Total Pageviews

Friday, February 28, 2014

Gassman Coulee - Tent Town

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.

 Original Gassman Coulee Trestle constructed with wood

Trestle in late 1800's - tornado or high wind demolished the trestle

Thursday, February 27, 2014

1959 - Rental Rates

Housing Ads in 1959 – Times have changed. In 1959 some of the classified ads in the newspaper for housing were as follows: #1 – 2 bedroom home with furnished basement apartment to sublet - $125.00 month –#2 -  Three bedroom duplex apartment - $105.00 month -- #3 – two bedroom house with coal heat $75.00 month (maybe had to shovel your own coal) -- #4 – one could purchase a new Capp Home – custom built on your lot and foundation for as low as $3489.00 .

House ad from 1963

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

1888 Laws

 In 1888 it was illegal to ride or drive horses in the city limits faster than a trot or 8 mph – while it sounds funny today, with no traffic signals a galloping horse was a threat to public safety …. There was a “vice” ordinance prohibiting anyone from owning or visiting a “bawdy house” or a house of “ill fame”…… Drunken or disorderly conduct was subject to a fine of not more than $19.00 and/or 9 days in jail ….. it was also illegal to keep horses, mules, cows, sheep, goats or swine (pigs) within the city limits ……

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Minot's First Churches

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.

 The Original 1st Baptist Church - about where Midwest Federal Building is now
 early Methodist Church
The original 1st Lutheran Church

Monday, February 24, 2014


Bridgeman Creamery in Minot prided itself on continuously pioneering advancements in quality control and sanitation techniques. Bridgeman Creamery was the first in the area with Bulk Tank Trucks to move products from the farm to the Creamery. They were also the first and only creamery with an In-the-Plant Laboratory and Chemist to test and insure the quality of its products. Bridgeman’s also had the first and only All-refrigerated trucks for home delivery and product delivery to retail businesses. Bridgeman Creamery was located on Third Street Northeast at the south side of the Third Street overpass.


Friday, February 21, 2014

Eagles Club

FRaternal Order of the Eagles – The Minot Eagles Club was organized on August 3, 1941 with 108 charter members. In the 60’s and 70’s the Minot Eagles Club #2376 was one of the most active fraternal organizations in Minot. The original Eagles Club was in Downtown Minot on 1st Street South East, now the home of the Chicago Club. The Eagles later moved to their location at 16th Street and 2nd Avenue SW, behind Harleys and across the street to the east of the Arrowhead Shopping Center. The first president of the Eagles Club in 1941 was E J McIlraith.

 Eagles Club Downtown Minot 1950's
Eagles Club on 16th St SW - 1985

Thursday, February 20, 2014

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

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Parker Auditorium - 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.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Mitchell's Hardware

 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

Monday, February 17, 2014

Parker Auditorium

Parker Motors/Parler Auditorium – The Parker Auditorium was located on the top floor of the Parker Motor Company 0n First Street SW. (Across the street from what is now the Blue Rider Bar). The Parker Motor Co. was the Dodge Dealer early on and was eventually purchased and owned by Don Moe and became Don Moe Dodge. The Parker Auditorium was on the third floor and was used for many different events from boxing matches to conventions and roller skating on the weekends. It burned in the early 1950’. The only thing that saved the rest of the building was there was a double floor in the Auditorium and it did not burn through the second floor before the fire was contained.

 Interior of the Parker Auditorium
 Parker Motors

Friday, February 14, 2014

Duke's Cyclery

This last week we have been discussing the Windsor Hotel and the YMCA which was built on that location. Across the street to the north there is now a parking lot. At one time that parking lot was home to a couple businesses. One of those was Duke’s Cyclery. At one time Duke was the dealer for Schwinn Bicycles and also Harley Davidson Motorcycles. Next to Duke’s was a small café, not sure of the name and a tree or two and then Parker Motors. Not sure if it was before or after this location, but Duke’s was also in a building north of and adjacent to the Parker Hotel… That location is where the dining room is now for the Senior Citizens center.

Duke's Cycles - in the background you can see the Parker Auditorium / Parker Motors

Thursday, February 13, 2014


The Windsor Hotel stood on the corner of First Street and First Avenue SE  until 1949 – 1950  . The Windsor was torn down to become the home of the original YMCA which opened in the early 50's. I was asked to find out where the YMCA was before the building was built. I seems as though there was no established building before Colin Brown raised the funds to build it. The YMCA organization was apparently in the local schools as clubs. There is some evidence to believe that some YMCA groups met in the upstairs of a building on Main Street. Most likely this was in the Masonic Lodge when it was on Main. I hope this answers the question

Windsor Hotel - late 1940's
YMCA - early 1950's

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A&W Drive-In

 A&W Drive-in was located on South Broadway - just across the street from what is now Ryan Chevrolet. It was a popular hangout in the 60's and 70's. As I recall, two of the signature drinks that you could order were Moo Juice (root beer and milk) and Swamp Water - (root beer and orange juice). A&W was the first and I believe only restaurant that served batter made French fries.  A great place to get burgers, fries and a drink. They also served Chicken and other items on the menu. The A&W pictured is not the Minot A&W but ours was similar in design

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Lahart - Moe

LaHart-Moe – 1965   located at 108 Third St. SE LaHart-Moe was the Dodge and Chrysler dealer. In 1965 they considered themselves as Minot’s wildest auto traders. They sold both new and used cars
M&S Roofing – 1965 – located at 300 Second St. NW, Mowbray & Sons Roofing did new roof s and also roofing repair…. Residential, commercial and industrial … no job was too big or too small… free estimates were provided

 LaHart - Moe -- ad
M&S Roofing -- 1965

Monday, February 10, 2014

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. When President Eisenhower came to see the Garrison Dam he stayed at the Clarence Parker and Charlie Demakis was his personal chef while he was in town.

 Clarence Parker Hotel when known as The Sparrow Hotel
Clarence Parker hotel - 1950's

Friday, February 7, 2014

Leland Hotel

Parker Hotels – 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 rand 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 became  a parking lot on the north end of Main Street at Central Avenue. The Artspace Center is now on the same location. It seems as the landscape of old Downtown Minot is returning.... Pictured above is the Leland Hotel in 1947

1963 Demo of the Leland ... object in the circle is a smaller building in the middle of the Leland .. When they expanded the walls of the smaller building were incorporated into the structure of the Leland
        Leland House - 1890's

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Parker House

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 Southeast 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 Parker House is shown on the right

The Leland House - early 1900's

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Souris Bar

Souris Bar – 1965 Located at 1607 Fourth Ave. NW … The Souris Bar claimed “Your Old Friend Has A New Look” …. Apparently the bar was remodeled (and possibly renamed).. It was an old favorite and a buddy to many loyal folks who enjoy relaxing refreshments before, during and after a hard day’s work… The Souris Bottle Shop was to open soon.

Collins – Russell Mortuary – Owned by Harlan Russell and Chester Collins, it was located in Green Valley o Souris Drive, directly south of the Fairgrounds. The location was a church prior to the 2011 flood and may still be a church.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

KofC Club - 1965

Sweet Block  -- the building at the corner of Trinity where the Emergency Room Parking is now, was called the Sweet Block and it was originally used for nursing students dorm.  Later in the years of 1959, 1960, 1961 employees that lived out of town could rent rooms there for the winter months
Knights of Columbus 1965 – in May, 1965 the K of C Club construction had been completed. The new building was built at the cost of $100,000.00. Located at 2700 North Broadway … the building is still there and in use .

Monday, February 3, 2014

Legal Hanging

There were a few hangings in the Minot area in the very early days but 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). Reports state that Thorpe was taken to Rosehill Cemetary and placed in an unmarked grave…..