Thursday, June 14, 2007

Postcards from the past

I'm going to start a new regular feature on this blog. I sometimes think that, when I'm posting on Grand Forks Life, I focus a little too much on the present day and neglect the rich history of our community. New developments and the news of the day are great, but I'm also someone who is very interested in local history. As a lifelong resident of the area, I am pretty familiar with this community's history and I want others to also be familiar with where we come from as a city.

To include some historical content on this blog, I'm going to start posting images of vintage postcards from time to time. I collect old postcards so some of the images will come from my personal collection. I also save Grand Forks postcard images when I come across them while surfing the web. I have put them all together in a slideshow format and use that as my personal screensaver. By the way, most of the postcards that I will post on this blog are old enough (published before 1923) that they are in the public domain.

I hope that seeing what our community used to look like will be interesting and informative for those of you who are relatively new to the community or for those of you (me included) who weren't alive to see Grand Forks in the "olden days." I hope you enjoy seeing these vintage images.

So, without further ado...

Downtown Grand Forks, 1912

This is the intersecton of DeMers Avenue and Third Street looking towards the north. The Ontario Store is on the left. The Ontario Store would later become Griffith's Department Store and today is the home of Meadowbrook. The building on the right is the St. John's Block. Looking down the street, we can see the pink colored Security Building on the left side of Third Street and the Frederick Hotel and the Dacotah Hotel on the right side. Note the trolley car going right down the center of Third Street.

16 comments:

Charlie said...

You're amazing, GFG! No wonder this is the hottest blogsite in town.

Thanks for the extra effort you maintain to keep our interest in a great community.

Brad S said...

pre flood I took guitar lessons on the 3rd? or 4th floor of the security building....also if we may?
a moment of silence for "Griggs Landing" (the old River Queen)???


thank you

Anonymous said...

Griggs closed before the flood.

Elucidarian said...

It is a pet peeve of mine, but the streets of dowtown do not run East-West, North-South. The street we're looking at goes North West. But, yes, nice postcard!

Anonymous said...

These are cool. I actually emailed the historical society and they didn't have much to offer, as I was looking for picures of Grand Forks on the interenet. Keep 'em coming if you can! I would like to see stuff the 60s and 70s, too!

Kelly Clow said...

There's a great book on the history of Grand Forks by Jerome Tweten (sp?). It has lots photos of GF in different decades dating back to the 1880's.

I'm sure it's available at the public library. I HIGHLY recommend the book if you are interested in the history of GF. I read it at my sister's house three weeks ago when I was up there, and I couldn't put it down!

The title escapes me, but I'll bet the librarians will know what you are trying to find.

Kelly Clow said...

You know, what?

If I had just looked at the thread history of this blog, I would have seen that Grand Forks Guy already did a post about the book on February 12, 2007!

Sorry for being redundant! :)

Elucidarian said...

While we're on the topic of GF history, UND's 125th is coming up in 2008 with events actually beginning this August.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if L.T.D. PROPERTIES INC (Dan Sampson?) has any plans of rehabbing the 308 DeMers (Ontario/Griffith's/Meadowbrook/see bottom for more)? Now it's a mix of concrete, gravel and ugly. Any Renaissance money available or is it happy with the status quo and keep accepting the rent checks? Maybe the current tenants don't want windows?

Speaking of which, the Crosstown Lounge (formerly Lucky's Green Room) has installed signage and removed the old one. I'm sure they are also open, I just didn't have time to stop in.

GrandForksGuy said...

"the streets of dowtown do not run East-West, North-South"

I realize that...it's just that most people consider them East-Wst, North-South so it's easiest to describe them that way. Think of it this way, Third Street isn't divided into Third Street Northwest and Third Street Southeast.

Anonymous said...

From time to time, I'll search "Grand Forks" on eBay. There's always some postcards available. Currently, there's a great linen card of the Riverside Park Pavilion. It looks awesome! Made me miss those good old days of the historic structures in our parks...The afore mentioned pavilion, Lincoln Park tobogan slide, live outdoor theater at the Central Park Amphitheater, and the old warming houses and splash pools. And I'm not even THAT old!

Anonymous said...

I believe the last man to leave the security bld. before it burnt has many postcards, his father lived on Old Mill Road. Photos of 1966 snowstorm would be interesting. greenglass4.

Anonymous said...

Too bad the cable cars couldn't be revived somehow. I wonder if any infrastructure still exists.

jr said...

I have a post card of the UND President's house (what's its name?) from the early 1900s. I'll see if I can find it. The Tweeton (sp?) book is excellent. Ironically, I lost my copy in the flood.

GrandForksGuy said...

JR, I think I know the card you're talking about...I'm going to post it right now.

Steve Lauber said...

I have a letter written on the Frederick Hotels letterhead stationary picturing the hotel. It is dated July 28, 1921 and was written by a sales agent that worked for the company I am now retired from. If anyone is interested in this you can contact me at slauber@woh.rr.com