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Bob Lind, Published December 20 2012

Neighbors: Broadway business memories

Neighbors was having a conversation with someone about past Christmases and how they were observed in downtown Fargo. That led to a question of what businesses were in downtown Fargo in the late 1950s.

So Neighbors went to Andrea Hunter Halgrimson, The Forum’s columnist and resident Fargo historian. She in turn pulled out a column she’d written in 2003 listing the businesses along Broadway in 1957-58, according to the city directory.

Here, then, are those businesses, thanks to Andrea:

Three dime stores – J.J. Newberry, Kresge’s and Woolworth’s.

Three furniture stores – Bergstrom and Crowe, Coleman’s and Luger’s.

Five drug stores – Broadway Pharmacy, Mid Town Pharmacy, White Drug, Osco drug and Service Drug (owned by Andrea’s uncle Joe Halbeisen).

Three banks – Dakota National, Merchants and First National.

Four bars – Bison Tavern, Five Spot, Silver Tray and the Empire Tavern.

Four shoe stores – Hall-Allen, Johnson’s, Kinney’s and Mays.

Four jewelry stores – Anderson’s, Crescent, Hale’s and Royal.

Five men’s clothing stores – Fargo Toggery, Shark’s. Siegel’s, Straus and Ted Evanson’s.

Three women’s clothing stores – Arthur’s, Mary Elizabeth Frock Shop and Stevenson’s Ready to Wear.

Two movie theaters – the Fargo and the Roxy.

Three department stores – Herbst, Penney’s and Sears.

Four restaurants – Fargo Café, Powers Hotel Café, Times Café and the Uptown Café.

Three photography studios – Scherling’s, Homer Thune and Voss.

Three food markets – Leeby’s, Piggly Wiggly and Red Owl.

Plus the Gold Bond Redemption Center, the S&H Green Stamp store, Harold’s Opticians, Hobbyland, Al’s Sport Shop, Broadway Hardware, Dotty Dunn Hat Shop, Dutch Maid Ice Cream, Quality Bakery, Singer Sewing Machine and the Fargo Sport Center, which, Andrea notes, was the last bowling alley in Fargo to have hand-set pins.

Besides all these businesses, there were insurance companies of every kind, dentists, physicians, appliance dealers, shoe repair shops and barber shops.

“And who could forget Nick’s Popcorn Stand near the Fargo Theatre and Pete’s Popcorn Stand by the North Pacific tracks?” Andrea wrote.

This is the Broadway list as reported by Andrea. It doesn’t list businesses on streets crossing Broadway.

But it’s a list that surely brings back memories of downtown Fargo from years ago.

If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107; fax it to (701) 241-5487; or email blind@forumcomm.com