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Friday, October 3, 2014

The Opera Barber Shop / Bath House

 The Opera Barber Shop opened in May of 1904. The owners were Gilder and Eckler (known as Eck). It was located in the basement of the Jacobson Hardware Building which also house the Post Office, Union National Bank and the Opera House. Reportedly the Barber Shop had 9 chairs and added a Turkish Bath with two rooms. Initially the were a non-union barber shop and were open 24 hours a day. Miss Mamie Olson was in charge of the Turkish baths and Thursday was set aside for ladies, all day and all night. The Opera Barber Shop was regarded as the best in the state and many claimed it was the finest between Minneapolis and Seattle. The Turkish Bath was referred to as the “Hot Springs of North Dakota”. By 1910 the Opera Bathhouse featured the Turkish Baths and also Russian Baths as well as a plain bath. In 1910 Eckler sold the Opera Barber shop to Sam Hanson, a well known barber who in turn sold it to AJ Bartow in 1915. The Opera House barber shop flourished until 1923 when the building was ravaged by fire. The barber shop and the opera house were not rebuilt. 

If you look closely at the picture you will see the Opera Barber Shop sign on the lower right corner of the building

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