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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Sanitation Laboratory 1944 –

 The Sanitation Laboratory was responsible for supervision of water supplies, sewage disposal, milk and food sanitation, swimming pools and any other nuisances which may affect public health.
Restaurant sanitation was one of the major activities. A total of 72 restaurants were operating in the city. During the year 10 Food Handlers Classes were held for 223 food handlers. A total of 783 restaurant inspections were made and 461 rim tests on glasses and silverware were made.
A total of 377 bacteriological tests were made on the Minot City water. Also 98 dairy and 59 pasteurization inspections were conducted…

Due to the recommendation of this unit, the City of Minot passed an ordinance that eliminated all outdoor privies or outhouses within the city limits or where sanitary sewers exist.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Street Lights - 1944 Electric Bill

1944 – Street Lighting – in 1944 the cost of street lights in Minot was apparently by the watts of electricity and the number of lamps.
Ornamental Lamps
60 watt lamps @ $16.00 per year x 204 …… 75 watt lamps @ $18.00 per year x 57. …..
100 watt lamps @ $20.00 per year x 119 ….
Overhead Lamps
40 CP @ $21.00 per year x 253 ….. 400 CP lamps @ $25.00 per year x 103

The City was considering seeking a new contract based on total kilowatt power used rather than a paying a fee per lamp …. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Minot Planning Commission – 1944

 Because of WWII, the Minot Planning Commission had not been active nor had it met since 1942. At that time the city adopted a Six Year Public Work Program in cooperation with the Federal Works Agency and the National Resources Planning Board. The lack of activity result from the fact that the Six Year Program as adopted was unusually comprehensive and required no revision. The City Council during that time did not refer any matters to the Planning Commission.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Minot Police Dept – 1944 –

 A new motorcycle was purchased for the Police Dept. in 1942 a bicycle licensing program was adopted. in 1944 a total of 100 new bicycle licenses were issued compared to 231 the previous year. 442 renewals were also issued, down from 914 the year before. And 95 bicycle transfers were issued. A fee of 50 cents was charged for each bicycle with a single seat. 25 cents was charged for renewals and transfers. Total collections in 1944 were $185.50

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas Time Off

I will be taking a couple days off over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

I wish all my followers a

Merry Christmas

Barber Shop Inspection- 1944 –

W.E.Seger was reappointed as the Barber Shop Inspector. He resigned on January 5, 1945 and was replaced by Mr. Goodwin Hensrud. Twenty were made in 1944. There were 38 licensed barber chairs compared to 36 the year before. The barber shops pay $1.00 per year per chair. The fees could be paid in four installments over the year. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Minot Stats - 1944

This is from the 1944 Minot City Report
Population - (from the 1940 census) - 16,577
Area - about 4 square Miles
Streets - total -- 55 Miles
Streets - Paved - 28 Miles
Gas Mains - 28 miles
Sewers - 33 miles
Assessed (full) value - $12,181,936.00

Tax Budget (1944-45) $272,435.00

Monday, December 21, 2015

1944 Minot Annual Report

Off and on I will be presenting excerpts from the 1944 Minot Annual Report .... In 1944 the World War II was coming to an end. As quoted in the 1944 Annual Report… “ The winning of the war in Europe and the consequent greater efforts being planned against Japan increases the probability that peace will be restored in the near future making it incumbent on the City Administration to perfect its plans for the post-war period so as to best meet the unusual conditions generally anticipated.

Some of the Post war improvements needed in Minot included: replacement of all wood block paving still remaining in downtown Minot …. Attention given to the flooding of the 6th Street Underpass.   … a survey of the underground water resources to determine availability… Securing a site for the new City Hall (at this time City Hall was on First Avenue behind Montgomery Wards)…. and adding a new fire station… 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Jupiter Christmas Specials – 1963 –

 The Jupiter Store in Minot was located at 8 South Main Street. . In 1963 the newspaper ad featured these specials for the Christmas shopper. A boy’s or girl’s 26 inch bicycle for $29.88…. ¼ inch electric drill - $7.72 …. 6 big rolls of Christmas wrapping paper – 88 cents …. Sorry game - $2.27 …. Monopoly game - $2.99 …. Ladies Dusters - $1.88 …. Men’s thermal sox – 2 pr – 66 cents …. A 4 foot aluminum, Christmas tree - $2.87 …. A 6 foot tree for $4.68 ….  And an 18 ounce can of mixed nuts for 57 cents.  The building is now the home of Main Street Books and was formerly the home of Western Paint and Glass

Jupiter - 1961

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Reub’s Camera – Second Anniversary

– September of 1959 found Reub’s Camera celebrating their second anniversary. The popular cameras of the day were those that used 620, 120 and 127 film which Reub was featuring at 24 cents per roll. One could also register to wain a free Emerson Transistor Radio valued at $64.00.  The highlight of the opening was a Free Polaroid demonstration. You could have you picture taken with the new Polaroid camera….. Cutting edge technology at that time

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Whites Dairy –

 Lester Dahlen, former manager of Bridgeman Creamery, bought Whites Ice Cream from Eldon White in 1958. In 1970, Dahlen purchased Purity Dairy and Merged it with Whites Ice Cream in White’s Purity Dairy. In 1973, White’s Purity Dairy was sold to Jerry Goetz of Minot and James Winger of Towner. Goetz was the General Manager and the business was to be run as separate venture of the Winger Cheese Company of Towner. White’s Dairy had been in operation since 1904.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Diamond’s Jack & Jill (Chain Grocery) –

 Diamond’s Department Store and Diamond’s Jack and Jill were operated by James and Jerry Diamond and Stan Fink. Diamond’s Jack and Jill was formerly known as Chain Food Store. In February of 1960 the decision was made to discontinue the grocery operation and devote full time operations and expansion to the hard goods and soft goods lines. This would eventually evolve into Diamond’s Department Store with locations on North Broadway and Arrowhead Shopping Center. Also Young America would be located in the Town & Country Shopping Center.

Interior - Chain Grocery

Monday, December 14, 2015

13 Club and Others

Past Bars in Minot -   North Main Tavern located in the same block as the First National Bank, north of Central Avenue on the west side of Main St. The Covered Wagon was located a door or two up from the American Cafe on the east side Main St, south of Central Avenue. These were the first bars to have the dancing "go go girls" in Minot. Shortly thereafter Gordon's Holiday Spot and the 13 Club on 1st St. got them. Gordon's is now Hibachi restaurant. Trails West Bottle shop was I think the Sundowner and then SideKicks. Back in the middle 60's Gordon's Holiday Spot lounge-bar the band "The Evans Sisters and Carl" played. It was a pretty popular night spot at the time. 

 Covered Wagon
13 Club

Friday, December 11, 2015

Big Boy Drive-Inn – in the newspaper on December 22, 1960 the Big Boy Drive-Inn ran an ad stating they would close for business on December 24, (Christmas Eve) and not reopen until February 1, 1961 for their employee’s annual vacation. My first job in Minot was at The Big Boy Drive-Inn… no such vacations was available in 1965 as I recall. But then at 80 cents and hour I wanted as many hours of work as possible to support my needs like cars, drums, dating and more.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Headlines from May 3, 1973

Thursday May 3, 1973 -- 42 years ago --  Headlines – The Minot City Council proposed a pay plan that recognizes merit and longevity ….. Spring Activities ….. Kmart was advertising flowers, bedding plants, trees and bushes …. Big Bear was advertising fishing and camping equipment for the season opening. They were staying open until midnight for the shoppers to get ready for opening day…. Jerry Iverson, at that time a teacher at Minot High was named the outstanding member of the North Dakota Vocational Agriculture Association – he would later go on to manage the ND State Fair ….. Empire Theater showing the Valachi Papers …. The Torchlight was featuring Dennis and Cree…. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Grand Hotel Fire – Aftermath –

 Late in January of 1960 the Grand Hotel caught fire and was completely destroyed by fire. The fire was believed to have started in the Triangle Shop or the basement of PW Miller, both tenants in the building. On the Saturday following the fire, what remained of the front wall collapsed onto Central Avenue. The rubble was cleared and the road opened. The back wall still stood but was scheduled for demolition. All guests staying at the hotel had been accounted for. Many businesses were located in the building. PW Miller Co, mainly a war surplus store was moving into the Westlie Tire Building, just across the street. Other businesses seeking new locations included the Grand Barber Shop, the Triangle Shop. The S&H Green Stamp Store and Grand Photography Studio. Also looking for new locations were the Grand Billiard Hall, Minot roofing and Cornice, and the Pioneer Bar and Grand Café. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

KG Men’s Store –

 In December of 1960 there were a number of stores where a man could purchase a suit. These included Greengard Cranston, Schneider’s Men’s Store, Jay’s, Squtt’s, and KG Men’s Store. All of these were in Downtown Minot as no shopping centers were built in the city at this time. KG’s Men’s Store was running a year end Suit Sale…. Over 900 suits reduced with prices starting as $29.00 up to $79.00. The famous Kuppenheimer brand of suits were also on sale as were topcoats and sport coats. Because of the huge price reductions there was a small charge for any alterations which normally were free. When Town & Country Shopping Center opened KG’s Men’s Store would move to that location

 Greengards on Central Ave
Squtt's Mens Store 
Greengard - Cranston on Main Street 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Johnson Motors Co. –

 it was late December of 1960 that Carmen Johnson purchased the Chevrolet dealership from Ole and Galen Frosaker. At one time Johnson owned a Chevrolet dealership in Council Grove, Ks. Frosaker Motors started in 1921 by Ole and his brother Knute Frosaker. In the very early years they held the Chrysler franchise but soon became exclusive Chevrolet dealers. Johnson would eventually move the Chevrolet dealership on South Second Street (about where Wells Fargo Bank is) to its current location on South Broadway. The Frosaker Motor location is now the Wells Fargo - Broadway 

 Frosaker Motors 
Frosaker Motors/Johnson Chevrolet Demo

Friday, December 4, 2015

Victor's Dance Studio

Super Grill – In October of 1960 the Super Grill in North Second Street ( North Broadway) was advertising a complete cube steak dinner…. This included a salad, French fries, toast and coffee for 69 cents…. The advertisement above the Super Grill ad was for Victor’s Dance Studio. Class lessons for teenagers were $1.00 per week. The Ladies Dance Special was a 10 week dance course for two for only $44.50…. this included two studio dance parties… Victor’s Dance Studio was located at 102 4th Ave SE. (Burdick Expressway) across from M&H gas

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Super Grill Restaurant --

 Grand opening was in July of 1958…. Super Grill was located next to the Super Valu on Second Street NW.( North Broadway). The Super Grill featured the finest home baked pies in Minot. Opening specials featured  Noon Specials for 75 cents … specials changed daily. They also featured filtered water. Dinner specials included a T-bone steak dinner for $2.49…. Walleye Dinner for $1.50… and a Chef’s Salad for only 79 cents. 

the Super Grill is next to Super Valu - the cars are parked in front of the restaurant

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

1958 - Mallard Motors

In 1958 Mallard Motors was located at the intersection of 4th Avenue and 6th St SW. This is now a vacant lot across the street from Rent-A-Wreck. The phone number in 1958 was 20-111. Featured cars for sale included a 57 Rambler, a 54 Nash and a 51 Chevy 4 door. All vehicles from Mallard Motors came with a one year guarantee in writing. Later, in the Mid to late 60’s, Mallard Motors moved to South Broadway at the location now occupied by Prairie Federal Savings

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

New Phone Numbers – 1959 –

On September 2o, 1959 the new 7 digit phone numbers went into effect. All telephones would have new numbers consisting of 2 letters and 5 numbers. (TE 8-1212 as an example). New phone directories were sent out so everyone could find the new numbers. HOW TO Dial: to call TE 8-1212, for example, you simply dial the letter “T”, then the letter “E”, then the figure 8 followed by the last four numbers. Long distance calls were placed through the operator after giving them your new number. Long before the days of touch phones.

 1959 Phone Book
Restaurant Page from 1959 Phone book

Monday, November 30, 2015

30 Minute Parking – 1959

 on September 18, 1959, all parking in Downtown Minot was to become 30 minutes per the ordinance passed by the City Council. The reduced parking was proposed by the Minot Chamber of Commerce and backed by 90% of the business owners in Downtown Minot. The 30 minute ordinance would be enforced after all the signs were installed in the affected area. It should be noted that in 1959 there were no Shopping Centers in Minot. Most of the business was in Downtown Minot or along Highway 83 North and South. Highway 83 is now Broadway.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

1950 - Downtown Minot

Happy Thanksgiving .......

Thursday and Friday Minot Memories

Downtown Minot in 1950 -– Entertainment – If one wanted to watch a movie  there was the Orpheum Theater, The Strand and The State. In 1952 the Empire opened. Admission was a quarter and a bag of popcorn was a dime.
For more adult entertainment and refreshments there were a number of bars in Downtown Minot. There was the Brown Derby, The Buffalo Tap, Brady’s, The Covered Wagon, North Main Tavern, The Terrace, The Grand Tavern, Lee’s, The 13 Club and Vaughn’s . Downtown Minot provided all ages with some sort of entertainment in 1950.

Covered Wagon

Downtown Minot  in 1950  Department Stores – In 1950 a number of department stores were open on Main Street. Woolworths was listed as the 5 and 10 cent department store. Kresge’s was just up from Woolworths, carrying merchandise from 25 cents to $1.00. Other department stores on Main Street included Sears, on the north end of Main Street, Montgomery Wards, a favorite meeting place,  J C Penny on the corner of 1st Avenue and Main , S & L on South Main, featuring trading stamps, and Ellison’s on 2nd Avenue and South Main. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Downtown Minot in 1950 - Restaurants

 In 1950 there were close to 50 eating establishments in Minot. Those in the Downtown area on Main Street included The Victory Café, The Union Café, Gimbles, the American, LaPlaza, Nellie’s and the Uptown Nook. Others were The Cut Rate café, Woolworth’s, Kresge’s, Arvids Red Carpet, The Bus Lunch, the Pantry, and Nagatomo’s. There were others along Central Avenue and on 1st Street. One would not have to worry about going hungry in Downtown Minot. In most places 2 bits or a quarter would buy a burger and something to drink.

 Uptown Nook
Arvids Red Carpet

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

F106 Interceptor arrives at MAFB

January 1960 the first F106 Interceptor to arrive – the end of January, 1960 brought the first F106 Interceptor to the Minot Air Force Base. At the time this plane was the fastest and deadliest plane in the United States Air Force. Eventually the MAFB would be the home to 18 of the planes operated by the 5th Fighter Interceptor Squadron. The F106 had a length of 70 feet, height of 20.3 feet and a wing span of 38 feet. In addition to the F106, MAFB had eight KC135  tankers and 15 of the B52 bombers.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Piggly Wiggly

Piggly Wiggly – The first Piggly Wiggly Store opened in the mid 40’s at 213 South Main Street. In 1957, at a cost of $300,000, Piggly Wiggly opened a new store by the Fairgounds. Piggly Wiggly East was one of the largest grocery stores in the state at that time. In 1961 another store opened in the Oak Park Center. The store on Main Street closed in 1960 and shortly after a third store was opened in the Town & County Center. In 1982 the Oak Park store moved to the Arrowhead Shopping Center. At one time Piggly Wiggly employed over 250 people. I worked at the Town & Country store in 1966-67. I started at $1.25 per hour, soon got a raise to $1.32 and shortly after the minimum wage increased to $1.40. Gas was about 25 cents …. Times were good 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Special Shopping Hours

Ladies of the Night Shopping. – the ladies of Third Street were regular customers at many of the best clothing stores in Minot. They had their own shopping time. Years ago, all the stores in downtown Minot were open every Thursday evening until 9:00 pm. Since the stores were open later in the evening they would open later in the morning, on Thursdays. Many of the stores like S&L, Bader’s and others would open between 8:00 am and 10:00 am just for the Ladies of Third Street to shop. They would always pay in cash and were always done shopping by the time the stores opened for regular business. The Ladies of Third Street would spend a lot of money and did not disturb the regular shoppers and could shop in peace.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


Still vacationing ... through the end of the week ....
Latest installment from workshop between working on new scroll saw projects

Liquor Raid Evidence – A heavy door from one off the raided establishments was removed from its hinges and brought into the courtroom. It has “three thicknesses of lumber and 5 locks” . Officers were impressed by its durability. Also found were hundreds of empty liquor bottles, pretzels and small glasses. Slot machines were also found in some establishments and many Canadian product labels. This led the authorities to believe that the liquor was produced locally and falsely labeled as being Canadian. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Two Posts About High Third

Vacationing - Using last week of accumulated vacation for 2015. Xmas decorations are up and ready to go. The weather is a bit unusual - sunny and in the 60's and 50's Sunday and Monday. May change by the end of the week.

Two installments as I forgot about Minot Memories while decorating - Sorry

The Original Third Street – The original Third Street, or the area of ill repute was 1st Street SW, from Central Avenue south. The town was much younger and much smaller in the early days. The city fathers decided to move this area of ill repute “way out of town.”  They moved them about 2 blocks to the west to its Third Street Southwest location. Its good they moved them to Third Street as Second Street eventually became Broadway. One of the first Madams on Third Street was May Butler. She was located on the west side of the block between Central Avenue and 1st Avenue SW

Cars of the Third Street Men– Lincolns, Cadillacs, Imperials and other big luxury cars were the favorites of the Third Street Men. One of these men had a 1956 Imperial hard top that he had stored in the Stearns Building. At one time he owned a big and fancy Lincoln Continental. Rumor has it that the car was stored at Stearns Motors and he  hired someone to go to the garage twice a day to dust the vehicle so it always looked good when he wanted to drive it. This person  later started driving Oldsmobile Toronado’s.. 

Friday, November 13, 2015

Bad Whiskey = Bad Checks

One of the most sensational incidents was when a group of runners came up with the idea of buying a large amount of Canadian liquor and paying for it with cashier’s checks drawn on banks that had closed. The runners made sure they stayed south of the Canadian border as the Canadians who sold them the liquor were literally out gunning for them. As one of the group, a runner from Minot said, “They gave us bad whiskey so we gave them bad checks.”

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Third Street "Mayor"

Mayor of Third Street – This individual controlled what happened on Third Street. Because of his control over the Third Street area, things were rather peaceful. The area pretty much was self policed. One of the local, well know individuals on Third Street, we will refer to him as Jim, had an altercation with the “Mayor” and slapped him. The “Mayor of Third Street” told Jim he had until evening to get out of town. Jim left town and went to Winnipeg. Jim did not return until the “Mayor” died.. This occurred after a hunting trip. The “Mayor” and a number of his cronies were out hunting and drinking. The practice was to have someone sitting on the front fenders of the car as they drove along looking for game. They group was driving down a corn field looking for pheasants. When they got to the end they noticed the “Mayor” was not on the front of the car. He was lying in the field. They had run over him breaking both legs. His friends took him to town and to the hospital. He died within 2 days due to an infectThird ion. After that, Jim was able to safely return to Minot.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Strange Hiding Place

Raids - Woman in the Cupboard – One story has it that there was a raid on one of the houses on Third Street. One of the women in the house was found hiding inside a kitchen cupboard. She had crawled in and shut the door, hoping to avoid being found. This was a bit unusual as most of the time the establishments in Third Street had advance warning of pending raids by the Police Dept. When the Police Dept was located on 1st Avenue in downtown Minot, it was in the same building as the fire dept. and City Hall. Some of the firemen would watch for unusual activity in the Police Dept and if it was a raid on Third Street, they would call and warn the Third Street businesses. Usually no one of importance was caught in the raids, however many prominent people in Minot would frequent many of the establishments. Because they establishments were usually warned when the raids were about to happen some speculate there was really no need for escape tunnels. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

High Stake Card Games

Cards for Cadillac’s – it is well known that many of the High Rollers of the day would often hold high stake poker games. Many a car was lost and many won over a deck of cards. One of the Bootleggers always claimed the Cadillac’s or other cars he won from a well known auto dealer, always ran better than any he had purchased. He claimed that he won as many cars as he had lost. This same Bootlegger had at one time won a house on Third Street in a poker game. He also lost it in a poker game. Before he lost it in another poker game he hired someone to clean the house so he could turn around and sell it. As the cleaning person was clearing out a closet in the basement, she fell through the closet floor into a sub basement below the actual basement. One can only speculate what the lowest level was used for

Monday, November 9, 2015

Pipeline for Illegal Booze

This is from a listener who used to have a water well drilling company in the area:  Apparently at one time there was an underground pipeline that ran from the Ward County Courthouse to the Leland Hotel in Downtown Minot. It seems that when the court would prosecute booze runners during the prohibition days, the judge would dump all the illegal alcohol down a drain. Some enterprising individuals reportedly ran a pipe from that drain, under downtown Minot to the Leland Hotel. The alcohol was collected, processed and served to the guests of the Leland. Apparently many contractors over the years would hit the illicit pipeline when doing underground work in the area. The pipe was always patched and repaired, until they realized that it was not a water line and was no longer in use.  At one time there were a number of contractors who were aware of this booze pipeline

Friday, November 6, 2015

In a report to a federal grand jury in Fargo on October 6, 1920, Judge Charles Amidon  reported that there are automobiles loaded with liquor in convoys that have men armed with rifles and sawed off shotguns. He was encouraging the jurors to enforce the law.

On October 25, 1920 a story was printed about $40,000.00 worth of confiscated whiskey being destroyed in Minot. “The fumes of the strong liquor became so dense at one time that some of the officials became nauseated.”

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Minot Illegal Liquor Raid - 1939

The “whiskey sixes” would run to Canada and back in the late spring through the fall, until the snow came. The price paid to the runners for running from their start to Canada and back varied. The amount ranged from $100.00 to $500.00 per trip. A lot of money was made in a very short time if you wanted to take the risk.

Liquor Raid – Aug 15, 1939 – One of the biggest prohibition raids in Minot took place on this day. Nineteen people, 10 men and 9 women were arrested. The raid was conducted by Federal agents from North Dakota and Minnesota. Search warrants were obtained for 12 establishments but only 8 were actually entered. Three establishments had heavily barred doors so tear gas was used to drive out the suspects and gain entrance. Charges of possession and selling intoxicating liquor were filed …. These charges carried a maximum fine of $10,000 and 5 years in prison per charge or both

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

50 mph to Evade the Law

The booze runners carried heavy loads in the “whiskey sixes”. Where the roads were good, the cars could travel along at speeds as fast a 50 to 60 miles per hour. The runners would travel in a line, or group with the lead car posing as a tourist to flush out the lawmen. The lead car would stall on the road, warning the runners that the law was ahead so they could make their get-away. Another trick used by the runners was to have a woman companion and at times a woman driving the car. The thought being that the lawmen would hesitate to shoot at a car occupied by a woman. It was generally considered by their appearance that these women companions were not home loving housewives.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Whiskey Six –

A Whiskey Six was the name given to the big, high powered automobiles used by the booze runners in the days of Prohibition. The favored automobile was the Buick.  Minot was a local point for the Whiskey Runners in the era of 1919 to 1921. The whiskey running was at its peak during this time. Minot was the last major stop before Canada. The whiskey runners at times would travel in packs with a pilot car ahead to warn the if any lawmen were waiting up ahead. On some days, a whole city block would be lined with “whiskey sixes” waiting for dusk to make their run for the booze. They seldom returned to Minot after getting the load as the main destination was points like St Paul, Minneapolis, Sioux City and Omaha.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Silver Dollars for Ruined Bass Drum

 The Whiskey runners made a lot of money and made it in a hurry. They were flashy dressers, sporting big diamonds, silk shirts, fancy ties and suits. They were also big tippers. One night in Minot a group of them lined up and peppered a bass drum in a Minot dance hall orchestra with silver dollars. The group was trying to break the head of the drum. They eventually ruined the drum but the orchestra was not upset as they got to keep all the silver dollars.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Illegal Booze Depot

Bienfait, Canada – The Canadian Liquor companies would rent a portion of the railroad depot warehouse in Bienfait. The liquor was stored in a closed off room. They would have a manager in town who would sell what was desired to the bootleggers, not to bars, just to the bootleggers. The depot is still in Bienfait, although it has been moved to different location and is now a museum. However, the original depot was purchased by and moved to a local farmstead about a mile outside of town.  The railroad tracks still go through the town. The route out of town goes south to Ross Percy in the Souris Valley, then to Sherwood, splitting off to Columbus and Portal. 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Hearse Transports Illegal Booze

Rowan Funeral Home – This information was given to me by Les Maupin back in 1986 while researching Minot for the Centennial.  Rowans’s Funeral Home was on the corner of Main Street and 2nd Avenue, where Rueb’s Camera and Cards was located. Apparently the owners were affiliated with some aspect of the booze running in the days of Prohibition. I was told that the viewing rooms of Rowan’s Funeral during this time were home to many high stake poker games. Maupin was not sure if they ever actually held any funerals during this time. During Prohibition, the alcohol was brought in in one and two gallon metal containers. Rowan’s Funeral Home would fill a casket, or two, with these cans of booze and load them into the hearse. They had at least one if not more. The hearse would then deliver the booze throughout the country under the guise of transporting a body in a casket. Diving prudently and obeying the speed limits they successfully delivered the product. After all, who would stop and search a casket in a hearse?

Prohibition Posters 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

High Third - Originally on First St SW

At the turn of the century, the area known as High Third was originally located on 1st Street SW, south of Central Avenue. This area also the future home of Harry’s Tire Service, known back then as  Pop Shaw’s Garage. The garage was on the main floor and the basement, There was a bowling alley on the second floor. The third floor was a gambling den and after hours night club. The garage was next to what is now Bremer Bank, and had an elevator. The bootlegger cars would enter the garage and the owner would ride the elevator down to the basement with the car full of booze. Rumor had it that he would booby trap the car in case someone tried to steal the liquor, lock it up and walk back up via the stairway. No one knew for sure as nobody was about to risk tripping the booby trap. By the 50’s the top floor was converted to an apartment where the family that managed the bowling alley lived.

Vendome Bar - North end of Third St.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Free Whiskey Six (Buick)

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 high jack the shipment so he would not have to give away a Buick.

Confiscated Still during Prohibition

Monday, October 26, 2015

Garage Turn Table for Car

Turn Around – A scenario for at least one of the Revenuer’s in Minot: When his car arrived at their destination there was a “turn around” in the garage . The “Turn Around” was a very large motor driven turn table. Upon driving into the garage, the car would drive onto the “turn around” and the vehicle was turned around so it was facing the same direction it had entered from. This way it could make for a hasty exit without having to back out of the garage. It could just drive straight out, often in hot pursuit of a bootlegger.

I have been contacted by the woman who lives in this now. The turn table is still in the garage however it is not functioning at this time. 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Booze Runners

Booze Runners -- when the booze car or cars got to their destination in Minot, a number of scenarios were possible. Some of the garages had special elevators. When the car entered with the booze, it would drive into a special elevator. This would either raise the car up to the floor above or lower it to the floor below. If followed by officers, they would enter the building and find no vehicle. By the time they would conduct a search, the booze would have been unloaded and stashed safely or moved to another location.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Decoy Cars

Triple cars  – The booze runners would travel in groups of three. Three vehicles, one with the alcohol and two decoy vehicles. The Choice of vehicle back in those days was the Buick. The alcohol was stored in a metal tank under the back seat. All the cars had a tank so all were weighted equally. The two decoy cars were loaded down with bricks. The reason for the equal weight was to leave the same track on dirt, muddy roads or grass when sneaking across the border. If the two decoy cars were not weighted down, the police could follow the car with the deeper tracks. The three cars would travel in line. The Booze car generally drove the speed limit, while the decoy cars would be speeding. If they were chased  by the law, the two decoy cars would split and go in different directions. If the decoy cars were caught the worst they would get was a speeding ticket. With the law enforcement people busy with the decoy cars, the booze car was free to travel on to Minot or wherever their destination was.

Famous Pit Bar B Que also known as Kay's Cafe

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

High 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

The Grill – the Grill was located at 316 third St. SW… The Grill was a part of the area known  as “High Third” although it did not have the reputation of some of the other businesses on Third St.  Dee Dee Govan operated The Grill for many years. He acquired the property from “Ma” Butler, a legend on Third Street and the subject of another article. Dee Dee served pretty good food  and at times would offer coffee laced with liquor, if so desired. After the decline of Third St. The Grill was home to Dee Dee’s Hot Tamales. He made them, packaged them and sold them out of  The Grill.  I was offered a job by Dee Dee selling the Hot Tamales when I was driving truck for Coca Cola Bottling back in the late 60’s.

 Dee Dee's Grill
Parrot Inn

Friday, October 16, 2015

Opium and Cocaine in the 1920's

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.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Whiskey Runner Dies in Shootout - 1921

Gun Battle – 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.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Minot - Blind Pigs

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.)

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Bawdy Houses Southwest of Minot

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.