logo

Category

Firsts

Fargo’s First Christmas Tree

Fargo’s First Christmas Tree   In 1873 the people of Fargo went to church services in Moorhead as a church had not been established.  As the people of Fargo believed that the Christmas tree being planned for in Moorhead was more for the children of that church they decided to have their own.  Two trees were sent for but were stolen mid route.  It was decided that the men from Moorhead that were suspected o
Read More

Northern Pacific Railroad: Fargo’s first industry

Railroad: The First Industry in Fargo   [1]                                                             [3]         When the N.P.R.R. crossed the Red River in 1871the city of Fargo was formed. The railroad fueled the city, bringing in large numbers of people and along with the people came the need for industry. Fargo grew around the railroad tracks as is visible in the above 1880 photograph.
Read More

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
Read More

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
Read More

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
Read More

Rivers and Railroads

 The Anson Northop was the first boat on the Red River, but the Alsop was among the first boats doing business on the river during the early boom days of Fargo’s infancy.  Likewise, lumberyards and granaries erected near the river or on its banks facilitated efficient transfer of goods and services arriving and departing along the Red River and accommodated around 300 railroad car loads of lumber and tons of refined
Read More

The First Post Office

Even in 1876, Fargo’s first post office, although small, was well-fitted to serve the citizens, conveniently located next to the bank, and marked another step towards Fargo becoming a city unto itself.  By 1883, the town had grown enough that The Fargo City Council resolved to begin mail delivery in Fargo.  Seven years later, they began petitioning Representative Hansbrough and Senator Pierce to fund a $250,000 publi
Read More

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
Read More

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
Read More

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
Read More