1957 Fargo Tornado

1957 Fargo Tornado

June 20th, 1957. It would be determined later that there were five tornadoes in the Fargo area that day.  The first, a rope-like funnel near the rural community of Wheatland, did little damage. The second was a powerful funnel near Casselton, North Dakota, and it would have been devastating if not for the rural location.  The fourth and fifth funnel clouds were on the Minnesota side of the Red River, and both caused damage to nearby structures.  None of the tornadoes were as powerful, however, as the third funnel in the series–the Fargo Tornado. Continue reading “1957 Fargo Tornado”

The Fargo Fair

Fargo Fair, 1908

The first fair in Fargo happened in the summer of 1906 and the city has held a fair nearly every year since, under a number of different names — The Fargo Fair, Fargo State Fair, North Dakota State Fair, the Inter-State Fair, and the Red River Valley Fair among them. Continue reading “The Fargo Fair”

Luger Furniture and Streetcars

The postcard view shown here depicts the west side of Broadway around 1910, at a time that was perhaps the height of the streetcar era in Fargo. Continue reading “Luger Furniture and Streetcars”

Fargo Arena and Island Park, Then and Now

Island Park Pool

This strange, seemingly out-of-place structure on the site of the Island Park pool is a remnant of the Fargo Arena.

The structure above was once the entryway to the Fargo Arena, a giant indoor recreation facility which only existed for five years in Fargo. Essentially a massive quonset, Fargo Arena was huge.  According to a note written on the back of an early photograph, Fargo Arena was purported to be the largest building in the United States by Continue reading “Fargo Arena and Island Park, Then and Now”

The Old Fargo Fairgrounds: Then and Now

Before it was in West Fargo, the old Fargo Fairground was in North Fargo, on the site where University Village and Fargo North High School now reside. Barnett Field, the home of Fargo’s former minor league baseball team, the FM Twins, was on the site too. It’s something I wrote about in the book, Fargo Moorhead Lost and Found, but I just recently ran across an old map that shows the area in great detail circa the early to mid 1960s, and I was prompted to do this comparison. Continue reading “The Old Fargo Fairgrounds: Then and Now”

A Frightful Accident

Union Light Heat and Power Company, Fargo

I have a collection of newspapers (The Fargo Forum and Daily Republican) from the first half of 1898, and the June 19th, 1898 issue contains a story about a terrible accident that occurred at the Hughes Electric Company in downtown Fargo.

FRIGHTFUL ACCIDENT
Night Engineer Champlain of the Hughes Electric Co. Has His Left Arm Torn Off. He Was Nervy.

About 11 o’clock last night people in the vicinity of the Hughes Electric Co. were startled by a shriek. It was such a terrible one that those who heard it knew someone had been hurt, and there was a rush for the company’s plant. N.P. Officer McIntyre was the first to reach the place and found the night engineer, Boyd Champlain, with one arm in the commutator, being slowly ground to a pulp, and the unfortunate man in the most intense agony.  Continue reading “A Frightful Accident”

Deadliest Air Disaster in Fargo-Moorhead History Had a Sole Survivor

The early morning hours of October 30th, 1941 were cold and misty in Fargo-Moorhead, with temperatures hovering around the freezing mark.  Continue reading “Deadliest Air Disaster in Fargo-Moorhead History Had a Sole Survivor”

Fargo’s Historic Neighborhood Store Map

This morning I read a piece in the Fargo Forum about the New Urbanism movement, and how it relates to the scarcity of neighborhood stores in our present suburban, car-centric society. In short, the neighborhood store has disappeared, usurped by the supermarket and big box retailers.

While the story by Tu-Uyen Tran is interesting, and the interview with New Urbanism proponent Joe Burgum enlightening, the part that most captivated me was the accompanying map showing Fargo’s neighborhood shops from 1928 to present. The shops are color-coded by purpose, you can show or hide different overlays to represent 1928, 1948, 1968, and present day, and you can see the name and street address for each former shop.  Continue reading “Fargo’s Historic Neighborhood Store Map”

13th and Broadway, After the Tornado

In the book, I labeled this photo from 1957 as “location unknown,” but thanks to a comment from Tracey Braeger, I was able to identify this location as the corner of Broadway and 13th Avenue North.  Continue reading “13th and Broadway, After the Tornado”

Chicago Hairdressing Academy

Looking northwest from the Great Northern Depot, 1939. Chicago Hairdressing Academy is across the street, and the St. Mary’s steeple is barely visible behind the steam locomotive.  Continue reading “Chicago Hairdressing Academy”

The Fargo Waldorf Hotel

Fargo Waldorf Hotel

The Waldorf Hotel was built in 1899 on the corner of Front Street and 7th Street. Below: The Waldorf Hotel as it appeared in its original four-story configuration.  Continue reading “The Fargo Waldorf Hotel”

Front Street, 1909

A view from Broadway and Front Street, 1909, looking west-southwest. The four-story Waldorf Hotel can be seen at the end of the block, opposite a two-story deLendrecies building.  Continue reading “Front Street, 1909”

A 1910 Parade on Front Street

Moody's 1910

These photos were found in a local antique store and depict a parade as it travels west on Front Street (Main Avenue) and then turns north on Broadway. Judging by the American Flags in the crowd and in the windows of the structures in the background, this is likely a 4th of July parade.  Continue reading “A 1910 Parade on Front Street”