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Friday, July 29, 2016


I will be on vacation until August 15th. I will update this site depending on internet connections at the lake.

J. B. Reed Transfer and Storage –

 JB Reed Transfer and Storage was one of the oldest operator of moving trucks in Minot. They got their first truck, a Winton, in 1911. The crank on this vehicle was on the side. After the driver cranked it and got it started, he would most likely have to run after and catch up to the moving truck. Eventually Reed Transfer went to using GMC and International trucks. Before that, some of the trucks they had were a Republic, an Overland and a Maxwell. In 1933 , Reed Transfer became the agents for Aero-Mayflower Moving out of Indianapolis. Cliff Reed was also a lover of fine cars. In 1934 when President Roosevelt was in Devils Lake, he was chauffeured by Cliff Reed in his Sport Model Buick. He was and his car also chauffeured the Mexican ambassador to the United States in 1935 when he was visiting Minot. Pictured below is a Dakota Transfer truck from the 50’s .

Thursday, July 28, 2016

The Boston Store –

Herman Gordon arrived in Minot in 1905 and opened a small tailor shop in town. His first shop was on First Street South West. Later he moved to Main Street and opened the Boston Store. Eventually, The Boston Store moved to First Street Southwest, just south of what is now the Federal Building. Herman was ten years old and still living in Russia when he “ went on the bench”. The term used at that time applied to learning the tailor’s trade. He learned from his father. After coming to America in 1902, he worked for three years as a tailor in Petrosky, Michigan before moving to Minot. Herman and his wife, Helen, lived at 613 East Central Avenue, or in what is now know as Eastwood Park.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Fair Enhancements:

 In 1934, water lines were added connecting the fair grounds to the Minot city water supply. In 1935 the “Pioneer Settlement” was established in the west/northwest rea of the fairgrounds in the shade of the trees by near the Mouse River.  In 1936 the Pioneer Bowl was added in the area which is now a parking lot just south of the State Fair Center. The Pioneer Bowl was WPA project that could seat well over 2000 people. The Pioneer bowl was used for pageants, mass meetings and at times, old time dances. The Pioneer Bowl survived until the 1969 flood.  In the spring of 1937 a bridge was built over the Mouse River connecting the fair grounds to a camp ground. .. After many years of different fair dates, including July 4th, the date was set for late in July in 1948. The reason was so the fair could obtain better agricultural exhibits and attract better entertainment programs. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Annual Fairs Established:

 By 1919 there was renewed interest in holding a fair in Minot. A bill was introduced in the state legislature and in November, 1920, residents in Ward County voted to hold a fair. There were 8 to 10 sites proposed for the fair but it was narrowed down to land west of Oak Park or the land east of the city. The 80 acres to the east was purchased for $20,000.00 in 1922. It was originally known as the Northwest Fair with other regional fairs in Fargo, Grand Forks and Mandan… For the 1926 fair, the original entrance was first used. It consisted of two large arches with five smaller arches in between. This entrance was used until the 1970’s.  

 Northwest Fair - 1920
Northwest Fair - 1926
The original State Fair Entrance

Monday, July 25, 2016

Minot - Early Attempt with Fairs

Past Fairs in Minot  - Early Efforts… as early as July, 1904, business men in Minot were trying to form the Ward County Fair and Racing Association. By that fall they had purchased land just east of the old race track on south hill. This was about 3 /4 mile from the city limits. In 1905 this association had turned the land over to the Ward County Agricultural Society whose intent was to hold annual county fairs… apparently this did not pan out. In 1909, the Ward County Fair and Racing Association defaulted on the land and concentrated more on racing than fairs. … Later in 1909, a few prominent businessmen in Minot formed the Ward County Agricultural Fair Association and held a fair on Sept.28 through the 30th. Fairs were also held in 1910 and 1911. Financial difficulties forced the sale of the land on south hill in 1915.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Scandinavian Hotel & Windsor Hotel –

The Windsor Hotel was on the corner of 1st St and 1st Ave. SE. This is where the old YMCA was located. The Scandinavian Hotel was on the east side of the block on1st Avenue, just east of the Blue Rider Bar. The original Soo Line Depot was across the street, on Third Street SE. When the early settlers arrived at the Soo Line Depot, they would see they Scandinavian Hotel. Most if not all of the Scandinavian languages were spoken here. Many of the early pioneers in the northwestern part of the state arrived at the Soo Line depot and may have stayed at the Scandinavian Hotel. Eventually the Scandinavian Hotel was demolished to make room for an expansion on the Windsor Hotel. The Windsor Hotel was demolished to make room for the YMCA.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Dec. 5, 1907 - Minot's Largest Fire

Great Northern Ice House Fire Dec. 5, 1907 – In one of the largest fires known in Minot at the time, the new Great Northern Ice House which was recently completed but never used, burnt to the ground about 9:00 Sunday evening. It was not known how the fire started but a number of workers were camped out in the building and may have set the fire accidentally. The building was about one half mile east of Minot Flour Mill. The fire department was called out but did little good as the fire hoses only reached about half way to the building. Eight box cars, loaded with lumber, hay and coal, were lost in the fire. Also two old cabooses used by workers as cooking cars. The fire was so hot the rails of the railroad were melted and ended up shaped like bows. This made it impossible to move rail cars to safety. The building was 375 feet long and 50 feet wide and cost over $10,000.00 to build. The loss to Great Northern was considerable as they planned to fill it with ice to supply cities between Minot and Spokane.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Green Hill Potato Chips –

In 1933, a Minot native who lived in the northwest part of town figured out how to beat the depression. T.J. McIlhargey worked for the Great Northern Railroad for eighteen years. Since he was unemployed, he and his wife started making potato chips in the basement of their home. He sold the potato chips under the “Green Hill” label to over 40 retail establishments in Minot. In time he not only sold the potato chips, but he expanded into selling donuts also. They would process 2 to 3 bushels of potatoes a day, yielding up to 13 pounds of chips. The plan was to expand into other area communities with the chip and donut business

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Opera House Barber Shop –

Edward Henjum, a barber in Minot, owned the Leland Barbershop. During its busy days, the Leland Barbershop employed as many as five barbers and grossed over $15,000 annually. This was big money back in the 1920’s. Before starting out on his own, Edward Henjum worked at the Opera. The Opera was a barbershop located in the basement of the Jacobson Opera House. The Opera was a big barbershop. It boasted nine barber chairs. A Turkish bath parlor was run in conjunction with the barber shop. Besides the nine barbers, The Opera employed a cashier and two porters

Monday, July 18, 2016

Minot Receives an Iron Lung

Iron Lung come to Minot – in 1939 the Minot Junior Association of Commerce, lead by Les Maupin, conducted a fundraising drive to raise money to purchase an Iron Lung or mechanical respirator for the City of Minot. The respirator, a Drinker-Collins type was fitted with a mechanical and manual operating equipment. Rules and regulations for the operating of the Iron Lung in emergency cases were adopted by the Minot City Council. The Iron Lung was presented to the city at a special ceremony held in the Minot High School Auditorium on August 16, 1939.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Businesses From the Past

Businesses in 1945 --  Squtt’s Clothing – Men’s Clothing Store ….. J&E Supply – 20 West Central Avenue …. Industrial and farm supplies – power plants ….. Beacon Electric – 1541 2nd St SW – also sold small portable grain conveyor belts …. Greenberg’s Men’s and Boy’s Clothing store on Main Street …. John’s Texaco Service – 920 4th Avenue SE …… Waterman Implement Co. – tractors, combines and farm implements ….. George E Valker Flowers & Gifts – 218 South Main St . ….. Russell Miller Milling Company …… Black Drug Co. ….. Western Auto Parts …..

 Russell Miller Milling

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Main St. & Central Ave

Stop-Go Light – A suspended stop and go signal was ordered for the City of Minot in August of 1939.  Some years before a post type signal was tried in Minot. It was located at the intersection of Main Street and Central Avenue. The use of this signal was discontinued as most drivers ignored it and a number of drivers ran into it. The installation of the signal light was an experiment at the intersection of 2nd Street and 4th Avenue Northwest, (now known as Broadway and 4th Avenue), at the north end of the overpass. The signal weighed about 115 pounds and was equipped with red, yellow and green lights. It was timed with 30 second intervals on the north-south lanes and 20 second intervals on the east-west lanes. The signal went into operation on September 16, 1939. Motorists were given time to get used to the signal. Violators were not arrested on the first day. The signal was in operation 7 days a week, (yes, Sundays included), from 7 am to 1 am. The experiment proved to be successful as signals were also ordered for: Central Avenue and Second Street West, Central Avenue and Main Street, Central Avenue and Third Street East, Main Street and First Avenue and Main Street and Fourth Avenue, (Burdick Expressway.) By the end of 1939, these additional signals were installed and operating. Pictured is this intersection in 1928

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Minot Gold Recovery Facility - 1938

Gold Recovery Plant  - Aug 26, 1938 – A gold recovery plant has been established east of Minot near the Mouse River by the Herman Hanson Syndicate. Soil travels up a conveyor belt to a circular drum. There it is washed and whirled. The coarse gravel is discarded and the finer material, carrying the gold content passes across a vibrating screen, which sifts the material even finer. Water pumped from the river, washes the screened material down into sluices where a series of riffles and special cloths trap the gold. The concentrate is then pit through a special electro-amalgamated process, which extracts the gold dust. Between 2,000 and 3,000 cubic yards of material will run through the plant daily.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Minoters Mine for Gold

Minot Men Hunting Gold at Denbigh – in 1932, three men from Minot, Joseph Gleske, Robert Hill and Christ Enger, employed by the Willard – Wallace Company were extracting gold from the sand hills at Denbigh. The special machine was made in Denver. Gravel enters the machine at the front. After a series of screens and filters, it  removed larger sized pieces. The fine sand that was left entered “flotation” cells at the rear of the machine where it was agitated in water that had certain oils and chemicals added. Froth would rise to the top of the cells and was brushed into containers by small which scraped the surface of the mixture. They hope was to recover 90 cents of gold per yard of material at a cost of 15 cents per yard. Apparently it was not too successful as it did not last very long and is not around today

Monday, July 11, 2016

Grocery Chain Stores from the Past

Red Owl stores – Three locations at one time – Downtown Minot – across the street west of the Midwest Federal Building, managed at one time by Don Steffan – Arrowhead Shopping Center (where White Drug is now located) managed by Leonard Kretchmar and South Broadway in the Tractor Supply location- managed by Don Jessen ….. Piggly Wiggly Stores – Three locations – Town and Country Shopping Center (on the north end where the Trinity Cancer Center is – Highway 2 East – Across from the ND State Fair Grounds – Oak Park Shopping Center…… Super Valu - There were two Super Valu Stores as I at 627 North Broadway - South of the Subway Restaurant about where the new Taco Johns is located and the other on South Broadway - where the Good Will Store is at 14th Ave and South Broadway.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Miracle Mart – 1971 –

In 1971 there were two Miracle Mart Discount Food Center Grocery Stores in Minot. One was in the Kmart Shopping Center at the intersection of Highway 83 and The Highway 2 & 52 Bypass, (they were in the east end of the Kmart Building). The other location was in Garden Valley in northwest Minot at 16th Street and 4th Avenue.  In 1971, Miracle Mart advertised, “Item for item our prices are lower than any other store”. Price comparisons between Miracle mart and other “Chain” grocery stores were usually featured in the Miracle Mart ads. Example” Bisquick, 40 oz box was 53 cents at Miracle mart . The next cheapest price was 63 cents. Miracle Mart stores expanded and eventually evolved into the Marketplace food stores

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Scandinavian Hotel & Windsor Hotel

The Windsor Hotel was on the corner of 1st St and 1st Ave. SE. This is where the old YMCA was located. The Scandinavian Hotel was on the east side of the block on 1st Avenue, just east of the Blue Rider Bar. The original Soo Line Depot was across the street, on Third Street SE. When the early settlers arrived at the Soo Line Depot, they would see they Scandinavian Hotel. Most if not all of the Scandinavian languages were spoken here. Many of the early pioneers in the northwestern part of the state arrived at the Soo Line depot and may have stayed at the Scandinavian Hotel. Eventually the Scandinavian Hotel was demolished to make room for an expansion on the Windsor Hotel.
Pictured is the Scandinavian Hotel, then an early picture of the Windsor and the third is a picture of the Windsor in the late 1940's. The Windsor Hotel was demolished to build the YMCA

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

1971 – Past Businesses –

Ted Schweigert Volkswagon – 1430 South Broadway … Auran Chevrolet (now Ryan Chevrolet) on South Broadway….. Don Moe Inc. – two locations – 3615 South Broadway and on 3rd Street NE ….. Blesener Olds-Datsun – 1310 4th Ave SE (across from Roosevelt park ….. King Leo’s Drive-In – featuring hotdogs for 16 cents on Tuesday and Fishburgers for 20 cents on Fridays….. Tony’s Tavern on South Broadway  ….. Bonanza Sirloin Pit (now Paradiso) – rib eye steak dinner for $1.69 ……. Village Inn Pizza Parlor on North Broadway…. Fireside Lounge on West Burdick Exp – in the Sandman Motel….

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Hotels/Motels of the past:

Gelking Motel – 1524 S Broadway
Walsh Motel – 17th Ave – hwy 83 south
Pat’s Motel – Hwy 52 Southeast
Gordon’s Holiday Spot – 1901 S Broadway
Clarence Parker – 1st St and 1st Ave SE
Leland Parker – Main Street and Central Ave
Paradise Motel - 20th Ave and Broadway
Sterling Motel – 20th Ave & Broadway
Roosevelt Hotel – Broadway and 1st Ave.
Ho Hum Motel – Burdick Exp & Bypass West

Home Motel –Hwy 2 & 52 West

 Roosevelt Hotel (Parking Lot behind Federal Bldg)
Sterling Motel (Marketplace Foods)

Walsh Motel (China Star Restaurant)

Monday, July 4, 2016

American Café –

 The American Café opened in September of 1922 in the Scofield Block on Main Street by a Chinese-American named Louis Lolling.  The  menu featured Special Chow Mein at 25 cents a plate and Lobster Egg Foo Yung at 55 cents a plate. Mr Lolling, while looking for an employee at the Dakotah Hotel, 60 South Main, was arrested in an opium raid. After convincing authorities that he was just looking for an employee, charges were dropped. However, Lolling became discouraged with Minot, sold his new café and left Minot in 1924.
Pictured is the American Cafe in the 1950's

Friday, July 1, 2016

Winter Festival – 1971 –

 The Minot Downtown Merchants held a Winter Festival in mid February back in the early 70’s. The Festival was a three day event covering Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Most of the Downtown Merchants featured advertised special during the event. Some of the other activities included a Torch Light Parade on Main Street, Beard Judging Contest, Snowmobile races at the Fair Grounds, Carnival Night at the Auditorium, Kids Mini toboggan Races at Jim Hill (prior to the new High School being built), Trap Shooting at the gun club and a basketball game between the Minot Sate football team and the Minnesota Vikings.