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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


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. 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

National Grocery Store –

 The National Grocery Store was on the southwest corner of 2nd Street and 4th Avenue SW… the intersection now known as Burdick Expressway and Broadway. The Building was built to be a grocery store.  After National Food closed, the building went through a number of owners and various businesses. For a short time after the National Grocery closed the building was home to a case lot, wholesale type store. The when the Ace Hardware Store on 1st Street in downtown Minot lost their building to the construction of a parking lot, it became Ace Hardware. Then Scheel’s Hardware & Sporting Goods. In the early days of Scheel’s, they were more hardware than sporting goods. After Scheel’s moved out, Schlotsky’s Deli occupied the north part of the building. The other side of the building was home to Tom’s Home Furnishings, a smaller furniture store.  Later, the building was purchased by and became the home of Zimmerman’s furniture. This is now the site of Mattress Firm

Monday, March 6, 2017

SS Kresge Store –

 The Kresge Store was just south of the Woolworth . If I remember correctly from my Kresge history I learned during my 20 years working for Kmart, there were two Kresge Stores, The Dollar Store and Five & Dime Store. The Five & Dime was the early days version of the discount store.  Eventually both were combined into the Jupiter Store. There was at one time a snack bar or cafeteria in the Jupiter Store. Many remember the wooden floors that were somewhat warped and creaked when you walked on them…The huge, oak icebox that was in the basement is now in my basement. I was told if I could get it out of the store when Jupiter closed, I could have it… he icebox actually was bolted together and was easy to disassemble. The refrigeration unit was shot and some of the base had to be rebuilt. When Kresge established the Kmart store chain, one of the names considered before the Kmart name was picked was Jupiter. Some speculate that had Kresge used the Jupiter name, the chain of stores would not have achieved the success enjoyed by Kmart. The Kresge location later became Western Paint & Glass and is now the home of Downtown Books

SS Kresge Store 1928

Friday, March 3, 2017

Past Businesses of Minot–

Duck-In Beauty Shop – 1614 4th Avenue SE – Edith Bondly – proprietor ….. T&T Tire Service – Highway 83 North – Sold US Royal tires ….. Westland Oil Company – Operated gas stations throughout Minot and the area. The Westland Refinery was located at Williston but the home office was on Central Avenue in Minot ….. Parker Motor Company – established in 1922 – located on 1st Avenue SE (across from the old YMCA). On the top floor of the Parker Motor Company was the Parker Auditorium. The Auditorium was the home to many conventions and when not used for that had a roller skating rink. 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

1961 Predictions for the Future

NSP – Look into the Future – In 1961 NSP placed an advertisement in the newspaper predicting some of the things that would come to be in the future….. some of these were Instant checkout in stores – Electronic devices will scan purchases and add the bills to give you your total due ….. Automatic Cleaner – A machine that will vacuum, wash, rinse, dry and wax floors by itself then scoot back to the its niche in the baseboard , empty any waste and wait for the next job…… Automatic Wall Painter – Walls will be built with panels that incorporate a chemical that will change color when electricity is applied….. change your wall colors to match your mood……. Cooling Blanket – A blanket that will heat and/or cool at your discretion ….. Make Disposable Tableware - with a touch of the dial and throw them away afterwards – or If using your finest china, you will be able to clean and sterilize in 3 minutes with ultrasonic waves.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Do You Remember These?

Jay’s Men’s and Boy’s Store – This was located on the west side of Main Street in the 60’s. It was in the middle of the block between 1st Avenue and 2nd Avenue.  Jay’s Clothing Store was owned by Jay Obedin. His oldest son Elliot pretty much ran the store. Jay’s was a full line men’s clothing store with two levels, the main floor and the basement.

South Hill Grocery – South Hill Grocery was located on top of Main Street on South Hill on 8th Avenue. South Hill Grocery was a typical neighborhood grocery store. If you lived in the neighborhood, they would carry your groceries home for you, if needed.