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Monday, June 30, 2014

Minot Grocery Company

the Minot Grocery Company started operations in Minot in 1906. Its first home was in downtown Minot east of Main Street and north of Central Avenue. In the early days Minot Grocery was purchased by the Nash Finch Company.  The Nash Brothers started business in 1885 in Grand Forks and were soon joined by Harry Finch. Nash Finch Company supplied products to the area Piggly Wiggly, Jack & Jill and Circle Food Stores. Nash Finch moved to a new, modern warehouse on Highway 2 & 52 West. They are still in business at the same location. That is now 16th Street SW and Burdick Expressway West.


Friday, June 27, 2014

Saunders Drug

in 1908, Cap Saunders came to Minot to work in the Leland Drug Store which was owned by Paul McCoy and Clarence Parker. McCoy and Frank Taylor owned Taylors Drug on North Main Street. Three months after arriving in Minot, Saunders was moved to Taylor Drug. In 1912 he bought one third interest in the store and later bought out McCoy and the name was changed to Saunders Drug. In 1935 Taylor sold his interest to Saunders. At midnight on December 31, 1948, Saunders turned over the management of the drug store to John Vardsveen. Saunders Drug was located at 5 North Main Street. Pictured below is the building Saunders Drug was located in and also an early picture of the interior of Saunders / Taylors Drug
 
 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Solar Eclipse - 1979

It happened on  February 26, 1979 at 10:39 am Minot time. Minot was on the path of the total solar eclipse of the sun. Many people traveled hundreds of miles to see the event. The path of the eclipse was a wide arc from Portland, Oregon through Butte and Billings, Montana. Then onward to the northeast through Williston and Minot and into Canada – Winnipeg and Fort Severn. The total eclipse lasted about 2 minutes. Many people traveled as many as 1200 miles to see it. Minot became the destination for viewing as it had the best forecast for Clear Skies over other major cities.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Champion Auto Parts

October , 1979 Harvey Furness and Darell Hauser opened a new  Champion Auto Parts store at 1021 Twentieth Ave SW in Minot. This was an automobile parts and accessories business. Champion Auto was located next to Carl’s Radiator Shop. This locations is just about across the street from where the Clear Channel Building is now located. Hauser and Furness were both previously employed at Motor Service Co. in Minot. Hauser also owned Hausers Farm Supply in Sawyer.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Festival of the Arts – 1971

the Festival of the Arts in 1971 had many events happening but one that caught my attention was the Operetta that was performed at Jim Hill Junior High School on April 22 and 23. The reason it has significance to me is that the stars of the show were Mindy Condon, Lenae Schnaibel and my own little sister Lois Lehner. … The three are pictured in a scene below

Monday, June 23, 2014

Young America

In 1963, Stan Fink came up with the concept of the Young America Stores. The first store opened in the newly built Town & Country Shopping Center. The store carried a complete line of infant wear and clothes for tots, juniors , subteens, young men and young women.  Most of the sales were in the men’s lines so the store expanded and eventually opened The American Man Stores. At one time Young America had 15 locations in North and South Dakota, Iowa  and Montana with over 250 employees.  In 1976 they opened the Jeanery in the Town & Country Center. American Man opened in 1981 in Dakota Square in Minot with Young America following in 1983. In 1983 Young America received the Retailer of the Year  Award by the Upper Midwest Mens Apparel Club of Minneapolis

Friday, June 20, 2014

Chain Food Store

Chain Food Store was established in 1917 by Herman (Heinie) Diamond. He started working a grocery store and soon saved enough money to purchase Standby Grocery on North Broadway. Chain Foods started delivering groceries in Minot with a horse and wagon. They were the first grocery store to use a motor truck for delivery.  In winter when roads were blocked, groceries were even delivered in rural areas by air. Also involved in the store with Heinie were his sons James and Jerry and his son –in-law Stan Fink.  These three also opened Diamonds Department Store in 1959 at 437 North Broadway and in 1961 a second Diamonds Department Store opened in the Arrowhead Shopping Center.
While I have no pictures of the Chain Grocery building below you will see a couple views of the interior of the store



Thursday, June 19, 2014

Minot Normal School

In 1911 there apparently some debate over where to build the Minot Normal School. Some wanted it built on South Hill and the other location was in North Minot. Residents of the town of Flaxton sent a telegram to Martin Jacobson (Jacobson Hardware) urging the city to build on south hill and start construction as soon as possible…. Well as history shows, the Minot Normal School was finally built outside of Minot on the north side of town. The Normal School later became known as the Minot State Teacher’s College , then Minot State College and now Minot State University…..

Laying the Corner Stone of Old Main - McCulloch Hall


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Minot Jaycee Men's Chorus

At one time in Minot there was a very active Jaycee organization.. in the 1940’s the organization had a men’s chorale group. This group did a number of concerts. Some included guest performers from the Minot State Teachers College. Some of the members who’s names  may be familiar are: Don Shirley, Zollie Gordon, Norman Diamond, Leslie Maupin, Ty Haugeberg. Also in the group were L.E.Clute and Russel Widoe as conductor.

 1940
1941

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

American Legion Club – Downtown Minot

The American Legion Club was located in Downtown Minot on 2nd St, (Broadway) just south of the Rex Bar and CafĂ©. The American Legion Club moved into this building in 1952 after purchasing it from the Minot Daily News. The News moved to its new location at 301 4th St. SE.  The American Legion Club moved to a new location on Minot’s north hill, now the home of Don Bessette Motors. The old American Legion Club location in Downtown Minot is now part of the parking lot west of Bremer Bank. I was in the old American Legion Club many times during my stint of driving a delivery truck for Coca Cola Bottling. It was always noted for having great food.


Monday, June 16, 2014

Events At Auditorium - 1979

Royal Lipizzan Stallions – Friday, September 28, 1979 the Lipizzan Stallions put on a show at the Minot Municipal Auditorium
Larry Gatlin – Sunday, October 14, 1979 Larry Gatlin was in concert in Minot at the Minot Municipal Auditorium. The show was hosted and presented by KCJB Radio. All seats were reserved and either $6.50 or $7.50….. the ad did not state whether the Gatlin Brothers were with Larry in that concert.



 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Tunnels #3

There were also many rumors about tunnels under “High Third”, Minot’s Red Light District. One hears rumors about bars and clubs that had escape tunnels in the basement for quick evacuation in case of a raid by the police. Again, in interviewing people back in the mid 80’s for the Ward County Centennial, I was told that “High Third” in its hey-day had many such tunnels. I was also informed that at one time a person could start at 4th Avenue (Burdick Expressway) and go to 1st Avenue or Stearns Motors (now I. Keating’s) without ever going outside. The route would consist of basement tunnels between houses and businesses as well as above ground passages between buildings. I have been investigating the history of Minot’s High Third. I very seriously doubt if this was true. In the days of prohibition, most of the addresses on Third Street were houses inhabited by regular law abiding citizens. True or not about the tunnels, I don’t know BUT some of the people I interviewed 25 years ago are no longer with us to ask. One thing that did come out is the fact that most of the time the places to be raided were warned ahead of time about a pending raid, hence tunnels were probably not really needed. It appears that many establishments of Third Street had “escape” passages out the back or through the basement if the need arose.

Dee Dee's Bar and Grill

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Tunnels #2 - Steam Tunnels


For many years a number of downtown buildings were heated by steam which was piped into them by steam pipes for the NSP Steam Power plant. The steam pipes had to be maintained so they ran through tunnels below the streets and buildings. These tunnels were large enough to accommodate men who may need to repair or do other maintenance. Many people confuse these tunnels with tunnels rumored to be running into Minot for the purpose of running contraband in and out of town. Most of this was in the form of alcohol smuggled in from Canada and other points. The Steam tunnels under Minot, while large enough to walk through were separate form any booze smuggling tunnels. However there was a rumor that a tunnel ran from Stearns Motors to the Rex Motel and another tunnel that ran from Stearn’s Motors to the old Flatiron Building. Possibly, only the people working on the Broadway Project in 1960 would know if this were true.
 
 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Tunnels #1

 Before WW II there was a pedestrian tunnel under the railroad tracks on Fourth Avenue (Burdick Expressway). It was probably built about the same time as the overpass. The tunnel was well lighted and dry. Cars no longer had to worry about trains, nor did pedestrians. Cars went over the top and people went underneath. After WWII the lights were broken by vandals. Women were afraid to use the tunnels. Because of liability the railroad boarded up the entrance.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Lowe's Grocery - Lowes Floral & Garden

Lowes Grocery was located in what is now the Ice Box on the corner of 3rd St NW and 1st Ave in Minot. Jim Lowe, one of the Lowe children, along with his wife Clarice began growing fresh produce to provide for the store. Later a "pick your own" vegetable stand was added. From fresh vegetables to bedding plants was an easy transition for Clarice and Jim, who ran Lowe's Gardens as a seasonal business. Lowe's Inc. DBA Lowe's Floral and Garden Center has been serving the Minot, ND community with fresh flowers, green and blooming plants, trees, shrubs, and locally grown vegetable and bedding plants for over 80 years. Their son Philip Lowe and his wife Jennifer purchased the business in 1975 and turned it into its current business form by adding the Floral Division, the Nursery and Landscape Department and the Garden Center. Two years later the couple moved to the caretakers cottage on the property and Jim and Clarice moved to Clarice's ancestral home in Tattman Township, North Dakota near Glenburn. Jim and Clarice worked daily at the business well into the 1980's.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Lowe's Grocery Pt 1

Albert Lowe was born in Wild Rose, Wisconsin on December 25, 1880. He was the son of Thomas and Mary Lowe. Albert’s father worked in the coal mines in Wales. He never saw daylight until he was 19 years old. Albert attended a commercial college in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. He also worked in a general store that was owned by C. A. Smart. Albert came to Minot and worked in the business office of the Minot Optic, later the Optic Reporter, owned by his brother-in-law, W. M. Smart. One of his jobs was picking up advertising for the newspaper. On of the advertisements was, For Sale – Riverside Mercantile Co., located at Third Street and First Avenue Northeast. The store was owned by Ed and Albert Bettin and Harry Marshall. This was in 1916. Albert asked if he could wait a few days before turning in the ad. In the meantime he made arrangements to borrow $3,000.00 on his own signature. In 1930 the store became strictly a food market and the name changed to Lowe’s Grocery, selling “Red & White” goods. Later, Albert purchased 19 acres of land from Harry Smith. This was originally the Joe Roach Ranch located in the bend of the Mouse River. He raised vegetables to sell to stores and wholesale houses in Minot. After purchasing the acreage on the Mouse River, Albert erected a chicken house. He ought Leg Horn pullets and when grown, sold the day old eggs. The cartons stamped with the date they were gathered and got 5 cents a dozen premium. People came from all over town to buy these day old eggs From Lowe’s Grocery.
 

Friday, June 6, 2014

The Keg - Is No More

In May of 1971 a long standing landmark in Minot was demolished. The Keg across from The Zoo was torn down. Older residents remembered it a s the “Root Beer Barrel’ or just the “Barrel’.. It was built in the 1930’s by a former Minot native – Muzzy. The Minot Barrel or Keg was one of 8 that were built across the northern part of the country. Originally it was just the Barrel and the dining room was added later.  The Keg ceased operation just before the 1969 Flood and never reopened after that flood. The Barrel was removed first and then the dining room addition.


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Show N Sell #2

As co-owner of the Show N Sell sign I can attest to some of the challenges in operating it. The only access to the sign on the roof was by an extension ladder placed on the west side of the building. The first winter of ownership we discovered that water on the roof pooled below the sign. In the winter, the wind blew and polished the ice, making it very slippery. We used a step ladder to place the letters on the sign as this worked much better and was quicker than using the long arms to place the letters. With the ice it became a two man job. One to hold the ladder and one to place the letters. In later years we placed wooden pallets upside down below the sign. When they froze into the ice, the step ladder would not slide around while working on the sign.


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Show & Sell #1

the Show N Sell Sign is the former marquee from the Empire Theater on main Street. When the theater was torn down, the theater marquee was rescued by Robert and Becky Weiss. The sign was built in 1954 when the Empire Theater was constructed. The Show N Sell sign was placed on the roof of the Midtown Plaza on the southwest corner of Broadway and Second Avenue. As the Empire Marquee the sign was illuminated with 480 incandescent light bulbs. As the Show N Sell sign it is illuminated by two exterior high intensity lights. The sign was rented by people and businesses wanting to advertise or announce special events


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Steam Tunnels

For many years a number of downtown buildings were heated by steam which was piped into them by steam pipes for the NSP Steam Power plant. The steam pipes had to be maintained so they ran through tunnels below the streets and buildings. These tunnels were large enough to accommodate men who may need to repair or do other maintenance. Many people confuse these tunnels with tunnels rumored to be running into Minot for the purpose of running contraband in and out of town. Most of this was in the form of alcohol smuggled in from Canada and other points. The Steam tunnels under Minot, while large enough to walk through were separate form any booze smuggling tunnels. However there was a rumor that a tunnel ran from Stearns Motors to the Rex Motel and another tunnel that ran from Stearn’s Motors to the old Flatiron Building. Possibly, only the people working on the Broadway Project in 1960 would know if this were true.




Monday, June 2, 2014

Minot Public Library

The original Minot Public Library  began in 1908 in two rooms rented in the Optic Block. In 1908 the city approved its first mill levy for library purposes. In 1910 with $2000 in its treasury, the library obtained a grant from Andrew Carnegie for a new building. The Library was built at the corner of what is now Second Avenue and First Street Southeast. The library moved into its new home in 1911 and remained there for 55 years, when it moved into its current location. When the Library was dedicated in February of 1912, it had 1490 books and claimed to have 1350 borrowers. The original library building is now the Carnegie Center.
Pictured below is the Library interior and exterior as it looked in 1911