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Monday, September 30, 2013

The Fair Store

In 1902 Engle B Ellison moved to Minot with his family to establish The Fair Store. Merchandise from Fargo was shipped to Minot in several railroad boxcars. By 1961 The Fair Store had expanded from a 25 foot frontage to a 100 foot frontage on Minot’s Main Street. The store offered over 35,000 square feet of shopping space. In 1964 Ellison’s Department Store opened a second location in the Town & Country Shopping Center with 10,000 Square feet and for a time operated a third location in Newtown.

 This is the original Ellison's The Fair Store

Friday, September 27, 2013

State Fair Wagon Train

Wagon Train – 1967 – this was the second year for the fair to open as the Official North Dakota State Fair … the Fair was to open at noon on Sunday that year with a parade of horse drawn wagon trains entering through the fairgrounds arches. The 1967 State Fair was out to beat the record attendance of 152,769 set the previous year. 1967 was also the second year of participation by FFA youngsters from though out the state. More than $46,000 in prizes were being offered. This was also before the days of the big name concerts performing at the fair. The big grandstand draw was the Demolition Derby on Sunday night

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Car Wash on North Broadway

Harold’s Car Wash – in a December 1970 news story there was an announcement for the Grand Opening of  Harold’s Car Wash on north Broadway to be held on January 2, 1971. It was to be located at 719 North Broadway. The carwash area was 18 X 90 feet with a Gulf Oil station that could handle 12 cars at one time under a 30 X 90 foot canopy. The location also featured 8 vacuum drops.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Downtown Minot Renewal - 1971

Downtown Renewal – 1971 – In June 1971 a model was unveiled for a plan to renew Downtown Minot. Many of the businesses today are still in place. Interesting to note is that the Parking lot south of the Midwest Federal Building was to become a major retail store with other shops and Parking below grade..(similar to what is being planned today). Where the Wells Fargo Bank and parking lot is was to be another major department store as was the parking lot south of Brady Martz on Central Avenue.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

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.

Monday, September 23, 2013

One Way Streets in Minot

In 1970 or so the city of Minot decided to try one way streets in the downtown area. 1st Street SW from 3rd Avenue to Central Avenue was a one way street going north. 1st Street SE from Central Avenue to 3rd Avenue was a one way street going south. In a survey conducted a short while after the one way streets went into effect found about 1/3 of the cars were in violation of traffic regulations. The violations included going the wrong way, stopping in the middle of intersections where no stop was needed, failing to stop when it was needed and turning from the wrong lane. The one way streets did not last very long.

Friday, September 20, 2013

January 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 scene is near the Great Northern Railroad Bridge across the Mouse 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. In the picture are 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.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Oak Park Pool - 1971

June 11, 1971 was the reopening of the Oak park Swimming Pool. It had not been used since 1968. The flood in 1969 closed the pool and a high ground water table in 1970 kept the pool closed that year. The pool would have opened earlier but bad weather delayed the opening until almost mid June

 Oak Park Pool 1961

Oak Park Pool opening in 1971 - 2 yrs after 1969 flood

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Roosevelt Zoo Charges Admission

Music City – Located in the Town & Country Center, Music City was still selling albums in the mid to late 1970’s …. Some of the popular artists included Kiss, Lobo, Waylon Jennings, Jefferson Starship and Rupert Holmes…. Albums priced as low as $4.99 and tapes as low as $5.99 (I believe these were cassette tapes, now a thing of the past)… CD’s had yet to become popular
Roosevelt Zoo 1979 – In December of 1979 the Minot Park Board voted to charge admission to the Roosevelt Zoo. At the public hearing only four people appeared. Two in opposition to the fee and 4 in favor. The Chamber of Commerce and the Jaycees both spoke in favor of charging the fee.

Original Bear ca

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

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”.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Stearns Motors

Stearns Beverage 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

Friday, September 13, 2013

Entertainment Events from the Past

 “The Crickets” – motion picture and recording stars were on stage in Minot on May 1 at the Minot Armory – tickets on $1.50.—The Crickets were Buddy Hollie’s band up until his death. …… Roy Orbison – Wednesday, August 26, 1964 Roy Orbison appeared at the Minot Municipal Auditorium – concert was 9 pm to Midnight – ticket price was $1.75 in advance and 2.00 at the door…… The Carpenters – Dec 2. 1970 the Carpenters performed at the Municipal Auditorium. Tickets to the Event were $3.00 …..


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Pizza Family

Jack’s Pizza – Jacks Pizza was located on North Broadway. It was owned by the Widdel family. Jack's Pizza was across from 1st Lutheran on the west side of North Broadway. They also had Toni’s Pizza. Toni’s Pizza was out by the Fairgrounds just off 4th Avenue (East Burdick Expressway). Toni’s was across the street from what is now the Holiday Inn about where the Capri Bar is now located. The third pizza location, Pappy’s Pizza,  was  located on 3rd St NE. … The Widdels also had a bakery on 3rd St NE, in the area between 5th and 6th Avenue. Pappy's Pizza was located in the Bakery. The Widdel family is reported to have had the first pizza restaurant(s) in Minot. A good friend told me the first pizza he ate was at Pappy's Pizza on 3rd St.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Super Grill

Super Grill  – Located somewhere in the area of 627 North Broadway…  Few people remember the Super Grill on North Broadway. The  Super Grill was located next to  the Super Value Store on North Broadway…. The Super Value Store eventually became Northwest Music until the building was torn down with the upgrades to North Broadway.  In the 60’s and early 70’s there was also a Super Value store on south Broadway with a cafeteria on the south side of the building. The café is now a used car lot (Coach & Four). The grocery store closed and became Northwest Sporting Goods and is now the Goodwill Store.
The Waffle Shop -  The Waffle Shop was located in the 1st Avenue Building in Downtown Minot. It was owned by Clifford and Ann Jones. The waffle Shop then became the Coral Café before finally closing

 The cars are parked in front of the Super Grill
Café in Cline's Super Valu on South Broadway

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Shirley Room & Embers Restaurant. – Both of these restaurants were located in the now empty Midwest Federal Building and both in the mid to late 60’s. I’m not sure if they were both in operation at the same time. The Shirley Room was located in the basement of the Midwest Federal Building. I believe they did a breakfast and lunch menu. In my younger years I did not like bread or sandwiches but in the Shirley Room I learned to love a grilled cheese, ham and tomato sandwich. The Embers Restaurant was located on the top floor of the Midwest Federal Building. It as a bit of a fancier restaurant. I believe many of its clientele were area business men. I remember by brothers and their friends, (at that time considered radical), hanging out up there much to the consternation of the business men.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Poor Roger's Surplus

Sammy’s Pizza on Central Ave. – The Sammy’s Pizza in the 60’s was located on West Central Avenue. About 2 doors east of Broadway. The booths were in the back. The pizza’s were made in the front of the place next to the windows. I recall dough being tossed in the air during the Pizza making process. Next door to the west in the early 60’s I have been told the corner spot was the Bus Depot. The Bus Depot moved and in the late 60’s this area became Poor Roger’s Surplus (I believe the name is correct.) The only thing I remember about the store is that it seemed to have a continuous “Going out of Business” sale going on…. Eventually Poor Roger’s Surplus did actually “go out of business”.

Sammy's Pizza .. Bus Depot next to it and Rex Hotel behind

Friday, September 6, 2013

Toot 'N Tell'em

Famous Fried Chicken – this restaurant was open between1980 and 1995. They featured BBQ ribs, Gizzards and biscuits in addition to chicken. Famous Fried Chicken  was located behind the Brokers 12 building on South Broadway. Its location is now a parking lot for Dacotah Bank.
Toot N Tell’em – This  was located on the bottom of North Hill on North Broadway. The building was to the east of Bishop Ryan High School. The premise of the drive-inn was to pull up and “toot” the horn, then “tell-em” what you wanted when they came out to take the order

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Barn Café –

This café was located inside the Clarence Parker Hotel in downtown Minot. Both the Clarence Parker and the Leland Parker Hotel had café’s in their hey day. The Clarence Parker Hotel actually began as an office building. George Valker, Sr. started construction on the office building in 1920. It was never finished and was left vacant for about 20 years., except for birds roosting in the incomplete top stories, hence it was known as the “Sparrow Hotel”. After WWII, Clarence Parker completed the construction and created the Clarence Parker Hotel.

The Barn Café

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Arvid's Red Carpet

This restaurant was a buffet line boasting more food than one could imagine. It was on West Central Avenue and 1st St . It was located in the basement of what is now the Brady Martz accounting office. Arvid’s Red Carpet featured a Large red canopy over the entrance and red carpet going down the stairs to the restaurant. For the time, some say it was pretty fancy, boasting white linen on the tables. On the main floor above Arvid’s was a small liquor store whose owner was reportedly one of the bootleggers during the prohibition days

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

King Leo's Opens

the ad in the newspaper on January 22, 1963 proclaimed that King Leo’s was open for business. They billed themselves as the “Aristocrat of Hamburgers)…. King Leo’s was open Sunday through Thursday from 11 am to Midnight and Friday and Saturday from 11 am to 1 am… The opening menu featured Hamburgers - 15 cents …..  Cheeseburgers – 19 cents ….. French fries – 12 cents …. Soft drinks 10 and 15 cents ….. hot chocolate – 12 cents and triple thick milk shakes – 20 cents …. All burgers were made with 100% US Gov’t. inspected ground beef…. King Leo’s was located on the Magic Mile (south Broadway – where Arby’s is now).

 King Leo's - Not Minot location but same design