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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