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. 

As someone who wrote a book about how Fargo has changed from years past, and as an unrepentant map geek, I was transfixed. If you love Fargo history as much as I do, be forewarned, you’re about to lose an hour in this map. See it here.

6 Replies to “Fargo’s Historic Neighborhood Store Map”

  1. I grew up in the fifties and lived on 15th Avenue and Tenth StreetNorth. Grew up a block away from our neighborhood store called Harry’s Market. So many great memories of the store. It is so sad that all these little stores are gone 🙁

  2. I was disappointed to find one of my favorite stores as a child missing from the map. The reason is obvious…the spot where it was no longer exists. Located just a walk across the old foot bridge from the current location of the Fargo Moorhead community theater in Linden wood park. The Boat house at the west end of 4th ave in Moorhead seems lost to history along with a few acres of Minnesota when the river was moved to its current location.

  3. Something I noticed in the map: as you move forward in time, stores become more concentrated along strips instead of being distributed evenly. Distributed stores encourage walking, and don’t really make driving less convenient. I’d argue that concentrating commercial buildings in strips makes it worse for drivers too (how do you maximize traffic congestion? – you funnel cars into as few streets as possible). Most people probably don’t want to live next to a commercial area, but do most people not want to live next to a corner store? I would absolutely like a corner store next door to me.

    Another thought: I’d bet that most of the stores in the past were local. I’d bet that most of the stores now are chains.

  4. I too grew up in Fargo in the 50’s. We lived across the street from Dahls grocery store on 13th (now called University) just south of Front Street. I used to dig around in the store trash to find the giant rubber bands (I think they were used to wrap meat) and make sling shots with them.

    Later we moved to 5th Street south and I would walk down to Oaks Market and buy penny candy.

    Kids always had a lot more freedom in those days.

  5. Hrm. “Nineteenth Street Market” @ 7th Avenue North and 19th St in Fargo? Growing up in the ’70s, my grandparents lived nearby and I knew that place as “Selma’s”.

  6. I became fascinated with Fargo history in the middle 70s when I found the 1957 tornado edition of the Forum in the attic of my parents home. I was around 10 at the time and to this day can spend too much time browsing the library, NDSU and other sites looking at old Fargo. Also remember looking at the” Cynosure” which was originally the name of Fargo Central Highs school paper but that became a quarterly? mailing to alumni,my Mom is the class of 57, recalling stories along with pictures of the area. I’ll definitely be looking for your books in the future.

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