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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Tent Town

 Minot Early rival – in late 1886 Minot seemed to have a rival city in Tent Town…. This was the temporary camp set up at the Gasman Coulee near the railroad bridge that was being built. Rumor had it that the railroad planned to build a city at the second crossing of the Mouse River. The first crossing of the Mouse was near Towner. Many thought the city would be “at the big bridge”. Some started building make shift wooden buildings in anticipation of the city growing there. The decision to establish the city at the Minot location had been made but kept secret for a while. When word got out, the city of Minot grew and Tent Town remained through the construction of the bridge as many workers wanted to live close to the job site.

 after windstorm in 1898

Supplies for railroad in 1884

Steam train on original wooden bridge

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Days gone by - Nightclubs

Cline’s Beer Sales – located at 1405 South Broadway – just north of Cline’s Super Valu (at that time) – Always had cold beer and kegs on hand …… Gordon’s Holiday Spot – South Broadway (now the home of Hibachi Restaurant) …… Torch Light – Downtown Minot on 1st St SE – now the home for the Chicago Club ….. Blue Moon Nite Club – East Burdick Expressway – featured exotic dancers and jam sessions – now the home of Ron Lohman Motors …… Covered Wagon Bar – Main Street Downtown Minot ---  at one time the Covered Wagon Bar on Main Street was Minot’s oldest bar opening in 1900 -- often featured “Go Go Girls”  in the 60’s and 70’s  …… 

Covered Wagon Main Bar

Gordon's Holiday Spot menu

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Business From Bygone Days

Western Auto Parts Co. – At one time located on 3rd Avenue and 3rd Street SW…… Byorum’s S&Q Hardware Store – Started business in 1956. Located on the West Side of Main Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenue. 212 South Main Street. Phone TE 7-0161….. Baders Women’s Wear – The Store of famous Labels. Baders started serving the clothing needs of women in Minot in 1926. Originally in the Waverly Block until it burned down, Baders bought the Fauchald’s Department Store building, remodeled it and moved to its final location in 1957…… Fairway Foods – Super Fair – beginning in 1931 Fairway Foods was located on 2nd St NW, Below the Broadway Viaduct and the other location was in the Garden Valley Area. Jet Stamps were given out with every purchase….

Monday, February 25, 2013


Early Churches in Minot – After the original town site of Minot was established, the Methodists, Presbyterians and Baptists were the first congregations to take advantage of free lots offered to churches. Within two years after the town had started and as early as 1884, these three denominations all had houses of worship within a block of Main Street on 2nd Avenue in Downtown Minot. The Methodists formed the first congregations held the first church services…. The Presbyterians were the second to form a congregation and the first to erect a building in the city….. the Baptists were the first to build a brick walled church. By 1887 the Roman Catholic and Lutheran Churches were established in Minot also.
Methodist Church

Presbyterian Church

Friday, February 22, 2013

NightClubs From the Past

Fireside Lounge --  new in 1970 the Fireside Lounge was located inside (adjacent to) the Sandman Motel – (intersection of Burdick Expressway and the Bypass) – named for the large fireplace in the lounge….. Sir Patrick’s Lounge – located inside the Chateau Bowling Alley – (about where Perkins is located now) ….. Club 52 – about 3 miles between Minot and Burlington on Highway 52 – Jam session every Saturday ….. The Beggar Club – Highway 2 East – know to many as Friday’s and now The Rockin’ Horse ….. 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

70's Restaurants

Village Inn Pizza Parlor --  1929 North Broadway – in 1972 a coupon special featured a small pizza for only 96 cents …. Auto Dine Drive In – 8th Avenue and North Broadway – Kiddie burgers only 18 cents each of 6 for $1.00 ---- A&W Drive In – South Broadway across from Ryan Chevrolet (Auran Chevrolet in the early 70’s) …..

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

St Croix Motors

 Charles St Croix started in the automobile business as a car salesman in 1934.  He started St Croix Motors in 1948 to distribute and sell Kaiser automobiles. The Kaiser franchise was soon dropped in favor of Hudson and Rambler in 1952. In 1957 St Croix Motors opened in a new location on Highway 83 South, part of the Magic Mile….. now the Dakota Boys & Girls Second Hand Store. When  they opened in this location the decision was made to devote full time to used vehicles. In the early sixties St Croix also advertised “truck hoists installed while you wait”. Later St Croix motors would handle some lines of motor homes and motorcycles

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Professional Boxing in Minot

Minot Boxing Club – In the early part of the 1900’s Minot was home to the Minot Boxing Club. One of the main boxing attractions in 1905-1906 was Mark Nelson. He fought professionally in the  lightweight and a welterweight classes. In August of 1908, Minot banned professional boxing. Nelson claimed to have lost only 6 of 206 fights. In 1906 the Minot Athletic Association was established mainly to promote Nelson’s fights. Early matches were at times help at the Minot Opera House on main Street. Boxing made a resurgence in the 1930’s. The Minot Boxing Club at that time was based out of the Parker Auditorium where they held their amateur matches. The Parker Auditorium was on 1st Avenue Southeast in Downtown Minot across from what is now the Blue Rider Bar. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Mitchell's Hardware

Mitchell Hardware and Café – The only hardware store in the territory where you can buy a good t-bone steak AND the only steakhouse in the territory where you can buy good hardware!. Established in 1948 Mitchell’s Hardware and Café was located at 222 East Central Avenue…. Now the home of Val’s Cyclery. Mitchell’s was the authorized sales and service agents for Monarch Ranges, Hank’s Paints, Stanley Tools, Glodblat’s Masonary Tools and McKAy’s water Treatment. Mitchell;s at one time had a talking Myna Bird who was prone to uttering cuss words so many young people were not allowed to go near him. The Myna Bird’s name was Mac

Friday, February 15, 2013

Scheel's Expansion

Scheels on South Broadway expansion – in 1977 the major expansion of the Scheel’s store was already in progress. The 100 by 50 foot expansion to the main floor will be used to expand the sporting goods department. The basement below  will be for storage and receiving freight. There will also be a mezzanine for added office space. The parking lot was redesigned to accommodate 64 cars which is an increase of 11. This location is now Zimmerman’s Furniture on the corner of Broadway and Burdick Expressway. As a youth in the 50’s and 60’s prior to the expansion,  I can remember  parking on the north side of the building and I was able to look into the windows located there at that time.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Restaurants - Past

 Joe’s – Dine & Bar – on Highway 83 South – I believe in the area of the Denny’s Restaurant ….. Holland House Cafeteria – Located inside Newberry’s Dept Store in the Town & Country center ….. The Viking Table – 1910 South Broadway – smorgasbord with the largest selection in Minot – Sunday menu - $1.99 and kids under 10 only 10 cents per year of age …… McJack’s on Broadway – Formerly the Sweden House and then Viking Table – in 1977 McJack’s featured a prime rib cart – prime rib brought to your table and carved and served the way you liked it for only $5.50 per person 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Country Club Village

in 1977 Country Club Village was under construction. They boasted providing a carefree, rural atmosphere with all the amenities of city living. Each unit featured sliding glass doors to a large redwood deck with stairs to the yard. Complete sound proofing between neighbors, custom built oak cabinets, a double garage and its own central air conditioning unit. All units were above the flood plain and had a view of the County Club. Only 20 units were to be built and the Condominium corporation would take care of all exterior maintenance, snow removal and grounds beautification.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Past Business - Sunshine Grocery

Sunshine Grocery – located at 836 9th Ave NW (just west of Minot State), was a local neighborhood grocery store that featured groceries, quality meats, fresh produce, soft drinks and ice cream….. Riverside Lodge and Motel – Highway 2 east across from the Fairgrounds, (now the home of the Holiday Inn). It was built in 1946 and acclaimed for its superb cuisine, efficient service and comfortable accommodations in the motel….. Central Pharmacy – Bill Utke was the proprietor. Central Pharmacy was located at 19 West Central Avenue…. Ace Hardware – Located on the east side of 1st Street SE, one half block north of the Post Office (now the Federal Building). Started in 1933, Ace Hardware prided themselves as a complete hardware store featuring America’s best known brand names …. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Trinity Hospital Skyway

in July of 1972 construction had already begun on the Trinity Hospital Skyway. The cost of the project at that time was abut $125,000.00. The Skyway would span 4th Avenue (now Burdick Expressway) connecting the third floor of the Trinity Professional Building to the second floor Trinity Hospital. In addition to the Skyway, a covered driveway entrance to the east side of the clinic and stairs leading to the Skyway was constructed. Prior to construction the plans had to be approved by the Minot City Council, state and federal highway officials. The skyway (skywalk is still in use today.)

Friday, February 8, 2013

Clarence Parker Hotel

The Clarence Parker Hotel was originally built to be an office building. The original owners were Vaulker and Christenson. When the economy slowed in the 30’s and the outbreak of Work War II, the building sat empty for about 20 years. It was often referred to as the Sparrow Hotel as the top 4 or 5 floors were just steel girders, inhabited by birds of the area. After the War, Clarence Parker bought the building and finished construction, turning it into the 250 room Hotel that was named after him. In 1961, at the Diamond Jubilee, and in honor of the Dakota Territory’s Centennial celebration, the new Lounge was named the Centennial Room. In 1953 when President Eisenhower came to see the Garrison Dam Project a block of 20 rooms were used by his entourage. Charlie DeMakis from Charlie’s Café was the personal chef to Eisenhower while he was in Minot. It is now known as the Parker Senior Center.

The Sparrow Hotel

Clarence parker in the 1950's

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Parker Hotels

 The Parker House – Minot’s first hotel was The Parker House, built in 1886 on the north end of Main Street. It was built by Mr. & Mrs. W. H. Parker, parents of Clarence Parker. Fire destroyed the hotel in 1890. In 1896 the Parkers leased the Leland House from the original owner, Allen Tompkins and bought it from him in 1898. The Leland House was located on the corner of Main Street and Central Avenue. It was Minot’s first brick building and boasted 10 rooms with a bath. The Leland House also had its own sewer system as the city council back then voted down a proposal for city sewer.  The Hotel Leland – in 1904 the Hotel Leland had 110 rooms that were steam heated, electrically lighted and finely equipped. The Leland also had a large, pretentious dining room that could seat 1oo people. One of the specialties was  buffalo steaks from the Parker’s famous bufflo herds on their ranch in the Des Lacs Area. The Leland Hotel building also was the home to many other businesses on Main Street over the years. The location of the Leland Hotel was a parking lot on the north end of Main Street at Central Avenue. This location is now the future home of Art Space which is now under construction. Like the Phoenix rising out of the ashes, buildings seem to be reincarnating from parking lots back into buildings.

Leland Parker Hotel - 1947

Leland Parker Block - 1920's

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Pizza Plus

 On May 2, 1977 Pizza Plus was celebrating its grand opening. Pizza Plus was located at the intersection of South Highway 83 and the 2 & 52 Bypass, next to Chateau Bowling Alley.  Their grand opening specials included a free small pizza with the order of a medium or large pizza. They featured a noon special of a ham and cheese sandwich for only 77 cents. Customers could register for daily prizes and the grand prize was a 10 speed bike. Pizza Plus also had a large game area and showed old time movies. They boasted plenty of free parking available. This location is now the home of Hardee’s on South Broadway.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Eatmore Sausage & Packing Co. – starting in a tiny one room building in 1934, Eatmore sausage had a line of products that included smoked meats, all kinds of sausage and all grades of beef, veal and pork. Eatmore was a local company that employed all local help. They purchase all their meat products from local feedlots and sales rings. …. Collins – Russell Mortuary – Owned by Harlan Russell and Chester Collins, it was located in Green Valley on Souris Drive, directly south of the Fairgrounds. The location is now a church

Monday, February 4, 2013

Oak Park Liquors

Oak Park Liquors – located just one block west of the Oak Park Piggly Wiggly on the southeast corner of 16th St and 4th Ave NW. Oak Park Liquors opened for business in 1958 as Minot’s first packaged liquor Supermarket. Some of the reasons given to shop Oak Park Liquors were: Convenient drive-in… parking for 50 cars…Most popular brands…Carload capacity cooler … Chilled soft drinks and mix … All occasion gift wrap … Free ice cubes … one of the finest liquor stores in the nation….. and it was air conditioned. In more recent years the building has been a Bar B Que take-out restaurant and office space.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Hans Thorpe - 1898

Minot/Ward County Legal Hanging – Hans Thorpe will go down in history as the only person to be legally hanged in Minot. Thorpe drifted into Minot in 1898 and was reported to be quite a handsome guy and quite a lady’s man. Shortly after arriving in town he met and married a Minot girl…. Then his trouble began.  Thorpe and his wife got into a terrible argument one evening at the dinner table. In her room, the house keeper heard shots and when she ran into the dining room found Mrs. Thorpe dead of gunshot wounds. She also found Thorpe lying in his own blood as he had then turned the gun on himself. He did not do a very good job of shooting himself as he recovered and had to face his trial for murder. He was found guilty and sentenced to be hanged which happened on September 14, 1900. The gallows was just east of Minot on Valley Street, (about at the intersection of Valker Road, or at the bottom of the truck stop hill). Thorpe was reported to have wondered why everyone was in such a big hurry to get to the hanging, as “Nothing will happen until I get there”. Reports state that Thorpe was taken to Rosehill Cemetary and placed in an unmarked grave…..