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Friday, April 21, 2017

Minot Auto Club

 The Minot Auto Club was organized to promote road building and maintenance, to better regulate traffic and to prevent Auto thefts. It held its first annual picnic at Rice Lake in June of 1921. It was attended by over 4000 people and more than 512 cars. In 1930 after his sixth accident, Judge William Murray considered issuing himself a restraining order prohibiting his diving an automobile anymore. Traffic signals were tried in various locations, but most drivers ignored them. They did not use them again until 1939. The city installed a signal at 2nd St NW and 4th Avenue and also in downtown Minot. In 1935 the State Patrol came into existence and drivers licenses were required. The new Patrol Superintendant and his four officers went to county seats like Minot and issued drivers licenses to reluctant drivers for payment of a small fee.


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Palda Family and the Elks Lodge

Elks Lodge – The Minot Elks Lodge Number 1089 was chartered on July 12, 1908. The first location was on the Southwest corner of Main Street and 2nd Avenue. The cornerstone for this building was laid on May 22,1909. The First Exalted Ruler was LJ Palda. The Palda Family is the only family in Minot to have had father, son and grandson serve as Exhalted Rulers. The Elks Lodge eventually moved west to a new home on the Northwest corner of Broadway and 2nd Avenue. This building was 2 floors and a bar and parking in the basement. The upstairs ballroom was home to many parties and wedding receptions. 

Elks Lodge - 1910
Elks Lodge - 1964

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Dr. E C Stone – Pt 2

 Dr. Stone also worked out of a Hospital on 9th Avenue NW, across the street from MSU.. Some say the hospital was referred to as the Stone Hospital, as the picture shows it was Mercy Hospital. In 1935 Minot’s Mercy Hospital was located at 505 9th Avenue NW. The phone number was 114 and the resident surgeon was Dr. E. C. Stone. The first appendectomy performed was in a sod house in 1905. Mercy Hospital was regarded as a modern hospital that offered facilities equal to the best in the land. The patients received necessary care from doctor and registered nurses at a minimum expense. From June 1, 1934 to Jun 1, 1935, 697 surgical operations were performed at Minot’s Mercy Hospital. In addition to that, 536 mediacal cases were done during the same period. The total number of patients cared for was 1233. Prior to moving to the location on 9th St. NW. Mercy Hospital was located on Main Street in Downtown Minot.


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Mercy Hospital

Dr. E C Stone – I received a call from a listener a while back about a Dr. EC Stone. She has a pill box from Anderson Drug. The physician was Dr E C Stone from Mercy Hospital. What I have discovered is this. In 1907, a Dr. Ringo came to Minot from Chicago to assume the medical practice of Dr. James Windel. In 1916, Dr.Ringo opened a 30 bed hospital in a downtown building to be used by his patients. Later the hospital was managed by a Dr. EC Stone. I do not know the name of this hospital, but it could have been Mercy Hospital. This hospital was eventually closed as the St. Francis sisterhood expanded facilities at St. Joseph’s Hospital. In the 1930’s, Dr. Stone was the Ward County Coroner. Listeners have informed me that a Dr. Stone had an office on the west side of Main Street, back in the 40’s. I believe the hospital was on the east side of Main Street, in the 100 Block that houses Cookies For You. 


Monday, April 17, 2017

Rueb’s Camera –

 In 1951 Rueb Forsberg started a camera club while working at the camera department in Minot Drug.  Rueb’s Camera opened in 1957 on 1st Street, one block east of the Federal Building. In 1962 Rueb’s Camera moved to its location on the northeast corner of 2nd Avenue and Main Street. In May of 1980 Rueb opened the first 1 hour photo lab in North Dakota and the 11th in the country. At one time Rueb’s had 15 labs in seven states. Rueb also published a book (booklet) titled “Mouse that Roared”, which is a pictorial history of the flood of 1969. It is a fairly rare book to find these days.















Friday, April 14, 2017

Famous Actor Once Lived in Minot

Boris Karloff – The Jacobson Opera House was host to many traveling theater companies in the early days of Minot. One of those theatrical companies was the Harry St. Clair Company. This group had an actor with them that would one day become famous. That actor was Boris Karloff, best known later in his career for the horror movies he starred in. Karloff spent 60 weeks in Minot back about 1915 when he was acting with the Harry St. Clair Company. They were performing at the Opera House and would have stayed longer but according to Karloff, they ran out of plays. Probably not many people are aware of the fact that Boris Karloff was a life member of the Minot Chamber of Commerce. The award was presented to him in 1957 by J. Warren Bacon of Minot at the television showing of “This is Your Life”,  about Boris Karloff.  A side note, Bacon, then 12 years old often ran errands of Boris Karloff. Bacon’s father was the manager of the Opera House at the time.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Jacobson Opera House –

 The Jacobson Opera House was built by Martin Jacobson, known as “The Hardware Man”. The Opera House had a capacity of 800 people with a stage that was 30 feet by 50 feet. The Opera House was built in 1902 at a cost of $30,000. The grand opening was on January 5, 1903. The opening play was “The Count of Monte Crisco” attended by over 600 people. Box seats were auctioned off, the highest price paid was $55.00. A note about the curtain on the stage. It contained advertisements and when the show began the curtain was rolled up. The Opera House had the reputation of “the finest west of St Paul”. It was also the home to town meetings, political rallies, dances, parties, school events and other public events. The Opera House was on the third floor of the Jacobson Building. In 1920, the Opera House was used as the Scottish Rote Temple for the Masons.  The Opera House was destroyed by a fire in 1923 and was never rebuilt. The first Opera House was on the northeast corner of Main Street and Central Avenue. In the late 60’s the building was the home of the USO and it is now the home of the Taube Museum of Art.



Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Union National Bank –

Union National Bank began its existence in Minot in 1905, in the front of the Jacobson Hardware building. The second floor was home to Offices and the Post Office. The ground floor housed Martin Jacobson’s Hardware Store. In 1923 the building, bank included was gutted by fire. Within eight months a new building had been erected on the northeast corner of Main Street and Central Avenue, the same location as the old building. Union National Bank remained at that location until 1963 when they built a new bank at 17 First Avenue SW. The bank is in the same location but became First Bank and is now known as US Bank. US Bank also has drive through tellers on South Broadway.



Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Jacobson Hardware

 Jacobson Hardware occupied the main floor of the Jacobson Building on  Main Street and Central Avenue. The Opera House was on part of the second and all of the third floor. Martin Jacobson, Known as “the Hardware Man”,  started the hardware store after becoming a successful rancher near Des Lacs. In 1898, Peter Fugelso became the bookkeeper of the hardware store until 1901 when he resigned to become the Postmaster. He later resigned as postmaster to join with Martin’s nephew, Doc Jacobson, to purchase the hardware store on January 1, 1907.  The business was destroyed by fire in 1923. The building was rebuilt .  The Jacobson – Fugelso Hardware store eventually moved to the middle of the block just east of the alley on Central Avenue and survived for many years. Jacobson – Fugelso carried a full line of hardware in addition to Schwinn Bicycles, Toro Mowers, Delta Power Tools and Benjamin Moore Paint.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Asplund Motors in Minot

Asplund Toyota – Wendall Asplund started his first service garage and body shop on Minot’s north side in 1927. The first franchise Asplund had was the Pullman Coach. Through the years Asplund also sold Kaiser vehicles, Willys and finally in 1955, Studebaker. Asplund eventually became the Toyota dealer. When I first had dealings with Asplund Toyota they were located on South Broadway, just south of the old Frosaker Motor building. The service/shop entrance was located on Broadway. Driving in was no problem. To back out, you needed someone to watch traffic as you exited. Asplund eventually built a dealership on north hill. The Toyota franchise was purchased by Ryan Chevrolet and then by Minot Chrysler.


Friday, April 7, 2017

Grand Hotel Fire – 1960

 The Grand Hotel was completely destroyed by fire o January 27,1960.  A number of other businesses were also destroyed by the fire. Those include The Triangle Dress Shop and PW Miller Co. Both were next door and the either one may have been where the blaze started. Other businesses lost in the fire were the Grand Barber Shop, Grand Billiard Parlor, Grand CafĂ©, Pioneer Bar, Grand Studio and the S&H Green Stamp Store. Another business, in a building to the north of the hotel was Minot Roofing and Cornice. One person stated that he had “saved the day”, referring to his part in the Grand Hotel fire. He maintains that they ran out of beer at the bar located on 1st street so he made and emergency trip to the Gamble Robinson ware house. Gamble Robinson was across the street from the now Rail Road Museum. Being an employee of Gamble Robinson he loaded up the city delivery vehicle with 100 cases of beer and delivered it to the bar. Well I guess maybe he did save the day?







Thursday, April 6, 2017

Grand Hotel – (The Original)

 the Grand Hotel, at one time known as the Lexington Hotel, was on the Northwest corner of Central Avenue and 1st Street NW. The Grand Hotel was built by Olaf A Olson in 1906. An addition was added in 1912, making it one of the largest buildings in Minot at the time. The Grand Hotel had 100 rooms and flourished until it was destroyed by fire on January 27,1960. More than 1000 people turned out to watch the fire. In addition to the Minot Fire Department, men from the Minot Air Force Base rushed to help fight the fire and provide crowd and traffic control. I was informed that one of the fireman from the base wanted to drive the new pumper truck into the Grand Hotel on the Central Avenue level. He was not aware that there were two more floors below the main floor on Central. The pumper truck would have ended up in the basement. The location of the Grand Hotel is now a below grade parking lot on Central Avenue used by the Brady Martz Accounting Firm.




Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Northwestern Bell Telephone Co.

NW Bell was located at 201 South Broadway .. Across the street to the east from Sweetheart Bakery and across the street to the south from the former Elks Club. In its “heyday” the company employed about 200 people. Operator services closed in December 1977. The plant division remained for a few years. Eventually all services were moved to Bismarck. The building was torn down and is now a parking lot.



Tuesday, April 4, 2017

NSP –

Northern States Power – in 1901 a franchise for phone and electric service was granted to the Minot Light and Telephone Company. The franchise was sold in 1911 and the name was changed to the Consumers Power Company. The name was changed again in 1916 to Northern States Power. NSP was located on Main Street until 1967 when it moved to 24 Second Avenue SE. The company was split. The telephone division became Minot Telephone and is now SRT. The electric division is now Xcel Energy.



Monday, April 3, 2017

Northwest Sporting Goods –

 Northwest Sporting Goods began in 1946 as Mellum’s Sporting Goods at 110 Central Avenue. In 1948 it moved to 15 1st Street SW and became Northwest Sporting Goods.  When the building they were in was going to be demolished, Northwest Sporting Goods moved into the empty S&L Building on Main Street. Another move happened in 1974 when Northwest Sporting Goods moved to South Broadway into the former South Hill Super Value building. They offered a full line of sporting goods from hunting and fishing to team sports. The building is now the home of the Goodwill Store.


Friday, March 31, 2017

B&B Drug Pt 2 -

The original name was the B & B Cut Rate Drug, because they sold below the recommended manufacturer price put on their products. Mike #2, Reinhold's son, went to work for my B&B right out of college in 1965, They were the only store to have 3 locations in Downtown Minot and move twice. The first location was on the northeast corner of 1st Avenue and 1st Street Southwest, now a parking lot. They moved to the in 1971 at 108 South Main, just south of Jay’s Men’s Store. This location was a larger store so they added more cosmetics, toys and expanded other departments. The third and final location was on the south west corner of Main Street and 1st Avenue, at 100 South Main.


Thursday, March 30, 2017

B&B Drug Pt 1 -

B&B Drug began its existence in1933 on the corner of 1st Street and 1st Avenue SW. B&B was the first discount drug store in North Dakota. The original owners of B & B Drug were Henry Burges and John Bonenko, neither one was a pharmacist and they hired Reinhold J Berg, known as Mike Berg, to go to work for them in 1939. Reinhold J Berg, never liked his name and got the nick name of Mike in school. (Reinhold's son, Mike always said that he was the real Mike and his dad was the fake one.) Reinhold, (Mike #1), was working in Carrington and was given a salary of 50 dollars a week. There were three B & B Drugs at the time. One in Minot, Stanley and Williston. When Mike #1 went to work for the B & B Drug they were on COD’s from their supplies. He organized the pharmacy and got thing going in the right direction. Mike bought one of the partners out in 1942.



Wednesday, March 29, 2017

1903 Building Supplies Replenished - Hardware Train –

 The year is 1903…. A full train loaded with hardware for the Martin Jacobson Hardware store came rolling into Minot. The Hardware store was located on Main Street and Central Avenue, now the Taube Art Museum. Hardware and machinery of all kinds were needed. The storage area for the hardware was the basement of the store. Martin Jacobson Hardware had a large room for tack and harness goods…. Reportedly the largest selection west of St. Paul. The store also carried Jewel and Universal Stoves, Resort Heaters and Cole Heaters. In 1903, Jacobson’s sold 374,000 pounds of nails. Jacobson Hardware had machinery warehouse with in a city block and also sold Old Hickory Wagons, Thomas Hay Rakes, Milwaukee binders and mowers, Minneapolis Threshers and Canton Plows.


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

New Home for the Chamber of Commerce

Minot Chamber of Commerce – New building – On Tuesday, January 13, 1959 the Minot chamber of Commerce officially celebrated the open house of their “brand new” building at 2nd Avenue and 2nd Street SW. (the corner of 2nd Ave & Broadway). Contractors involved in the construction were Harry R Cook & Sons – Plumbing – Mackley Construction – Montana Dakota Utilities (even the water heater is natural gas) – Northern States Power – Holmes Electric – M&S Roofing & Sheet Metal and Fargo Glass & Paint and Johnson Concrete Products. The building was built at a cost of $60,000.00. The location is now the home to Papa John’s Pizza.


Monday, March 27, 2017

More Past Businesses -

 John Iverson Company – John Iverson is one of the oldest electrical distribution companies in North Dakota. The first outlet was established in 1928 in Crosby, ND. The Minot store opened in 1938. John Iverson is now located at 3300 North Broadway. …. Metzger’s Appliance – 1615 South Broadway- Paradise Spas is now in this location…… AJ Automotive – the business started in 1960 and at one time was located on 2nd Ave and Broadway SW, AJ Automotive moved to the base of North Hill at 11th Avenue and North Broadway. They sold auto parts and accessories, Custom parts and did a variety of mechanical work


Friday, March 24, 2017

Club 13 --

The 13 Club was located 13 1st Street SW. It was located between Central and 1st Avenue on the east side of the street. It is now a parking lot. From the 13 Club came Gordon’s Holiday Spot on South Broadway. The Holiday Spot included the Copperpot Restaurant, the Trails West Bottle Shop, a 40 unit motel and The Sundowner Lounge. I remember the 13 Club as I would visit it off and on when working as a stock clerk in the Downtown Red Owl Store. I remember the Sundowner Lounge very well. As the drummer for the Wilder Days Band in the late 80’s and early 90’s, we performed at the Sundowner frequently. The Sundowner was Sidekicks and is now closed



Thursday, March 23, 2017

Minot Blacksmith

Charlebois Shop – the first location for the Charlebois Blacksmith Shop was at 1st Street and 1st Avenue Southeast in 1887. They eventually moved to 313 East Central Avenue where the business continued until closing in 1984.  John Charlebois, who started the blacksmith shop also had a homestead in the 188o’s. His homestead covered a large area in Minot east of Main Street and up South hill. John Charlebois donated a lot of the land to Rosehill Cemetary. I remember delivering Coke products to The Charlebois Shop on Central Avenue. In the late 60’s they had one of the few table top Coke machines that still dispensed the 6 ounce bottles for a Nickel.

 Charlebois Shop 1888






1920's 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

PW Miller Co. –

PW Miller Co. – Ad Jan 1959 – In 1959 the PW Miller Company was located in the Grand Hotel Block on West Central Avenue – This is the parking lot across the street o the north of Tom’s Coin Shop. Prior to this location PW Miller was located on the west side of Main Street north of Central Avenue. In 1959 the ad for PW Miller stated “Our Inventory is up and our bank account is down”. They were advertising – boy’s suits - $6.00 … Men’s work shoes - $2.99 ….. Full size blankets - $1.00 …. Men’s Sweatshirts - $1.00 ….. Used British Parkas - $8.88 …. Marine Corps insulated boots - $6.66 pr …. PW Miller called themselves “The jacket headquarters of the Northwest” . They also sold usd items and military surplus.



Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Working at "Pigs"

Piggly Wiggly – 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”. Cliff Overberg was the manager at the time. One Sunday night after unloading a truck, while racing to the front with a bunch of shopping carts, I wiped out a display stack of bubble bath in assorted colors. I learned that water only made the situation worse. Bubbles all over.

 Piggly Wiggly East 
 Piggly Wiggly Logo
Piggly Wiggly on Main St

Monday, March 20, 2017

Hotel Merrill = Waverly Hotel

 The Waverly Hotel was located on the southeast corner of Main St. and 1st Ave. I believe it was built in the early 1900’s. The Waverly was originally known as the Hotel Merrill. The Waverly was predominately a wooden structure. I did an interview with a gentleman who worked as a night desk clerk in the late 30’s and early 40’s. He informed me that the Waverly had a old coal fired furnace that would throw hot clinkers out. One of the tasks of the night desk clerk was to check the furnace every two hours, as the clinkers would sometimes start on fire. If the 2 hour inspection was made, the night clerk could usually extinguish the fire by himself before it got out of control. In the case the flames were to intense, a quick call to the Fire Dept, (located about a block away), would bring more help to control the fire. This was done without alerting the guests. On January 20, 1943 the Waverly Hotel was destroyed by fire. The temperatures were in the 30 below range. Four people lost their lives in the fire and their bodies were frozen into the ruins until all the ice melted later in the spring. The former night desk clerk at that time was in the service in Europe and assumed the current night desk clerk did not make the mandatory 2 hour check of the furnace.



Friday, March 17, 2017

Vince Lee’s Terrace Lounge –

 The Terrace Lounge was located on the east side of South Main between Central and 1st Avenue. I have pictures of the front and inside of the Terrace Lounge. In its day, this could very well have been one of the nicest and fanciest lounges in Minot. The Front of the bar was glass blocks. Upon entering you would find a semi circle bar in front of a wall of mirrors. Booths lined the north and south walls all the way back. In the center between the booths were smaller booths in an “S” shaped pattern. My experience was years later, in the later 60’s. Vince Lee owned a bottle shop on 3rd St NE and I delivered “Coke” products to the bar. That location is not TJ’S Bar which is one block north of the Firestone Store.

 Vince Lee's Bottle Shop  - Now Souris River Brewery
Terrace Lounge on Main St.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Oppen’s Grocery Store –

 At one time there was an Oppen’s Grocery Store o Central Avenue, where Val’s Cyclery is now. The one I remember best was on Valley Street , where the Work Shop laundry facility is now located. As a kid spending my summers on my Grandparent’s farm on top of Speedway Hill, I remember shopping at the Valley Street Oppen’s every Friday after selling eggs to Trinity Hospital. Now there was also an Oppen’s Grocery on South Broadway where the Goodwill  Store is now located. When the South Broadway store opened, the cafeteria was on the north side of the store. I have a picture showing this. Later, This Store became South Hill Super Value and the cafeteria was moved to an addition on the south side of the store, now the home of Coach & Four auto sales.


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

City Bakery –

City Bakery was in the 300 block on the west side of Main St. The location is now the parking lot for wells Fargo Bank. City Bakery also had a lunch counter, of which I do have some pictures. The eating area had wire metal tables and chairs and a number of ceiling fans. People would stop for lunch and take home many of the pastries offered. I remember City Bakery during the 1969 flood. I was working at Downtown Red Owl.  City Bakery and their van(s) were used by the Red Cross to send out food and drink to the people working on the dikes and other flood protection. After our shift at Red Owl, a few of us would go to the back entrance of City Bakery, hop in one of the vans and deliver food and drink to the workers, sometimes all night long.



Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Frosaker Motors –

 Frosaker Motors was located on Broadway (2nd Street), south of Stearns Motors, about where the Wells Fargo Drive-up Bank is now. Frosaker Motors was a Chevrolet Dealer and the building was 3 stories. The Service Dept was entered on the west side of the building and was located in the lower level.  The east side of the lower level had a small 1-2 car showroom for new cars. Apparently there was a used car show room on the 2nd floor . The used cars were brought to the upper floors by way of a large freight elevator… That elevator may have been the main access to upper floors. Frosaker Motors eventually became Ryan Chevrolet.

 Frosaker Motors 1972
Saesmen Al Gaub and Jack Lang and a 1958 Chev Convertible

Monday, March 13, 2017

Past Businesses of Minot --

 Truax-Traer Coal Company – Office in Minot, at one time in the First Avenue Building. Coal mine near Velva ….. Top Valu Market – 4th Avenue and 21st Street NW – Meats, Groceries, Frozen foods and open on Sundays – (Eventually became Heislers Market) …..  American State Bank – (now Bremer Bank) in Downtown Minot ….. Johnson Chevrolet  - Became Auran Chevrolet and then Ryan Chevrolet ….. The Corset Shop – Located at 16A South Main – either up or down a stairway between Minot Drug and Buttrey’s – The shop obviously catered to women – Hulda Hoskins was a Registered Corsetiere. 


Friday, March 10, 2017

Ford Truck Assembly Line in Minot

Westlie – Truck Assembly Line – In May of 1927 the Ford Motor Company stopped production of the Model T Truck to retool their plants for the new Model A. The conversion was going to be a 2 year process. During that time, Westlie Motors set up an assembly line on the top floor of its business here in Minot. The parts were ordered directly from Ford Motor Company. Westlie Motors was the only dealer in the country to do this. In the fall of 1927, 38 trucks rolled off the assembly line.  In 1928, 50 trucks were assembled. When the Model A trucks came out in late 1928, the demand for the Model T ceased as did Minot’s first and only automobile assembly line .


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Past Businesses of Minot –

 Family Furniture – located ½ block north of the old YMCA on 1st Street in Downtown Minot …..   Wylie Piano Company – 117 West Central Avenue – Authorized Baldwin dealer for western North Dakota …..  Minot Federal Savings & Loan – 24 West Central Avenue – established in 1935  ….. Mr Steak Restaurant – on top of Minot’s North Hill – Next to North Hill Bowl ….. Big Bear Store – located on North Main Street – next to what is now 10 North Main – sold western clothing and sporting goods for the hunter and fisherman. Big Bear then moved out to South Broadway at the intersection of 31st Avenue, where the Gas Stop is now

Mr. Steak - Grand opening ribbon cutting 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Ellison's The Fair Dept. Store

The first Fair Store was opened in Minot in 1902 on Main Street, in a location next to and south of what is now Western paint. It was like most stores of the time with a 25 foot frontage. In 1910 the Ellisons moved the store a block south into a new building known as The Fair Block, just south of the intersection of Main Street and 2nd Avenue. In 1929 a newer building was added at the corner and adjacent to The Fair Block. The new building, a large 2 story building with a basement eventually incorporated The Fair Block in 1955 giving Ellisons a 100 foot store front on Main Street. During the Diamond Jubilee in 1961, Ellisons ran a contest to see who could bring in the oldest sales slip showing merchandise purchased at the store. The winner received a wool blanket…. Unfortunately I do not know who won or how old the receipt was. Pictured below: an early views of The Fair Store about 1910. The 2nd picture is the original concept for the Ellison Store. It was to be 5 stories with offices on the top floors. When construction began on the Valker-Christianson office complex, (which was never completed until 20+ years later when Clarence Parker bought it and it became the Clarence Parker Hotel), the top two floors were never added. The last picture shows Ellisons in the 50's.