Shirley Room Cafeteria – Located in the basement of the Minot Savings & Loan Building…. They claimed to have the lowest prices in Downtown Minot …. One special in 1970 was Soup, sandwich, coleslaw, chips and beverage for on 75 cents…. You could order breakfast and pay between 35 cents to $1.15….. Dinners were 89 cents to $1.20 …. A salad side dish was only 10 cents. ….. King Leo’s – also in 1970 for fast food at low prices --- King Leo’s on South Broadway (now Arby’s) was offering Hamburgers – 20 cents --- Cheeseburgers – 25 cents --- Fries – 20 cents and Milk shakes – 25 cents … a quick meal for 65 cents……
Friday, December 30, 2016
Thursday, December 29, 2016
Other Ads of Interest – November 1963 –
Minot Federal Savings (Midwest Federal or the Big “M” Building) was new. During normal business hours daily tours were being offered with free refreshments and free brochures …. Arrowhead Shopping Center was advertising the fact that 2nd Avenue was now paved all the way to the shopping center …. Prices on a local car dealer’s used car lot – 1958 Ford Fairlane - $285.00 .. 1959 Pontiac Catalina - $995.00 .. 1961 Ford Fairlane - $1065.00 …. Vince Lee’s Bottle Shop on 3rd Street NE was advertising the right wine for any occasion …. Self Service Furniture had a Full size crib and mattress for $29.95 (They were located on South Broadway across from Ryan Chevrolet) … And White’s Dairy was advertising BEEP – A fruit flavored, dairy processed breakfast drink ….
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Tempo – Christmas Specials 1963 –
In 1963 Tempo was featuring many toy and Christmas specials in their newspaper ad. Kids tricycles were on sale for $7.79 …. Regular size Christmas lights (replacement bulbs) 5 packages of 5 bulbs for 28 cents …. The Mouse Trap game - $4.22 …. A 34 inch red wagon - $7.47 …. Christmas Tree stand – 81 cents …. A cuddly Teddy Bear - $1.68 …. A basketball, hoop and air pump - $3.68 …. Rummy Royal card game - $1.78 …. Monopoly Game - $2.97 …. Santa was on hand to meet the kids in Santaville located inside the Tempo store. Tempo used the slogan – “Your Store with More at Lowest possible prices.”
Tuesday, December 27, 2016
1963 S&L ads –
In November of 1963 S&L Department Store on main street was running the following items in their newspaper ads. Women’s fleece lined snow boots - $3.99 a pair and Women’s high fashion leather boots only $8.95 a pair. The men good purchase a pair of zipper galoshes for $4.99 a pair or a pair of 4 buckle work overshoes for only $5.99 a pair. Women also had the opportunity to purchase holiday print dresses for$5.98 for cotton to $14.95 for wool. In 1963 a woman’s mohair sweater was only $12.95.
Thursday, December 22, 2016
Past Restaurants –
The Wooden Platter – in the late 1970’s the Wooden Platter was located inside North Hill Bowl – Besides a restaurant menu they also offered to bake pies – especially at the holiday seasons…… The Dog House – this was located one half block south of Town & Country Center --- their specialty was hot dogs and sausages of all types – a regular hot dog was 59 cents --- in a basket it was 99 cents – the basket included the hot dog, fries and coleslaw --- The Dog House also featured homemade chili and fish sandwiches …..
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Memory Notes from a listener #2
- On First Street, mid block between Central Avenue and 1st Avenue was Minot Bowling Lanes (it was upstairs also) owned by Fred George . Harry's Tire Service was next door. This Bowling alley at one time had human pin setters, they used to hire high school kids to do it. (The people who ran the Bowling Alley lived in an apartment on the top floor of the building. Not sure when it closed but then in the mid-60's it was a place to take your slot car as it had a big track for racing slot cars.
Also, just west of Woolworths on Central Avenue was the Singer Store and a Drug Store and I don't remember the name of that one. (There was also a women’s hat shop,( Dottie’s Hat Shop) on the same block of Central Avenue, between 1st Street Southwest and Main St.)
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Memories of a Minot Resident #1 -
Carl's Music Shop was at one time The Minot Accordion Shop and it was located where I Keating was. He sold Accordions and Guitars mainly and also gave music lessons for the accordion. (In the mid sixties, Carls Music Shop was located in the Flat Iron Building on Central Avenue).
On the East side of First Street there was B&B Drug with a cafeteria below it and it had the most luscious carmel rolls in the morning!! On street side, one door down and up the stairs was the Minot Business College. In the mid-60's Minot Business College moved up on South Hill to what used to be a convent. Not sure when it closed. It was owned by Lloyd Hansen. (This is now Apartments at the intersection of 3rd Street and 14th Avenue SE…. By Rosehill Cemetery).
Monday, December 19, 2016
Mitchell’s Hardware -
Mitchell’s Hardware was on the corner of Central Avenue and 3rd Street South East, where Val’s Cyclery is now located. Prior to Mitchell’s this locations was the home for Oppen’s Grocery Store. Oppen’s had a lunch counter or cafeteria in the store. I believe this was known as the Central Avenue Café. For a while Mitchell’s Hardware also maintained the Central Avenue Café even though it was a hardware store. One of Mitchell Hardware’s claim to fame was a talking Myna bird named Mack. Mack had the reputation of uttering four letter words, especially the s--- word, so many younger shoppers were not allowed to hang out around him. After Mitchell’s and before Val’s Cyclery, this location was the home of Ben’s Appliances.
Friday, December 16, 2016
1971 Medical Scam
1971 Cigarette Rumor – Trinity Hospital was the recipient of over 25,000 empty cigarette packages from all over the state. Many believed the rumors that cigarette companies would redeem the empty packs for items such as seeing eye dogs, wheel chairs and other medical supplies. Over 10,000 empty cigarette packs came from the Westhope School District. Unfortunately there was no truth to the rumor. Trinity thanked all those who tried to help the cause. The empty cigarette packs ended up in the Minot landfill.
Thursday, December 15, 2016
- Mr Taco was on South Broadway where The Adult Bookstore (Risque’s) is now located. Mr. Taco was owned by Sam Butts or Taco Sam as many called him. I may be wrong, but I believe the Taco Shop had the first, only and best tacos in Minot at the time, in the late 60’s. Mr. Taco also was the first shop to sell Grinders... Similar to a sub sandwich. Next door to Mr. Taco's was another South Broadway “landmark”. Bennie’s Magic Mile Market or as many referred to it … the Bubble Up Store. Bennie’s was just one of many neighborhood grocery stores in Minot at one time. Bennie’s Store is now and oil change shop. I believe B&D Market in northeast Minot is an off spring of Bennie’s on South Broadway.
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Past Business --
Maid For A Day – In 1972, two men, Arnie Merkel and Julius Jahr started a new business called Maid For a Day. The new company would provide cleaning af various types on an hourly, daily, weekly or monthly basis. Maid For A Day would clean windows, walls, carpets and floors and even do minor household repair…. Schriok’s Lawn & Trail – located on the 2& 52 Bypass at 10th St. SW. (now the home of iHeartmedia) – John Deere dealer …… The Grog Shop -- $the Avenue & Valley Street (Burdick Expressway at the west end of the viaduct)—Bottle Shop……. Fireside Lounge – inside the Sandman Hotel ( at the West Bypass and 4th Ave.) ….. Pizza Plus (formerly Our Place) – at South Broadway and the Bypass – Pizza and sandwich shop …..
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
From a Basement to A New City Hall
Minot’s First City Hall -- The first building to serve as City Hall for Minot was the home to the Police Dept in the basement, the Fire Dept. on the main floor and dormitory above, the jail, magistrate’s office and the City Manager office and staff also on the main floor. It was built in 1905 and was located mid block between Main St. and 1st St SW. (or next to the Alley behind the Montgomery Ward building – across the street from the 1st Avenue Building). In the early 1900’s, this was quite literally the center of Minot. DA Dinnie was awarded the bid for construction for the price of $11,171.00. The new building was to be the best facility of its kind in the country for cities the size of Minot. However the Minot Aldermen were so disenchanted with the finished result they refused to occupy it as they claimed it had not been built to specifications. About 6 months later they resolved the conflict and moved in.
Monday, December 12, 2016
Minot Steam Plant –
The Minot Steam Plant was located west of what is now the Cenex Store on Central Avenue. It was by the old Kedney warehouse which has also been demolished. The Steam Plant provided heat to most of, if not all of Downtown Minot. The steam ran through pipes in a series of tunnels throughout the downtown area. In addition to the steam tunnels, many downtown businesses also had freight elevators on the sidewalks in front of the store. This open basement concept under the sidewalk had a tendency to heat the sidewalk a bit in the winter… helped snow removal. I have been told that at times the snow in downtown Minot was covered in ash from the smoke stacks of the Stream Plant
Friday, December 9, 2016
Minot – Other Nicknames --
In 1907, Dr, Gideon Powell, pastor of the Methodist Church in Minot, was in dispute with the mayor of Minot. In those days Minot was considered a “wide open” town with a reputation for vice. From the pulpit he proclaimed, “Make me the Mayor of Minot and I will make the city “The Vestibule of Heaven” in 30 days. The Towner newspaper disagreed and stated that Minot was not as wicked as made out. You really wouldn’t know there were any bad people in Minot unless you went looking for them. In 1915 some thought Minot should be nicknamed “the City of Realization” … followed by “The Wonder City”. And then about 1919-1920 some thought “The Park City’ would be appropriate because of the number of parks. None of these lasted very long so The Magic City nickname remained.
Information supplied by Susan Gessner
Thursday, December 8, 2016
The “Magicians Nickname” --
Before 1908 a baseball team existed in Minot but it had no nickname, (“Mouse Riverites” did not catch on). In 1908 team organizers wanted to utilize the “Magic City” nickname by naming the team “The Magic City Base Ball Team”. This eventually was shortened to “Magic City Team” then to “Minot Team” or “Minot Boys” and then “Minot Regulars”. However, in 1909 the team became known as the “Magicians”. This name was used through the 1928 season. The Magician name had broad appeal. In 1916 the Minot Normal School, (now Minot State University), used the nickname for its sports teams and also for its yearbook. The high school deferred to the Normal School until the summer of 1925 when students at the Normal School (MSU) chose the beaver as their mascot. The yearbook was also title The Beaver. After that the “Magician” name was claimed by the high school. Eventually the names “Magi” and “Majettes” would be developed from the Magicians nickname. ..... As researched by Susan Gessner
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Minot Nickname Officially Used –
The first major event to use the nickname was “The Magic City Harvest Festival” in 1908. This was sponsored by the Minot Commercial Club, (the forerunner of the Chamber of Commerce.) The event was held on September 28th and 29th on Main Street. It featured a large banner across Main Street titled “Welcome to the Magic City” and subtitled “The Pride of the Northwest”. When asked about using the name “Magic City”, the response in the Minot Daily Reporter was as follows: “While growth in Minot did not show “mushroom growth”, if one looks at the list of improvements attained in the city you would see the growth that has been going on for the last few years is substantial and geared towards the future.
As researched by Susan Gessner
Harvest Festival 1908
Tuesday, December 6, 2016
“The Magic City” nickname is Adopted
“The Magic City” nickname is Adopted harsh and Minot did suffer from a shortage on coal. Rumors spread the North Dakota, (especially the area around Minot), was starved, frozen and almost wiped off the face of the earth. Local businessmen realized these stories were damaging and prevented hundreds of people from coming to the state. The Minneapolis Tribune sent a reported to Minot. He quickly realized that the rumors were just that. They promised the state and Minot a full page at no charge to respond to the stories. Some of the local articles, stories and ads by Frank E Graves used the nickname “Minot – The Magic City”. This was in early 1907 and seems to have solidified the nickname for Minot
As Researched by Susan Gessner
As Researched by Susan Gessner
Monday, December 5, 2016
Minot Nicknames – Early -
Minot Nicknames – Early - As researched and provided by Susan Gessner
Minot may have had its Magic City nickname early but it was short lived if at all.. Minot Started in 1886 and by October 1887 the population had grown to about 1500. Because of disease, drought and depression the population dropped to 575 by the 1800 census and back to 1277 by the 1900 census. A variety of nicknames were found in the early 1900’s. “City on the Mouse” and “Metropolis on the Mouse”, due to its location next to the river…. “The Town of Bones” because of the buffalo bone trade and “The Sodom and Gomorrah of the West” due to the wide open lawless nature of the town. Other names included “The City of Destiny” and “The City of the Hills” and at one time “The Gem City”. The earliest reference to “The Magic City” seems to have originated in 1906 and by 1907 the name seemed to be established.
Friday, December 2, 2016
Minot Eagles Club -- In April of 1972 the new Minot Eagles Club was dedicated and opened to members. The club was located at the intersection of 2nd Avenue and 16th St. SW, across from Arrowhead Shopping Center. In less than a year, the Eagles membership had grown from 1800 to over 3200. The Minot Eagles Club was organized in 1942 and the new home was the fourth location. Prior to this opening the club was located at 110 1st Street SE, later the home of the Chicago Club. The new club was about 17,500 square feet and built at a cost of $483, 365.00….
Eagles Club by Arrowhead Shopping Center - 1985
Thursday, December 1, 2016
One More Story about High Third
Henry’s Pool Hall – bands would play on the weekends. One long time resident of Third Street told me that when the bands would play on a busy weekend night the horn players would have handkerchiefs in their hands to hold on to the instruments. My source said the horns would get so hot that you could not touch them. Also the windows of the Parrot Inn on many a Sunday morning would be all boarded up due to fights. The windows would all be blown out the night before.
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
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.
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Downtown Minot in 1950's – 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 Ameerican, 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.
Woolworth's Lunch Counter
Monday, November 28, 2016
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 23, 2016
Piggly Wiggly in Minot
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 and I was “rolling in the dough”.
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Destroy the Evidence
Liquor Raid – Destruction Device – at 32 Central Avenue East a device had been constructed so that liquor packed around it would be destroyed by fire when the current was on. The device consisted of a small wire coil in a concrete enclosure. Around the coil were shavings and other flammable material. Mixed in with this were the bottles of liquor. When the current was turned on it would ignite the material and heat the bottles enough for them to be destroyed thereby eliminating evidence. When agents barged into the room, they unplugged the device. The bottles had not heated up enough to explod The evidence was intact.
Monday, November 21, 2016
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.
Friday, November 18, 2016
Prohibition Liquor Raid
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
Thursday, November 17, 2016
High Third Street – Where it all Started
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. This street (then known as Reishus Avenue) was the edge of town. What is now known as Broadway was the outskirts of town in the late 1800's. 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
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Luxury Cars of High Third
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 Stearn's Building. At one time he owned a big and fancy Lincoln Continental. Rumor has it that the car was stored at Stearn's 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..
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Ladies of Third Street Shopping
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.
Ladies from High Third
Monday, November 14, 2016
Third Street - Who was in Charge?
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” looked at Jim and told him 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 on 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 infection. After that, Jim was able to safely return to Minot
Friday, November 11, 2016
Unusual Hiding Places
Raids - Woman in the Cupboard – Back in the 50’s, as the story goes, 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.
Thursday, November 10, 2016
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.
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Courthouse to Leland Hotel Booze Line—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
Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Bad Checks for Bad Whiskey
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.”
Monday, November 7, 2016
Grand Jury Report --
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.”
Friday, November 4, 2016
Whiskey Six – Part 2
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 BuickThe “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.
Thursday, November 3, 2016
More Stories of Booze Runners
Booze Runners - The 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.
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
Whiskey Runners -
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 dancehall 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.
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
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, October 31, 2016
Booze Smuggling Hearse
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?
Friday, October 28, 2016
Pop Shaw’s Garage
Pop Shaw’s Garage – 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 the bowling alley lived.
Thursday, October 27, 2016
3 Successful Booze Runs = Free Car
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.
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Revenuer's 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.
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
More Booze Running Tacics
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.
Monday, October 24, 2016
Booze Smuggling Tactics
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.
Friday, October 21, 2016
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. Pictured is the Vendome Bar and Saul's BarBQue and the Coffee Bar
Thursday, October 20, 2016
– 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.
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Minot's Street of Illicit Behavior
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
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
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.
Sunday, October 16, 2016
Machine Gun in Prohibition Cars
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
Friday, October 14, 2016
Minot - A Wide Open Town
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.)
Thursday, October 13, 2016
Let's Discuss High Third -- Inequity Hollow
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.
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
1927 - Dollar Days 90 Years Ago
Dollar Days 1927 – Apparently the concept of Dollar Day Sales in Minot was around 90 years ago. In the November 7, 1927 news paper many business were featuring Dollar Days Sales but the items were a bit different than one finds now….. everything in the newspaper ads was exactly $1.00….. Goldberg’s Furniture had large reversible rugs … Squtts Clothing – Mens dress shirts with collar …. Mens silk and wool sox ….. Watson’s Sanitary Grocery – 13 pounds sugar… canned vegetables 8 cans ….. Brooms ….. 5 pounds peanuts ….. Fauchalds Department Store – 5 Bath towels … Minot Outlet Store – men’s overalls (jeans) …Minot Furniture Co – bed pillows …
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
More Business – 1927 --
The Furniture Exchange -- located one block east of the Leland Hotel – O T Tollefson, proprietor (may have been the early days of Tollefson’s Furniture) …EH Myren Cleaners – 36 East Central Avenue – Johnson’s popular Priced Stores -- one of seven stores was in Minot – They claimed to buy for cash in the New York markets therby offering lower prices in their stores…. Outlet Store -- 120 West Central Avenue – Now a vacant lot where the Flat Iron Building was – sold men’s and some ladies clothes at reduced prices
Monday, October 10, 2016
Business – 1927 --
W E Borene Co. – Mens clothing store – featured Hart Schaffner and Marx Clothes … Union National Bank – Corner of Main St and Central Ave. – on second floor – Opera house on top floor – (Now the Taube Museum) … The French Hat Shop – located on Main St… sold all types of hats for women … Fauchald’s Dept. Store – located on Main Street Next to FW Woolworth (at one time on the corner of Central and Main – known as the New York Store before Woolworth’s bought the building) … J C Penny Co. – in 1927 they were located at 116-118 South Main St. …
Jacobson Opera House Block - Union National Bank Sign on Main Floor .... Opera Barber Shop and Baths in basement
Friday, October 7, 2016
Businesses in 1927 --
New York Hardware & Furniture Co – 18 – 22 North Main –telephone number 9 … … Glazer’s Cloak Shop –women’s coats of all types, leather and fur also dresses and fashion accessories … Piper-Howe Lumber Company – on 1st Ave. NE – just north of Central Avenue – (about where the Railroad Museum is now) … Ellison’s – The Fair Dept. Store – Main Street and 2nd Avenue – Downtown Minot …. Minot Electric Shop – 32 First St SE – sold Kolster and other brands of radios….
New York Store
Thursday, October 6, 2016
Grocery Stores in 1927
-- Oppens Market – in 1927 located at 3rd St and Central Avenue ( Val’s Cyclery) …. Watson’s Sanitary Grocery – 39 1st Ave SW (Downtown in the area of US Bank …. Fairway Grocery & Meat – 823 4th Ave SE – They delivered in Minot … Chain meat & Grocery – On North Broadway (about where the Barley Pop is now) … Red Owl Store – not sure where they were located in 1927 …… Eastwood Park Grocery – on the corner of East central Ave and 6th St SE (Next to the Hump back bridge that is now closed) … Shirley’s Grocery – Downtown Minot – Oak Park Meat Market -- 422 2nd Ave NW … Fairway Grocery –4th Ave and 9th St SE – At entrance to Eastwood Park … City Market -- not sure where they were located – phone number 64 …
Eastwood Park Grocery
Wednesday, October 5, 2016
More Auto Dealers 1927
– 1927 -- Fisher – Sandlie Motor Company – They acquired the Pence Auto co. – Buick dealer …Crowell Motor Company – Authorized dealer for Paige automobiles … Parker Motor Co .—115 -119 1st Ave SE – Dodge dealer (across from the Blue Rider) – Had a large auditorium on the top floor of the building which house Skateland and burned in 1962) … Minot Reo Co. – 21 1st St SE – Dealer for The REO Flying Cloud and Wolverine autos …
Tuesday, October 4, 2016
Early Minot Auto Dealers
Auto Dealers in 1927 -- Kluver Motor Co. – 16 Third St NE – ( across from the Ice Box Bar on south side of the 3rd St overpass) in 1927 they were the Pontiac and Oakland dealer – later would become the Plymouth dealer … Westlie Motor Co – at Central Avenue and 2nd St NW (Broadway) – Ford and Lincoln dealer … Interstate Motor Co. – Dealer for Hudson and Essex automobiles … Frosaker Motor Co. – 2nd St and 1st Ave SW – now the home of the Wells Fargo Drive-in bank … -- Blaisdell Motors – Chrysler Dealer – 4th Ave and Main St. (now Main Medical) … Hanson Motor Co. – Central Avenue and 2nd St SE – Falcon-Knight auto dealer …. Whitmore Motor Co – Erskine and Studebaker Dealer … Nash-Westra Auto co – Franchise dealer for Nash Automobiles … Eck-Johnson Motor Co – Willys-Knight and Whippet dealer in Minot
Pictured is Blaisdell Motors which became Main Motors and is now Main Medical... also shown is the original Westlie Motors
Monday, October 3, 2016
The Jacqueline Shop –
The Jacqueline shop was located at 115 South Main Street. It opened for business on July 27, 1965. The original owner was Rowland Harkness, who also was the lessee of the shoe department in Walter’s Women’s Wear. At one time the manager was Katie Mullen and then Barbara Mills. Following the death of Rollie Harkness, ownership of the Jacqueline shop went to his son, Todd Harkness. The store featured shoes by Jacqueline, Connie, Famolare, Hush Pupppies, Bear Traps and Nurse Mates for women.
Friday, September 30, 2016
Minot Business Institute ….
The Minot Business Institute was located in the First Avenue Building in Downtown Minot. Their phone number was 571. The President and owner of the school was H. French. In 1935 it was said to be the north west’s most modern Business School. The school featured university trained instructors to train students in the most modern business methods known at the time. The Minot Business Institute boasted that their students were employed and making salaries from $50 to $120 per month. Some of the courses offered were, Bookkeeping, Accounting, Banking, Typing, Shorthand, Dictaphone, Mimeographing, Public Speaking and Advertising. Minot Business Institute were pioneers in modern business education and featured “Business Training with Distinction”.
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