In July of 2019, thieves made off with Fargo’s replica Statue of Liberty, which stood in downtown Fargo since 1950. As of this writing, Fargo’s Lady Liberty is still missing and some are speculating that the statue may be at the bottom of the Red River, because once the thieves realized how heavy it was, they likely pitched it over the side of the Main Avenue Bridge.
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 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”
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”
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”
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.
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”
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”