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Pathways Through Our Past

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Bemidji,Minnesota 56619
Bemidji Pioneer
(218) 333-9819 customer support
Pathways Through Our Past
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

History was of no interest to me in high school. I didn't like having to memorize war names, dates they happened or why or when some old geezer invented the cotton gin. Bet some of you feel that way when you pick up this paper and find us writing about the older generation and of important things that happened in the Blackduck area long ago. Well, I've changed. I especially like the history and stories of people in this community and I like sharing it with you.


Found an old Post Gazette which was printed Jan. 22, 1913. The Post Gazette was issued for free distribution by the Advertisers herein. The Parcel Post Act would prove a great convenience to those living in the rural districts. "The Merchants of Blackduck are ready to serve you -- to supply all your wants with the best goods in the market at prices not equaled by regular mail order houses. A card from you will bring you exactly the information and price quotations you are after. Write them today -- these firms are reliable and their goods are exactly as they are represented. Efficiency, courtesy of service and dispatch guaranteed." Sounds like today's Blackduck, doesn't it?

I'm picking and choosing some of the advertisements that might be of interest to you. At the History Center, we are trying to chart where buildings/businesses were located and to identify their owners up through the years. Some of the historical pictures currently on display show businesses up and down Main Street from the current city hall to past Beck's and Cease Funeral Home. Pictures we have never seen before! Loren Lossing was surprised to see a picture of his Grandma Jarvis's house. He pointed to a gate and said, "She died right there by that gate!" It might take some of your time, but I'm sure you'll find it interesting. Ask Dwight Kalvig!

Back to the Post Gazette... "Get the happy habit of going to the Bijou Theatre, Blackduck's popular place of amusement." Sherberg Bros., Proprietors. E.N. French was the druggist in 1913. There was a livery, feed and sale stable with 25 head of heavy workhorses for sale and R.T. Praught, the proprietor, was also the agent for the REO automobile. The Palace Hotel was thoroughly modern and up to date. Electric lights, steam heat and a sample room and bath. Rates were $2 per day and there was a bar in connection. A. W. Thompson, proprietor. The Palace was located where the senior center is now.

The Grill Cafe (ever hear of it) served meals at all hours. Short orders and warm lunches -- special rates by the week! The proprietor, G. E. Foster gave special attention to catering and serving dance parties, societies and gatherings. Two more restaurants, the Great Northern, Hattie Erickson and the Metropolitan, H. Eng, Proprietors, served meals at all hours. Special attention was given the farmer and lumberman trade at the Juelson Hotel on Main Street. Andrew Johnson was the proprietor.

Healy and Dickinson owned the Blackduck Auto Garage and carried a full line of auto supplies, steam and hot water heating -- tin, sheet iron and copper work. They were prepared to do all work in this line.

The Summit Mercantile Company bragged "quality is our hobby." They handled dry goods of the finest line ever shown, clothing and furnishings, groceries of the celebrated Nokomis and Wampum Brands -- the best on the market and hardware and sporting goods. Summits sold furniture, farm machinery and were licensed for embalming and undertaking. Summit Mercantile was located at the Anderson's Outlet Store location.

This ad is interesting..."Be your own boss". You will never become a capitalist by working for the other man. Our specialties and novelties "are quick sellers" -- "they sell themselves." We want a good live agent in every locality. Drop us a postal card and we will mail you one of our illustrated catalogues free by return mail. Don't delay-do it to-day. Get the money back before the other fellow does! Erickson Specialty Co. Blackduck "wonder what they sold?"

Pioneer Studio -- owned by L.H. Halverson in 1913, is where most of the displayed photographs were produced. The B and B Saloon on Main Street was the "quality house" of choice wines, liquors and cigars. Here's a familiar name -- Bernt Strand, Proprietor. Another liquor establishment was the First and Last Chance Saloon with Thos Hayden as proprietor. "A homelike place where a cheerful and pleasant smile awaits you at all times."

When you want your horseshoeing done right go to D.J. Koons, the Blackduck Horseshoer and general blacksmithing. There were two blacksmith shops in 1913 -- the other owned by H. E. Petersen did repairs and wood work of all kinds.

The Blackduck Postmaster was J.E. Dade. Battle River Mail leaves Blackduck for Battle River, Quiring and Inez on Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays returning Tuesday Thursday and Saturdays. Rosy Mail Route mail leaves for Pine Crest and Rosy on Monday and Fridays, returning the same days. Louis Mail Route mail leaves for Louis, Kitchie and Pennington Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays returning the same days. Louis?

Well, you're going to think this article will take until tomorrow to read so, even though there is more history to be found in the Post Gazette, I'll just save it for another time. In the meantime, stop in to see what's happening at the History and Art Center.

Pioneer staff reports