COLUMNIST MARILYN HAGERTY -- 100 years ago: GF opened its first public rink

This month, Grand Forks residents are talking about a new fitness center and contemplating a new library. One hundred years ago this month, the issue was a skating rink in Riverside Park.

This month, Grand Forks residents are talking about a new fitness center and contemplating a new library. One hundred years ago this month, the issue was a skating rink in Riverside Park.

There had been a need for a skating rink in Grand Forks for a long time, the Herald declared. And there was a need for the street car railway to run down to the rink.

At that time, the city Park Board passed a resolution to let the railroad enter the park. By the end of November, the Riverside Rink was ready and filled with old and young devotees, the newspaper reported.

It was the first public skating rink for Grand Forks.

The new Roosevelt School also was opened at that time between 9th and 10th avenues, facing Cottonwood Street. The building had 10 rooms and a spacious assembly hall on the third floor.


The architect was J.W. Ross. The building now is used for apartments.

All eyes were focused on the elections in November 1910 when Gov. John Burke, a Democrat, was reelected with help of progressive forces from around the state.

Burke was from Devils Lake, and the last rally before the election was held in his home town. More than 2,000 people and four brass bands showed up for the event in the Opera House.

There would be another whirl of vaudeville here in November 1910, the Herald reported. Carpenter and Churchill were featured in a laugh-a-lot Irish skit at McCarty's Hotel. The event promised to provide a continuous laugh from start to finish with motion pictures and illustrated songs. Admission was 10 cents.

And the newspaper duly reported that Father Maxwell, speaking at St. Michael's Church, declared even in Old Ireland, people were not more generous or self- sacrificing than in Grand Forks. He had high praise for the women who had charge of a bazaar held in the church.

In a section of "Notes from the social corner," the Herald reported that "the dancing parties are coming thick and fast now, and a charge of North Dakota lovers of the terpsichorean art will have plenty of opportunity to gratify themselves.

"The Masons have announced their opening date for the winter's entertainment, and Dec. 7 has been set for their first dancing party. The Masonic dances are among the most delightful of the winter's entertainments, and invitations are eagerly awaited."

The word "terpsichorean" may have been common 100 years ago, but a reader today probably would have to look it up to find out that it means "having something to do with music."


The popularity of dancing also was reflected in the following Herald report: "The Elks opened their season of entertaining in their fine new home with a dance and at least 60 couples in attendance."

The Herald's advertisements in November 1910 reflect a feeling of life a century ago:

** The Ontario Store was holding its 29th anniversary sale. Grocery savings included two gallons of Fancy table syrup for 69 cents. And there were hundreds of specials in silks, dress goods, underwear, wool and cotton blankets and hosiery in the dry goods department.

** The Columbia Hotel was running an ad that boasted 110 rooms -- 25 with private baths -- and the finest popular-priced cafe in the state. Room rates were 50 cents to $2.

** Metropolitan Theater featured "A Broken Bow" early in November. Later it was showing, "Paid in Full."

** Twenty-two large and small grocery stores gave out free bars of Palmolive soap during November 1910. The grocery ads featured Post Toasties and Grape Nuts cereals.

** E.J. Lander Co. ran a listing of houses for rent in Grand Forks with monthly rentals ranging from $7 to $25 a month.

** "Your turnover and wing collars will get the greatest amount of satisfaction and wear when laundered by our method," the Troy Laundry ad read.


"A trial will convince you."

** While Grand Forks residents today consider the cost increases necessary for Dial-a-Ride services, Grand Forks residents in 1910 had different ways of getting around:

"Do not worry," read one ad.

"If you want to be on time for a party, a train or any engagement, just phone 11. We will see that you are on time. Hacks day or night. We also do dray, baggage and transfer work. Only low down moving van in the city. Office opposite G.N. depot. -- Jeff's Transfer."

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