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Friday, May 29, 2015

Parkway Grocery --

a 1961 newspaper ad for Parkway Grocery claimed they anticipated their customer’s needs. Parkway Grocery was located across 4th Avenue from Roosevelt Park (just east of what is now the Coca Cola Co.) … the had a meat department with cold cuts and fresh meats, a produce department with only the best fruits and vegetables, and a nationally advertised grocery department all at low everyday prices. Parkway Grocery was also open 7 days a week for their customer’s shopping convenience.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

First Burial in Minot - 1885

First Burial in Minot – somewhere in Minot is the grave of the first person to be buried in what is now the city. It was in the spring of 1885. The service was conducted with no clergy and there is no record of the man’s name. He was a member of the Charles Scott survey crew and drowned while trying to cross the Mouse River on a raft. Charles Scott, the surveyor, had a bible and read a passage and spoke a brief eulogy. The coffin was made from lumber that had been shipped in from Bismarck to be used in building a house.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Parker Motor Company –

 in 1922 Clarence Parker and JL (Louie) Smith founded the Parker Motor Company located at 117 First Avenue SE. The business flourished in the 1920’s and slumped in the 1930’s. Following WWII business was increasing so Burton Lahart was hired as General Manager and Don Moe as Sales manager…. In the 1950’s Lahart and Smith became partners until Smith sold his share to Don Moe in 1957. At that time the name was changed to Lahart-Moe Inc. and the business moved to the corner of 3rd St and 1st Ave. SE Later Don Moe purchased the entire company and it became Don Moe Dodge. He moved the business to the outskirts of town on Highway 83 South. Don Moe Dodge became Minot Chrysler Center in 1989 and is now known as The Minot Automotive Center. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Leland Parker Demo – in 1963 as the Leland Parker Hotel was being demolished the crew found a building within the Leland Hotel. There was a two story wooden building that had been encased by the Leland. Portions of the old wooden structure were used as rooms in the hotel but an area above the wooden building had been left open as the brick and block roof would have been too heavy for the structure. The first floor had been remodel several times over the years and brick walls surrounded the structure. The Leland Parker Hotel stood on the spot now occupied by Art Space. 

 Leland Parker - 1947
Leland Parker - 1963

Friday, May 22, 2015

Past Minot Concerts –

 Rare Earth – in concert at the Minot Municipal Auditorium in October 3, 1974. Ticket prices - $4.00 in advance -- $4.50 at the door ….. The Dick Clark Go Go Show …. April 7, 1965 the Municipal Auditorium was home to the Dick Clark Go Go Show. The show featured Brian Hyland, Shirley Ellis (the Name Game Song), Jewel Akens (The Birds and the Bees), and Bobby Freeman (The Swim) …. Tickets - $2.00 in advance and $2.50 at the door…..

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Reub’s Camera –

 As I recall in the 60’s and 70’s the best known camera shop in Minot was Reub’s Camera. During the 1961 Jubilee Event, Reub’s was located on 1st Avenue SW, ½ block east of the Post Office…. The Post Office at that time was located in what is now known as the Federal Building. Polaroid Cameras were the big thing at that time. Pictures in 10 seconds. New Polaroid cameras were available from $74.00 to $139.00. Reub’s Jubilee special was a Wollensak Movie Kit for $299.95. This consisted of an 8mm camera with a zoom lens, a projector, a 30x40 inch screen, carrying case and a 2 year supply of black and white movie film. Eventually Reub’s moved to the corner of 2nd Avenue and Main Street

1967 - Reub's Camera Interior

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Timm’s Moving & Storage –

Timm’s Moving & Storage started business in 1949. They specialized in furniture moving and storage. In 1955 they built a new, modern warehouse on the south end of Minot on the 2 & 52 Bypass, now known as 20th Avenue SE. In 1958 they acquired the United Van Lines franchise, joining over 600 agents in the United States and Canada. In 1961 the first semi-trailer was added to their fleet of trucks. By 1964 Timm’s Moving & Storage had 14 vehicles in their fleet

Timm's M0ving & Storage - 1961

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

P W Miller Co –

 The PW Miller Company was founded in 1943 by Mr. PW Miller and was located in the Grand Hotel on Central Avenue. (The Grand Hotel was located across the street to the north from Tom’s Coin Shop.) PW Miller was well known throughout the City, county and state. He came to North Dakota in 1896. For many years he was involved in farming and ranching. After his store was destroyed in the Grand Hotel Fire in 1960, he opened his business temporarily in the Westlie Building on Central Avenue. By August of 1960 he had moved to a permanent location in the Weinrebe Building next to the Clarence Parker Hotel. That location is now the home of the Olson Law firm

Monday, May 18, 2015

Typical Homestead –

 when James Johnson and others first settled in what is now Minot his home was very crude by today’s standards. The home was constructed by hand with materials furnished by Mother Nature and easily found in the area. Logs were cut from trees found along the banks of the Mouse River. A thatched roof was added to keep out the weather elements. The home was usually a one room building with a sod floor. Larger homes were built to also house up to as many as six horses inside the structure. This also helped for warmth in the winter. 

Friday, May 15, 2015

They Decided to Stay –

 John Wallin and Peter E Peterson, stone blasters for the Northern Pacific Railroad in Montana, stood on top of a hill, looking into the valley below and decided that this is where they wanted to live. One of the two supposedly remarked “here I want to Live and here I want to die”. They swam across the mouse river and looked for a good source of water. In the north hills they found a spring and there established a claim and built a dugout in which to live. This is the area of the Burdick Job Corps. The two bachelors took in guests and travelers throughout the winter. It is said that between them and their guest over one winter they consumed 22 deer, a considerable quantity of bacon and 1500 pounds of flour… early on provisions were brought to the area from Bismarck by ox and wagon, a two week trip.

Early Homestead house in Minot

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Presbyterian Church –

 The Minot Presbyterian Church began on March 27, 1887 in a room above a saloon when 11 people met with Rev. F.M.Wood, Synodical Missionary in the Dakota Territory. In the fall of 1887 a small wooden building, 24 ft. X 44 ft. was built in downtown Minot on the corner of Second Avenue and First St SW. In 1907, a second larger church had been built on the same site. By 1925 the building was remodeled. A balcony was added, the front entrance changed and a fireplace and overflow room was also added. In 1957 the new church was built and dedicated in a new location on Third Street Northeast. This is the present location of the Presbyterian Church

 Original Presbyterian Church
Presbyterian Church - Downtown Minot

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Bethany Lutheran Church –

The first congregation of the Bethany Lutheran Church was organized in September, 1887 by Ibriam Livius Lundeby. The first regular pastor for Bethany Lutheran was the Rev. J.U.Pederson, who served from 1887 to 1891. Construction of the first churc was started in 1895 and completed in 1896. The building was located on the site that would later be occupied by Mitchell Hardware and today is Val’s Cyclery – the corner of Third Street and Central Avenue SE. In the spring of 1912 this church was moved to a new location at Third St and Third Ave SE and eventually remodeled into the present day Church by 1915. The educational facility was added in 1953.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Jacobson Hardware – Delivery wagon –

In the early days the deliveries for Jacobson- Fugelso  Hardware were carried out with by a horse drawn wagon. The horse was name Prince and had been Fugelso’s buggy horse before he became a partner in the hardware store. Prince, attached to the wagon, would wait patiently between deliveries in front of the store (now the Taube Museum). If  Prince became thirsty he went , wagon and all, to the corner water fountain, satisfied his thirst and then returned to his post, carefully backing the wagon into its former position and continued to wait for the next delivery. The six o’clock whistle indicated the work day was over for himself and everyone else.

Jacobson Hardware / Opera House

Monday, May 11, 2015

1903 Newspaper Tidbits –

a 1903 newspaper article stated that life insurance companies have fully established the fact that the use of coffee causes an organic derangement of the heart, shortening the long beat and imperiling life. Half of the coffee drinkers are refused insurance in many cases ……. The cost of a marriage license in 1894 went up 100% when North Dakota raised the fee from $1.00 to $2.00. … Ad about 1900….. Don’t be a slouch, stop the grouch. Get well and you will see. More joy in life, less of strife. Try Rocky Mountain Tea

Friday, May 8, 2015

Phones Commandeered - Pt 2 –

 May 7, 1917… The biggest outrage of the Raid on May 7, 1917 came from the fact that before the raid a group of deputies entered the telephone office at gunpoint and ordered the operators away from the switchboard… in essence shutting it down to any and all phone calls for 53 minutes during the raid. The manager of the telephone office tried to make a call during that time but could not. He immediately went to the phone company, ordered the deputies to leave and the operators back to work. This did not happen so he left and returned with the company attorney. The Attorney entered the office and went to the switchboard himself to place a phone call to the judge to inquire into the authority of the deputies to close down the switchboard. When deputies ordered the attorney away from the switchboard he turned with a gun drawn. After a heated exchange of words the office manager and attorney left, soon to return with a group of armed citizens driving off the newly appointed deputies. The attorney was charged but eventually those charges were dropped. The Governor suspended the president of the City Commission stating he had allowed liquor to be sold, gambling to be done and “bawdy houses” to exist. He resigned and later then ran for re-election and won. In the end there was a lot of uproar in 1917 but very little changed on Third Street and life went on pretty much as it had before the raid.

1910 - Minot Telephone Exchange Building on Main St.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Phones Commandeered - Pt 1 – May 7, 1917

It was a 53 minute ordeal on the night of May 7, 1917 when the Northern States Power Co. telephone office was seized during the largest law enforcement raid in the history of the state. Before the raid a group of deputies entered the telephone office at gunpoint and ordered the operators away from the switchboard… in essence shutting it down to any and all phone calls for 53 minutes during the raid. The raid was under the personal supervision of ND State Attorney General William Langer. Over 40 citizens of Minot had been deputized to participate in the raid. The attack in Minot was aimed at establishments said to be “dens of inequity”. Most of these were located on Minot’s “High Third” street. In 90 minutes 44 people had been arrested on charges such as gambling, prostitution, receiving proceeds from prostitution, operating a bawdy house and “blind pigging”. A “blind pig” was an establishment that served illegal alcohol as this was during the days of prohibition. Apparently several of those arrested were said to be prominent local citizens. Those arrested were dealt with in the local courts but there were very few convictions. 

typical switchboard operation in Minot

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Early Phone Books

Phone Book Cover 1958 – The 1958 Minot telephone book was published by Northern States Power Company, the parent company to the phone company. The picture on the front cover was of a field and a large sun behind it. The words printed across the sun were “Why Not Minot?”. Below the picture was the slogan – “ The City with a Future”. What I thought was a bit unusual is the Minot Genie is not pictured on the cover. Instead the phone book has a farmer or maybe a cowboy standing in front of the field with the sun in the background

Dial Service Instructions – One of the first pages in the 1958 telephone directory had a complete set of instructions on how to use a rotary dial telephone. I believe this was about the time the dial phones came into existence.
1. Place forefinger firmly in dial opening 
2. Turn dial around in clockwise direction until the finger strikes the finger stop
3. Remove finger and let dial return to normal position

 The instructions also explained the different signals one could hear over the phone lines…. The phone ringing signal was described as a “burring” sound…. The Busy signal a “buzz-buzz-buzz” sound.  Instructions were also there on the use of “party lines”. Long distance and out of town calls had to go through the operator. In 1958 all phone numbers were 5 digit. Example: the phone number for Steenstrup Jewelers was 36-221

 1939 Phone Book front cover
1939 - phone book back cover

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Riverside Park –

In the winter of 1914-1915 a road was constructed through Riverside Park and the Zoo was started. The first animals in the zoo were 12 fox squirrels and 12 gray squirrels. In A915 more animals were added. These new animals consisted of rabbits, raccoons, pheasants and guinea pigs. In 1916 a black bear, three bear cubs and several elk were added to the zoo. With the arrival of the bear, a bear den was constructed in 1919. The Bear Castle, as it was called, look like the ruins of a medieval castle. More land was purchased for and next to Riverside Park which contained a road named Elbow Road which connected to the road within Riverside Park. By this time a combination baseball-football field had been constructed in Riverside as well as tennis courts. Between 1921 to 1924 a concrete swimming pool was built, a bath house by the pool built and a foot bridge (into Eastwood Park) was constructed. On Sept 11, 1924, Riverside Park was renamed Theodore Roosevelt Park and the bronze statue was dedicated

 Original Bear Castle
 Zoo Building
 Riverside Park Swimming Pool
Flower Gardens

Monday, May 4, 2015

The First Minot Parks --

On July 2, 1912, 54 acres of land was purchased on the East side of Minot for $13,750. At the same time 10 acres were purchased on the west side of Minot for $5,25..During the winter of 1912-1913 a contest was help to name the parks. The West Park was named Oak Park due to the large number of oak trees present. The East Park was named Riverside Park. In May of 1913, three more acres next to Riverside Park were purchased adding to it. At the same time 15 acres were purchased in northwest Minot near Minot Normal School, (now MSU), to be named Lincoln Park. In 1922 eleven acres of land was purchased by the city on north hill to become known as Grand View Park. Oak Park – Tennis courts and a wading pool were added to Oak Park in 1917. In June of 1920 the city purchased 52 acres of land to the west of the original park and which increased the size of Oak Park by more the 5 times its original size.

 Oak Park - 1920's
Oak Park Pool - 1961

Friday, May 1, 2015

Jacobson Opera House –

For 20 years, from 1903 to 1923, the ornate Jacobson Opera house was the cultural center of Minot. It was a brick building built by DA Dinnie, an early contractor in Minot,  at a cost of $30,000.00. The stage was 30 by 50 feet which was the largest in this part of the country in those days. It had a proscenium arch surrounded by lightbulbs that would flash on and off. This type of arch framed the stage like a picture frame. The curtain for the stage rolled up and when down had advertisements on it.  The opera house occupied two of the floors of the building. The orchestra on the second floor and the balcony on the third floor. It would seat 450 people. The opera house was the scene of many plays, concerts, political rallies, dances, lectures and concerts. The Opera House was destroyed by fire in 1923. It was rebuilt by and became the home of Union National Bank. The location is now the Taube Museum

 Jacobson Opera House
 Opera House fire - 1923
Union National Bank