Total Pageviews

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Westland Oil - 1964

Westland Oil Co. was established in Scobey, Montana in 1919 by RJ Coughlin, Sr. In 1928 the headquarters were relocated to Minot on East Central Avenue. The company had refineries Cut Bank and Kevin, Montana. Westland’s products included diesel fuels, Buffalo Gasoline, Wesco LP gas, Dura Lubricants and Itasca oils . At one time there were many Westland Gas Stations in the city of Minot. The Westland mascot was Billy Buffalo

 Station at 6th St and Central Ave SE
 1938 Delivery truck

Monday, December 30, 2013

Bison Plant

In 1972 NSP (Northern States Power) announced that the Bison Plant would be closing on December 31, 1973. The Bison Plant went into service with one generating unit in 1949 and the second in 1952. Between the two units the plant only generated 12,000 kilowatts which was very small as bigger plants were at 300,000 kilowatts or more. Most of the power was being brough to Minot over transmission lines. The 22 employees were offered other employment in the company.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Medora Musical in Minot

on June 16, 1970 sixteen performers from the Medora Musical were in Minot and preformed at the Municipal Auditorium…. The funds raised were earmarked for relocation and restoration of the Teddy Roosevelt statue in Roosevelt Park. The statue fell victim to the 1969 flood. Funds would also be used to help straighten the river channel through the park and improve animal pens in the zoo….. the performance was sponsored by the Minot service clubs….

 Auditorium under construction early 1950's
Auditorium completed

Thursday, December 26, 2013

A Couple Restaurants from the 70's

Shirley Room Cafeteria – Located in the basement of the Minot Savings & Loan Building…. They claimed to have the lowest prices in Downtown Minot …. One special in 1970 was Soup, sandwich, coleslaw, chips and beverage for on 75 cents…. You could order breakfast and pay between 35 cents to $1.15….. Dinners were 89 cents to $1.20 …. A salad side dish was only 10 cents. ….. King Leo’s – also in 1970 for fast food at low prices --- King Leo’s on South Broadway (now Arby’s) was offering Hamburgers – 20 cents --- Cheeseburgers – 25 cents --- Fries – 20 cents and Milk shakes – 25 cents … a quick meal for 65 cents……

Monday, December 23, 2013

United Way Flea Market

This is the entry for December 24th

Minot Memories wishes all a Happy Holiday Season

Back on the 26th

United Way Fund Drive 1972 – In August, 1972, on a very hot the United Way took over the parking lot of the Town & Country Shopping Center and held a large Flea Market. Any sellers purchased their selling space from the United Way for $3.00 a spot. The United Way kept the stall rental money and the sellers kept all their own sales

Ben's Appliance & Downtown Red Owl

Downtown Red Owl – in September, 1972 the Downtown Red Owl Store was purchased by Darold Jessen. Prior to purchasing the store, Jessen was the District Manager for Red Owl’s franchise stores and had also managed the South Hill Red Owl Store. Jessen stated that the operation and pricing structure at the store would remain the same.
Ben’s appliance, owned by Ben Mutzenberger,  was located in the former Mitchell Hardware location on the corner of Central Ave. and 3rd St SE (Val’s Cyclery) …. In the late 60’s Ben’s Appliance was open form 9am to 9 pm Monday through Friday and 9 am to 5:30 on Saturday…. They handled the full line of Whirlpool Appliances.

Red new owner - Jessen

Friday, December 20, 2013

Building Boom - 1953

1953 – 60 Years Ago – Building Boom – Many projects under construction  in 1953 – the building permits were expected to exceed $3 million. The Municipal Auditorium, (the largest project at $750,000) was under construction as was Minot Motor Service. The second largest project was the new Elks Club ($359,000) – now the home of Restore at Broadway and 2nd Ave SW…. The Eagles Club (Chicago Club) was getting a $61,000 addition, Diamonds Dept. Store (Barley Pop) on 2nd St NW (North Broadway) was to open in October…. The Empire Theater on Main Street was under construction… Washington and Sunnyside Schools were each getting an addition

 Boiler going into basement of Motor Service
 Municipal Auditorium construction
Diamond's Dept. Store - N Broadway

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Bubble Up Store

 Mr. Taco-  Mr Taco was on South Broadway where The Adult Bookstore (Risque’s) is now located. Mr. Taco  was owned by Sam Butts or Taco Sam as many called him. I may be wrong, but I believe the Taco Shop had the first, only and best tacos in Minot at the time, in the late 60’s. Mr. Taco also was the first shop to sell Grinders... Similar to a sub sandwach. Next door to Mr. Taco's  was another South Broadway “landmark”. Bennie’s Magic Mile Market  or as many referred to it … the Bubble Up Store. Bennie’s was just one of many neighborhood grocery stores in Minot at one time. Bennie’s Store is now and oil change shop. I believe B&D Market in northeast Minot is an off spring of Bennie’s on South Broadway.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Mitchell's Hardware

 Mitchell’s Hardware was on the corner of Central Avenue and 3rd Street South East, where Val’s Cyclery is now  located. Prior to Mitchell’s this locations was the home for Oppen’s Grocery Store. Oppen’s had a lunch counter or cafeteria in the store. I believe this was known as the Central Avenue Café. For a while Mitchell’s Hardware also maintained the Central Avenue Café even though it was a hardware store.  One of Mitchell Hardware’s claim to fame was a talking Myna bird named Mack.  Mack had the reputation of uttering four letter words, especially the s--- word, so many younger shoppers were not allowed to hang out around him. After Mitchell’s and before Val’s Cyclery, this location was the home of Ben’s Appliances.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Minot Steam Plant

The Minot Steam Plant was located west of what is now the Cenex Store on Central Avenue. It was by the old Kedney warehouse which has also been demolished. The Steam Plant provided heat to most of, if not all of Downtown Minot. The steam ran through pipes in a series of tunnels throughout the downtown area. In addition to the steam tunnels, many downtown businesses also had freight elevators on the sidewalks in front of the store. This open basement concept under the sidewalk had a tendency to heat the sidewalk a bit in the winter… helped snow removal. I have been told that at times the snow in downtown Minot was covered in ash from the smoke stacks of the Stream Plant

Monday, December 16, 2013

Flat Iron Building

The Flat Iron Building was located on the northeast corner of Broadway and Central Avenue. It was called the Flat Iron Building because of its triangular shape – similar to that of an old flat iron. One of the businesses in the Flat Iron Building was the Spudnut Shop. The Spudnut Shop specialized in hamburgers and Spudnuts. A Spudnut was a doughnut made from special potato flour, apparently that one had to purchase from the Spudnut Company. Reportedly the doughnuts were the best when fresh.. Another business I remember in the Flat Iron Building back in the late 60’s was Carl’s Music Store. Not sure when it went out of business, but he handled musical instruments and supplies.musical instruments and supplies. The building was in such bad condition that it was demolished a few years ago

 View from the west looking east 1960's
View from east looking west 1960's

Friday, December 13, 2013

The Keg (Barrel) pt 5

After the war, when gas rationing disappeared, the Minot Barrel grew in popularity. Ruth Sethen bought the Barrel from Muzzy and added a dining room and painted the Barrel White. In 1949, Ruth sold the Barrel to her brother Robert Sethen. He operated it until 1955 when he sold it to Rodney Lovdahl, one of his employees. Lovedahl changed the name to the Keg and operated it from 1955 to 1968. The Keg was severely damaged by the Flood of 1969 and was finally demolished in 1971. The other Barrel root beer stands met the same fate. They deteriorated and were eventually destroyed. The only Barrel still in operation is in Grand Forks and it is known as the Kegs. It consists of the original Grand Forks Barrel and the one from Wadena which was moved to Grand Forks. It did survive the Grand Forks Flood of 1997.

Muzzy next to one of The Barrel restaurants

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Barrel (Keg) pt.4

Harry Muzzy ended up building 8 Barrel root beer stands. Three in North Dakota…. Minot, Devils Lake and Grand Forks.  One in Montana …. Great Falls.  Four in Minnesota…. Crookston, Dilworth, Detroit Lakes and Wadena.  The Muzzy’s hired local couples to supervise the root beer stand and they supervised the chain from their home in Crookston. Harry Muzzy visited each Barrel monthly and did all the repair work himself. Cecile Kerns managed the Minot Barrel and became known as the “Hamburger Queen”. After closing her stand in the summer, the Hamburger Queen and helpers would go out dancing to the sounds on the big bands in the area. When the carhops and cooks came in the music would stop and the band would play “Roll out the Barrel” in their honor.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Keg Pt 3 -- (The Barrel)

Harry Muzzy built the second barrel in Minot, next to the Minot City Ballpark and across the street from the city zoo. He used 117 pieces of 1 inch by 6 inch tongue and groove lumber sixteen feet long to form the outer shell of the structure. Local lumber yards had to shape and bevel the wood in order to fit in the top and bottom hoops. It was during the time of the Depression and lumber yards and carpenters were happy to have the work. When completed Muzzy began selling soft drinks, ham sandwiches and hot dogs with sauerkraut to Minot residents. The root beer logo was Triple XXX. The logo stood out prominently on the front of the Barrel root beer stand. This logo and the novel shape attracted and kept customers.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Keg - Pt.2

The Barrel was part of a chain of barrel shaped root beer stands built by Harry Muzzy and his wife Martha in the 1930’s. Muzzy grew up in Minot, worked as an engineer for the Great Northern Railway until 1920. He moved to Crookston, Minnesota and owned a successful cigar store. He had the opportunity to start a root beer stand in Great Falls, Mt. Aware of the success of the A&W Root Beer stands in California, he thought they would be a success along Highway 2 in the northern part of the country. He built the Great Falls stand in the shape of a 2 story barrel. It was a huge success both as a root beer stand and also as a tourist attraction. Muzzy and his wife lived on the second story of the Great Falls barrel.

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Keg (Barrel) Pt 1

The Barrel root beer stand (The Keg) was built in 1931 in Minot. It was during the great depression, a time of dust storms, drought, heat waves and crop failures. A nickel bought a root beer and a dime bought a toasted ham sandwich. Food was delivered to the vehicles by young carhops. The smiles were free. Some believe the word “carhop” was coined because the waitresses had to hop p on the running boards of the cars to deliver the food. Others say it was a derivative of  the word “bellhop” and adapted to the cars.. … Most drive-ins instructed the carhops not to stand on the running boards because it was improper and overly familiar behavior. . The first carhops were not teenage girls, but were adult women who found the tips were excellent even back in the 30’s


Friday, December 6, 2013

10,000 Packs of Cigarettes

1971 Cigarette Rumor – Trinity Hospital was the recipient of over 25,000 empty cigarette packages from all over the state. Many believed the rumors that cigarette companies would redeem the empty packs for items such as seeing eye dogs, wheel chairs and other medical supplies. Over 10,000 empty cigarette packs came from the Westhope School District.  Unfortunately there was no truth to the rumor. Trinity thanked all those who tried to help the cause. The empty cigarette packs ended up in the Minot landfill. 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Minot Original City Hall

The first building to serve as City Hall for Minot was the home to the Police Dept in the basement, the Fire Dept. on the main floor and dormitory above, the jail, magistrate’s office and the City Manager office and staff also on the main floor. It was built in 1905 and was located mid block between Main St. and 1st St SW. (or next to the Alley behind the Montgomery Ward building – across the street from the 1st Avenue Building). In the early 1900’s, this was quite literally the center of Minot. DA Dinnie was awarded the bid for construction for the price of $11,171.00. The new building  to be the best facility of its kind in the country for cities the size of Minot. However the Minot Aldermen were so disenchanted with the finished result they refused to occupy it as they claimed it had not been built to specifications. About 6 months later they resolved the conflict and moved in.

 Minot City Hall on 1st Ave SW
Dinnie Flats - Apartments at one time on the Corner of what is n ow Broadway and Burdick Exp

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Girls working in the Gas Station

Country Boy Conoco – 1967 – in 1967 the manager of Country Boy Conoco on South Broadway tried a something new in staffing the service station. He replaced half of his male staff with girls… he said that the girls were more cooperative and efficient than the boys. When a vehicle pulled in for service work and one of the boys approached to help the driver said “Do you think we came here to be waited on by you???”.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Eagles Club

In April of 1972 the new Minot Eagles Club was dedicated and opened to members. The club was located at the intersection  of 2nd Avenue and 16th St. SW, across from Arrowhead Shopping Center. In less than a year, the Eagles membership had grown from 1800 to over 3200. The Minot Eagles Club was organized in 1942 and the new home was the fourth location. Prior to this opening the club was located at 110 1st Street SE, Which was the home of the Chicago Club. The new club was about 17,500 square feet and built at a cost of $483, 365.00….

 Eagles club - 1985
Eagles Club - 1962

Monday, December 2, 2013

Busineses from 1964

Dyna-Kleen – January, 1964  saw the announcement of a new cleaning service in Minot. Dyna-Kleen had a goal to provide low cost cleaning of furnaces, boilers, chimneys, duct work and air conditioning systems for both commercial and residential customers. Dyna-Kleen also was able to do carpet and upholstery cleaning and grease removal in restaurant kitchen areas                   
Montgomery Wards Auto Service Center -  Location – 18 Third St. SE … Just north of the Firestone Store…. Full line auto service center … also sold and serviced lawn mowers of various types … seems they also sold a couple models of camping trailers.

Montgomery Wards Service Center

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Westland Oil - 1964

Westland Oil Co. was established in Scobey, Montana in 1919 by RJ Coughlin, Sr. In 1928 the headquarters were relocated to Minot on East Central Avenue. The company had refineries Cut Bank and Kevin, Montana. Westland’s products included diesel fuels, Buffalo Gasoline, Wesco LP gas, Dura Lubricants and Itasca oils . At one time there were many Westland Gas Stations in the city of Minot. The Westland mascot was Billy Buffalo

 Westland Station on Central Ave& 6th St SE

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Ace Hardware

Ace Hardware on Broadway – in August of 1922 Ace Hardware opened a new store on the corner of Broadway and Burdick Expressway. The location was the former home of Wholesale Food Center and before that the National Grocery Store. Al Anderson bought the building, completely remodeled and moved the store from 11 First St SW where they had been since 1946. After Ace Hardware moved the store was A Scheel’s Hardware and SportingGoods. Scheels was also the place to buy many baking items that could not be found at regular department stores…. Then when Sheel’s moved out half of the building was used as a furniture store and the other half was Schlotsky’s Restaurant and is now the home of Zimmerman’s Furniture

 National Foods - early 1950"s
Ace Hardware opening 1968

Monday, November 25, 2013

Pggly Wiggly - East Burdick

 The first Piggly Wiggly Store opened in the mid 40’s at 213 South Main Street. In 1957, at a cost of $300,000, Piggly Wiggly opened a new store by the Fairgounds. Piggly Wiggly East was one of the largest grocery stores in the state at that time. In 1961 another store opened in the Oak Park Center. The store on Main Street closed in 1960 and shortly after a third store was opened in the Town & County Center. In 1982 the Oak Park store moved to the Arrowhead Shopping Center. At one time Piggly Wiggly employed over 250 people. I worked at the Town & Country store in 1966-67. Nash Finch supplied many grocery stores among them were the Piggly Wiggly stores

 Piggly Wiggly East
Nash Finch - 1940's

Friday, November 22, 2013

Train Depots - Hub of the town

Mary Wood was an agent/telegrapher for Great Northern Railroad between 1943 and 1960, during the time when just about every town had a train depot. By the 1960s most of those depots had started to close.
"For a century and a quarter the depot was the hub and heart of the town it serviced," she wrote in a history of the depots. "Here the depot agent was a prominent figure. His duties were many. He copied train orders from the dispatcher and handed them up to the engineer and conductor as the train went by, sold tickets, checked baggage, man-handled freight and express on and off freight cars. Everything came by rail merchandise, mail, coal, lumber, beer. Even the circus came by train. (The depot agent) ordered grain cars for the elevator, then billed out the load. He received and sent telegrams. He was the first to know everything by listening to messages sent by other agents along the line."
 Soo Line Depot - 1887
Train in Minor 1898

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Liquor Raid - 1939

One of the biggest prohibition raids in Minot took place on this day. Nineteen people, 10 men and 9 women were arrested. The raid was conducted by Federal agents from North Dakota and Minnesota. Search warrants were obtained for 12 establishments but only 8 were actually entered. Three establishments had heavily barred doors so tear gas was used to drive out the suspects and gain entrance. Charges of possession and selling intoxicating liquor were filed …. These charges carried a maximum fine of $10,000 and 5 years in prison per charge or both

Parrott Inn on High Third Street

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

High Third - the beginnings

The original Third Street, or the area of ill repute was 1st Street SW, from Central Avenue south. The town was much younger and much smaller in the early days. The city fathers decided to move this area of ill repute “way out of town.”  They forced them to the first coulee to the west.. They moved them about 2 blocks to the west to its Third Street Southwest location. Its good they moved them to Third Street as Second Street eventually became Broadway. One of the first Madams on Third Street was May Butler. She was located on the west side of the block between Central Avenue and 1st Avenue SW

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Destruction Device

 A Liquor Raid at 32 Central Avenue East agents found a device that had been constructed to destroy any evidence.  The strange device had liquor packed around it in such a way that it would be destroyed by fire when the current was on. The device consisted of a small wire coil in a concrete enclosure. Around the coil were shavings and other flammable material. Mixed in with this were the bottles of liquor. When the current was turned on it would ignite the material and heat the bottles enough for them to be destroyed thereby eliminating evidence. When agents barged into the room, they unplugged the device. The bottles had not heated up enough to explode and destroy the evidence.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Third Street - Fashion Shopping

The Ladies of Third Street were regular customers at many of the best clothing stores in Minot. They had their own shopping time. Years ago, all the stores in downtown Minot were open every Thursday evening until 9:00 pm. Since the stores were open later in the evening they would open later in the morning, on Thursdays. Many of the stores like S&L, Bader’s and others would open between 8:00 am and 10:00 am just for the Ladies of Third Street to shop. They would always pay in cash and were always done shopping by the time the stores opened for regular business. The Ladies of Third Street would spend a lot of money and did not disturb the regular shoppers and could shop in peace.

Friday, November 15, 2013

High Third Street Mayor

This individual controlled what happened on Third Street. Because of his control over the Third Street area, things were rather peaceful. The area pretty much was self policed. One of the local, well know individuals on Third Street, we will refer to him as Jim, had an altercation with the “Mayor” and slapped him. The “Mayor of Third Street” looked at Jim and told him he had until evening to get out of town. Jim left town and went to Winnipeg. Jim did not return until the “Mayor” died.. This occurred on a hunting trip. The “Mayor” and a number of his cronies were out hunting and drinking. The practice was to have someone sitting on the front fenders of the car as they drove along looking for game. They group was driving down a corn field looking for pheasants. When they got to the end they noticed the “Mayor” was not on the front of the car. He was lying in the field. They had run over him breaking both legs. His friends took him to town and to the hospital. He died within 2 days due to an infection. After that, Jim was able to safely return to Minot

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Third Street Raids

Back in the 50’s, as the story goes, there was a raid on one of the houses on Third Street. One of the women in the house was found hiding inside a kitchen cupboard. She had crawled in and shut the door, hoping to avoid being found. This was a bit unusual as most of the time the establishments in Third Street had advance warning of pending raids by the Police Dept. When the Police Dept was located on 1st Avenue in downtown Minot, it was in the same building as the fire dept. and City Hall. Some of the firemen would watch for unusual activity in the Police Dept and if it was a raid on Third Street, they would call and warn the Third Street businesses. Usually no one of importance was caught in the raids, however many prominent people in Minot would frequent many of the establishments.

The Coffee Bar on High Third

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

High Stake Poker Games

It is well known that many of the High Rollers of the day would often hold high stake poker games. Many a car was lost and many won over a deck of cards. One of the Bootleggers always claimed the Cadillac’s or other cars he won from a well known auto dealer, always ran better than any he had purchased. He claimed that he won as many cars as he had lost. This same Bootlegger had at one time won a house on Third Street in a poker game. He also lost it in a poker game. Before he lost it in another poker game he hired someone to clean the house so he could turn around and sell it. As the cleaning person was clearing out a closet in the basement, she fell through the closet floor into a sub basement below the actual basement. One can only speculate what the lowest level was used for.

View of Third Street (south end) from 4th Ave (Burdick Exp)
this was taken in 1960 just before the demise of Third Street.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Booze Pipeline

This is from a listener who used to have a water well drilling company in the area:  Apparently at one time there was an underground pipeline that ran from the Ward County Courthouse to the Leland Hotel in Downtown Minot. It seems that when the court would prosecute booze runners during the prohibition days, the judge would dump all the illegal alcohol down a drain. Some enterprising individuals reportedly ran a pipe from that drain, under downtown Minot to the Leland Hotel. The alcohol was collected, processed and served to the guests of the Leland. Apparently many contractors over the years would hit the illicit pipeline when doing underground work in the area. The pipe was always patched and repaired, until they realized that it was not a water line and was no longer in use.  At one time there were a number of contractors who were aware of this booze pipeline The Leland Hotel location is now occupied by Artspace

Leland Hotel Block with Businesses

Monday, November 11, 2013

Bad Checks For Booze

One of the more sensational incidents was when a group of runners came up with the idea of buying a large amount of Canadian liquor and paying for it with cashier’s checks drawn on banks that had closed. The runners made sure they stayed south of the Canadian border as the Canadians who sold them the liquor were literally out gunning for them. As one of the group, a runner from Minot said, “They gave us bad whiskey so we gave them bad checks.”

Friday, November 8, 2013

Booze Running Info

In a report to a federal grand jury in Fargo on October 6, 1920, Judge Charles Amidon  reported that there are automobiles loaded with liquor in convoys that have men armed with rifles and sawed off shotguns. He was encouraging the jurors to enforce the law.

On October 25, 1920 a story was printed about $40,000.00 worth of confiscated whiskey being destroyed in Minot. “The fumes of the strong liquor became so dense at one time that some of the officials became nauseated.”

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Price for Running Booze

The “whiskey sixes” would run to Canada and back in the late spring through the fall, until the snow came. The price paid to the runners for running from their start to Canada and back varied. The amount ranged from $100.00 to $500.00 per trip. A lot of money was made in a very short time if you wanted to take the risk.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Booze Runners ....

The runners carried heavy loads in the “whiskey sixes”. Where the roads were good, the cars could travel along at speeds as fast a 50 to 60 miles per hour. The runners would travel in a line, or group with the lead car posing as a tourist to flush out the lawmen. The lead car would stall on the road, warning the runners that the law was ahead so they could make their get-away. Another trick used by the runners was to have a woman companion and at times a woman driving the car. The thought being that the lawmen would hesitate to shoot at a car occupied by a woman. It was generally considered by their appearance that these women companions were not home loving housewives.

Saul's Bar B Que on Third Street

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Whiskey Runners

 The Whiskey runners made a lot of money and made it in a hurry. They were flashy dressers, sporting big diamonds, silk shirts, fancy ties and suits. They were also big tippers. One night in Minot a group of them lined up and peppered a bass drum in a Minot dancehall orchestra with silver dollars. The group was trying to break the head of the drum. They eventually ruined the drum but the orchestra was not upset as they got to keep all the silver dollars.

Boarded up business on High Third

Monday, November 4, 2013

Whiskey Six

Going back and reviving some of the prohibition stories

A Whiskey Six was the name given to the big, high powered automobiles used by the booze runners in the days of Prohibition. The favored automobile was the Buick.  Minot was a local point for the Whiskey Runners in the era of 1919 to 1921. The whiskey running was at its peak during this time. Minot was the last major stop before Canada. The whiskey runners at times would travel in packs with a pilot car ahead to warn the if any lawmen were waiting up ahead. On some days, a whole city block would be lined with “whiskey sixes” waiting for dusk to make their run for the booze. They seldom returned to Minot after getting the load as the main destination was points like St Paul, Minneapolis, Sioux City and Omaha.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Some have wondered where the daily blogs are::

Using up vacation time. Entries will return on November 4th

Thanks for checking in

Friday, October 25, 2013

Booze Runners - 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.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Downtown White Drug

Back in the 1960’s the Downtown White Drug Store Cafeteria was the place many of us at Minot High would go at noon and after school. It was a great cafeteria and a great place to congregate. White Drug cafeteria also offered a supper menu with daily specials. Every evening meal came with mashed potatoes, vegetable, roll, beverage and salad. Monday – Spaghetti & meatballs – 87 cents… Tuesday – ¼ oven baked chicken – 97 cents  …. Wednesday – Meat Loaf  - 92 cents …. Thursday – Turkey – 97 Cents and Friday was Tuna casserole for only 87 cents

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Garden Valley Super fair

This store opened on May 27, 1965. At the time it was “ the most beautiful and modern super market in the area”. In the next year and a half sales rose over 100%. They boasted a clientele of over 600 families. In 1968 three men were hired to run the store. An new Meat Manager, Produce Manager and Store Manager. The store was located on 4th Avenue NW, about a block or so west of 16th Street.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Entertainment From the Past

Calvacade of Stars 1964 – the Municipal Auditorium was host to this event in February of 1964. The tour featured Johnny Tillotson, The Caravelles, The Coastersn and Myron Lee and the Caddies…. Tickets $2.00 …. At the door $2.25.   Buck Owens and the Bucaroos performed in the Minot Municipal Auditorium on June 17, 1971. Tickets were $3.50 in advance and $4.50 at the door. The sound system was provided by Marguerites of Jamestown….

Monday, October 21, 2013

Municipal Judge Impeachment

 July 1968 a number of young people in Minot were calling for the impeachment of a Minot Municipal Judge. They were upset as they claimed the judge was discriminating against youth with long hair. Apparently they were given the choice of spending time in jail or cutting their hair…. The misdemeanors, such as speeding, were not directly connected to the length of their hair. The few demonstrators were on a local street corner but were claiming the protest would grow to 50 plus people and be help in Roosevelt Park.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Infamous 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

One view of Third Street

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Drug RAids - 1922

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.

South end of Third Street as seen from 2nd St (Broadway)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Minot - Gun Battle 1921

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.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

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 as being the most wide open city between Chicago and Butte, Montana. It was believed that the police would raid speakeasies 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.)

Monday, October 14, 2013

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.”  Also 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.

Friday, October 11, 2013

First Girl Lifeguard??

1968 saw a first for the Roosevelt Park Swimming Pool. The first Girl Lifeguard (or at least the first one anyone at that time could remember ).. The first female Lifeguard hired by the Park board in 10 years… the Male Lifeguards had no memory of a female prior to this. Her duties included guarding, sweeping down the concrete deck and teaching swim lessons. She was from Stanley and a student at Minot State.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Teen Night

North Hill Bowl 1968 Summer Teen Night – during the Summer 0f 1968 every Thursday evening was turned into Teen Night. This was a special event to give youth of Minot a place to hang out and stay off the streets. The event drew 350 to 500 kids. The Teen Night featured “live” bands, free bowling and billiards and lots of conversation. The Bowling lanes and Billiard tables were available in one hour shifts. Shoes had to be removed and the participants were allowed to dance on the bowling lanes… There were also drawings for door prizes.

North Hill Bowl in the 1950's