and deliver clients to their destinations around Minot. He would deliver his passengers from the railroad stations to the hotels and when the fair was held on south hill, he would transport the passengers to it also. Quote from 1939 article “at that period in Minot’s history there was a segregated district of bawdy houses in a coulee southwest of Minot and as a hack driver he was called upon to transport gentlemen of the double standard from downtown hotels to this place which was sometimes called Inequity Hollow.”  Alto North Dakota was under state prohibition at that time, Hines recalls that whiskey was easily obtained in Minot. 
This area is what we refer to today as 3rd Street Southwest or Minot’s High Third.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Anderson D&S Bootery

 The original D&S Bootery was founded by Percy Doyle and Theodore Saloman in April 1938 and continued under that partnership for 10 years. In 1948, Salomon’s  interest was purchased by Arthur C Anderson . In March of 1956 Anderson bought out Doyle’s share and became the sole owner. In September of  1956  His son, Arthur L Anderson became a full partner. The store policy was and is to “Give you the finest footwear in America at the lowest possible prices along with courteous service.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Evacuated 2011 - Day 111 - Oct 11, 2011

Today, with the help of Tom Hinzpeter, did something in my house that had never been done before. We installed insulation in the walls. there was no insulation in the house at all. We have about 1/2 of the main floor done. Another 4 hours and I can finish it. Using Roxul insulation... Google it.... very interesting stuff. It is popular in Europe and Canada, just getting known in the United States... Spun stone fibers, made from molten lava and basalt rock.
A carpenter arrived today from Washington State, Quinn is his name and he will be joining the rest of the crew. He will building the perimeter walls in the basement tomorrow, so we can get that insulated also. Once the walls are up (by this weekend) the electricians will return next week to finish the main floor and wire the basement.
The plumber is to be in Bismarck on the 18th to get his ND license. He should be starting on our house on the 19th. We have removed all plumbing lines so he will have a blank slate to start with.
We met with Todd (contractor) and Darla (cabinet lady) last night. Had to make a few minor adjustments in the cabinets... they will be ordered tomorrow.
Heating and A/C are still scheduled for the 27th.

Robertson Lumber Company

Robertson Lumber yards began in North Dakota in 1881. In 1940 the firm began business in Minot as the Rogers Lumber Company. They were located at 200 1st Avenue SE in Minot.  Robertson’s featured a full line of building products with easy terms, estmates and deliveries to your door. On December 24th, 1975 a fire raced through the facility. Cause of the fire was not known but the damage was well over $1 million in losses. A temporary office was set up at 119 1st Ave SE, new inventory arrived and business went on. Robertson Lumber would eventually move out to the bypass, just east of the Econostop Truck Stop.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Oak Park Theater

On Saturday, March 27th, 1976 the Oak Park Theater was showing “The Hindenburg”, staring George C Scott and Anne Bancroft. The Oak Park Theater also featured Saturday Matinees. This particular Saturday the Matinee was “ The Phantom Toll Booth”. The theater ad stated: “Mothers, take an hour and a half break and come along with your kids to see this great show. They’ll drive you crazy but you will thoroughly enjoy the show. All matinee seats – 75 cents. The upstairs of the theater also had an separate for parents with small children to watch a movie without disturbing the rest of the audience.
I also remember back in the late 60’s, the Oak Park Theater would have all night shows on Saturday nights in the summer. The late evening shows tended to get a bit rowdy causing the theater to stop having them.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Evacuated 2011 - Day 109 - Oct 8, 2011

I did not get to the house yesterday until mid afternoon. The water department stopped by about 8:30 am to fix a small leak in the water main coming into the house. I was on my way down there when I called and was told everyone was evacuated from the area. Apparently while demolishing the house across the street, the gas line was broken. It took a couple hours for that to get fixed. I did sneak in for a brief visit about 2 pm and everyone was back working. Most of the lathe and plaster is now off all the walls on the main floor. Hopefully the exterior walls will go up in the basement so we can get the rest of the wiring done and start insulating.
We are going to enlarge the shower in the basement to 4 ft X 5 ft and have the concrete guys pour a floor and do the tiling. we are picking out the tile this weekend.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Behm's Propane

The first propane gas range installation in North Dakota was made in Minot by Behm’s Propane in the fall of 1948. From this significant milestone the business grew. In the mid 1970’s, Behm’s propane was serving thousands of homes and many commercial and industrial customers around the state. Behm’s also pioneered the use of propane gas for heating. The first propane gas furnace in the area was installed by Behm’s in Kenmare in 1947. The first propane bulk truck was also placed into service in 1947.  The company slogan was “Sunbehm Gas – The All Purpose Fuel.”

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Evacuated 2011 - Day 107 - Oct 6, 2011

The house could almost be considered a blank slate as far as the infrastructure goes. Yesterday we pulled out the 2 water heaters, the 2 furnaces, all the gas lines and all the plumbing lines. The heating and A/C is now scheduled for the 27th of this month. A plumber is coming from Idaho. He will take the ND test to get licensed on the 18th and should start our house on the 19th. I am going to order kitchen cabinets today.... they should be here about the 1st week of November. Waiting for the floors to dry out a bit more on main floor so the sub flooring can go down..... the are a bit damp due to concrete curing in basement and the power washing that was done last weekend. The contractors are going to start today .... removing the balance of the lathe and plaster on main floor and rebuilding the missing walls in the basement. Then we will get the electricians back to finish the main floor and wire the basement...... things are progressing.

St Croix Motors

Charlie St Croix started selling cars in Minot in 1934. In April of 1948 he formed St. Croix Motors and ran it continuously until his retirement in June of 1973. At that time his son Collin purchased the business to continue the tradition of friendly sales and service that St Croix Motors had established. In the mid 1970’s, They features Yamaha Snowmobiles and Motorcycles. St Croix Motors also claimed to be the largest motor home dealer in Northwest North Dakota. They were the dealer for Wiinebago and El Dorado motor homes. St. Croix Motors was located at 1206 South Broadway. This location is now the home of The Dakota Boys Ranch Store.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Heisler's Super Valu

A few people have inquired about Heisler’s Super Valu. It was located in northwest Minot at 4th Avenue and 21st St NW. Heisler’s was open 7 days a week from 7 am to 11 pm…. One of the few stores open on Sundays back in the 60’s and 70’s. Heisler’s featured a complete line of groceries, fresh produce and fresh, quality meats. Also magazines and health and beauty supplies.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Town & Country Shopping Center

Snuggled up to a major highway, a hilly chunk of ground which many people though useless, was transformed and there emerged, in 1963, Minot’s Town & Country Shopping Center. In 1968 a sign proclaimed Town & Country to be the largest shopping center in North Dakota. The cost of building the center in 1963 was about $1.8 million. When it opened, Town & Country had 16 businesses operating. I recall working at the JJ Newberry Cafeteria and later at Piggly Wiggly in the mid 1960’s. I also remember Town & Country as a gathering place and full of activities. One of those in 1966 or 1967 was a Battle of the Bands. Below is a picture of the area before T&C Shopping Center was built. The first picture is looking south on Broadway. T& C Center would be on the left. The second picture is looking north from above the current site of First Western Bank... T&C Center would be on the right 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Evacuated 2011 - Day 104 - Oct 3, 2011

The last floor to be removed came up yesterday.... the Bedroom floor. The power washing in basement will be done today. With 6 big fans going the floors should be back down to 10% moisture content by the end of the week. Then new sub flooring will go down in the bedroom, den and kitchen.
The walls will be rebuilt in basment and then it is time to insulate. We removed the plaster, (cement), on the bricks above the fireplace in the dining room. We are thinking of leaving it the natural brick. Same will be done in one room in basement. Need to get a plumber on line..... they are scarce also.

Jacqueline Shop

The Jacqueline shop was located at 115 South Main Street. It opened for business on July 27, 1965. The original owner was Rowland Harkness, who also was the lessee of the shoe department in Walter’s Women’s Wear. At one time the manager was Katie Mullen and then Barbara Mills. Following the death of Rollie Harkness, ownership of the Jacqueline shop went to his son, Todd Harkness. The store featured shoes by Jacqueline, Connie, Famolare, Hush Pupppies, Bear Traps and Nurse Mates for women.