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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

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Fiat dealer

Nelson Motors – Fiat – on August 1, 1968 Nelson Motors, located at 600 North Broadway ran an ad proclaiming that they were the authorized Fiat dealer for Minot. At that time Fiat was the world’s largest automobile manufacturer outside the United States. Some of the specials were a Fiat 124 Family Sedan for $1921.00 and the Fiat Spyder for $3180.00.or a Fastback Coupe only $1875.00. Nelson Motors was also the American Motors Dealer at the time.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

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.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Sunbeam Automobiles

Alhood Motors  1961 –located on Highway 83 South (across from what is now the Gas Stopon South Broadway) Alhood Motors was the franchised dealer for Hillman Minx, Sunbeam Imp and Sunbeam Alpine.. all English imported vehicles

Friday, October 4, 2013

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 Winnebago 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.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Businesses from the Past

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.
Warehouse Furniture – the grand opening was in November 1970. Warehouse Furniture was located about 4 miles north of Minot on Highway 83. The location and metal building was to help keep overhead down so the savings could be passed on to the consumers.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Town & Country Shopping Center

An area in Minot one time known as the Highlands, next  to a major highway, a hilly chunk of ground which many people thought useless, was transformed in 1963  to 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.

The area to the left of the Westlie's Sign is the future home of T&C Shopping Center (1960)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The 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.