Public Works


From the city’s conception, Fargo officials have had to struggle with issues dealing with maintaining and funding the city streets. The wet season brought deep ruts in  the sticky North Dakota clay making travel tough and some streets inaccessible. Grading the streets of Fargo began in 1875 and paying for it fell to the citizens. Every male between 21 and 60 years old who was able to work paid with one day’s la
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Island Park’s Development

As railroads pushed out onto the Great Plains, city founders throughout the nation embraced the idea of developing public parks. In the words of Roy Rosenzweig and Elizabeth Blackmar, “By the early nineteenth century municipal and national governments had begun to establish and landscape public parks that represented the romantic ideal of rus in urbe — country in the city.” This is an inversion of the phr
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Flooding, Sewage Management, and Early Plumbing

In the first decade of Fargo’s settlement,  concerns for sanitation and waste management quickly rose to the forefront of city operations. As an infrastructure  developed, the need for  a sewage system for Fargo was clear and the city council investigated the system and its cost.  On  January 13, 1881, council members solicited city engineers for a sewage system that best met the needs of the flat city. On Sept
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Nineteenth-Century Telephone Services and Water Supplies

In an effort to expand the prospects of Fargo’s increasing community, Fargo City Council Members gave H.C. Shoen, E.C. Eddy, and others the city’s first telephone franchise on January 7, 1880.  A year later, Fargo and Moorhead Telephone Exchange began erecting poles for doing general phone business.  Twenty years later, Northwestern Telephone Exchange Company fitted the city with metallic circuit long distance transm
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Early Public Street Lights

After Mayor George Egbert authorized a $44 payment to Cass Lamp Works on December 5, 1879, the first kerosene lamps soon appeared on the streets of Fargo. Police officers were authorized to ensure the street lamps were in proper working order and purchased barrels of oil so the night police units could fill and light the lamps and extinguish them in the morning.[1] By October 7, 1881, the Gas Light and Fuel Company b
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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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