BUILDINGS & PLACES

5/2/2008:Brand new, replaces the Buildings portion of multiple Buildings, Blocks, Buisinesses & More.

BUILDINGS OF SOME HISTORICAL

SIGNIFICANCE TO THE CITY OF BRAINERD

Researched and compiled from various sources and contributed by

Ann M. Nelson

Updated 28 April 2008

A glance backward reveals the fact that Brainerd has experienced some very severe setbacks, a condition quite natural in a railroad town. The Jay Cooke failure of 1873 left the little city flat on its back. The boom of 1881 to 1883 was followed by a reaction. Then came the removal of passenger car repair work to the Como Shops in St. Paul and then the Staples cut-off, removing Brainerd from the main line of the Northern Pacific from St. Paul to the coast. The Northern Pacific hospital was taken away. (p. 65) In 1922 a prolonged strike cost the city one-half million dollars. A great lumber industry came--but left in 1905.

Furthermore, fires have destroyed dozens of large business blocks and scores of homes. Among them were: the Headquarters, Villard, Arlington, Commercial, Antlers, and Carlson Hotels, Bly’s Block, Sleeper’s Opera House, Columbia Block, and the Northern Pacific Depot. If these buildings were restored to us, they would constitute quite a city. (p. 66) (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; pp. 65-66)

ANTLERS HOTEL (MAP #14)

This hotel, which becomes a Mecca for the last of the loggers later in its life, is located on Front Street next door and just to the west of the Globe Hotel, which is located on the southwest corner of Fifth and Front Streets between Fourth and Fifth Streets, it burns in 1910. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 90, 111)

This hotel was built in 1888, it’s proprietor in 1909 was A. A. Armstrong.

ANNA BLOCK (MAP #61)

Built by Ransford R. Wise in 1918 and named for his wife, Anna, it houses several stores and fifteen apartments, located on the southwest corner of Front and Seventh Streets. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 51)

ARLINGTON HOTEL (MAP #16)

In 1889 Ransford R. Wise builds a hotel in a city in North Dakota, when business fails there, he dismantles his hotel and transfers it by trains, a distance of 322 miles, and reconstructs it in Brainerd without breaking a light or a glass. Each piece is marked to correspond with memoranda showing where it goes, the reconstruction not varying in any detail from the original plan. He operates the Arlington Hotel, located on the southwest corner of Sixth and Washington Streets, until it burns on 01 January 1904. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 51)

The Headquarters Hotel built early in 1871 by the railroad company had been superseded in 1889 by Wise’s Arlington Hotel on almost the same premises. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 86)

ARMORY (MAP #64)

Built in 1936 it stands on the northwest corner of Fifth and Laurel Streets. This building is demolished in 199? and replaced by a strip mall containing offices. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 149)

BAEHR BUILDING

Built in 1936 by the Baehr Theaters Company at a cost of $150,000. It is located on the northeast corner of Sixth and Front Streets where the Depot Park, also known as Hobo Park, is located. It houses apartments, offices and the Brainerd Theater, which begins operation in 1938. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 156)

On 28 December 1964 a $400,00 fire rips through the Baehr Building. Four persons are injured, one of them seriously and five others are rescued. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Wednesday, 29 December 2004)

In the first week of February 1999 the building is torn down and the lot sits empty until it becomes a parking lot.

BANE BLOCK

Located on South Seventh Street, the Brainerd Arena is published from this building until about December 1910. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 154)

For rent--Two fine suites of office rooms, steam heated, electric lighted, $9 and $11 per month. Bane Block. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Sunday, 18 April 2004)

BANE PARK

Donated to the city on 11 March 1932 by local realtor E. C. Bane and his wife, M. Lurline Bane. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 143)

BANK OF BRAINERD (MAP #5)

Chartered and built by William A. Ferris and George W. Holland in 1879, it is located in a small frame building on the southeast corner of Front and Fifth Streets. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 13)

BARN

April 1946. The whole town’s talking about the new Maid-Rite sandwiches, 15 cents; opening Saturday, the Maid-Rite sandwich shop, Washington Street. This business later became known as the Barn. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 26 April 2006)

BEARE BLOCK (MAP #65)

Built in 1911 by Phillips Beare to house the H. F. Michael Company, a dealer in women’s clothing and dry goods. In 1946 this building houses the S & L Department Store. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 114)

[Does this become the Gates Block?] See Gates Block.

BLY’S BLOCK (MAP #1)

An early 1871 business block, standing on the southwest corner of Front and Sixth Streets, is a frame building measuring 50’ x 70’. E. H. Bly, the owner, carries on a general merchandise business on the main floor. Bly’s Hall, on the second floor, is the center of all social and recreational functions from church suppers and sales to public and private dances and parties. Every old timer recalls pleasurable events at Bly’s Hall. The building also contains several offices on the second floor and Masonic lodge rooms in the attic. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 15)

Bly’s building burns in June 1904. (100th Anniversary, Aurora Lodge, No. 100--A. F. & A. M., 1973; containing 75th Anniversary History, 1947; Carl Zapffe, p. 11)

BRAINERD BREWERY COMPANY

In 1906 Dr. Werner Hemstead purchases the interests of Fred Hoffman in the Brainerd Brewery Company. The amount of the consideration is not given but is reported on the streets to be $20,000. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 02 May 2006)

BRAINERD LUMBER COMPANY MAIN OFFICE BUILDING

By 1906 the last part of the Brainerd Lumber Company had been dismantled and moved away. After only thirteen years from the day of its beginning every vestige of that industry had been obliterated. The vacant office building stood there for awhile as a silent sentinel. A Brainerd "chef" purchased it in 1908. He moved it intact and set it over the basement excavation on North Sixth and Main started in 1888 by C. F. Kindred for his projected second Villard Hotel. The building was redressed, but it still retains its general appearance, even though the main floor has been converted into a restaurant and the top floor into living quarters. Today [1946], remodeled in modernistic style, it is known as Van's Cafe/Sawmill Inn. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 65)

BRAINERD STATE BANK

That bank had originally been incorporated 11 April 1908 as the Security State Bank of Brainerd--a strangely precognitive name of an ironic sort. On 10 September 1910 the name was changed to the Brainerd State Bank. On 11 May 1920 its Articles of Incorporation were amended to raise the limits on both capital stock and admissible debt; and my father, Carl Zapffe, took over the Presidency--as though to replace the “security” in the original name. Sometime in April 1924, Harry E. Kundert, Cashier of the Brainerd State Bank, committed suicide by asphyxiation in the garage at his home on Bluff Avenue and North Third Street. On that terrible morning, Brainerd experienced its first bank rush with virtually instantaneous bankruptcy. My father paid off his investors and for some years he suffered from what was in those days simply called a “nervous breakdown.” (Oldtimers . . . Stories of Our Pioneers, Carl A. Zapffe, Echo Publishing Company, Pequot Lakes, Minnesota: 1987; p. 29)

While the men were being helped back to jobs, the nation was creeping out of a year of depression that led to a widespread epidemic of farm failures and bankruptcies. In that net was caught the Brainerd State Bank which, in April of 1924, ended its career. It had erected a beautiful bank building, opened 02 January 1923, situated on the southwest corner of Laurel and South Seventh Streets. It is now [1946] occupied by the Citizens State Bank. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 130-131)

BYE, JOHN M. CLOTHING COMPANY

First opened in April 1907 in the rented L. J. Cale (Mrs. L. J. Cale arrives in Brainerd in 1880, according to Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 123) store building located on Front Street, formerly occupied by John Carlson. It was called the Model Clothing Company. In 1931 John M. Bye Clothing Company was located at 609-11 Laurel Street (Elks Building), John M. Bye was the President, Hannah Bye was the Vice President and Henry A. Cunningham was the Secretary-Treasurer. In 1949 Bye’s Clothing was located at 718 Laurel Street. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 27 April 2007)

CARLSON, JOHN & SON CLOTHING

Located in the L. J Cale store building on Front Street sometime prior to April 1907. In 1931 the store is located at 608 Front Street and Harry J. Carlson is also shown as an owner. In 1949 the store is listed at 624 Front Street and Harry J. Carlson is listed as the sole owner.

CARNEGIE PUBLIC LIBRARY (MAP # 17)

Andrew Carnegie, the steel magnate, is offering to pay for the building of libraries across small-town America and in January of 1902 he offers to pay $12,000 to build a library in Brainerd, providing the city contributes the site and arranges to raise not less than $1,200 annually for its maintenance. On 15 September 1902 the Common Council accepts Carnegie’s offer and in November the people vote a one-half mill levy for the maintenance of the library. By public subscription $1,000 is raised and with it a deed is procured on 25 May 1903, which conveys the site to the city. A library board is appointed and on 28 August 1903 it engages R. D. Church, a Minneapolis architect, to design a building. The building is completed in 1905 and is located on the northeast corner of Seventh and Washington (Main) Streets. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 34 and Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 85)

CATHOLIC CHURCHES (MAP #38 and #39)

During the latter part of 1871 and early in 1872 Father Francis Joseph Buh establishes the St. Francis Catholic Church Parish. The first church is a simple design of wood and stands on South Fifth Street at the west end of Maple Street, adjoining what comes later to be known as the hay-market and now just south of the driveway of the post office. When this church is destroyed by the Haymarket Fire in 1886, a site on the northeast corner of North Ninth and Juniper Streets is acquired and a new red brick church is built there starting in 1890 and completing in 1898; that church is destroyed by fire on 09 March 1933 and the loss is estimated at $50,000. The present church is then completed and the first Mass is celebrated on 11 February 1934. This is a Romanesque church built of cream-colored cut stone which cost $75,000. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 6, 145)

CITY HALL (MAP #66)

On 02 March 1914 the Common Council issues $75,000 in bonds for a new City Hall and Fire Hall. The City Hall is built on the northeast corner of Laurel and Fifth Streets. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 123)

CITY HOTEL (MAP #4)

Located at 510 Front Street in the late 1890’s, next west of the McFadden-Westfall Stores. John Thomas Sanborn is the proprietor from 1886 to 1904; in 1902 he becomes Judge of Probate. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 132; Oldtimers II: Stories of Our Pioneers in the Cass and Crow Wing Lake Region, Volume II, Carl A. Zapffe, Echo Publishing and Printing, Incorporated, Pequot Lakes, Minnesota: 1988; p. 123) See Sherwood Drug Store.

In 1904 extensive improvements are made at the City Hotel. New carpeting and new furniture, rooms are being re-painted, the walls in the lobby are being touched up. Mr. Sanborn is expending something in the neighborhood of $1,000 in these improvements. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Thursday, 15 April 2004)

In 1906 James Smith, for many years a conductor and well known in this city, closed a deal by which he became landlord of the City Hotel. He bought the entire equipment and assumed the lease. He expects to make it the best popular priced hotel in the city. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 10 December 2006)

CITY JAILS (MAP #43 and #44)

Sometime early in 1872 a contract is let to L. P. White for $971.60, to build a jail on Fifth Street, between Laurel and Maple Streets. The building measures 18 feet by 28 feet, two stories high, having four 4 by 8 cells and two 8 by 8 cells, sheriff’s offices, and on the second floor a court room. “The jail part,” quoting the Tribune, “is constructed of scantling lying flat, and spiked together with innumerable nails, making the walls solid as Gibraltar, and utterly impregnable to ordinary tools.” 958 pounds of nails and spikes are used in the construction. [Note: This is the jail from which the two Indians are taken and lynched.] (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 39)

Mary Isabel Ferrel, who arrived in Brainerd in the Fall of 1873, recalls: "...Next south of the Leland House was a little two-story wooden structure used for a jail." (Oldtimers II: Stories of our Pioneers in the Cass and Crow Wing Lake Region, Volume II, Carl A. Zapffe, Echo Publishing and Printing, Incorporated, Pequot Lakes, Minnesota: 1988; p. 113)

In 1874 the council votes the sum of $2,500 to build a jail. L. P. White is ordered to build it on South Fifth Street, opposite the present Bus Depot; it is a small wooden building that costs $971.60. It burns in the Haymarket Fire of 1886. In March of 1886 land is acquired from the county, since it is part of the Court House half-block, and the second city jail is constructed of Brainerd-made Schwartz cream brick and is located east of the sheriff’s house and county lock-up on Main (Washington) Street. This historic building is destroyed by Meyers Cleaners sometime in the 1980’s. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 38, 50)

COLUMBIA BLOCK (MAP #24)

Built by W. D. McKay in 1893, it is located on the west side of Sixth Street, mid-block between Front and Laurel Streets. It burns down 28 October 1909 and is replaced by the Iron Exchange Building built in 1910-11. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 74-75)

COURTHOUSE (First) (MAP #18 and #21 and #22)

On 03 July 1882, Crow Wing County issues $30,000 in 7% bonds to erect a courthouse, a home for the sheriff and a jail. The courthouse is erected on the southeast corner of Kingwood and North 4th Streets and the sheriff’s home and jail on the northeast corner of Main (Washington) and North 4th Streets. These buildings occupy an entire half-block owned by the county. They are built of Brainerd-made Schwartz cream brick. Today the courthouse building is an apartment house and the sheriff's house and jail have been demolished. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 23)

COURT HOUSE (Second) (MAP #67)

In 1919 the Board of County Commissioners purchase two blocks of land on the south side of Laurel Street between Fifth and Third Streets upon which is built a new court house, completed in 1920, and a new sheriff’s home. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 123, 127)

CULLEN BLOCK (MAP #72)

Built by James Cullen, who starts a small pop factory on Second Avenue in northeast Brainerd in the 1880’s, later moving it, in 1895, to Meadow Brook/Slaughter House Creek on South Seventh Street and selling it in 1921. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 133)

DEPOT PARK (MAP)

Located on the east side of Sixth Street just south of the Northern Pacific Railroad tracks.

DOLLY VARDEN SALOON (MAP #75)

The Dolly Varden is across the street from the Last Turn Saloon, which is located on the southwest corner of Front and Fourth Streets. [So was the Dolly Varden on the southeast corner of Front and Fourth Streets?]

The most conspicuous and evidently the “highest toned” of the numerous sporting establishments on the streets sailed under the popular name of the “Dolly Varden Club,” and desirous of seeing all the life on the frontier I took personal observations of the place.

The building was a rough, wooden affair, whitewashed inside and the ground strewn thickly with sawdust in lieu of a floor. No attempt of concealment was made, but the gambling was carried on in full view of the street and every passerby.

The first room, entered directly from the street was perhaps forty feet long by twenty wide, and arranged around this at intervals were the tables where the various games were played. A cotton rag bearing in red paint the name of the game going on beneath it was affixed to the wall above each table and served as a guide to the inquiring speculators.

The games in this room were all of the cheaper and commoner sort--”chuck-a-luck,” “high dice,” and “mustang,” while a new scheme that was called “grant and greedy” attracted little attention and no business. These back woods sports evidently do not bet much on certainties.

In the rear of this large place was a smaller room where the more aristocratic games were dispersed and where the true royal tiger may be met and conquered--if you have the luck. The faro and rough-et-noir tables were well patronized and a crowd of eager spectators throngs each group of players.

The company, though largely of coarse material, is however singularly ordered and quiet. No liquor is sold on the premises in compliance with the conditions of the deed by which the site of the building was conveyed, but placards in red announced that “gentlemen will be furnished with refreshments” by the proprietor, for which they will please pay in advance.

On either side of the Dolly Varden are several similar establishments, the bulk of all their business coming, of course, from the employees of the railroad. Usually the stakes played for are small--the dealers will take anything from 10 cents to $50 but somehow in Brainerd, as in all other places, the leeches manage to make large and handsome livings out of the earnings of the working men. (St. Paul Pioneer Press, 22 October 1922, H. L. Bridgman, ‘Easterners Found Brainerd Roaring Camp of Vice in Woods 50 Years Ago; Wicked Town with No Future as Rail Center, View Expressed by Visitors, Gambling Open at Dolly Varden Club and Other ‘Joints’; Hanged Suspects.’)

EARL HOTEL (MAP #15)

The Earl Hotel, Jule Jamieson, proprietor, is of brick veneer and is located mid-block on the west side of Fifth Street between Front and Laurel Streets, when it burns down in 1910, it has become a Mecca for the last of the loggers. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 90, 111)

This hotel is listed in the Brainerd City Directory of April 1913 as being at 214 South Fifth Street.

In 1908 landlord Jamieson gave the front of the Hotel Earl a new coat of paint and provided some comfortable lawn seats on the porch for the benefit of the boarders. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Tuesday, 28 April 2008)

ELKS BUILDING (MAP #57)

Built in 1926 on the northeast corner of Sixth and Laurel Streets, it houses the Elks Lodge quarters and hotel accommodations. The cost of the lots, the building and the furnishings (exclusive of store spaces) amounts to $175,000. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 134)

April 1944. All was in readiness this afternoon for the three-day celebration of Brainerd Elks Lodge marking the burning of the mortgage and the end of indebtedness on their beautiful three-story Elks building. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 11 April 2004)

FIRE HALLS (MAP #25 and #26 and #76)

Brainerd’s first Fire Department is organized on 13 February 1872, in the “fine Billiard Hall of Askew.” Thirty-seven members are enrolled, each paying his initial fee of one dollar. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; pp. 38-39)

A Fire Hall is located mid-block on the north side of Front Street facing Fifth Street.

In 1898 the Fire Department consists of 100 volunteers, 3 paid men, four Independent Hose Carts, 3,500 feet of two and one-half inch hose, one Hook-and- Ladder Truck and an Electric Alarm to the Pump House. (1898 Sanborn-Perris Insurance Map)

On 02 March 1914 the Common Council issues $75,000 in bonds for a new City Hall and Fire Hall. The Fire Hall is built mid-block on the east side of Fifth Street between Front and Laurel Streets. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 123)

FIRST NATIONAL BANK BUILDING (MAP #6)

Remuddled, stands on the southeast corner of Sixth and Front Streets. See W. W. Hartley Building.

FRANKLIN JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL (MAP #58)

Built in 1932-33, at a cost of $300,000, on the corner of North Tenth and Juniper Streets, it houses grades seven through nine. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 49, 141)

GARDNER BLOCK (MAP #27)

Built of brick by James S. Gardner in early 1891, it is located on the southeast corner of Fifth and Laurel Streets. The Gardner Block has store space on the street floor. The second floor is a hall, which is used for dancing and a roller rink. This is a very popular place for dances during its first decade. The building is torn down in 1945 and is replaced by the Greyhound Bus Depot. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 7, 84)

GATES BLOCK (MAP #65)

Owned by E. F. Gates, it is located mid-block on the east side of Seventh Street between Front and Laurel Streets and houses six apartments in 1931. The address is 213-215 South Seventh Street. In 1946 this building is called the Phillips Building and houses the S & L Department Store. See Beare Block.

January 1926. A business transaction that will be of interest to many and a loss to the city of one of its leading citizens is that of the transfer of the H. F. Michael Company Store to E. F. Gates of Beloit, Wisconsin. Mr. Michael expects to leave Brainerd. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 03 January 2006)

GLOBE HOTEL (MAP #13)

Located on the southwest corner of Front and Fifth Streets; this is a favorite gathering place, since it has a bowling alley in the basement; it burns down in 1910. Late in its life this hotel becomes a Mecca for the last of the loggers. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 90, 111)

GOTENBORG SALOON (MAP #28)

Built circa 1871, on the west side of the Last Turn Saloon on Front Street between Fourth and Fifth Streets.

GREGORY PARK (MAP)

On 19 September 1871, Thomas H. Canfield, president of the Lake Superior and Puget Sound Company, signs a plat that has been staked out and filed for record on 25 September 1871. Near the center of the plat is a square area measuring two blocks on a side, but not subdivided into lots or streets, this area is simply marked GREGORY SQUARE. How did this name come to be selected? The president of the Railroad Company at that time is John Gregory Smith. Thus, the name of the president of the railroad is being carried forward every day. The People begin getting park conscious and in 1885 they appeal to the council and ask them to do something about it. The plat of Brainerd which Lake Superior & Puget Sound Company file for recording with the Register of Deeds does not show in so many words that GREGORY SQUARE has been dedicated to the use of the public--like for a park. It is simply marked “Reserved,” but no reason is given. Not until the city grows in population and houses are built around the SQUARE does the need arise to question this because a dense pine forest of four square blocks, such as this is, needs patrolling, lighting, paths and maintenance. The question of ownership arises in February of 1885 when the residents request the council cut paths through that forest. If the city does not own the Square, it will be the responsibility of the Lake Superior Company to spend money for maintenance. The danger to the local people is that the company might decide to subdivide the Square into city lots, to the detriment of the city. Controversy arises about who controls the Square; therefore, in May the council goes on record to the effect that the city is the owner and can maintain and develop the Square as a Park; and in June it instructs the City Attorney to investigate the title and, if necessary, bring suit to establish the ownership. Then begins a long legal battle. A suit is started in the United States Circuit Court. Things move along favorably for the city; so, on 18 May 1891, the Company proposes a compromise and offers to deed one-half of the Square to the city. Upon advice given to the councilmen by City Attorney McClenahan the offer is refused and on 25 January 1892, the Circuit Court decrees the ownership to rest fully in the name of the City. The Square thereupon becomes Gregory Park. That summer (1892) the citizens present a petition that requests appointment of a Park Commissioner to supervise cleaning and improving the place. They also want a cinder bicycle path built around the exterior but inside the fence. Incidentally, the park must have looked neglected because while the suit is in progress, the citizens’ request, in May of 1887, that a fence be built around the Square, and in September, upon order of the Common Council, White & White actually do build a fence. It is a two-board fence capped with a flat top-board that encloses the entire park. It has swinging gates at the corners. Long before this and in the exact middle of the Park, C. F. Kindred erects a bandstand for his band boys. The people also ask for a drinking fountain to help make it more pleasant for picnics. The city repairs that fence and plants trees as late as 1894. On 02 June 1898 a tornado sweeps through Brainerd and among its victims of destruction are all but a few of the trees in Gregory Park. That creates the new problem of clearing and grubbing. Bids are promptly called for, but the offers submitted are so small that the council decides to do the work with day labor. In March 1899 the council authorizes spending $200 for new plantings in Gregory Park. In September of 1900 it adds $100 for the same purpose. Where once stand majestic pine they plant fragile box elder and ugly poplar, because these are fast-growers. On 04 May 1909 a new Park Board, with S. R. Adair as its first president, promptly applies itself to making Gregory Park an attraction and not just a place for a few cross-corner footpaths. It builds a concrete wading basin with a fountain, for several years used as a goldfish pond, and encircled by a vine-covered pergola. Trees are trimmed; cinder paths are built; grass is cut; and slowly a transformation sets in. In 1912, a year after his death, the Charles N. Parker family erects a substantial bandstand in the Park as a memorial. In 1930 Cornelius O’Brien, Sr. presents the Brainerd Park Board with the sum of money needed to erect a cut-stone gateway to Gregory Park as designed by a landscape architect. The gateway is built at the Sixth Street entrance on the south side of the park. It carries a bronze plaque, which now serves to memorialize the donor. In the 1940’s the Park Board in landscaping and beautifying the Park with flower beds and trimmed shrubbery undertakes further aesthetic development. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 5, 51, 52, 97, 112, 140, 162)

GREYHOUND BUS DEPOT (MAP #27)

Built by the Greyhound Interstate Bus Company in 1945, it is located on the southeast corner of Fifth and Laurel Streets, replacing the Gardner Block. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 180)

March 1945. Plans for the erection of a new $50,000 Greyhound bus terminal building in Brainerd are announced. The building will be at the site of the present Gardner building across from the city hall. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 30 March 2005)

06 October 1945. Formal opening ceremonies for the new Greyhound bus terminal at Laurel and Fifth streets to be held Saturday, October 6. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 18 September 2005)

06 October 1945. Singing by the Greyhound Girls’ Chorus, Flag-raising and band furnished by the Minnesota State Guard, drills by the Ladies Drum and Bugle Corps, will highlight features of this official opening of the new Greyhound terminal at Fifth and Laurel Streets. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 29 September 2005)

HARRISON GRADE SCHOOLS

Built of Brainerd-made Schwartz cream brick in 1894 on the north side of Oak Street between Southeast Fourteenth and Fifteenth Streets, it houses the kindergarten through sixth grades. In 1936 the old school is razed and replaced by a new structure, which costs nearly $225,000. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 38, 49)

HARTLEY BLOCK (MAP #2)

B. F. and G. G. Hartley erect the Hartley Block circa 1881, which stands where part of the Ransford Hotel is later built, on the south side of Front between Fifth and Sixth Streets. It is the first brick building in town. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 35-36)

May 1904. The sidewalk in front of the site of the old Hartley block has been nailed up and pedestrians walked up to their ankles in mud through the street this morning. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 27 May 2004)

HAYES BLOCK (MAP #20)

Built by J. M. Hayes in the 1870’s, it is located on the southeast corner of Sixth and Laurel Streets; it burns in 1913. In its place he erects the Lyceum Theater, which becomes the Coast-to-Coast Hardware Store, which is now a radio station. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 111)

HEADQUARTERS HOTEL (MAP #12)

Built by the Northern Pacific Railroad in March 1871, it is located on the southwest corner of Sixth and Washington Streets. This three-story structure occupies a two-acre lot. It has fifty or sixty sleeping rooms, a dining room seating over one hundred, parlors, offices and other rooms. It is exactly what the name implies, “Headquarters.” Water from an overhead reservoir is piped to all the rooms. The hotel has an icehouse of seven hundred tons capacity, arranged so as to provide refrigerator storerooms for fruits, vegetables and meats. The building has “a great many chimneys and over six hundred joints of stove pipe.” (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; pp. 19)

The Headquarters Hotel built early in 1871 by the railroad company had been superseded in 1889 by Wise’s Arlington Hotel on almost the same premises. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 86)

IMPERIAL BLOCK (MAP #29)

Built by W. D. McKay in 1904, it is located on the southeast corner of Laurel and Seventh Streets. Purchased by Con O’Brien in 1917, he renames it the Juel Block after his eldest daughter, Juel. See Juel Block. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 75, 113)

In November 1906. Brainerd is to have another theater. Chas. Milspaugh has rented the two east rooms in the Imperial block and will fix them up as a first class theater. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 19 November 2006)

IRON EXCHANGE BUILDING (MAP #56)

Built of yellow-enamel brick by W. D. McKay, Ransford R. Wise, George Holland and George LaBar in 1910-11, it is the largest single business structure in the city. It occupies almost the entire south half of the block on the west side of Sixth Street between Front and Laurel Streets and contains store space, office space, lodge rooms, a restaurant and a hotel. The building burns on 22 July 1970. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 74-75)

JUEL BLOCK (MAP #29)

Built by W. D. McKay in 1904. Purchased by Con O’Brien in 1917 and named after his eldest daughter, Juel. It is located on the southeast corner of Laurel and Seventh Streets. At one time it houses the Olympia Candy Store and eight apartments.

In 1924. The O’Brien building, containing four store rooms on the ground floor, three store rooms in the basement and eight flats on the second floor will be called the “Juel” building named after one of Mr. O’Brien’s daughters. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 10 November 2004) See Imperial Block.

KOOP BLOCK (MAP #53)

Built in 1904, the contractor in charge of excavation is Mooers. Located on the northeast corner of Laurel and Seventh Streets, at one time it houses the J. C. Penney Store and nine apartments. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 02 April 2004)

For some reason, which is unknown to me, the year at the top front of the Koop building is 1923.

LAST TURN SALOON (MAP #9)

Located on the southwest corner of Front and Fourth Streets. Circa September 1872, two half-breed brothers who allegedly murdered a young girl, Helen McArthur, are lynched in front of this saloon. (St. Paul Pioneer Press, 22 October 1922, H. L. Bridgman, ‘Easterners Found Brainerd Roaring Camp of Vice in Woods 50 Years Ago; Wicked Town with No Future as Rail Center, View Expressed by Visitors, Gambling Open at Dolly Varden Club and Other ‘Joints’; Hanged Suspects.’)

Jack O’Neil, who shoots Faker George in 1877, keeps the bar at the Last Turn Saloon in November 1873. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 June 1922)

LAUREL BUILDING

Located at 720 Laurel Street, houses the National Tea Grocery Store in 1931.

LE BON TON SALOON (MAP #30)

In the 1870’s Ed French has a saloon, the Le Bon Ton, it is located where the Lively Garage is mid-block on Laurel. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 June 1922)

LELAND HOUSE (MAP #19)

Built by Warren H. Leland in 1872, it is located on the southwest corner of Fifth and Laurel Streets. It originally has eighteen rooms but it becomes a center of activity, which necessitates increasing its size to sixty rooms in 1879. It may have burned down in the big Haymarket Fire of 1886. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 35)

LINCOLN GRADE SCHOOLS (MAP #54)

Built of Brainerd-made Schwartz cream brick in 1894 on South Sixth Street between Pine and Quince Streets, it houses the kindergarten through sixth grades. In 1936 the old school is razed and replaced by a new structure, which costs nearly $225,000. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 38, 49)

LIVELY BUILDING (MAP #30)

Located mid-block on the south side of Laurel Street between Fifth and Sixth Streets, it houses the Lively Auto Company which is owned by W. E. Lively. See Le Bon Ton Saloon.

LOWELL GRADE SCHOOLS

Built of Brainerd-made Schwartz cream brick in 1894 on Northeast ‘G’ Street between 3rd and 4th Avenues, it houses the kindergarten through sixth grades. A large new addition is completed in 1903. (Brainerd's Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; pp. 32, 38)

In 1936 the old school is razed and replaced by a new structure, which costs nearly $225,000. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 49)

LUM PARK

On 23 November 1909, Leon E. Lum donates to the city a patch of land on the east shore of Rice Lake for use as a park. The park takes its name from this donor. On 21 June 1926, which was after Leon Lum had died, his brother Clarence, acting as Administrator, donates an additional abutting acreage. An artistic stone gateway is erected in his memory. This has become a favorite picnic ground, and to some degree has been used ever since then as a municipal bathing beach. In the 1940’s the Park Board contributes to further aesthetic development by landscaping and beautifying Lum Park with flower beds and trimmed shrubbery. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 97, 134, 162)

Lum Park opens 02 May 1919. The large open-air dancing pavilion has been improved and will be used both for roller skating and dancing. The bathhouses have been put into shape and the work of the renovation is in evidence throughout the park. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 16 April 1999)

LUMBERMEN'S HOSPITAL (MAP #41)

In 1890 Dr. James L. Camp buys the hotel of William S. Brockway and converts it into what he calls the Lumbermen's Hospital, containing fifteen beds. This is located on the northeast corner of what are now First Avenue NE and “A” (Kindred) Street. Its principal advantage is that it stands alongside the railroad spur between the new mill at the Potlatch site and the main line of the Northern Pacific Railroad. Strangely enough, the very Shop employees who always "jumped out the window on payday" when boarding at Brockway's East Hotel, now agitate for the return of their boarding house. So Camp, in November 1892, leases the First Avenue Hotel a half-block north and still on the line.

A year later, in 1893, an outfit called the Northwestern Hospital Association of Minneapolis buys property at the west end of Holly Street about where St. Joseph's now stands and proceeds to plan construction of a hospital. But the Brainerd City Council objects because the sewage outlet would be just upstream from where the City cuts its ice. Camp steps in, buys the property from NHA, acquires other surrounding lands, makes changes accommodating the desires of the City Council, and moves his Lumbermen's Hospital Association to that site in September 1893, this hospital contains thirty-five beds. When it is purchased from Camp by the Benedictine Sisters' Hospital Association, on 17 September 1900, the institution known as St. Joseph's Hospital comes into being. See St. Joseph’s Hospital. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 72-73 and Oldtimers: Stories of Our Pioneers in the Cass and Crow Wing Lake Region, Carl A. Zapffe, Echo Publishing and Printing, Incorporated, Pequot Lakes, Minnesota: 1987; pp. 52-53)

McFADDEN DRUG STORE and WESTFALL CLOTHING STORE (MAP #3)

Westfall Clothing and McFadden Drug stores are located in the middle of the block on the south side of Front Street between Fifth and Sixth Streets. The center doorway leads to apartments above the stores. It is built of Brainerd-made Schwartz cream brick. (Oldtimers II: Stories of Our Pioneers in the Cass and Crow Wing Lake Region, Volume II, Carl A. Zapffe, Echo Publishing and Printing, Incorporated, Pequot Lakes, Minnesota: 1988; p. 47 and Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 38)

MAHLUM BLOCK (MAP #31)

Built by either Mons or Anton or John Mahlum located on the southeast corner of Laurel and South Eighth (Broadway) Streets.

MICHAEL’S STORE

September 1905. The latest improvement at Michael’s store is the installation of a complete new cash system. At the rear of the store a large well arranged cloak cabinet has been erected, something entirely new. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 22 September 2005)

MIDWAY SALOON (MAP #5)

Located at 508 Front Street in the late 1890’s, it is a popular saloon run by William Buckley before he moves to the bar at the Arlington Hotel. (Oldtimers II: Stories of Our Pioneers in the Cass and Crow Wing Lake Region, Volume II, Carl A. Zapffe, Echo Publishing and Printing, Incorporated, Pequot Lakes, Minnesota: 1988; p. 123)

MILT ASKEW’S BILLIARD HALL (MAP #76)

Brainerd’s first fire department is organized on 13 February 1872, in the “fine Billiard Hall of Askew.” Thirty-seven members are enrolled, each paying his initial fee of one dollar. This white frame establishment is located on the south side of Front Street next west of Trudell’s Restaurant circa 1872. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; pp. 38-39)

MURPHY BLOCK (MAP #63)

Located on the south side of Front Street between Sixth and Seventh Streets and between the First National Bank (W. W. Hartley Building) and the Webb Block. In 1931 it houses the Henry P. Dunn Drug Store and the offices of Dr. Otto E. Hubbard, MD and Dr. Harry E. Murphy, DDS.

MURPHY’S DRY GOODS STORE (MAP #55)

Built in 1910 by George F. Murphy mid-block on the south side of Front Street between Seventh and Eighth (Broadway) Streets. This store was in business for over fifty years, finally closing in ?1964. Its motto was, “Quality, style and service.” (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 111)

NASH-FINCH BUILDING (MAP #10)

The business is first known as Brainerd Wholesale Grocery Company, organized by three local men in 1901. In the late 1920’s it is sold to the Nash-Finch Company. The building is located at 401 Front Street and is currently (2004) a printing business called First Impression Printing. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 83)

NICOLLET HOTEL

In 1879-1880 the Nicollet Hotel stands where the Court House is now located off the South end of Fourth Street. (Oldtimers . . . Stories of Our Pioneers, Carl A. Zapffe, Echo Publishing Company, Pequot Lakes, Minnesota: 1987; p. 106)

NORTHERN PACIFIC BANK (MAP #32)

Organized on 01 November 1889 by Charles N. Parker. The bank changes its name to the Citizens State Bank in 1906, when M. T. Dunn purchases the controlling interest. After 1909 the Citizens State Bank is located in the Parker Building on the northwest corner of Laurel and Seventh Streets. After the death of M. T. Dunn in 1915, the vice president, A. G. Trommald is elected president and in November 1920 he purchases the Dunn holdings in association with Mons Mahlum, Edgar P. Slipp, Theodore H. Schaefer, M. E. Ryan and R. J. Tinkelpaugh. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 103 and Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 56)

On 14 September 1906 public examiner, P. M. Kerst, authorizes the Northern Pacific Bank of Brainerd to change its name to the Citizen State Bank of Brainerd. Every state bank must have the word ‘state’ in its title. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 15 September 2006)

NORTHERN PACIFIC DEPOT (First) (MAP #11)

Built by the Northern Pacific Railroad in March 1872 it stands on the southeast corner of Washington (Main) and Sixth Streets, near where the concrete water tower now stands, this depot burns down in 1917. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 19)

NORTHERN PACIFIC DEPOT (Second) (MAP #59)

Built on the south side of Washington (Main) Street between Fourth and Sixth Streets by the Northern Pacific Railroad in 1920, the grand opening occurs on 15 May. The depot costs $100,000 and is built by St. Paul contractors, McMannus and Turnowski, it is a two story structure with six dormers in the third floor. Platforms allow the flow of passengers at each end of the building. The exterior is of red brick and West Bedford cut stone. The inside is trimmed in oak and wainscoted with Ludowski Imperial French tile. Until they close in 1933, it houses, on the second floor, offices of the Minnesota and International Railway, a subsidiary of the Northern Pacific. Other office space in the depot is leased to federal government offices, such as the Farm Security Administration in July of 1941. The Northern Pacific Credit Union office is located on the second floor of the building from 19?? to 1968. The depot is demolished circa 18 October 1968. A strip mall and a grocery store replace it.

On 18 October 1968 the wrecking ball is poised to raze the Northern Pacific Depot in Brainerd. [Friday, 18 October 1968] (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Sunday, 18 October 1998, Thirty Years Ago)

NORTHERN PACIFIC FOUNDRY

On 18 April 1885, Charles N. Parker arrives to make Brainerd his permanent home. He had come in 1872 to build the foundry for the Northern Pacific Railroad and get the operation started, but in 1885 he and his partner H. A. Topping lease the plant and name it Parker-Topping Foundry Company. It depends essentially on a contract entered into by the railroad for all its castings. That business grows to employ up to 150 men. In the course of time E. O. Webb and the grandson Clyde E. Parker became part of the organization. In 1888 the Northern Pacific foundry, being as aforesaid leased to Parker-Topping Foundry Company, is supplying castings for the entire system west of Spokane, Washington and provides a payroll that year amounting to $60,000. Sometime around 1917 the Northern Pacific replaces its old foundry building with a new one of double capacity. During the railroad strike of 1922-23, the railroad discontinues its contract with the Parker & Topping Foundry, the strike scatters the employees and the firm ceases to exist. In 1924 a few former participants, such as the grandson, Clyde E. Parker, and Fred E. Kinsmiller and E. O. Webb join their experiences into a partnership. They name it Brainerd Foundry Company and erect a building of their own at 801-807 South Tenth Street. With two employees they begin work at casting grey iron. In 1925 this new company makes its first brass castings and on 01 January 1928, negotiates its first contract with the Northern Pacific Railroad Company for brass castings. Things pick up enough to justify incorporation in 1930 by Parker and Kinsmiller. As of 1945 the company employs about thirty men and makes 2,200,000 pounds of brass castings and 400,00 pounds of grey iron castings per year. Much of its work is for Cuyuna iron mines; more goes to the pulp and paper mill at International Falls; and most of it goes to the Northern Pacific Railway Company for use between here and Spokane, Washington. Many years later the foundry is torn down, the site is fenced and declared a hazardous waste site. To my knowledge it is still hazardous and has never been properly cleaned up. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 50, 51, 55, 112, 131, 132)

NORTHERN PACIFIC FREIGHT DEPOT (MAP #45)

The wooden freight depot on the North Eighth Street side of the tracks is discontinued and a long brick building is opened for use in 1904. This building is located on the northeast corner of Front and Eighth Streets. The wooden building is razed about four years later. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 87)

NORTHERN PACIFIC HOSPITAL (Northern Pacific Benevolent Association [NPBA])

A frame structure at the end of the railroad bridge in West Brainerd, formerly called Immigration Hall, is converted into the Northern Pacific Benevolent Association Hospital on 24 September 1882; this is the main hospital for the entire Northern Pacific Railroad system. It stands on the north side of the railroad track at the west end of the railroad bridge. It burns the following year and is replaced by a $25,000 building. A new operating room and laundry are added in 1898, a three-year nurses' training school in 1901. The Northern Pacific Railroad moves its hospital services to St. Paul on 21 September 1921 and the building is razed. In its early years, the building is heated by wood-burning stoves and has no running water. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 22-23)

NORTHERN PACIFIC SHOPS (MAP)

The Northern Pacific Railroad begins building a car repair shop in March 1871, it is located on the north side of the tracks about three-quarters of a mile east of the depot, this shop is completed in 1872. These shops are enlarged in 1881-1883. In early 1886 the wooden car shops burn and are replaced by a new brick building 200’ x 300’ that is a story and a half high. In 1900 the capacity of the boxcar plant is doubled. In January 1901 the machine shop, blacksmith shop and boiler shop are more than doubled in size. These early buildings are built of Brainerd-made Schwartz cream brick. In 1907 the Tie Plant is built in west Brainerd. In 1909 another addition is made to the machine shop in east Brainerd. In October 1920 the old brick car repair shops in east Brainerd are destroyed by fire. In 1944-45 the Tie Plant operation in west Brainerd is enlarged. Also in 1944-45, a new steel and brick building 916’ long is added to the east shops, this location is one of the largest steel freight car building shops in the country. The power plant in east Brainerd is also upgraded in 1944-45. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 5, 54, 82, 180)

In 1924 surveyors lay out the site for the new power plant at the Brainerd shops, and actual construction is to be started soon. This power plant will be 101 feet by 109 feet ground measurements. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Tuesday, 13 July 2004)

The Burlington Northern tie-treating plant, a fixture in the Brainerd area since the early 1900s [1907], will be closed by the end of 1986. The closure will result in the layoff of 14 of the plant’s current 24 workers. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Thursday, 19 January 2006)

Dismantling of the Brainerd tie plant began today, 01 October 1986, and will continue for six weeks, leaving only the plant office and garage standing. The plant opened in 1906 and contained up to 1 million ties at one time. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Sunday, 01 October 2006)

NORTHERN PACIFIC YMCA (MAP #33)

In 1885 the Northern Pacific Railroad offers to provide a YMCA building “…to give aid to sons of railway men and not cause them to seek asylum and pastime in saloons.” In 1887 the YMCA consists of two reading rooms. They are rooms numbered 9 and 10, upstairs in W. W. Hartley’s Bank Building. The YMCA is incorporated 06 September 1888. According to minutes of the Common Council, digging the basement is started that May. It is reported that work on the building is still going on in 1889. Circa 1901, the railroad is about to replace the board sidewalk in front of this building, when it is discovered that a new cement sidewalk would cost about $120 more, the citizens of Brainerd donate that amount and the first cement sidewalk is laid in front of the YMCA. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 50, 83)

The building is located on the west side of Sixth Street between the railroad tracks and Front Street; its address is 124 South Sixth Street. The railroad contributes $500 a year toward its support. Its Board of Directors closes the building in June 1923. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Monday, 09 June 2003)

May 1924. The Brainerd Y.M.C.A. has undergone extensive repairs, improvements, and alterations during the past month and will be opened on Friday, May 23 with appropriate ceremonies. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Tuesday, 18 May 2004)

NORTHWESTERN HOSPITAL (MAP #35)

This hospital is organized through a stock subscription by Dr. Joseph Nicholson on 01 August 1908 and is erected on the southeast corner of North Eighth (Broadway) and Kingwood Streets. It is well equipped with an operating room, X-ray apparatus and laboratory. The hospital has twenty-five beds. From 1908 to 1920 nearly thirty-two hundred patients are admitted. On 07 August 1920, the directors of the Northwestern Medical and Surgical Association, Incorporated take over the Northwestern Hospital ownership, management and hospital activity. On 15 October 1922 the formal opening of the new addition takes place. It is a three story brick building connected with the old building by corridors. The many modern features include an electric elevator, automatically controlled, a five thousand dollar X-ray outfit and well-equipped laboratories. The rooms are elaborately furnished for the comfort of patients. The capacity is seventy-two beds .The hospital maintains free beds for the worthy poor. A training school for nurses is conducted under the direct charge of the superintendent of nurses. The Northwestern Hospital is a monument to Brainerd. In August of 1924 the Northwestern Hospital goes into receivership and never comes out of it. The hospital building is subsequently converted into an apartment building called Kingwood Apartments. Sometime in the ?1950’s the section of the hospital built in 1908 is torn down and replaced by the existing one story structure. The entire building then becomes the Good Samaritan Nursing Home. Sometime in ?2001 the building becomes the Senior Citizens’ Center. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 106 and Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 73, 94, 129, 132)

In 1908 Dr. Joseph Nicholson purchases the large residence owned by Walter Davis at the corner of North Broadway and Kingwood Street. Dr. Nicholson states that he will convert the building into a private hospital as soon as possible. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Sunday, 06 April 2008)

In 1924 the Protestant Church’s Hospital Association of Brainerd are trying to secure funds for the purchase of the Northwestern Hospital in Brainerd. The new, modern, fireproof, 52-bed addition is now in the hands of a receiver. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Friday, 31 December 2004)

In 1927 J. H. Krekelberg, representing the bond holders of the Northwestern hospital announce the hospital building will be changed into an apartment building to be known as the Kingwood Apartments. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Sunday, 29 July 2007)

NUMBER ONE SALOON (MAP #27)

Stands on the southeast corner of Fifth and Laurel Streets, across from the Leland House. This building may have burned in the Haymarket Fire of 1886. (Brainerd Dispatch, “Old Lumberjack Days,” James M. Quinn, 04 May, 1922)

O’BRIEN BLOCK (MAP #36)

Located at 307 South Eighth Street (Broadway), built by Con O’Brien and houses O’Brien & Sons Wholesale Grocery and two apartments.

In 1904 Mayor O’Brien purchases the Farmer’s Home Boarding House on the corner of Ninth and Laurel Streets, the consideration being $2,200 spot cash. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 28 November 2004)

O’BRIEN MERCANTILE COMPANY (MAP #37)

Originally established in 1883 as a saloon by Cornelius (Con) O’Brien, Sr. Located at 221 South Eighth Street (Broadway), later the building houses the O’Brien Department Store. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 22)

OHIO BLOCK (MAP #68)

Built by Ransford R. Wise and named after his home state, it is located mid-block on the west side of South Seventh Street between Front and Laurel Streets. At one time this building houses the Red Owl Grocery Store and seven apartments. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 57)

OLYMPIA CONFECTIONERY & CAFE

Originally located at 612 Front Street and known as the Olympia Candy Kitchen, later moved to 702 Laurel Street. Owners in 1931 are the Adams Brothers, Steve N. Adams and Peter Adams.

PARK OPERA HOUSE (MAP #34)

Ransford R. Wise is instrumental in the building of the Park Opera House in 1890, of which association he is president for a number of years. The building is located on the north side of Front Street directly across from the southeast corner of Fifth and Front Streets; it eventually becomes the Paramount Theater owned by Clyde E. Parker. In 1928 the theater is sold to Finkelstein & Reuben and eventually becomes part of the Berger Amusement Company then it becomes part of the Baehr Theaters. The building is demolished circa 1995. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 51 and Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 134-135)

Although the Paramount Theater is closing September 7, 1985, the building won’t go to waste if area supporters have something to say about it. A proposal is afoot to convert the 84-year old building into a performance and visual arts center. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Sunday, 21 August 2005)

06 September 1985. The Paramount Theater will show European Vacation, its last regular movie for the final time tonight. Farewell celebrations for the theater are planned for Friday and Saturday nights. The Spanish Mediterranean interior design was added to the theater in 1929. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Monday, 06 September 2005)

PARKER BLOCK (MAP #32)

Built in 1909 by Charles N. Parker to house the former Northern Pacific Bank. In 1906 the bank becomes the Citizens State Bank and in 1920 Con O’Brien buys the building, which is located on the northwest corner of Seventh and Laurel Streets. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 90, 113)

PARKS

O'Brien Park - 4 acres. [2424 Pine Street]

Bane Park - 11 acres. [1717 South Seventh Street]

Gregory Park - 11 acres. [424 North Fifth Street}

Buffalo Hills/Lions Park - 19 acres. [101 Buffalo Hills Lane]

Jaycees Park - 14 acres. [1600 Rosewood Street]

Hitch-Wayne Park - 3 acres. [1201 South Seventh Street]

Kiwanis Park - 37 acres. [1101 East River Road, Boom Lake]

Lum Park - 38 acres. [1619 Northeast Washington Street]

Memorial Park/Mills Field - 28 acres. [1700 Mill Avenue]

Mill Avenue Park - 8 acres. [1401 Mill Avenue]

Triangle Park - less than 1/2 acre. [723 Fir Street]

(Editorial, Brainerd Dispatch, Sunday, 10 June 2007)

PHILLIPS BUILDING (MAP #65)

See Beare Block. See Gates Block.

POST OFFICE (MAP #4 and #46)

The first post office in Brainerd is established on 27 December 1870 and Dr. Samuel W. Thayer is appointed postmaster and serves until 24 June 1873. Sylvester V. R. Sherwood serves until 02 August 1879 and the post office is located in his drugstore on Front Street where the City Hotel is located in the 1890’s. The Brainerd Post Office is built, at a cost of $50,000, on the southeast corner of Sixth and Maple Streets; this building houses the post office for fifty years, beginning on 01 April 1910. The building is demolished for a parking lot and in September 1960, postal facilities are moved to the Federal Building on the southwest corner of Fifth and Laurel Streets. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 11, 114)

July 1962 the Brainerd City Council has said that the old Post Office Building will be given away free of charge to anyone who will move it from the present site within 30 days. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Friday, 19 July 2002)

RANSFORD HOTEL (MAP #1 and #2 and #60)

Built of red brick by Ransford R. Wise in 1904, it is known as the Ransford Hotel, the building extends from just west of the southwest corner of Sixth and Front Streets about half way on Front Street between Fifth and Sixth Streets, it is condemned in 1972 and finally demolished in 1975. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 87)

July 1975. The city of Brainerd’s three-year struggle to tear down the Ransford Hotel and annex came to a successful end last night when the council voted to award a $43,000 demolition bid. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Wednesday, 13 July 2005)

August 1975. A welcome sight was visible yesterday afternoon in downtown Brainerd as the demolition of the Ransford Hotel and annex building got under way after nearly three years of legal hassling. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Tuesday, 09 August 2005)

REILLY BLOCK (MAP #73)

Located at 211 South Seventh Street. Built circa 1893 by Michael J. Reilly who arrives in Brainerd in 1880. He and his wife are homecomers from Detroit, Michigan in July 1922. In 1903 M. J. Reis purchases the M. J. Reilly store, which had been established ten years before. Mr. Reis has therefore the oldest dry goods business in Brainerd. He carries a general line of dry goods, hosiery and notions which is second to none in quality and reliability. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; pp. 111, 132)

June 1904. The Reilly block on Seventh Street occupied by the M. J. Reilly grocery store is gutted by fire on Sunday evening, entailing a loss of about $15,000 to the building and occupants. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Friday, 25 June 2004)

January 1905. Negotiations are pending and unless the unforeseen happens a deal will be closed whereby W. E. Brockway and Sam Parker will succeed to the business of M. J. Reilly, the Seventh Street grocer. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Wednesday, 05 January 2005)

April 1907. Sam Parker, in days gone by, was in the grocery business in Brainerd. He sold his interests to his partner, W. E Brockway, and then retired to Merrifield. We remember on one occasion of being part of an excursion party of Brainerd to Walker, and as we passed Merrifield we saw Sam and the engineer saluted with a whistle and the crowds yelled, “Hello, Sam.” (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Friday, 11 April 2007)

RUSSELL BUILDING

Located at 504 Front Street, houses the Russell Creamery Company, Incorporated.

SAINT FRANCIS CATHOLIC CHURCHES (MAP #38 and #39)

During the latter part of 1871 and early in 1872 Father Francis Joseph Buh establishes the St. Francis Catholic Church Parish. The first church is a simple design of wood and stands on South Fifth Street at the west end of Maple Street, adjoining what comes later to be known as the hay-market and now just south of the driveway of the post office. When this church is destroyed by the Haymarket Fire in 1886, a site on the northeast corner of North Ninth and Juniper Streets is acquired and a new red brick church is built there starting in 1890 and completing in 1898; that church is destroyed by fire on 09 March 1933 and the loss is estimated at $50,000. The present church is then completed and the first Mass is celebrated on 11 February 1934. This is a Romanesque church built of cream-colored cut stone which cost $75,000. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 6, 145)

SAINT FRANCIS CATHOLIC SCHOOLS (MAP #40)

Built in 1908 on the north side of Juniper Street between North Eighth (Broadway) and North Ninth Streets. This school is torn down and replaced by a new school built circa 1952. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 94)

The church authorities and the parish of St. Francis Catholic Church has the matter of erecting a parochial school under consideration. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 17 October 2006)

SAINT JOSEPH’S HOSPITAL (MAP #41)

On 17 September 1900, Dr. James L. Camp sells the nine acres at the west end of Holly Street along with the Lumbermen’s Hospital to the Benedictine Sisters’ Benevolent Association. The hospital becomes St. Joseph’s and on 15 December 1902, title is transferred to the Association. Additions are made to the hospital in 1903 and again in 1930 when the hospital contains ninety-five beds. These additions cost about $45,000. Circa 1944 plans are made for the erection of a new hospital building involving an expenditure of about $600,000. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 73, 178, 179

In 1944 reconstruction of St. Joseph’s Hospital at a cost of approximately $303,205 with an additional cost of $100,000 for furnishings and provisions for 120 beds as a post war program is announced today by the Brainerd Civil Association. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Thursday, 15 April 2004)

SHERWOOD DRUG STORE (MAP #4)

The first post office is established here in 1871. It is located on the south side of Front Street toward the west near Fifth Street. See City Hotel.

SIXTH STREET SCHOOL (MAP #47)

Circa 1871-72 Brainerd’s first school, at the west end of Front Street, is of hewn logs. Planks laid upon boxes are the seats. The teacher is said to be Charles Lancaster, a graduate of St. Cloud Normal School. Later the building is used as an icehouse. The first effort to have a semipublic school is “by Bean, Prescott, and White, who purchase of John Hess for $50 a building of hewn logs near the railroad bridge” and employ Miss Hall as teacher. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 30)

For several months in 1872 Miss [Julia] Fitzgerald conducts a private school with an enrollment of 22 boys and 23 girls and an average attendance of 30. The studies are: alphabet, reading, penmanship, spelling, arithmetic, grammar, geography and history. ...Later in the year the Brainerd School District is organized. The board authorizes that positions be offered to Miss Ladd and Miss Fitzgerald, who teaches private school, to teach from 01 January to 01 April 1873, at a salary of $55 per month. (Note: Miss Julia Fitzgerald [Mrs. C. G. Early of St. Paul] is a home comer in 1922.) (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 30)

The Brainerd School District is organized and six elected members of the School Board meet for the first time on 30 December 1872. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 14)

At a meeting held on 08 April 1873, the school district votes to erect a public school building that year at a cost of $2,500. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 31)

The Sixth Street School is built in 1873 on the northeast corner of South Sixth and Oak Streets. (Oldtimers II: Stories of Our Pioneers in the Cass and Crow Wing Lake Region, Volume II, Carl A. Zapffe, Echo Publishing and Printing, Incorporated, Pequot Lakes, Minnesota: 1988; p. 129)

The Sixth Street School opens for a three-month's term in January 1874, with Miss Simons and Miss Ladd as teachers. With its additions, built later, it cares for 250 pupils. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 31)

In June of 1878 the School Board decides to add a 26’ x 36’, two-story addition on the north side of the Sixth Street School. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 15)

On 24 January 1885 the Sixth Street School is ordered closed and its students move to the new high school located farther east on Oak Street. The Sixth Street School continues in use until 1896. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 47-48)

“On the last day of January, 1885, the teachers and pupils of the Sixth Street School formed in procession headed by the city band and school board, marched over with band playing and flags flying, and took possession of the new high school building just completed. Principal J. A. Wilson...and others made speeches. That day was an epoch in the progress of education in Brainerd. Everybody was proud of the fine new building. It was the most complete and finest furnished school building in Northern Minnesota.” (J. A. Wilson) (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 31)

SLEEPER BLOCK (MAP #7)

Built by C. B. Sleeper in 1882, it is located on Front Street next to the First National Bank building; during its existence it houses the Grandelmeyer Millinery Shop, Bason Hardware Store, the Howe Lumber Company office and several early newspaper offices [including the Brainerd Daily Dispatch at the time of the fire]. It burns down on [Tuesday, 18 June] 1907 and is replaced by the Webb Block. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 43)

In 1904. For rent: Fine large room (22 x 40) in Sleeper Block, suitable for tailor or millinery shop, $15 per month. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 15 November 2004)

SLEEPER OPERA HOUSE (MAP #48)

Built by C. B. Sleeper sometime in 1882, it is 62’ x 125’ x 65’ tall and built of Brainerd-made red brick. Its auditorium seats 1,000, it is located mid-block on the east side of South Eighth Street (Broadway); the building burns down on 02 January 1898. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 43 and Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 38, 43, 44)

SLEEPER RESIDENCE (MAP #49)

Remuddled, located on the northwest corner of North Eighth (Broadway) and Ivy Streets, it is built of Brainerd-made Schwartz cream brick. [Current address is 501 North Eighth Street.] (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 38)

Built by Chauncey B. Sleeper, a lawyer born in Erie County, New York, 11 January 1838. He studies law in Buffalo, New York, and serves as a Colonel in the US Army of the Potomac during the Civil War. He arrives in Brainerd in 1872. A few years after arriving in Brainerd, his wife operates a boarding house on the southeast corner of Eighth and Laurel Streets. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 9)

Sleeper is the President of the School Board 1873-1878; the first City Attorney in 1873; County Attorney 1884-1886; Mayor, 01 March to 21 March 1887; District Judge, 10 March 1887 to 30 December 1888. He dies 30 December 1888 at the age of fifty. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 43, 56)

In October 1907, Mrs. Loren F. Bois sells her residence property on North Broadway, known as the Sleeper property, to Mons Mahlum. The consideration was $2,100. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Tuesday, 09 October 2007)

SLIPP BLOCK (MAP #50)

Built by Edgar P. Slipp on the northwest corner of Laurel and South Eighth (Broadway) Streets. At one time it houses Slipp’s Brainerd Hardware and later, Henry Elvig’s Drugstore and Pharmacy as well as two apartments. Edgar P. Slipp and his son, Leigh Slipp, organize the Brainerd Hardware Company in 1916. The former comes to Brainerd in 1903, and purchases an interest in Slipp Brothers, a pioneer hardware store.

TRADING POST 1870 (MAP #42)

The first buildings are built circa September and October 1870. One is a trading post operated by Fuller & Huestis and on 10 October a hotel and boarding house for railroad workers is completed by Stuart Seeley, it is the second building to go up. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 5)

"...I found my father in charge of the construction of a building for Fuller & Huestis. That building still stands; it is the old Indian trading post and has been used for fifty-two years as saloon, hotel, trading post and dwelling. Hundreds of carloads of blueberries and tons and tons of deer saddles pass through its doors during the many years when James Hallett has it as a trading post. This is the first frame commercial building in the growing city." I. U. White (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 11)

The second building in Brainerd, built of hewn logs by Stuart Seeley, is completed on 10 October 1870, and used as a boarding house, saloon and dance hall, until it burns three years later. It is located on the east bank of the river, north of the railroad bridge. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 15)

TRUDELL RESTAURANT (MAP #74)

Located on the south side of Front Street between Third and Fourth Streets and between Milt Askew’s Billiard Hall and the Dolly Varden Saloon. The first city council meets on 11 January 1873, with the following city officials: ...P. H. Trudell, recorder. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 36)

VILLARD HOTEL (MAP #23)

In the June 1885 issue of the Northwest Magazine, edited and published by E. V. Smalley, the Villard Hotel is described as “. . .the most conspicuous building in Brainerd and handsomest in northern Minnesota.” It is described as having seventy-five bedrooms, a 38’ x 50’ dining room with several adjoining “sample” rooms, a big office, and parlors which can be opened into a single larger room and made “. . .a fine place for large banquets.” He added that “Witt, Hartley & Company are the proprietors.” This hotel is located on the northwest corner of Sixth and Washington (Main) Streets; built circa 1882, it burns circa June 1887. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 33-35)

On the corner where Vic’s Master Station now [1946] stands was the Villard Hotel. It was a stately and massive building. The opposite corner eastward was vacant property. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 33)

In several published accounts of Brainerd mention is made of the Villard Hotel. The statements are brief. Pictures of the exterior leave no doubt that the hotel was an imposing structure and a place of splendor. It was three stories high, but the dormers and the gables in the roof actually made it a four-story building. Descriptions of the interior indicate that it was spacious and magnificent. The hotel was famous for its appointments.

Important as this hotel seemed to be, it is strange that no references are included about how it happened to be built or who managed it. It is even vague as to where it was erected and who owned it. One can infer that it existed not before 1882, but had been planned; and it is certain that it was destroyed in 1887, but not as to the day or month. Now people ask: Why so glamorous a hotel in those lumberjack years? Who was splurging? Where did it stand and why was that place selected? What silenced it?

Nobody is here to tell us all this. An examination of property records gives a clue but of biggest help is supplementing them by a knowledge of important contemporary events and having knowledge about individuals who crossed the stage in that period of this history. We offer a reconstruction of what seem to be the general features of this venture in the hotel business in Brainerd.

The Villard Hotel was built on the northwest corner of North 6th and Washington, where Vic’s Master Station now [1946] stands; Kindred had purchased the entire block in November, 1880.

...Thus ambition, local prestige, industrial experiences, and pioneers’ courage joined to make the Villard hotel possible. Leland accepted Kindred’s hint and on 10 February 1882, negotiated the purchase of six lots from Kindred. His logging acquaintances David Clough and George E. Hayes joined him. Hayes loaned him $8,000. A loan of $15,000 was obtained by Leland from Kindred to help build the hotel. It was not a simple transaction; subsequent events bore this out many times in a few years because mortgages, foreclosures, liens and deeds of several sorts clutter the title records.

On 16 September 1883, Leland transferred an interest in the land and brought William H. Witt into association with him. The hotel was presumably in operation late in 1882 and this transaction is interpreted to indicate that it had gone into service not later than 1883. On 05 April 1884, a few deals brought in B. F. Hartley, G. G. Hartley and James Dewar as some of the owners. These three with Witt formed a co-partnership which is referred to by Smalley in 1885 as the proprietor of the hotel.

Many liens were filed against this partnership. ...Undoubtedly things were not going well for Leland who with Witt was managing the hostelry, because on 06 April 1887, he and Witt gave Kindred a mortgage deed for the $15,000 which Kindred had loaned Leland in 1882.

...Quickly after the Villard fire in 1887 Kindred wanted a hotel erected on that street intersection. Impatient with the delay about clearing away rubbish, he started excavating a basement on the opposite corner, where Van’s Cafe now [1946] is. ...the credit needed for erecting this new hotel was denied to Kindred. That stopped his work on the basement and influenced him to move away from Brainerd. Thus ended the Villard Hotel and the career of Kindred in Brainerd. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 34-36)

...The vacant office building [Brainerd Lumber Company] stood there for awhile as a silent sentinel. A Brainerd chef purchased it in 1908. He moved it intact and set it over the basement excavation on North 6th and Main started in 1888 by C. F. Kindred for his projected second Villard hotel. The building was redressed, but it still retains its general appearance, even though the main floor has been converted into a restaurant and the top floor into living quarters. Today, remodeled in modernistic style, it is known as “Van’s Cafe . . . Opposite the Water Tower.” (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 65)

Charles Kindred lived on the southeast corner of North 6th and Kingwood. His home, his office and his large horse barn stood where the Standard Oil filling station now [1946] is. Kindred owned most of the lots in that block and the one west, acquired from Lake Superior & Puget Sound Company, 21 November 1879 and 06 November 1880 respectively. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 33)

W. W. HARTLEY BUILDING (MAP #6)

Located on the southeast corner of Front and Sixth Streets, better known as the First National Bank building, it is built in 1882. In 1916 the building is purchased by the officers of the bank and is remodeled--the first of three such remodelings. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 22, 38)

WALVERMAN BLOCK (MAP #62)

Located on the south side of Front Street between Sixth and Seventh Streets and next east of the Webb Block. In 1931 it houses the Brainerd Tribune, Marie Canan Photography, Edward J. Hoffmann, Cigar Manufacturer and two apartments.

WASHINGTON HIGH SCHOOL (First) (MAP #51)

The School Board authorizes a vote on a bond issue of $40,000 for a new high school on 04 February 1884, the proposal carries by a vote of 106 to 3. A lot on the south side of Oak Street between Eighth and Ninth Streets is purchased for $5,200 and the bid to build the building at $27,000 by F. B. King and Company of Minneapolis is accepted. The building is built from Brainerd-made Schwartz cream brick. On 12 January 1885 the board accepts the new building. In February of 1929, the school burns down. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 38, 47, 135, 139)

NOTE:

30 March 1928. The Washington High School building was completely destroyed by fire last night. The yellow gray walls that housed Brainerd students for the past 43 years was all that remained. Estimate of the damage placed it close to $150,000. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 31 March 2008)

“On the last day of January, 1885, the teachers and pupils of the Sixth Street School formed in procession headed by the city band and school board, marched over with band playing and flags flying, and took possession of the new high school building just completed. Principal J. A. Wilson...and others made speeches. That day was an epoch in the progress of education in Brainerd. Everybody was proud of the fine new building. It was the most complete and finest furnished school building in Northern Minnesota.” (J. A. Wilson) (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 31)

A large new addition is completed in 1903. (Brainerd's Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 32)

WASHINGTON HIGH SCHOOL (Second) (MAP #51)

In 1930 the new Washington High School, replacing the burned structure at a cost of nearly $600,000, is ready for occupancy. Circa 1933 it houses grades 10 through twelve. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 49, 141)

WATER TOWER (MAP #69)

The contract for this elevated storage tank is let in 1918; it is located on the southeast corner of Washington (Main) and Sixth Streets. L. P. Wolff of St. Paul is the Consulting Engineer and the City Engineer, R. T. Campbell, does the local engineering. The City Water and Light Board handles all the construction work with its own work force headed by its Superintendent Henry Roberts. This storage tank is 134 feet tall with a capacity of 300,000 gallons and is the first all-concrete elevated water tank used for a municipal water supply ever built in the United States. The bowl that holds the water is made in a single continuous pouring. The tower is complete on 01 October 1922. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 124-125)

A spiral stairway winds around the inside walls of the water tower. The stairs end at about the 90-foot mark on the inside of the tower. A window allows access to the outside set of stairs that lead to the ledge that encircles the tower. The all-concrete landmark has been dry since 1960. The tower is 129 feet tall from its crown-like top to the ground level. The observation ledge is 90 feet above the ground. Inside the tower a 20-foot ladder leads to a hatch, which is at the bottom of the tower's bowl. The sky can be seen as the hatch is opened to access the inside of the bowl lined with red brick, which once held 300,000 gallons of water. Inside the bowl is a 40-foot freestanding ladder, which rises to the top of the bowl. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 25 May 2003)

August 1920. The little crew of two engaged in stuccoing the water tower cement tank 150 feet above ground has nerves of steel. Gunion and his partner climb up and down the ropes to their swaying staging with as much unconcern as though they were working down on the sidewalk. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 29 August 2000)

October 1920. Water is being pumped into the new water tower today. The 300,000-gallon concrete water tower of the new waterworks system near the Depot is being filled. A full tank means an added weight of over 2,000,000 pounds. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 01 October 2000)

WEBB BLOCK (MAP #7)

Built in 1907 by E. O Webb, it replaces the Sleeper Block which burns in 1907. It is located next to the First National Bank building on the south side of Front Street between Sixth and Seventh Streets. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 43)

WHITTIER GRADE SCHOOLS (MAP #52)

Built of Brainerd-made Schwartz cream brick in 1894 on North Eighth Street between Holly and Grove Streets, it houses the kindergarten through sixth grades. In 1936 the old school is razed and replaced by a new structure, which costs nearly $225,000. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 38, 49)

WISE BLOCK (MAP #60)

In June 1904 after Bly’s Hall burns down, Ransford R. Wise erects the Wise Block on the southwest corner of Sixth and Front Streets and uses the upper part for Ransford Hotel rooms. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 87)

February 1905. The old Wise Building, occupied by J. F. Murphy & Co., is up on rollers today and is being moved to the corner of Front and Sixth Streets. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 27 February 2005)