Built Environment

Fargo’s Growing Businesses

When Fargo’s settlers completed the initial phases of construction and growth, the commercial structures created a centripetal force, and continued boosterism, encouraged businesses to rally and grow. Community support for buildings like the Headquarters Hotel and the courthouse provided the nucleus for rapid growth, a diverse assemblage of even businesses arrived to compete. This ultimately created a stronger city c
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The Fargo Times Newspaper

The Fargo Times preceded the Fargo Forum and Republican. The Fargo Times’ building was a wood structure with multiple single-pane front windows that allowed sunlight into the press room. The gable roof stood out in contrast among the increasing number of flat-top and flat-faced business edifices in the area. The unpainted building had a large sign above its windows, allowing editor E.B. Chambers to signal a desire fo
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The Headquarters Hotel

Fargo’s first significant construction endeavor of a two-story wood-framed building brought the Headquarters Hotel, the city’s first hotel. When NPRC completed construction during the fall of 1872, the hotel housed guests, government offices, and served as the railroad station then managed by W. Hubert Smith. The hotel was located north of the NPRC tracks. Wood frame construction was cheaper than bricks, but not as r
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Early Planning and Development

Over a century before the founders of Fargo’s early settlement sowed the seeds of the town’s businesses and commercial districts, the United States Congress adopted the Land Ordinance of 1785. That action on May 20  on May 20th made way to generate federal income via the sale of land in the unmapped territory west of the original states acquired at the 1783 Treaty of Paris following the American Revolution. More impo
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Bonanza Farming West of Fargo

Wood frame houses in the rural area are most prominently known to have existed on large-scale bonanza farms. Beginning in 1875, these farms were acquired through railroad bonds One of the most widely known bonanza farmers in the area during the late 1800s was Oliver Dalrymple, who owned his land and also managed other large-scale farms in the area. He is known as one of the most successful wheat farm growers of the a
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First National Bank

“It has been remarked that a city’s financial institutions, while they are the foundations on which her commerce must be built, are also mirrors which reflect the state of her trade and industry.” ~1881 [2] The First National Bank of Fargo was formed in 1878. At the time, Fargo was a rapidly growing city, and it required banks that could handle the influx of wealth and money. The First National Bank
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Hector House

Two men, Andrew Henry Moore and George Mann, decided to take a chance in Dakota Territory in 1869. They left from Waupum, Wisconsin, and arrived in the Red River Valley the same year. Upon their arrival, all that stood in what would be known as Fargo was a small city of tents occupied by Northern Pacific Railroad personnel and a few soldiers. Fortunately, Mann had experience in carpentry work and it is assumed that h
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William H. White

As the target for the Northern Pacific Railroad Company’s (NPRC) river crossings became clear, an enterprising business proprietor, W.H. White, secured the contract for the timber for the approaches to the NPRC bridge at Fargo in December of 1871. The timber arrived from the east by May 1872 and was used in building the bridge that spanned the Red River and connected the railroad with the town of Fargo. Large scale s
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