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Published September 29, 2009, 06:55 AM

COLUMNIST MARILYN HAGERTY: When steamboats carried grain on the Red

The steamer Grand Forks arrived here 100 years ago with 30,000 bushels of grain in barges. It was leaving the next morning to pick up more grain to be unloaded at Oslo, Minn. The Red River Transportation Co. was finding it impossible to handle all of the demands of grain growers along the Red River, the Herald reported.

By: Marilyn Hagerty, Grand Forks Herald

The steamer Grand Forks arrived here 100 years ago with 30,000 bushels of grain in barges. It was leaving the next morning to pick up more grain to be unloaded at Oslo, Minn.

The Red River Transportation Co. was finding it impossible to handle all of the demands of grain growers along the Red River, the Herald reported.

Two elevators were being built along the river. And William Sorensen, transportation company manager, announced plans to build another steamboat next spring. The steamboat Fram was soon to be put into use to handle grain to the south on the river; The Grand Forks was handling grain to the north. There were plans for a third steamboat.

And at the same time, people were thinking of starting steamboat excursions by moonlight for pleasure.

Diamond Mill was the largest manufacturing concern in Grand Forks in 1909. It had ground 717,114 bushels of wheat. The mill was owned by Russell-Miller Milling Co.

Among other businesses in Grand Forks were Hotel Northern, Frederick Hotel, Logan’s Dairy Lunch, Columbia Hotel, E.J.Lander Co., Benner, Beggs and Gowan, McGrath’s Pharmacy, R.B. Griffith and Geo I. Munro Jeweler.

o o o

There was a flurry of concern around Grand Forks in fall 1909. The question was whether the Metropolitan Theater had a stage large enough to present “The Shepherd King.” The production was coming from New York City.

After the rumors that the melodrama could not be staged here, Col. W.A. Thompson of New York City arrived here with representatives of Walker Bros. of Winnipeg, then owner of the Met theater in this city and the Winnipeg and Fargo theaters. They measured the stage, which was commodious, and checked out the lighting capacity.

They found with great glee that the theater could handle the New York production, which had been a big investment. They hoped it would be an event of the decade and a new era for the Metropolitan.

“To have a show like ‘The Shepherd King’ come to the Met for three nights is something that never happened before,” the Herald reported.

“Thompson assured everyone the show would be given exactly as it was in New York. And there would be a crew of carpenters to handle the scenery.”

o o o

“Weary Willies Boosted Along” read the headline over the following story in September 1909:

“Five hoboes who made their camping place on 13th Street near University Avenue were escorted beyond the city yesterday by Chief Overby and officer Dan Leahy.

“The quintet had been driven outside of town once before but camped in the suburbs. So yesterday, the two officers made the trip on the street car and drove them out so far there is little likelihood of their coming back.

“About 100 pairs of shoestrings was the only article of merchandise the bunch possessed that could be turned into money.”

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