Proving Up: Three Decades of Trial and Triumph

Looking southwest from the Fargo, N.D. Post Office tower, 1898-05

An elevated view looking southwest from the top of the Post Office shows the rooftop of Marsh & Loomis Livery building that extends the full length of the image in the foreground. The rear of the Schlanser & Sons and the Armory Hall building is visible on the right, with the two pointed cupolas. Also visible are the intersection of N.P. Avenue and 8th Street, the W.H.White Lumber Company, Dakota Business College, The Arlington Hotel, First Methodist Episcopal Church. The Cass County Courthouse, and the Fargo Central High building tower above the neighborhood in the distance. [North Dakota State University Archives, Digital ID: rs000793]

By the turn of the twentieth century, Fargo’s commercial business structures signaled a meaningful transition from the early structures. While the settlers were concerned with the immediate and practical applications, the growing city began to reflect a higher culture and advancing lifestyle on the Northern Plains. Simple utilitarian structures  gave way to the buildings that served thriving businesses at the heart of a growing city. As Fargo’s businesses continued to grow, evolve, and improve despite several setbacks, so too did the municipal amenities that ultimately cemented the city’s presence on the plains.

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