The Comstock Hotel

A late-fifties view looking northwest from the corner of Center Avenue and 8th Street in Moorhead. The Comstock Hotel advertised individual room thermostats and a “60¢ All You Can Eat” special. Other businesses on the block included the Las Vegas Lounge, Wold Drug, Eddy’s Coffee Shop, Gambles, and Scheels Hardware. The sign for the FM Hotel is barely visible on the left.

Above: Grab the slider with your cursor and slide it back and forth to toggle between yesterday and today.

In January of 2016, Wells Fargo Bank occupies the lot, and everything else is gone.

16 Replies to “The Comstock Hotel”

    1. Scott Johnson, whose father managed the Comstock, says the hotel burned down in 1960, so we approximated the date based on his recollection. Upon further investigation, the Comstock may have stood a few years longer than that, so you are likely correct. Thanks for the catch.

      1. My father has a Grandfather’s clock from the Comstock Hotel. It was supposedly in the lobby of the hotel. I am looking for someone related to the hotel who might want it. We think it’s approximately from 1910. He is moving to a nursing home and can’t take it with him. Unfortunately it needs to be shipped. He is in Northern California.

  1. I also see it hard to believe that the Comstock could have burned in 1960. I was in Moorhead to start college on June 10, 1961 and know it was there then. Left in 1963 for military service and came back for 1 quarter of college in spring of 1965 and think the Comstock was still there then?

  2. I regret that my error led you astray in this remembrance. I believe my dad sold the Comstock in 1960. His father died in 1958 and we moved to St. Paul, where my parents were from originally, so that he could help out in the family business. I remember him telling me at the time that he would have liked to run the Comstock but could not do so up to his standards from a distance. I only vaguely recall learning subsequently from him that the hotel had burned down, but I don’t know that for a fact. I remember the Comstock being nicer on the inside than one would think from this photo. And it looks too small!
    Seeing Wold Drug Store in the photo really brings back memories too. I bought an baby fowl at Easter from the drug store that I took care of until he got too big to keep up with.
    We loved Fargo/Moorhead….were never happier than when we lived here.

  3. My father, Robert Gibb and his 3 brothers, Don, Dave-and George bought the Comstock Hotel in about 1960. My uncle Dave managed the hotel until 1968 when a fire caused it to close. Then the Urban Renewal program took it down.
    In the early sixties they raised the price of the buffet from $.50 to $.60. Buckskin Harry performed there with his trick dog.
    In 1964 they opened an Italian restaurant there, the Colonnade Room.

    1. Hilarious. I just saw this. Buckskin Harry was my mom’s uncle. His name was Harry Parnell. His wife, Jennie, was a chiropractor in Moorhead. Harry also had a horse in his act along with Rhesus Monkeys. As a very small boy I remember going to their house and playing with them. Harry also had an afternoon TV show on WDAY.

  4. My grandfather worked the night audit at the time of the fire. I remember him saying it started in the wig shop. That would have to have been at least 1965 if not later.

  5. I have a token from the Comstock Hotel that reads: All you can eat 50 cents. Not sure where I got it, but it looks to be pretty old.

  6. The Comstock was the 1959 campaign headquarters for my mother, Congresswoman Coya Knutson. So many memories come flooding back😥

  7. I remember going there in the late 50s or early 60s. Buckskin Harry Parnell was my mother’s uncle. He also had a horse in his act, as well as Rhesus Monkeys. His wife, Jennie, was a chiropractor in Moorhead.

  8. I remember for sure eating in the Colonnade ?Room in May, 1965. I also had drinks in the hotel up to that date. My father and I ate the buffet more times than I can count. There was also a barber shop downstairs run by Harry Osborne who was my sister’s father in law.

  9. My friend passed last year and I got a cool sewing box, in it I found a brass coin , says , ” all you can eat”50¢ COMSTOCK HOTEL. Other side says GOOD LUCK with a covered wagon picture then bottom says Moorhead, Minn.
    It’s pretty cool and in great condition.

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