Total Pageviews

Friday, August 4, 2017

Vacation Time

I will be vacationing for the next two weeks ..
Depending on internet reception at the lake I will probably be updating Minot Memories a bit sporadically

1934 Milk Dumped in the Street

Milk Protest – From January 15, 1934… Demonstrators entered two Minot grocery stores to protest the price of milk on their counters. Chain Grocery on 2nd St NW was visited by approximately 50 people. Minot Food Market, also on 2nd St, NW was visited by the same group. At the Chain Grocery store, the protesters dumped about 100 quarts of milk on the street. At Minot Food Market about 20 quarts of milk were dumped out in addition to a small amount of cream. The reason for the protest was these two stores were selling milk at a price lower than the group wanted. The average price for milk at that time was nine cents a quart. Chain Grocery was accused of selling milk four quarts for a quarter and at times seven cents a quart. Minot Food Market had a sign in the window stating “Free milk with the purchase of 50 cents of groceries. The group was representing the milkmen’s organization

Chain Grocery - 1950's

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Minot Ship By Rail Club –

 The Minot Ship By Rail Club was formed to promote the use of the railroad by the coal companies. The railroads and their employees shared in the prosperity of Minot. In 1932 to promote the railroad as the main means of transporting coal out of the area the Club came up with these statistics:In
1931 the Railroads paid $193,269.47 in taxes to the Ward County Treasury
In 1931 the Railroads paid approximately $975,000.00 in wages to Minot residents
In 1931 these Railroad employees paid about $150,000.00 in Ward County taxes
In 1931 there were over 2500 railroad employees and dependents living in Minot

Impressive statistics for the time

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Railroad Construction 1887

GN Railroad Supplies – during the year 1887, 16,406 train car loads of supplies were shipped to Minot from St. Paul. The supplies were for the completion of laying 636 miles of railway from Minot to Helena, Montana. Supplies included were 3,890 carloads of rail, 1,223 cars of timber, 458 cars of lumber, 8,018 cars of tiles and 947 cars of spikes. Between April 1 and November 19 world records were set for the greatest amount of track laid in any one day, week , month and year.


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The Federal Building - Former Minot Post Office

Minot Post Office – in 1937 the Minot Post Office was 50 years old. Prior to its establishment in 1887, the post office for Ward County was located in Burlington. At that time the post office was a box carried by the Burlington Postmaster, Attorney James Johnson. Prior to the Minot Post Office, up and down the river went to Burlington for their mail. In Minot in 1889 the Postmaster’s salary was $100 a month and his operating budget was $30 a month for rent and $10 a month for fuel. In 1903, rural mail deliveries were started out of the Minot post office and in 1904 city carrier service was started. The post office became first class in 1908, declining to second class in 1911 due to business reasons and back to first class in 1912 and has maintained that level since. The Post Office, now the Federal Building, was completed in 1915 at a cost of $150,000. The post office moved to its present location in the 1950’s. This location prior to the post office being built was a flat piece of land used by Minot High School as an athletic field.

The pictures show various stages of construction







Monday, July 31, 2017

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.

American Cafe - 1950's

Friday, July 28, 2017

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.



Windsor Hotel - 1949

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Herman Gordon

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

Main Street - Early 1900's

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Minot Park Board's First Wildlife

Squirrels in Minot – there are not too many places in the Souris Valley in Minot that one does not see a number of squirrels. At times there seems to be a number of black squirrels in the mixture. I often wondered if these were a different breed of squirrel. Back in 1939, the same question was on people’s minds. It seems that in the early 1900’s, the Minot Park Board imported squirrels from Iowa and Wisconsin. One story had it that the squirrels were brought in to provide wildlife for Riverside, (now Roosevelt), Park. The idea was the squirrels, once released in the park would stay on the east side of the river, confined to the park. Obviously the early Park Board did not realize the ingenuity of the squirrels. George Valker, a long member of the Park Board, recalled that the black and foxtail squirrels were introduced to the Park in 1916. In 1939, Perna Stine, a biologist at Minot State Teachers College said the black squirrels are a variation of the grey squirrel family. Although the black squirrels are not as prevalent as the grey squirrels, there are still some in the city today

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

New Minot Radio - KCJB 910 AM and KCJB-TV -

KCJB arrived on the scene with several new personalities and shows. Two of these were Dean Thurrow, and Cis Hadley. Cis went out to neighboring towns grocery stores for remote broadcasts. One of these was from the HiLo Groceries at Van Hook. Of course the show was called "Hello from HiLo" .  Many remember being at the remote shows and  also listening to the shows to see if your neighbors might be interviewed on the radio.
Another Minot Memory would be when KCJB TV went “On Air”. The first year they were at the state fair they did closed circuit from several locations on the fair grounds. The broadcasts were not very  clear, having a lot of “snow” on the scene. This led to the famous statement of one fair attendee watching the dairy cattle judging in a different building. His statement to his wife was “let’s go over to the dairy barn,  its hot here but looks like it’s snowing over there"  “Live”  TV at its best


Monday, July 24, 2017

Old Minot Radio

KLPM 1390 AM. KLPM was referred to as “Old Minot’ Radio. One of the on air personalities was Les Maupin. One of his radio shows was called Tello-Test. This was a program where random people were called to answer a question to win a prize. When dialing the phone number, over the radio it was 8 – 3 – 8 – 1 – 4 – 5 - ??? the listeners would not know the complete number until the last digit was dialed.
Saturday morning the station had a program called Birthday Train for kids. Parents would send in information on the child’s age and birthday for an announcement on the radio. The radio station would wish the children Happy Birthday and give them clues as to where their presents were hidden at home.


Friday, July 21, 2017

Restaurants From Bt Gone Days

. Restaurants of the Past – 1960’s & 70’s – Dee Dee’s Frozen Foods – Barbecued ribs, hot tamales, chili con carne and barbecue sauce were Dee Dee’s specialties. In 1968 you could purchase these items at Red owl Stores – Downtown and Arrowhead, Garden Valley Super Fair, Piggly Wiggly – Town & Country and Highway 2 East and of course Dee Dee’s Grill on Third Street… King Leo’s – 1734 South Broadway – once in a while on Thursday and Friday, King Leo’s featured a Hamburger, Fries and a milk shake for only 49 cents…... A&W Drive-In – 1819 South Broadway – with a coupon you could buy one Teen Burger at regular price and get the second for a Penny …..


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Headlines from the 40’s –

1940 – Sawyer ran a a band of Gypsies out of town ---
1940  - Unemployment checks averaged $9.68
1943 – The Waverly Hotel burned down ---
1943 -  North Dakota Speed limit lowered to 35 mph
1945 – Construction began on the Empire Theater
1945 -  Thomas Funeral Home moved to its Present location
1946 – Minot City Council approved parking meters ---
1946 -  Propane gas came to Minot
1947 – More than 1400 rats killed at Minot Dump in one day --- 
1947 -  Westland Oil Fire
1948 – New Clarence Parker Hotel opened

1949 – Parking meters abolished in Minot 

 Waverly Hotel burning
After the fire was out

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Green Hill Potato Chips - A Minot Product

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 18, 2017

Opera House Barber Shop

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
The sign on the side of the building is for the Barber Shop


Monday, July 17, 2017

Second Attempt With Traffic Signals

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.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Theaters – 1945 --

   State Theater – Movie ending was “Without Love” starring Spencer Tracy…… the next show was “Between Two Women” – Starring Van Johnson with Lionel Barrymore, Gloria DeHaven and Keenan Wynn ….. Strand Theater – “When the Lights Go on Again” starring Jimmy Lydon and Barbara Belden ….. Orpheum Theater – “The Impatient Years” – Starring Jean Arthur and Lee Bowman ….. 














Thursday, July 13, 2017

Bars from the 1970's

Night Clubs in the 70’s -- The Blue Moon Nite Club – on East Burdick Expressway – now the home of Ron Lohman Motors – Featured Dancers and entertainment ….. Club 52 – on Highway 2 & 52 – West of Minot about 2-3 miles (just past the Oil Tanks west of town) ….. Covered Wagon – Downtown Minot on Main Street – Featured jam sessions every Saturday night……. Riverside Lodge – Highway 2 East (where the Holiday Inn is now) ….. CP Lounge – inside the Parker Motor Hotel … The Dutch Mill - Later this bar was known as Fridays and today it is the Rockin' Horse 

 The Dutch Mill
Covered Wagon

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

More Businesses From the 1970's

Past Businesses – 1970’s – Alhood Motors – Highway 83 South – At one time they were the Mercedes Benz Dealer in Minot….. Red River TV & Appliance – 2121 North Broadway – across from the International Airport ….. Ben Franklin Store – located in the Arrowhead Shopping Center …. Payless Family Shoe Stores -  at one time located at 1601 South Broadway …..  Big Bear Surplus – Originally located at 14 North Main Street – Carried some clothing, sporting goods and hunting supplies ….. 


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Grocery 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 recall....one at 627 North Broadway - South of the Subway Restaurant and the other on South Broadway - where the Good Will Store is at 14th Ave and South Broadway.



Monday, July 10, 2017

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.

Friday, July 7, 2017

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 Himm (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.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

1971 – More Past Businesses –

 Thunderbird Home Center  - 623 North Broadway ….. Jay’s Men’s Shop – 106 South Main – featuring a $10.00 suit sale …… Minot Eagles Club on 1st St SE (now the home of the Chicago Club) …… Merk’s Twist Inn – 800 North Broadway (now home to Originals – The O Bar)….. Erna’s Restaurant – 1542 South Broadway (Blind Duck location)…. Viking Table Smorgasbord (now the new Pool and Spa store)  – Sunday dinner - $1.89 included fried chicken, meatballs, halibut and BBQ ribs and a Complete Thanksgiving Dinner for 10 people for $13.99…. The Auto-Dine – 8th Avenue and North Broadway….. 


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Businesses from 1971

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….


Friday, June 30, 2017

Entertainment – August 1964…

 Here are some of the things to do for entertainment in August of 1964…. On Wednesday night, Roy Orbison and his orchestra were performing at the Minot Municipal Auditorium from 9 pm to Midnight. The Starlite Outdoor Theater was featuring “Buck Nite” , ($1.00 per car), all in the car were admitted for the $1.00 price. The double feature included Teenage Millionaire and The Explosive Generation. The next featuring starting was going to be McLintock, starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara…. The Oak Park Theater was showing The Pink Panther, starring Peter Sellers and the Empire feature How The West Was Won…..





Thursday, June 29, 2017

Satchmo in Minot

Louis Armstrong – Thanks to one of my blog followers from Scotland I received a post from 1936. Louie Armstrong (Satchmo) was in Minot in concert at the Parker Auditorium on December 9th, 1936 for two events. From 7:30 to 9:00 pm was a concert with admission being only 55 cents. From 9:30 pm to 1:00 am was a dance. Admission to the dance was $1.15.  He was billed as a star of stage, screen and radio and a recording artist for Decca Records. He was accompanied by his orchestra. Again the Parker Auditorium was above the Parker Motors Company, across the street from the Scandinavian Hotel and Windsor Hotel (which were torn down to make room for the YMCA.)


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Capri Bar and Restaurant –

 The original Capri Bar and Restaurant was on the corner of 20th St. and East Burdick Expressway. This location is now 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 Capri bar is now in that location.


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Young America

Young America – 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, sub-teens, 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.


Monday, June 26, 2017

Chain Food Store

 Chain Food Store was established in 1917 by Herman (Heinie) Diamond. He started working a grocery store and soon saved enough money to purchase Standby Grocery on North Broadway. Chain Foods started delivering groceries in Minot with a horse and wagon. They were the first grocery store to use a motor truck for delivery.  In winter when roads were blocked, groceries were even delivered in rural areas by air. Also involved in the store with Heinie were his sons James and Jerry and his son –in-law Stan Fink.  These three also opened Diamonds Department Store in 1959 at 437 North Broadway and in 1961 a second Diamonds Department Store opened in the Arrowhead Shopping Center.

Chain Food - 1950's

Friday, June 23, 2017

Westland Oil Fire - 1947 Pt 3

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.

Map of area affected by the fire 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Westland Oil Fire Pt. 2

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. 


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Westland Oil Fire Pt 1

 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.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Nelson Motors

Nelson Motors was located at 614 Second St NW. The business began as “Ted and Markies” repair shop. In 1940 they entered in the new car field. The owners were Mark Nelson and Ted Hugh. The business was known as Hugh-Nelson Motors. In 1960 Nelson and sons bought out the interest of Ted Hugh. The Rambler was the vehicle line the carried. Eventually the name was changed to Nelson Motors and the car line became American Motors. One of the popular vehicles in the late 60’s was the Javelin and the AMC. Both were sports cars and were meant to rival the Mustangs and Camaros. The AMC was one of the cars I always wanted to own, but so far never have.

 Nelson Motors
New Hudsons on Showroom Floor

Monday, June 19, 2017

Minot Public Library –

The original Minot Public Library began in 1908 in two rooms rented in the Optic Block. 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.

 Library - 1911
 Library Interior - 1911

Friday, June 16, 2017

American Legion Club – Downtown Minot –

The American Legion Club was located in Downtown Minot on 1st St SW north of American State Bank. 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 15, 2017

The Secret Room –

 The night foreman at Stearns relayed this story of the secret room. As night foreman he would take care of the cars that came in for parking while the owners went to shows and other entertainment. After all in those days, everything happened Uptown. He had a small office by the entryway to the basement that enabled him to collect the money and park the cars outside. One night he discovered loose bricks in the wall, so he dug them out and soon had an opening. He then moved a kitchen cabinet over the hole. He mixed the dirt with sand and gravel that dropped from the cars when ice and snow melted. The next morning when the floor was swept, it all went into the garbage. He did this every night and soon created his secret room. He kept his refreshments for his side business in the secret room. 




Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Tunnels in Minot #3 –

 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 13, 2017

Tunnels in Minot #2 –

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 12, 2017

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? I am pretty sure it is not.

4th Ave (Burdick Exp) Tunnel

Friday, June 9, 2017

Minot’s Anne Street Bridge Part 5 –

Many other problems persisted after the “foot viaduct” had been built. Because of the steps on both ends, older people and women with baby carriages had difficulties using the bridge. Early travelers across the bridge also had to contend with soot and smoke from the engines passing below. City officials also noted there was a threat to ladies wearing light colored or expensive gowns. Finally in January 1918 Great Northern agreed to “enclose and cover and also reconstruct the floor of the viaduct to deal with the soot and smoke. It seems that much later, in the 1920’s the steps were replaced with inclines (ramps).  The bridge may have remained “covered” well into the 1950’s. The picture shows people fishing from the Anne St. Bridge in the 1920's
Research thanks to Susan Gessner - Minot

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Minot’s Anne Street Bridge Part 4 –

i
In April 1909 the city of Minot passed an ordinance allowing the “foot viaduct” to be built. Part of the ordinance apparently called for using the remains of the 1908 bridge as part of the construction. The City of Minot also agreed not to request any other “crossing” over Great Northern property. Also, upon completion of the construction, Great Northern would have the right to remove all other footbridges between the Great Northern bridge and Nedrud Avenue. Construction was completed in June of 1909. Criticism arose as the access to the bridge consisted of forty some steps on both ends of the bridge, creating problems for many residents.   Research thanks to Susan Gessner - Minot


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Minot’s Anne Street Bridge Part 3 –

By September 1908 it seems that the Great Northern had agreed to a new bridge … a “foot viaduct” that would span the Mouse River and the railway grounds. The city would split the costs with Great Northern but haggling still continued. One issue was Great Northern’s insistence that it would not pay for the approaches to the viaduct. At one point the City on Minot was considering “condemning Great Northern property for Anne’s Street diagonally to Main Street” to assert their rights. Finally in March 1909, the city approved the plans submitted by Great Northern. Erik Ramstad helped secure the funding to pay for the city’s share of the costs totaling $1895.00      Research thanks to Susan Gessner - Minot


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Minot’s Anne Street Bridge Part 2 –

 On Sunday, April 26, Great Northern employees tore down half of the structure. The city apparently had not consulted with G. N about the need for the bridge but built it anyway. Great Northern gave no issue during the construction of the footbridge. The reason for the demolition appears to have been the city infringing on Great Northern property without permission. This left the North Siders far from jubilant and somewhat out of sorts. The local newspapers were very sarcastic towards the railroad in all their articles covering the issue. Finally. by September 1908, the railroad agreed to a new bridge – a “foot viaduct” that would span the Mouse river and the railroad tracks.      Research thanks to Susan Gessner - Minot


Monday, June 5, 2017

Minot’s Anne Street Bridge Part 1 –

 For many years the residents of the “North Side” of early Minot wanted better access to downtown. A footbridge known as the “Wheeler Bridge” spanned the Mouse Rive at the foot of Victoria Street but was mainly used and useful to G.N. employees. In 1908 a temporary footbridge was built over the Mouse River by the “north Siders”, but it was later partially destroyed. In early 1908, a “foot viaduct” was built by the city to replace the unsafe temporary bridge. This footbridge spanned the Mouse River and the Great Northern Railway tracks. It was built in early 1908 at a cost of $625. The North Siders were jubilant.


Friday, June 2, 2017

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.


Thursday, June 1, 2017

Minot Grocery Co.

Minot Grocery Company –Originally known as Grand Forks Mercantile,  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.


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Parker Motor Company

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.