Thursday, June 30, 2016
The original Minot Public Library began in 1908 in two rooms rented in the Optic Block on Main Street. In 1908 the city approved its first mill levy for library purposes. In 1910 with $2000 in its treasury, the library obtained a grant from Andrew Carnegie for a new building. The Library was built at the corner of what is now Second Avenue and First Street Southeast. The library moved into its new home in 1911 and remained there for 55 years, when it moved into its current location. When the Library was dedicated in February of 1912, it had 1490 books and claimed to have 1350 borrowers. The original library building is now the Carnegie Center.
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
The House Where Lawrence Welk Stayed - Part 3 – One of the residents on the top floor was Joe Welk. He was a cousin to Lawrence Welk. In the late 20’s and early 30’s. Lawrence Welk was not the celebrity he became later on. He would stay with Joe while his band was performing in the Minot area and many times at the Pavilion in Riverside Park, now Roosevelt Park. One of the early tenants lived in one of the basement apartments. She knew him only as Larry, cousin to Joe. She told my wife that Larry was always trying to get people to his dances, but she said “he wasn’t that good” so they usually did not go. Years later she realized that the Larry she knew, was actually Lawrence Welk. Joe Welk kicked Larry out as he would run up Joe’s phone bill trying to book his band in the northern part of the state, but never repaid Joe for the long distance calls. This was verified by Lloyd Heusers, a former teacher at Minot High and long time member of the Minot Park Board. As a child he lived in the house just west of our house. His father was a cab driver and a good friend of Lawrence Welk.
The photo shows the house at Christmas the year I won the overall city lighting contest... over 70 strings of 100 miniature lights on the house and garage.
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
In the late 20’s the person who owned the house got involved with and joined a church out of St Paul, Mn. He deeded the house to the church with the stipulation that he could live there, “free of charge”, until he died. The house was converted to a apartments and sleeping rooms. Two apartments in the basement and on the main floor and five sleeping rooms on the top floor. All the income from the house went to the building fund for construction of a church here in Minot. That church was to be located on 6th Street SE, next to the Greek Orthodox church. The foundation was all that was built. That eventually became a 3 unit below grade apartment building that was demolished when the Greek Church purchased the land and converted it into a parking lot.
Back of house - 1980's
Monday, June 27, 2016
This is actually my home in Eastwood Park. My wife, Pat and I purchased the home about 30 years ago after moving back to Minot. In the summer we would always get people driving by our house. Many would stop and ask if they could see the inside as they had lived there in the past, as far back as the late 20’s. I learned a lot from these former residents. The house was built about 100 years ago and went through a few owners. Although the house has very little insulation in the walls, it is very warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The original house had a corner room as an ice box. The ice door is still visible on the east side of the house. The water from the ice melting and rain water all went into a 2200 or so gallon cistern in the basement, below our laundry room. The water was then pumped into a metal tank in the attic and was part of a gravity feed running water system before the days of city water pressure.
Friday, June 24, 2016
Capri Bar and Restaurant – The original Capri Bar and Restaurant was on the corner of
St. and East Burdick Expressway. This location later
became the home of the PATH building. To the south of the Capri
was the Rush Inn Motel. This was torn down and the location is now storage
units. Also at one time in the area on the corner of 8th Avenue and 20th Street Southeast
was Cashway Lumber, owned by Sy Bond.
Gateway Grocery – Gateway grocery was owned by Anna and Louis Panos. It was across the street from the Holiday Inn Riverside. The building was also the home for Tiny’s Bar and one of the Widdell’s Pizza shop – Tony’s Pizza. The new
bar is now in that location.
Thursday, June 23, 2016
In 1963, Stan Fink came up with the concept of the Young America Stores. The first store opened in the newly built Town & Country Shopping Center. The store carried a complete line of infant wear and clothes for tots, juniors , subteens, young men and young women. Most of the sales were in the men’s lines so the store expanded and eventually opened The American Man Stores. At one time Young America had 15 locations in North and South Dakota, Iowa and Montana with over 250 employees. In 1976 they opened the Jeanery in the Town & Country Center. American Man opened in 1981 in Dakota Square in Minot with Young America following in 1983. In 1983 Young America received the Retailer of the Year Award by the Upper Midwest Men’s Apparel Club of Minneapolis.
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
The other man was an airport employee named Hobart Myers. He had gone to the scene to see what was happening and decided to try and help. When the flaming gasoline covered his body he dived into a sand pile at a nearby construction site. Myers was rushed to St. Joseph’s Hospital for treatment of severe burns. His coveralls were still smoldering when he arrived at the hospital. His clothing reportedly burst into flames again, burning a nurse who was caring for him. Myers suffered severe burns and had to go skin grafts. He was a patient at St. Joe’s Hospital for over eleven months before returning home. Myers later became a custodial worker at the Ward County Courthouse and passed away in 1958.
The picture below was taken by Lloyd G Hanson. this the only picture I have that is in color and showing the flames from the fire. Most pictures just show the smoke. My thanks to his daughter Lila Beck for giving me this photograph
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Casualties of the Westland Oil Fire….. one man was a transient from South Dakota looking for work in Minot. Edward Brown was walking north over the Third Street Overpass when the explosion occurred. He watched the fire for a while and then went to help another man with a hose spraying water on the Mandan Creamery building north of the burning oil tanks. Another blinding flash and explosion occurred which soaked their clothes with burning gasoline. Brown ran back up the overpass a ways and jumped into the river to extinguish the flames. He told his story from the hospital bed but died later that day.
Monday, June 20, 2016
The Westland Oil fire occurred in July of 1947. The cause of the fire may have been attributed to “pink gas’ flowing out of one of the tanks. This was reported by someone from the Bridgeman Creamery. She claimed she saw the “pink” gas coming out of one of the tanks and decided to leave at once. As she was driving away the explosion pushed her car down the street but she escaped without injuries. Many businesses were lost in the fire besides losses incurred by Westland Oil. Those destroyed in the fire were: Mandan Creamery & Produce, Riverside Café & Tavern, Becwar & Cedarstrom Texaco and the Minot Co-op Grain Association. Badly damaged included Bridgeman Creameries, Monagin Power Equipment Co, Farmers Union Co-op Store, and Lowe’s Grocery. Five people were killed in the fire and a number were injured.
Friday, June 17, 2016
The American Legion Club was located in Downtown Minot on 2nd St, (Broadway) just south of the Rex Bar and Café. The American Legion Club moved into this building in 1952 after purchasing it from the Minot Daily News. The News moved to its new location at 301 4th St. SE. The American Legion Club moved to a new location on Minot’s north hill, now the home of Don Bessette Motors. The old American Legion Club location in Downtown Minot is now part of the parking lot west of Bremer Bank. I was in the old American Legion Club many times during my stint of driving a delivery truck for Coca Cola Bottling. It was always noted for having great food.
Thursday, June 16, 2016
I was fortunate enough to obtain a 100 year old 3 foot piece of one of the wooden water lines that was excavated from Main Street in Downtown Minot.
One of the issues will be how to keep it intact as it dries out. The water line has a 4 1/2 inch center diameter. 16 pieces of hardwood of some sort interlock to form the pipe. It is then bound and held together with a very thick wire. As the water flowed through the pipe the wood swelled and sealed itself. The outside is coated with some sort of material, I believe to further seal the pipe. Since it has been below ground for many decades, the concern is that as it dries it will contract and fall apart. I reattached the wire that was loose using fence staples. I also inserted a piece of 4 inch PCV pipe. It is a very snug fit but I got it in. The hope is the wire on the outside and the PVC on the inside will help it maintain its shape as it dries. Now only time will tell. If successful I will further clean it and then seal the outside and use it as a decorative plant stand or something. At least that is the plan
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
There were also many rumors about tunnels under “High Third”, Minot’s Red Light District. One hears rumors about bars and clubs that had escape tunnels in the basement for quick evacuation in case of a raid by the police. Again, in interviewing people back in the mid 80’s for the Ward County Centennial, I was told that “High Third” in its hey-day had many such tunnels. I was also informed that at one time a person could start at 4th Avenue (Burdick Expressway) and go to 1st Avenue or Stearns Motors (now I. Keating’s) without ever going outside. The route would consist of basement tunnels between houses and businesses as well as above ground passages between buildings. I have been investigating the history of Minot’s High Third. I very seriously doubt if this was true. In the days of prohibition, most of the addresses on Third Street were houses inhabited by regular law abiding citizens. True or not about the tunnels, I don’t know BUT some of the people I interviewed 25 years ago are no longer with us to ask. One thing that did come out is the fact that most of the time the places to be raided were warned ahead of time about a pending raid, hence tunnels were probably not really needed. It appears that many establishments of Third Street had “escape” passages out the back or through the basement if the need arose.
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
For many years a number of downtown buildings were heated by steam which was piped into them by steam pipes for the NSP Steam Power plant. The steam pipes had to be maintained so they ran through tunnels below the streets and buildings. These tunnels were large enough to accommodate men who may need to repair or do other maintenance. Many people confuse these tunnels with tunnels rumored to be running into Minot for the purpose of running contraband in and out of town. Most of this was in the form of alcohol smuggled in from Canada and other points. The Steam tunnels under Minot, while large enough to walk through were separate form any booze smuggling tunnels. However there was a rumor that a tunnel ran from Stearns Motors to the Rex Motel and another tunnel that ran from Stearn’s Motors to the old Flatiron Building. Possibly, only the people working on the Broadway Project in 1960 would know if this were true.
Monday, June 13, 2016
Tunnels In Minot #1 – Before WW II there was a pedestrian tunnel under the railroad tracks on Fourth Avenue (Burdick Expressway). It was probably built about the same time as the overpass. The tunnel was well lighted and dry. Cars no longer had to worry about trains, nor did pedestrians. Cars went over the top and people went underneath. After WWII the lights were broken by vandals. Women were afraid to use the tunnels. Because of liability the railroad boarded up the entrance. The question comes to mind…. Is the tunnel still there? Some believe it still exists…
4th Ave. Tunnel
4th Ave. Tunnel
Friday, June 10, 2016
Lowes Grocery was located in what is now the Ice Box on the corner of
3rd St NW and 1st Ave in Minot.
Jim Lowe, one of the Lowe children, along with his wife Clarice began growing
fresh produce to provide for the store. Later a "pick your own"
vegetable stand was added. From fresh vegetables to bedding plants was an easy
transition for Clarice and Jim, who ran Lowe's Gardens as a seasonal business.
Lowe's Inc. DBA Lowe's Floral and Garden Center has been serving the Minot, ND
community with fresh flowers, green and blooming plants, trees, shrubs, and
locally grown vegetable and bedding plants for over 80 years. Their son Philip
Lowe and his wife Jennifer purchased the business in 1975 and turned it into
its current business form by adding the Floral Division, the Nursery and
Landscape Department and the . Two years
later the couple moved to the caretakers cottage on the property and Jim and
Clarice moved to Clarice's ancestral home in Garden
Center near Glenburn. Jim and Clarice worked
daily at the business well into the 1980's. Tattman Township, North
Thursday, June 9, 2016
Albert Lowe was born in Wild Rose, Wisconsin on December 25, 1880. He was the son of Thomas and Mary Lowe. Albert’s father worked in the coal mines in Wales. He never saw daylight until he was 19 years old. Albert attended a commercial college in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. He also worked in a general store that was owned by C. A. Smart. Albert came to Minot and worked in the business office of the Minot Optic, later the Optic Reporter, owned by his brother-in-law, W. M. Smart. One of his jobs was picking up advertising for the newspaper. On of the advertisements was, For Sale – Riverside Mercantile Co., located at Third Street and First Avenue Northeast. The store was owned by Ed and Albert Bettin and Harry Marshall. This was in 1916. Albert asked if he could wait a few days before turning in the ad. In the meantime he made arrangements to borrow $3,000.00 on his own signature. In 1930 the store became strictly a food market and the name changed to Lowe’s Grocery, selling “Red & White” goods. Later, Albert purchased 19 acres of land from Harry Smith. This was originally the Joe Roach Ranch located in the bend of the Mouse River. He raised vegetables to sell to stores and wholesale houses in Minot. After purchasing the acreage on the Mouse River, Albert erected a chicken house. He ought Leg Horn pullets and when grown, sold the day old eggs. The cartons stamped with the date they were gathered and got 5 cents a dozen premium. People came from all over town to buy these day old eggs From Lowe’s Grocery.
Wednesday, June 8, 2016
Straus Brothers Jewelers was owned by Al, Ben and Rose Straus. They began in 1929 in an upstairs room in the First Avenue Building. As business grew, Straus Borthers moved to a location on East Central Avenue and then into the Leland Parker Hotel Building in 1937. In 1950 Straus Brother’s moved to their final location at 19 South Main Street. Straus Brother’s carried Keepsake Diamonds, Longine Watches, Bulova Watches and fine silver and china.
Strauss Jewelers - 1964
Tuesday, June 7, 2016
in 1908, Cap Saunders came to Minot to work in the Leland Drug Store which was owned by Paul McCoy and Clarence Parker. McCoy and Frank Taylor owned Taylors Drug on North Main Street. Three months after arriving in Minot, Saunders was moved to Taylor Drug. In 1912 he bought one third interest in the store and later bought out McCoy and the name was changed to Saunders Drug. In 1935 Taylor sold his interest to Saunders. At midnight on December 31, 1948, Saunders turned over the management of the drug store to John Vardsveen. Saunders Drug was located at 5 North Main Street.
Monday, June 6, 2016
Dakota Drug – Dakota Drug was founded in 1929 By “Cap” Saunders and was located inside Saunders Drug on North Main Street. Eventually Dakota Drug moved two doors north on Main Street. In 1948 the business moved into its home which is the site of the former Dakota Hotel. Dakota Drug distributed a variety of products including drugs, drug sundries, tobacco, cigars and sporting goods. The company also rented space at 101 East Central Avenue for tobacco and sporting goods products. This division separated and became known as Nodak Candy and Tobacco Co. At one Time Dakota Drug had 8 sales mangers covering most of North Dakota and a large part of Montana.
Dakota Drug - 1912
Friday, June 3, 2016
An newspaper article from the Ward County Independent on November 22, 1905:::
This afternoon about two o’clock as CK Von Neida was traveling in the northern part of the city in his elegant new automobile, the machine took a shoot off the bank of Erik Ramstad’s slough and landed in ten to fifteen feet of water, bottom side up. Mr Von Neida jumped and no doubt saved his life. Soon a report was spread over the city that he had been drowned, as a the cushion and a mitten were seen floating in the water. The machine is being pulled out by a team of horses.
The northern part of the city and the Erik Ramstad Slough were in the general area of the old Ramstad Jr. High School.
Thursday, June 2, 2016
Show N Sell Sign – the Show N Sell Sign is the former marquee from the Empire Theater on main Street. When the theater was torn down, the theater marquee was rescued by Robert and Becky Weiss. The sign was built in 1954 when the Empire Theater was constructed. The Show N Sell sign was placed on the roof of the Midtown Plaza on the southwest corner of Broadway and 2nd Avenue. A number of energy saving materials. As the Empire Marquee the sign was illuminated with 480 incandescent light bulbs. As the Show N Sell sign it is illuminated by two exterior high intensity lights. The sign was rented by people and businesses wanting to advertise or announce special events. As co-owner of the Show N Sell sign I can attest to some of the challenges in operating it. The only access to the sign on the roof was by an extension ladder placed on the west side of the building. The first winter of ownership we discovered that water on the roof pooled below the sign. In the winter, the wind blew and polished the ice, making it very slippery. We used a step ladder to place the letters on the sign as this worked much better and was quicker than using the long arms to place the letters. With the ice it became a two man job. One to hold the ladder and one to place the letters. In later years we placed wooden pallets upside down below the sign. When they froze into the ice, the step ladder would not slide around while working on the sign.
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
the Minot Grocery Company started operations in Minot in 1906. Its first home was in downtown Minot east of Main Street and north of Central Avenue. In the early days Minot Grocery was purchased by the Nash Finch Company. The Nash Brothers started business in 1885 in Grand Forks and were soon joined by Harry Finch. Nash Finch Company supplied products to the area Piggly Wiggly, Jack & Jill and Circle Food Stores. Nash Finch moved to a new, modern warehouse on Highway 2 & 52 West. They are still in business at the same location. That is now 16th Street SW and Burdick Expressway West.