Crow Wing County Historical Society (webpage header)


Downtown Brainerd Then and Now


Since the beginning of the city of Brainerd in 1871, many very fine buildings have been built by people who had faith in the city and were willing to invest their time, energy and money in its future. A great number of these buildings have been destroyed by fires, demolished, or ‘remuddled’. ‘REMUDDLING’ is defined as greatly compromising the original integrity of a building by adding to, or removing original architectural details from the building, which greatly impairs or erases its original character. The following images are an attempt to show what was once Brainerd and what has been done to erase the original façades of some of the remaining older buildings in this city. ‘REMUDDLING’ is not to be confused with renovating. I leave it to the viewer to determine which term is descriptive of what has occurred with the buildings displayed on this page.

Over the years the addresses of some of these buildings have changed, consequently, they may not be current. Unfortunately, in some instances, the quality of the images used on this page leaves a lot to be desired; that is because good quality images could not be found.

Many thanks to Carl Faust for taking all of the current day building photos.

Ann M. Nelson



— — — —FRONT STREET—WEST TO EAST— — — —

LAST TURN SALOON, 324 Front Street
BRAINERD WHOLESALE GROCERY, 401 Front Street
MIDLAND HOTEL and RESTAURANT, 402 Front Street
BRAINERD FLOUR & FEED COMPANY, 411-415 Front Street
ANTLERS HOTEL, 418 Front Street
GLOBE HOTEL, 420-424 Front Street
FIRE HALL, 427 Front Street
PARK OPERA HOUSE, 509 Front Street
TOWNE-McFADDEN BLOCK, 512-514 Front Street
BLY’S BLOCK, 516-524 Front Street, 204-212 South Sixth Street
FIRST NATIONAL BANK, 602 Front Street
HENRY P. DUNN DRUG STORE, 606 Front Street
SLEEPER BLOCK, 608 Front Street
GRANDELMYER BLOCK, 612 Front Street
WALVERMAN BLOCK, 614-618 Front Street
ANNA BLOCK, 620-624 Front Street, 206-212 South Seventh Street
CULLEN BLOCK, 702 Front Street
MURPHY’S DRY GOODS STORE, 704 Front Street
PALACE THEATRE, 708 Front Street
HAROLD CLEANERS, 716 Front Street
NORTHERN PACIFIC FREIGHT DEPOT, 717 Front Street
NORTHERN PACIFIC CREDIT UNION, 718 Front Street
LOSEY & DEAN Undertakers, 720 Front Street
STANDARD OIL BULK STATION, 801 Front Street
BRAINERD FRUIT COMPANY, 809 Front Street
NORTHERN PACIFIC HOTEL, 814 Front Street
C & L CAFÉ, 820 Front Street

— — — —LAUREL STREET—WEST TO EAST — — — —

CROW WING COUNTY CENTRAL SERVICES, 202 Laurel Street
CROW WING COUNTY COMMUNITY SERVICES BUILDING, 204 Laurel Street
CROW WING COUNTY JUDICIAL CENTER, 213 Laurel Street
CROW WING COUNTY LAW ENFORCEMENT CENTER, 304 Laurel Street
CROW WING COUNTY JAIL & SHERIFF’S RESIDENCE, 320 Laurel Street
HISTORIC CROW WING COUNTY COURT HOUSE, 326 Laurel Street
LAUREL DAIRY, 411 Laurel Street
COMMERCIAL HOTEL, 422 Laurel Street
ARMORY, 423 Laurel Street
GREYHOUND BUS DEPOT, 502 Laurel Street
CITY HALL, 507 Laurel Street
PURDY’S LIVERY STABLE, 512-516 Laurel Street
IRON EXCHANGE BUILDING, 517-523 Laurel Street, 216-224 South Sixth Street
CENTRAL HOTEL, 520 Laurel Street
LYCEUM BUILDING, 602 Laurel Street
ELKS BUILDING, 605 Laurel Street
ESSER’S BAR, 608 Laurel Street
NATIONAL HOTEL BUILDING, 610-612 Laurel Street
PARKER BLOCK, 613-615 Laurel Street, 222-224 South Seventh Street
ALDERMAN-MAGHAN HARDWARE, 616-618 Laurel Street
CITIZENS STATE BANK, 624 Laurel Street
JUEL BLOCK, 700-708 Laurel Street
SKAUGE DRUG STORE, 710-712 Laurel Street
LAUREL EAT SHOP, 711-715 Laurel Street
BRAINERD ELECTRIC COMPANY, 714-716 Laurel Street
LAUREL BLOCK, 718-720 Laurel Street
CHET’S TV & APPLIANCES, 719 Laurel Street
SLIPP BLOCK, 721-723 Laurel Street
MONTGOMERY WARD STORE, 722 Laurel Street
O’BRIEN CENTER, 804 Laurel Street
LAMPERT LUMBER COMPANY, 824 Laurel Street
DIXON’S ELECTRIC, 905 Laurel Street
GREAT RIVER DOOR COMPANY, 1001 Laurel Street
TOLTZ GAS PLANT, 1014 Laurel Street

— — — —MAPLE STREET—WEST TO EAST — — — —

ARHART DENTAL CLINIC, 501 Maple Street
MAPLE STREET LAW OFFICES, 510 Maple Street
MAPLE STREET STORES, 613-621 Maple Street
FITZSIMONS-ECHTERNACHT CLINIC, 623 Maple Street, 322 South Seventh Street
SCHAEFER’S MODEL MARKET, 712 Maple Street

— — — —SOUTH FOURTH STREET—NORTH TO SOUTH— — — —

E. HESSEL IMPLEMENT COMPANY, 124 South Fourth Street

— — — —SOUTH FIFTH STREET—NORTH TO SOUTH— — — —

EARL HOTEL, 214-216 South Fifth Street
FIRE HALL, 215 South Fifth Street

— — — —SOUTH SIXTH STREET—NORTH TO SOUTH— — — —

BRAINERD THEATER-BAEHR BUILDING, 119 South Sixth Street
NORTHERN PACIFIC YMCA, 124 South Sixth Street
DRESSEN BLOCK, 213 South Sixth Street
ODD FELLOWS’ BLOCK, 214 South Sixth Street
BRAINERD DISPATCH BUILDING, 215 South Sixth Street
COLUMBIAN BLOCK, 216-218 South Sixth Street
ART’S SPORTING GOODS, 302 South Sixth Street
VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS [VFW], 307 South Sixth Street
IMGRUND AUTO COMPANY, 309 South Sixth Street
SHERLUND AND COMPANY GARAGE, 312-314 South Sixth Street
TURCOTTE BROTHERS, 315-317 South Sixth Street
FRED DREXLER’S BLACKSMITH SHOP, 316-324 South Sixth Street
CANNIFF PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIO, 319 South Sixth Street
MIRACLE BLOCK, 320 South Sixth Street
SCHAEFER’S MODEL FOOD MARKET, 323 South Sixth Street
STANDARD OIL SERVICE STATION, 402-404 South Sixth Street
POST OFFICE, 403 South Sixth Street
PALACE HOTEL, 422 South Sixth Street

— — —SOUTH SEVENTH STREET—NORTH TO SOUTH— — —

REILLY BLOCK, 209-211 South Seventh Street
PHILLIPS-BEARE BLOCK, 213-215 South Seventh Street
OPSAHL BLOCK, 214 South Seventh Street
PATEK BUILDING, 216 South Seventh Street
GRUENHAGEN BLOCK, 217-219 South Seventh Street
OHIO BLOCK, 220 South Seventh Street
KOOP BLOCK, 221 South Seventh Street, 701 Laurel Street
DUTCH ROOM BAR, 305 South Seventh Street
LOG CABIN BAR & CAFÉ, 318-320 South Seventh Street
NATIONAL TEA GROCERY STORE, 323 South Seventh Street
NORTHWESTERN BELL TELEPHONE BUILDING, 402 South Seventh Street
MILLS MOTOR, 414-416 South Seventh Street
YDE APARTMENT BUILDING, 418 South Seventh Street

— — —SOUTH EIGHTH STREET—NORTH TO SOUTH— — —

STANDARD OIL SERVICE STATION, 201 South Eighth Street
BROADWAY CAFÉ, 213 South Eighth Street
BRAINERD MODEL LAUNDRY BUILDING, 214 South Eighth Street
SLEEPER OPERA HOUSE, 215-219 South Eighth Street
O’BRIEN’S DEPARTMENT STORE, 221 South Eighth Street, 801 Laurel Street
FIRST LUTHERAN CHURCH, 424 South Eighth Street

— — —SOUTH NINTH STREET—NORTH TO SOUTH— — —

STAR CAFÉ, 210-212 South Ninth Street
ELKS CLUB, 215 South Ninth Street
YESTERDAY’S GONE, 219 South Ninth Street
SWEDISH MISSION CHURCH, 323 South Ninth Street
IMAGE CREDITS
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


— — — —FRONT STREET—WEST TO EAST— — — —
LAST TURN SALOON, 324 Front Street
THEN:
324 Front Street, ca. Unknown.
Source: Unknown
On July 23, 1872 a vigilante lynch mob used a tree outside the Last Turn Saloon on the southwest corner of 4th and Front to hang two brothers of mixed American Indian and European descent who were accused in the April 1972, disappearance of 21-year-old Ellen McArthur. On 21 July 1913 this building was demolished. This saloon was probably the most notorious den of iniquity in Brainerd during its lifetime.

NOW:
Historical marker, East lawn of the Judicial Center, South Fourth Street

BRAINERD WHOLESALE GROCERY, 401 Front Street
THEN:
401 Front Street, ca. 1910.
Source: Special Publication, 02 September 1910, Brainerd Tribune, A. J. Halsted, Editor and Publisher
401 Front Street, ca. 1910.
Source: Special Publication, 02 September 1910, Brainerd Tribune, A. J. Halsted, Editor and Publisher
401 Front Street, ca. 1930.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
This building was owned and built in 1901 by Dr. Werner Hemstead, J. F. McGinnis, of Brainerd and W. H. Cleary, of St. Paul, and was first known as the Brainerd Wholesale Grocery Company. Charles B. Rowley was awarded the contract to construct the three story (including the basement) solid brick wholesale house. In the late 1920s it was sold to the Nash-Finch Company.

NOW:
401 Front Street, 12 November 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
401 Front Street, 12 November 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
401 Front Street, 12 November 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
The original bricks and character of this historic building have been completely obliterated.
Printing

MIDLAND HOTEL and RESTAURANT, 402 Front Street
THEN:
402 Front Street, ca. 1900s.
Source: Jodi N. Sather
402 Front Street, ca. 1960s.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
Known in the late 1890s as the Midland Hotel and Restaurant; in the early 1900s this building housed a steam laundry. In its later years, the building housed the Army-Navy Store, H. R. Davis Hide & Fur, Fieldmans, a law office, etc. It burned down on 03 March 2015.

NOW:
402 Front Street, 12 November 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
Vacant lot

BRAINERD FLOUR & FEED COMPANY, 411-415 Front Street
THEN:
Housed Brainerd Flour and Feed in 1901-1905, in the 1920s, the Louis R. Tanner Wholesale Flour and Feed Company; in the 1930s, the Crow Wing Feed Mill and the Pillsbury Mills Incorporated in the 1940s-1950s.

NOW:
411-415 Front Street, 12 November 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
411-415 Front Street, 12 November 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
It is believed the first photo is the original brick building of the early flour and feed store building, which has been covered with the fake EIFS siding made of styrofoam, now so popular in Brainerd.
Unknown

ANTLERS HOTEL, 418 Front Street
THEN:
418 Front Street, ca. 1909.
Source: Carl Faust
First known as the Clarendon Hotel, its name was changed by John Bubar, its owner, to the Lumberman’s Hotel on 23 September 1887. After a huge fire in downtown Brainerd destroyed this hotel and many other buildings on 30 June 1888, it was rebuilt by Bubar and was opened with a grand ball on 30 November 1888. The name was changed to the Antlers Hotel in early October of 1896. Its proprietor in 1909 was Adam A. Armstrong. On 23 January 1917, a fire destroyed the Antlers Hotel, the Ideal Hotel, formerly the Globe Hotel, and a couple of other buildings, causing an estimated loss of $50,000. William Deering, 55, a boilermaker, and Thomas F. Lamb, 76, a flagman, both employed by the Northern Pacific railroad, roomers at the Antlers Hotel, lost their lives in the fire.

NOW:
Salvation Army

GLOBE HOTEL, 420-424 Front Street
THEN:
420-424 Front Street, ca. 1900.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
424 Front Street, 1970.
Source: Brainerd Daily Dispatch
The three buildings shown in the first image above, though built separately over time, became part of what eventually became known as the Globe Hotel. It is not known exactly when the center building housing the original hotel was built, however, it was likely sometime in the late 1880s or early 90s. It was, for many years, a favorite gathering place, since it had a bowling alley in the basement. Late in its life the hotel became a Mecca for the last of the loggers. The building was also once known as the Rex Hotel and the Ideal Hotel. It burned on 23 January 1917 along with the Antlers Hotel which was located next door. In 1931, the Conklin Chevrolet Motor Company, owned by Rollo D. Conklin, occupied this address. From 1949, possibly before, until sometime in the 1960s, John Konshak operated the Konshak Chevrolet & Cadillac dealership at this address. At some point in the 1960s Galvin-Kolar took over the business and during that period John Galvin became the sole owner; it is believed it was he who built this building. Over the years the building housed Minnegasco.

NOW:
424 Front Street, 12 November 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
424 Front Street, 12 November 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
Salvation Army

FIRE HALL, 427 Front Street
THEN:
427 Front Street, ca. June 1897
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
The building housing the first hook and ladder company in Brainerd was likely built sometime in the mid-1870s at this location. In early February of 1882, it was decided to repair the old hook and ladder house on Front Street, which was then occupied as a furniture warehouse. A tower was erected on the top of the building, and a suitable fire alarm bell was installed in it. A new combined fire and city hall was built in April of 1884 at a cost of $1,437.73. The new municipal courtroom and firemen's quarters on the second floor were completed in early July of 1884. The courtroom, a private consultation room, a judge’s bench and a raised platform for the accommodation of the jurymen occupied the front. A railing was built across the room for the purpose of keeping the spectators in their proper place. Firemen occupied the room in the rear. The rooms were plastered, wainscoted and grained and were pronounced a credit to the city. In January of 1894 a two-story addition was made to the building to house newly purchased horses and other fire equipment. In July a new floor was laid in the building and a shed was built on the west side of the hall in which the hose as well as the hook and ladder truck were stored. In May of 1895 a telephone was installed. In July of 1898 a seventy foot steel bell tower was placed on top of the building along with a flagpole rising twenty-five feet above the tower. In May of 1901 major repairs were authorized and after the Park Opera House was completed, the city council and other city offices were moved into the second story of that building. This building was condemned in May 1916 and finally torn down in the fall of that year. Some years later, in the 1930s-1960s, this location was occupied by Russell's Creamery Company and Johnson Cigar Company.

NOW:
520 Front Street, 12 November 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
520 Front Street, 12 November 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
Vacant

PARK OPERA HOUSE, 509 Front Street
THEN:
509 Front Street, ca. 1901.
Source: Postcard
509 Front Street, 1914.
Source: University of Minnesota Libraries
509 Front Street, 1994.
Source: Unknown
The Park Opera House was built in 1901 by George LaBar, Ransford R. Wise and George Holland, the architect was J. J. Wangenstein, of Duluth; the contractor was Charles B. Rowley, (builder of the Carnegie Library) of Brainerd, total cost of the building was between $17,000-$20,000. The building was 59x111 feet with seating for something over 800. The brick to be used in the building was to be the best Duclos, of Little Falls manufacture, and all four sides were to be laid in colored mortar. The trimming stone, as shown in the plans and specifications, was to be “Portage Entry Stone,” free from any white spots, and the arch over the main entrance and cap stones for windows were to be of sandstone, of the full thickness of the walls, with cut sides and beds and rock face. The steps of the front entrance and door sills throughout were to be of Kettle River sandstone, of brush hammer finish. In 1914 the opera house was remodeled and became the New Park Theatre. The building was remodeled again in 1919 and 1920. In 1929 $150,000 was spent on a major remodeling and the building was renamed the Paramount Theatre. The Paramount Theatre, declared a Historic Site in 1971, was demolished in April 1994.

NOW:
509 Front Street, 12 November 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
Parking lot

TOWNE-McFADDEN BLOCK, 512-514 Front Street
THEN:
512-514 Front Street, ca. 1885.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
Built in 1885 of approximately 190,000 Schwartz cream bricks at a cost of $7,000-$10,000 by Harry A. Towne, formerly general superintendent of the Northern Pacific Railroad, who was located in Brainerd for some seven years, and druggist, Newton McFadden. The building was regarded as one of the handsomest in the city when completed and was 50x80 feet, two stories high with a basement. The façade of the building was to be of pressed brick with mammoth French plate glass windows; a five foot hallway leading to the rooms above, housing offices, etc., divided the stores. The two walls which were used for the stairway ran through the entire building on the ground floor, with closets behind the stairway. On 02 May 1928, J. Herschel Hardy, of Chicago, purchased the Towne and McFadden Block and the Ransford Hotel, stores and annex; it was the largest real estate deal in Brainerd for many years. Allegedly this block burned down, however, no evidence of this has yet been found.

NOW:
Parking lot

BLY’S BLOCK, 516-524 Front Street, 204-212 South Sixth Street
THEN:
522-524 Front Street, 1904.
Source: Out of the Woods
516-524 Front Street, 204-212 South 6th Street ca. 1910s.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
Bly’s Block, shown in the first image above, was owned by Eber H. Bly and built in 1872 by local contractors Ed White and sons Isaac U. White and Charles B. White; it was two and a half stories high with a fifty-foot front, ornamented with rich cornices and large windows, heavy doors with a rich coating of white paint. The inside of the grand structure—70 feet in length—was plastered with hard finish, and divided into two beautiful storerooms all countered and shelved in fine style. The two storerooms were connected by a richly arched passage way about midway of their length, while at the rear end another archway led to the counting room projecting out into either storeroom. Each of the storerooms held distinct classes of goods, one contained the heavier, coarser classes of goods, the other the more showy, fancy classes. Above, was the public hall, fifty feet square, with a high ceiling and good ventilation and a suite of private offices in the rear, while in the third story was a hall 25x70 feet, finely adapted for a lodge room. When it was built, it was the finest building in town. The building was purchased by Ransford R. Wise in 1895 for $16,000. It burned down on 30 January 1905 and was replaced by an extension of the Ransford Hotel later in 1905. The Ransford Hotel was built of red brick in 1904-05 by Ransford R. Wise and contracted to the builder, Alex Nelson, of Perham, it extended west on Laurel Street for about a half-block and south on South Sixth Street for a little less than a half-block. It was, for many years, the grandest hotel in the city. The building was condemned by the city of Brainerd in 1972 and sat empty until August of 1975 when it was demolished at a cost of $43,400 to the city. The Ransford Hotel was located at 516-524 Front Street, 204-212 South Sixth Street.

NOW:
200 South 6th Street, 12 November 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
200 South 6th Street, 12 November 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
Credit union

FIRST NATIONAL BANK, 602 Front Street
THEN:
602 Front Street, ca. 1895.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
602 Front Street, ca. 1925.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
Built in 1882 by W. W. Hartley and G. G. Hartley; Grygla & Salden, of Minneapolis, had the contract to finish the cornices. In 1916 the building was purchased by the officers of the bank and remodeled—the first of three such remodelings. The plans were drawn by Postle & Fisher, architects of Chicago. The remodeling was done under the direction of the A. H. Andrews Co., of Chicago, who were one of the oldest and largest bank fixtures manufacturers in the country and were the people who installed the first fixtures in the First National bank in 1882. They installed all counters, fixtures and furniture. The general contract was awarded to Alex Nelson, of Perham, who built the Ransford hotel. Considerable engineering ability and ingenuity was exercised by Contractor Alex Nelson in taking down the old walls, replacing them with the beautiful front of gray semi-glazed brick trimmed with terra cotta to match. The front entrance was built of terra cotta and surmounted by a clock. A prominent feature of the north and west fronts were the name plates of gold letters in terra cotta. The Drake Marble and Tile Co. of St. Paul had the contract for the marble work. Decorating was done by George R. Stewart & Co. of Chicago. Wilmarth & Co., of Chicago, made the electric fixtures. The clocks were made by the Seth Thomas Clock Company, of Thomaston, Connecticut. Five thousand people attended the grand opening on Saturday, 24 February 1917. The automobile is a 1919 Pan Model A Touring Car made in St. Cloud by the Pan Motor Company operated by Sam Connor Pandolfo. The current address of this building is 201 South Sixth Street.

NOW:
602 Front Street, 16 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
602 Front Street, 01 July 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
602 Front Street, 01 July 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
The large windows and the stately front entrance on Front Street have been closed up. On the interior of the building, where the windows once were, large photos have been reproduced and are shown in the space as if the windows were still in working order. One of these shows the Ransford Hotel ca. 1905 and one shows the building of the water tower in 1919.
Fine furnishings, home decor, antiques

HENRY P. DUNN DRUG STORE, 606 Front Street
THEN:
606 Front Street, ca. 1925.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
606 Front Street, ca. 1910.
Source: Special Publication, 02 September 1910, Brainerd Tribune, A. J. Halsted, Editor and Publisher
From 1895 to April of 1900, Henry Dunn was employed by and associated with the McFadden Drug Company. In April of 1900, M. K. Swartz sold his drug business to H. P. Dunn & Company for $12,000 in cash. Mr. Dunn was in charge of the store which was then called the Central Drug Store located next to the First National Bank on Front Street. Dunn established a strong reputation for pure drugs and prescriptions, and carried a complete assortment of toilet articles, cigars and stationery. In 1910 he purchased the interests of his partners and the business became known as the H. P. Dunn Drug Store. Henry Dunn was the mayor of Brainerd from 1911-1913 and postmaster from 1914-1923 and from 1933-1940.

NOW:
606 Front Street, 17 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
At the street level, the large storefront window has been reduced in size. The second story windows are half their original size.
Community mental health treatment

SLEEPER BLOCK, 608 Front Street
THEN:
608 Front Street, ca. 1881.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
608 Front Street, ca. 1910s.
Source: Special Publication, 02 September 1910, Brainerd Tribune, A. J. Halsted, Editor and Publisher
608 Front Street, ca. 1920s.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
Owned by Chauncey B. Sleeper and constructed in August 1881, it was built in two sections, the first section was built on the east lot and the second was built on the west lot, adjoining what became the First National Bank building. A magnificent weathervane was placed on the roof and the corners were ornamented in fine style. Grygla & Salden, of Minneapolis, did the galvanized iron cornice work and roofing. It was one of the handsomest business blocks in the northwest and contained Sleeper’s elegant private billiard parlor in 1885. The building was located on Front Street next to the First National Bank building; and at various times during its existence it housed the Grandelmyer Millinery Shop, Bason Hardware Store, the Howe Lumber Company office and several early newspaper offices including the Brainerd Dispatch. It burned on 26 June 1907 and was rebuilt by local contractor, Charles B. White. In 1910 the east portion of the building housed the Grand Theatre, which hosted the vaudeville shows of the time. In 1920 the east portion of the building housed the Cosmo Billiard Parlor. In January 1923 the building was purchased by Edgar O. Webb and its front was replaced in the Summer of 1923; it was then renamed the Webb Block. On 25 January 1924 another fire caused $40,000 worth of damage to this building. The building on the right housed the Henry P. Dunn Drug Store.

NOW:
608 Front Street, 16 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
The beautiful large windows overlooking Front Street have been replaced.
Picture framing, sports cards

GRANDELMYER BLOCK, 612 Front Street
THEN:
612 Front Street, 1911.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
Built in March of 1904 by Caroline Grandelmyer, it housed her millinery and dressmaking shop. An apartment upstairs was her home until 1919 when she died. Caroline Grandelmyer was a daughter of Allan Morrison, longtime resident of old Crow Wing, for whom Morrison County was named. From about July 1911 to April 1927 the building housed the Olympia Candy Kitchen. In October of 1916 the Olympia purchased a new $3,600 soda fountain made and installed by Bergstedt Brothers, of St. Paul. It was about 30 feet long, the front of marble and the back of mahogany. The mirror was of plate glass 24 feet long. The inside of the fountain, consisting of a sink with hot and cold running water, draining boards and spoon trays, was of solid German silver. The grand opening of the new soda fountain was a scene of splendor, with the fountain flashing in rare marble and German silver, electric and gas light illumination, new chairs and tables, waiters busy serving the ice cream, confections and sodas for which the Olympia was famous while the local Imperial orchestra of four pieces played. In April 1927 the Olympia Candy Kitchen became the Fountain Inn at the same location. The Fountain Inn remained until a fire on 28 July 1930. In the 1950s-1960s the building housed the Winnipeg Bar.

NOW:
612 Front Street, 17 October 2017
Source: Carl Faust
The large second story windows overlooking Front Street have been replaced by smaller versions and, on the first story, the large storefront windows have been removed by rebuilding the front.
Bar and restaurant

WALVERMAN BLOCK, 614-618 Front Street
THEN:
614-618 Front Street, ca. 1910.
Source: Special Publication, 02 September 1910, Brainerd Tribune, A. J. Halsted, Editor and Publisher
This building was owned and built by Mrs. Elizabeth Koop; the local contractors were the White Brothers (Isaac U. White and Charles B. White). The building was built in 1904 for $19,600. In 1931 it housed the Brainerd Tribune, Marie Canan Photography, Edward J. Hoffmann, Cigar Manufacturer and two apartments.

NOW:
614-618 Front Street, 17 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
The size of the second story windows overlooking Front Street has been decreased by about half their original size and the first story storefront windows have been reconfigured on two of the businesses and on the café the storefront window has been decreased by half.
614 books, 616 café, 618 clothing

ANNA BLOCK, 620-624 Front Street, 206-212 South Seventh Street
THEN:
620-624 Front Street, 206-212 South 7th Street, ca. 1920s.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
212 South 7th Street, 1947.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
212 South 7th Street, 1918.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
Built in March of 1918 by Ransford R. Wise and named after his wife, Anna, it was a brick and stucco two story business block. The building plans were drawn by contractor Alex Nelson, of Perham, who built the building. In 1920 it housed the Anderson Photography Studio. The Anna Block also extended from 206-212 South Seventh Street. The new Red Owl Grocery Store opened to the public in this building at 210 South Seventh Street on 02 June 1923 with over 200 sales in the first two and one-half hours. The Red Owl Company was entirely a Minnesota concern and had been in business only one year, when it opened in Brainerd. The store was decorated exclusively in white and customers entered through a turnstile, making their own selections from easily accessible merchandise. Several clerks were always on hand to assist if patrons so desired; as each customer passed the cashier’s desk on leaving, their merchandise was wrapped and paid for. Begun by Walter Folsom in 1890, Folsom Music Company was housed in this building in the 1950s-1960s. On 05 January 1924, five businesses were ruined and ten families were displaced as fire caused about $50,000 in damage to the Anna Block. On 21 October 1991, eight businesses were ruined and more than 30 people were left without homes as fire destroyed the block. Damage from this fire was estimated at over $1 million, according to its owner. The fire was determined to have been caused by arson.

NOW:
620-624 Front Street, 206-212 South 7th Street, 16 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
620-624 Front Street, 206-212 South 7th Street, 29 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
Parking lot

CULLEN BLOCK, 702 Front Street
THEN:
702 Front Street, ca. 1890.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
702 Front Street, ca. 1910.
Source: Special Publication, 02 September 1910, Brainerd Tribune, A. J. Halsted, Editor and Publisher
The first image shows the Johnson & Bain Drug Store located on the northeast corner of Front and Seventh Streets. The building housed, left to right on Front Street in 1888: Shoes; Samuel Walker & Son, butcher; Richard Parker, dry goods & Elizabeth Parker, confectionery and fruit; and the Johnson & Bain Drug Store. Charles D. Johnson and Wallace Bain owned and operated the drug store. In 1905 this building was occupied by the Northern Pacific Bank and in 1907 the Citizens State Bank; the portion of the brick building on the left was owned and occupied by Richard Parker as a dry goods store in 1905. The frame building to the left, in 1905, was occupied by A. P. Reymond as a jewelry store. The frame building behind the drug store was occupied by A. F. Sorenson as a jewelry store in 1905. On 22 January 1907 a fire destroyed the building at the corner of Front and Seventh Streets. Shortly after the fire, Richard Parker built what eventually became the Murphy’s Dry Goods Store on Front Street. The Cullen Block was built by James Cullen likely sometime between 1907-1910. It has housed a number of businesses during its lifetime; the John M. Bye & Olaf A. Peterson clothing store in 1910, the Northwestern Telephone Exchange Company in 1910, Northwestern Bell Telephone in 1931 and Security Loan & Thrift in 1959.

NOW:
702 Front Street, 16 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
702 Front Street, 29 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
702 Front Street, 29 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
Some sort of hideous half-log siding has been stuck on the Front and Laurel Streets sections of this building, which has absolutely nothing to do with this BRICK building! The original bricks have been painted and the large storefront windows overlooking Front and Laurel Streets have been reduced by half.
Construction company on Front and Laurel Streets, vapor cigarettes on South 7th Street

MURPHY’S DRY GOODS STORE, 704 Front Street
THEN:
704 Front Street, ca. 1910.
Source: Special Publication, 02 September 1910, Brainerd Tribune, A. J. Halsted, Editor and Publisher
This building was first owned by Richard Parker and was built for him of white enameled brick by local contractors, the White Brothers (Isaac U. White & Charles B. White), about 1909. Located on the second floor was a beautiful seven-room apartment occupied by the owners of the building. In March of 1914 the building was purchased by George F. Murphy and Murphy’s Dry Goods Store was operated by George and his wife Rosa Koop Murphy for over fifty years.

NOW:
704 Front Street, 16 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
This once beautiful 108 year old WHITE ENAMELED BRICK building is in dire need of some tender, loving renovation! The large storefront windows in the first story have been reduced to less than half their original size.
Pawn shop

PALACE THEATRE, 708 Front Street
THEN:
708 Front Street, ca. 1938.
Source: Minnesota Digital Library
This building housed Dennis B. Mahoney’s Bakery in 1896 and the W. J. Wedell Bakery in 1903. In 1931 the façade was updated and it became the Palace Theatre, accommodating 475 patrons.

NOW:
708 Front Street, 17 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
The original façade of this building, since it was built sometime in the 1890s, has been completely erased.
American Legion Club

HAROLD CLEANERS, 716 Front Street
THEN:
716 Front Street, ca. 1960s.
Source: Unknown
In 1939 this was Hickman Cleaners. Owned and operated by Harold Reier and his wife Irene from about 1949 to 1973.

NOW:
716 Front Street, 16 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
Parking lot

NORTHERN PACIFIC FREIGHT DEPOT, 717 Front Street
THEN:
717 Front Street, ca. 2003.
Source: Northern Pacific Railway Historical Association
Built by the Northern Pacific Railroad in 1902, it is a solid brick, fireproof warehouse, 300 feet long and 50 feet wide. On 17 November 1902, freight agent, G. W. Mosler, and his office force moved into the new freight depot.

NOW:
717 Front Street, 16 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
717 Front Street, 16 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
717 Front Street, 16 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
Some of the original windows have been replaced; thankfully, many remain.
Unknown

NORTHERN PACIFIC CREDIT UNION, 718 Front Street
THEN:
This building once housed the State Employment Office in the 1950s and the Northern Pacific Credit Union in the 1960s and 1970s, before it moved to its current location and became known as the BN Credit Union.

NOW:
718 Front Street, 16 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
The large windows and door that once adorned the front of the brick building are now closed up and the window has been considerably reduced in size.
Law offices

LOSEY & DEAN Undertakers, 720 Front Street
THEN:
720 Front Street, ca. 1910.
Source: Special Publication, 02 September 1910, Brainerd Tribune, A. J. Halsted, Editor and Publisher
720 Front Street, ca. 1915.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
Losey & Dean were in the undertaking business from 1882 to 1914. H. C. Miller, of Brainerd, erected their new building on Front Street in 1888. The firm grew to be the largest in their lines in the city and at various times absorbed three other firms in similar lines. In addition to providing embalming services and funerals, if requested, Losey & Dean also provided cut flowers. They added a line of pictures and provided framing services. In October 1907, Dan E. Whitney joined the firm as the licensed embalmer and in January of 1914, he purchased the business. Whitney’s front sales room measured 16x23 feet, provided space for displaying pictures with the best lighting calculated to display to advantage his many other art treasures. The ceiling was of cream, the walls of tan Beaver board with strips of brown. The chapel and another display room were located in the center of the building, with his workshop in the rear. Steam heat was furnished by the Brainerd Model Laundry in 1915. Whitney died in 1954 and his business was purchased by John A. Nelson, becoming the Nelson Funeral Chapel. In 1956 Hector Hoenig moved to Mandan, North Dakota; Thomas Doran purchased the Hoenig Funeral Chapel and renamed it the Doran Funeral Home. In 1960 John Nelson and Thomas Doran combined their two funeral homes and became the Nelson-Doran Funeral Home, moving to northeast Brainerd.

NOW:
200 South 8th Street, 04 December 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
Current address, 200 South Eighth Street
Offices, abstracts and titles

STANDARD OIL BULK STATION, 801 Front Street
THEN:
The Standard Oil Company, on July 15, 1917, opened its new filling station at the company warehouse on the northeast corner of Broadway [South Eighth] and Front street. The price per gallon was 21.9 cents. The tank had a capacity of ten barrels and the pump was located thirty feet north of Front; it was a curb pump with room for two machines at a time. By 1919 the business, under Felix Graham, grew from one big storage tank to dozens, from a mule delivery to a big motor truck and from a few customers to thousands.

NOW:
801 Front Street, 16 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
Garage doors

BRAINERD FRUIT COMPANY, 809 Front Street
THEN:
809 Front Street, ca. 1920s.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
The Brainerd Fruit Company acquired the Brainerd Produce Company warehouse on Front Street on 28 October 1915. The warehouse had a full basement with a high ceiling and measured 40x60 feet. The basement offered storage for five railroad carloads of apples. A freight elevator was installed. On the main floor the office was partitioned off and occupied floor space 15x20 feet. The banana section took up 10x14 feet. A platform was built on the track side, permitting the easy handling of supplies and the new location did away with drayage costs from the Northern Pacific Freight Depot.

NOW:
Vacant lot

NORTHERN PACIFIC HOTEL, 814 Front Street
THEN:
It is not known who or exactly when this hotel was built, however, it is thought this building was built sometime in the early 1880s. In 1883 the building was owned by J. H. Koop.

NOW:
814 Front Street, 16 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
814 Front Street, 16 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
Games

C & L CAFÉ, 820 Front Street
THEN:
This location was once occupied by Lorraine’s Café in the 1940s and the C & L Café, operated by Doris Crabb in the 1950s.

NOW:
820 Front Street, 16 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
T-shirts

— — — —LAUREL STREET—WEST TO EAST — — — —
CROW WING COUNTY CENTRAL SERVICES, 202 Laurel Street
THEN:

NOW:
202 Laurel Street, 15 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
Same

CROW WING COUNTY COMMUNITY SERVICES BUILDING, 204 Laurel Street
THEN:

NOW:
204 Laurel Street, 15 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
Same

CROW WING COUNTY JUDICIAL CENTER, 213 Laurel Street
THEN:

NOW:
213 Laurel Street, 15 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
213 Laurel Street, 15 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
Same

CROW WING COUNTY LAW ENFORCEMENT CENTER, 304 Laurel Street
THEN:

NOW:
304 Laurel Street, 15 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
County sheriff’s office

CROW WING COUNTY JAIL & SHERIFF’S RESIDENCE, 320 Laurel Street
THEN:
320 Laurel Street, ca. 1922.
Source: Postcard
This was the second Crow Wing County Jail & Sheriff’s residence and was built in February 1916, Alden & Harris, architects of St. Paul, prepared plans and specifications for a new county jail and sheriff’s residence. They supervised the construction of the building costing approximately $28,000. Twenty jail cells were included in the 50x100 feet, two story high structure; it was built of Twin city mat brick topped with a tile roof. The sheriff’s residence was enclosed within the building. H. J. Frandsen of St. Paul was the general contractor, Slipp-Gruenhagen Company of Brainerd did the plumbing, heating and lighting. The Diebold Safe & Lock Company of St. Paul did the cell work. The building was completed in July of 1917. The historical society was organized in December of 1927 and it moved to this location in the spring of 1982. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

NOW:
320 Laurel Street, 15 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
The front porch has been enclosed.
Historical museum

HISTORIC CROW WING COUNTY COURT HOUSE, 326 Laurel Street
THEN:
326 Laurel Street, ca. 1920.
Source: Postcard
This was the second Crow Wing County Court House, the first was built in 1882 at the southeast corner of Kingwood and North Fourth Streets and is currently an apartment building. The second court house was built in 1919-1920 for approximately $280,000. Alden & Harris, St. Paul architects drew the plans for the building. The Minneapolis firm of J. & W. A. Elliott Co., were the general contractors. No wood of any kind was used in the building, except for a few window casings. The doors and all interior trim were metal and a black enamel crow decorated all the door knobs. Two bronze tablets were placed on either side of the entrance corridor, one bearing the names of the county officers and the other bearing the inscription: “In Honor and Memory of Those Who Served in the Defense of Our Country.” The building was formally accepted in July of 1921. This building is a classic Beaux Arts building, typical of the first quarter of the 20th century.  It is built of smooth-cut gray stone and stands 130x90 feet.  Above a high rough-cut stone basement or first floor, piers and columns reach two stories to the cornice. The interior has polished marble floors and walls, and a marble balconied rotunda.  A colored glass skylight dominates the interior dome, from which a fine brass electrolier with white glass fittings hangs above wide stairways. This building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

NOW:
326 Laurel Street, 15 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
Historic court house

LAUREL DAIRY, 411 Laurel Street
THEN:
411 Laurel Street, ca. 1940s.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
Laurel Dairy became the Land O’ Lakes Dairy sometime between 1953 and 1956.

NOW:
411 Laurel Street, 15 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
This once yellow brick building has pretty much been destroyed. The yellow bricks can still be seen where a sign has been removed.
Vacant

COMMERCIAL HOTEL, 422 Laurel Street
THEN:
422 Laurel Street, ca. 1888.
Source: Northwest Illustrated Monthly Magazine, Volume VI, Number 7, July 1888, E. V. Smalley, Editor and Publisher
The Commercial Hotel, also known as the Leland House, was built by Warren H. Leland in 1872; it originally had eighteen rooms but became a center of activity, which necessitated increasing its size to sixty rooms in 1879. As part of the enlargement of 1879 the building increased to 100 feet on Laurel Street. On 10 October 1890, a massive fire burned the Commercial, the oldest hotel on the line of the Northern Pacific, the old city jail, and the Catholic Church and parsonage and the Number One Saloon to the ground. About a block and a half in the business district was burned; the total damages were estimated to be between $75,000 and $150,000.

NOW:
422 Laurel Street, 04 December 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
422 Laurel Street, 04 December 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
This was the second post office built by the Federal Government in Brainerd; it was built sometime in the early 1960s.
Post office

ARMORY, 423 Laurel Street
THEN:
423 Laurel Street, ca. 1936.
Source: Minnesota Historical Society
423 Laurel Street, ca. 1940.
Source: Minnesota Historical Society
The Armory, costing $100,000, was completed in 1936 with $40,000 from the city of Brainerd and $60,000 from the federally funded Works Progress Administration (WPA), which was authorized on 20 November 1935. In 1936 a New Year’s Eve military ball combining brilliantly uniformed military personnel and formally dressed civilians was held as an informal dedication. On 15 May 1995 the city council put the building up for sale for $78,000; it was demolished on 22 May 1996 and replaced by a one-story strip-mall housing various offices.

NOW:
423 Laurel Street, 15 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
423 Laurel Street, 12 November 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
Strip mall containing law offices and abstract offices

GREYHOUND BUS DEPOT, 502 Laurel Street
THEN:
502 Laurel Street, ca. 1950s.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
502 Laurel Street, 2014.
Source: Unknown
Before it was "remuddled," the Greyhound Bus Depot, built in 1945, was a very fine example of the Moderne style of architecture, which was popular from 1930 to 1950 and was sometimes called the Art Moderne style. The Moderne style is closely related to the Art Deco style which developed just before it. Both are part of the Modern Movement in architecture, a conscious break with traditional design in pursuit of a new aesthetic free from the styles and forms of the past. For this reason, both the Art Deco style and the Moderne style are sometimes referred to as "Modernistic," although the two styles are distinctly different in appearance. The Art Deco style led to the development of a new, more streamlined, less ornamented style of architecture, the Moderne style of the 1930’s. Influenced by advancements in the industrial design of ships, planes, railroad engines and automobiles, the Moderne style is characterized by smooth walls with little surface ornamentation, rounded corners and curved glass. Moderne buildings have flat roofs, and bands of windows with a horizontal emphasis. Some buildings of this style have aluminum or stainless steel detailing. The Greyhound Bus Depot in Brainerd had a rounded corner at the entrance and a wide band of metal above the horizontal curved windows, reminiscent of the horizontal curved windows in Greyhound buses. This building was the only example of the Moderne style of architecture in the city of Brainerd!

NOW:
502 Laurel Street, 26 July 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
502 Laurel Street, 15 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
The original yellow glazed bricks are have been covered with a façade of fake stone called EIFS made of styrofoam, 26 July 2017. Thankfully, the rounded entrance and the original curved windows remain.
Eyecare

CITY HALL, 507 Laurel Street
THEN:
507 Laurel Street, 1918.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
In February 1914, $75,000 worth of bonds were sold to erect the building; $2,500 of them were purchased by the local Eagles Club. The architect was C. Howard Parsons of Alden & Harris, Minneapolis; the contractor was the Hodgin Construction Company of St. Paul. Alden & Harris were the architects for the Fire Hall built in 1914-15, the Crow Wing County Jail built in 1916-1917 and the Crow Wing County Courthouse built in 1919-20. The building is of pressed brick variegated in color and trimmed with light granite and dark stone. The building was first occupied on 29 April 1915.

NOW:
507 Laurel Street, 15 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
507 Laurel Street, 12 November 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
A side entrance, which does not match the building, containing an elevator has been added to the right side of the building and the original windows have been replaced; thankfully, the rest of the building remains as it was.
Same

PURDY’S LIVERY STABLE, 512-516 Laurel Street
THEN:
512-516 Laurel Street, ca. 1890.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
512-516 Laurel Street, ca. 1920s.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
512-516 Laurel Street, ca. 1930s.
Source: Minnesota Historical Society
The first photo shows Archie Purdy’s Livery Stable, prior to the building of the Lively garage, Purdy’s Livery Stable was located at 514 Laurel Street. On 26 September 1916, a fire was ignited in the hayloft by children playing with matches and the stable burned to the ground with an estimated loss of $10,000. The garage was built in 1919 of cement blocks, with a pressed brick front and measured 75x135 feet, two stories high, with a full basement. The basement provided storage rooms for cars, the heating plant, stock room for accessories, the radiator repair shop and battery station. The main floor contained the offices along with the display and sales room for automobiles; car storage and the wash rack were located in the rear. The second floor contained the repair and paint shop for cars, etc. The building also included an elevator. In the 1950s this building became the first Fleet Farm Store in Brainerd. Current address is 512 Laurel Street.

NOW:
512-516 Laurel Street, 15 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
It appears that several buildings have been encapsulated and a new addition has been made on the left, it would appear that some care was taken to match the color of the original bricks and the design of the top of the original building has been carried into this addition. The original storefront windows of the first story have been covered with the same material used to cover the bricks in the Greyhound Bus Depot and the law offices to the left. The second story windows have been replaced but they are the same size as the original.
Offices

IRON EXCHANGE BUILDING, 517-523 Laurel Street, 216-224 South Sixth Street
THEN:

517-523 Laurel Street, 216-224 South 6th Street ca. 1950s.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
517-523 Laurel Street, 216-224 South 6th Street, 1912.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
517-523 Laurel Street, 216-224 South 6th Street, 1930s.
Source: Unknown
517-523 Laurel Street, 216-224 South 6th Street, ca. 1950s.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
The Iron Exchange Building replaced the Columbian Block, built in 1893, after it burned on 28 October 1909. The 4,000 square foot, $150,000 building was financed by Ransford R. Wise, George W. Holland, William D. McKay and George D. LaBar; it was designed by J. E. Fisher, partner in the well known architectural firm of Thori, Alban & Fisher, of St. Paul, and built in 1910-1911 of yellow enameled brick by J. B. Nelson of Mankato. During the the 1940s-1960s the half-block long section of the building on Laurel Street housed the New Brainerd Hotel, the Vogue Supper Club and Dugout Bar and part of the Korner-Kut-Rate Drug Store. The second and third images above show the registration desk in the New Brainerd Hotel in 1912 and the hotel lobby in the 1930s. The fourth image shows the interior of the Vogue Supper Club in the 1950s. This building extended from 216-224 South Sixth Street and from 1928 until the late 1960s’ the section of the building on South Sixth Street housed the F. W. Woolworth Company, which had operated in Brainerd since 1912. On 22 July 1970, a fire doomed the landmark building which contained, at that time, the Gibson Store, the Vogue Supper Club and Dugout Bar, the New Brainerd Hotel, King’s Sporting Goods store, the Bargain Den, the Masonic Lodge and various offices. On 9 September 1970, the Brainerd City Council ordered owners Dick Knudsen and Bob Alderman to demolish the Iron Exchange building within 90 days.

NOW:
517-523 Laurel Street, 216-224 South 6th Street, 15 October 2017
Source: Carl Faust
Parking lot

CENTRAL HOTEL, 520 Laurel Street
THEN:
520 Laurel Street, ca. Unknown
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
Owned by Iver Holden and built for him in 1909 by Charles B. Rowley, Brainerd contractor. Prior to building this hotel, Iver Holden was the proprietor of a bar, restaurant and hotel called the Scandia at this location. The Scandia was destroyed by fire on 13 February 1909 and Holden let the contract for a new structure, which was to be called the Central Hotel, in April of 1909. It was 25x105 feet in size, two stories and basement, of solid brick, with pressed brick front. The building, when completed about July 15, was occupied by Mr. Holden as a hotel and saloon. Iver Holden continued as proprietor at least until 1932. In 1949 the building housed Sundberg Furniture and in 1959 it housed the Nolan & Alderman Law Office, with apartments on the second story.

NOW:
May have become part of the Lively Building

LYCEUM BUILDING, 602 Laurel Street
THEN:
602 Laurel Street, ca. 1920s.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
602 Laurel Street, ca. 1960.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
Built by J. M. Hayes to house the Columbia Theatre in 1914. The exterior of the theatre contained four bas reliefs of four angels with garlands, the frieze was painted in gold. The two arched entrances were studded with hundreds of electric lights. The building housed the Best Theatre from 1915 to 1920 and from 1920 to 1930 the Lyceum Theatre. In October of 1930 the lease was taken over by the Burg Company, a variety store. The interior and exterior of the building was completely remodeled at that time. In 1949 the building housed the Coast-to-Coast Store.

NOW:
602 Laurel Street, 15 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
602 Laurel Street, 12 November 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
602 Laurel Street, 12 November 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
The original windows on the second story have been reduced in size and the original front of the first story of the building has been erased. Fortunately, the building retains the large storefront windows overlooking Laurel Street.
Antiques and clothing

ELKS BUILDING, 605 Laurel Street
THEN:
605 Laurel Street, ca. 1930.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
605 Laurel Street, 03 April 1927.
Source: Unknown
Designed by N. W. Fisher, partner in the architectural firm of Schaefer and Fisher, of St. Cloud. The building cost approximately $115,000 and was built of light grey, smooth texture brick with a granite base; the façade was trimmed with terra cotta to match the brick. The design was Italian with the Elks emblem over the door of the entrance. The general contractor was Ed. Hirt and Son, of St. Cloud, Minnesota. The building was completed in December of 1926. Archer’s Café, operated by sisters Jessie and Helen Archer was the first café housed in this building on 03 April 1927. For many years Time Jewelry and Paul’s Shoe Store were housed in this building.

NOW:
605 Laurel Street, 15 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
605 Laurel Street, 12 November 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
This building retains all of its original façade, appears to be well maintained and continues to be a beautiful building.
601 coffee shop, 603 restaurant, 607 sports and fitness, 609 bookstore

ESSER’S BAR, 608 Laurel Street
THEN:
608 Laurel Street, ca. 1960s.
Source: John Faust
608 Laurel Street, ca. 1960s.
Source: John Faust
608 Laurel Street, ca. Unknown.
Source: Gary Thorman
Esser’s Bar was located here in 1949 and owned by Mel Esser. It was later known as the Red Velvet Lounge and the Blue Ox Bar.

NOW:
608 Laurel Street, 15 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
The original bricks of the building on the left (Esser’s Bar) have been uncovered and restored. The building on the left along with the building on the right are under construction to become a bar and restaurant. The building on the right once housed Cox’s Bakery and Economy Auto Supply in the 1950s-1960s.
Bar and restaurant

NATIONAL HOTEL BUILDING, 610-612 Laurel Street
THEN:
610-612 Laurel Street, ca. 1950s.
Source: Carl Faust
610-612 Laurel Street, 1987.
Source: Marilyn Rubbelke, Crow Wing County Historical Society
610 Laurel Street
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
610 Laurel Street
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
The National Hotel, 610-612 Laurel Street, was built in the early 1900s by the White Brothers (Isaac U. White and Charles B. White). For many years the building housed the Lakeside Bar and the Dotty Dunn Hat Shop as well as Sampson’s Shoe Store, owned and operated by Don and Theresa Sampson, from sometime in the 1940s to the 1970s. The Dotty Dunn hat shop then became Bud’s Jewelry, once owned by Bud Smilonich and owned by John Given when it burned in the Alderman’s fire of 1987. On 26 February 1987 fire swept through the 600 block of Laurel Street in downtown Brainerd, destroying Roberts Drug & Hallmark along with Alderman’s Hardware. At the time of the fire, the National Hotel Building, shown above, housed Link‘s Barber Shop, Alibi Bar (Lakeside Bar), Bud’s Jewelry (Dotty Dunn Hat Shop) and the T-Shirt Company (Sampson’s Shoe Store), all of which were destroyed in the fire. The stores in parenthesis were the businesses housed in the hotel building mostly in the 1950s-1960s.

NOW:
Parking lot

PARKER BLOCK, 613-615 Laurel Street, 222-224 South Seventh Street
THEN:
613-615 Laurel Street, 222-224 South 7th Street, 1908.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
613-615 Laurel Street, 222-224 South 7th Street, 1908.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
224 South 7th Street, ca. 1956.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
613-615 Laurel Street, ca. 1930.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
222 South 7th Street, ca. 1950s.
Source: Patti Becker Junge
The contract for the Parker Block was let to Leonard Schaf, of Wadena on 22 July 1908. The building is 50x140 feet, three stories high with a full basement. It was built of red pressed brick, trimmed with cut brown stone, in the Romanesque Revival architectural style, with massive simplicity being the key note rather than ornate ornamentation. The dominant features of this style of architecture are the molded semicircular arches for window and door openings. There are very few examples of a commercial building such as this one still in existence in the United States. The block contained the Citizens State Bank in the southeast corner, one store room fronting on Seventh street, and three fronting on Laurel street. The building cost, with the ground upon which it stands, between $40,000 and $50,000. It was equipped with the first electric elevator in Brainerd. The first floor contained, in addition to the banking room, four store rooms. The bank was 25x70 feet; of the three store rooms on Laurel Street, one was 18x50 feet and the other two were 25x50 feet each. The interior finish was hardwood throughout. The store, occupied by Johnson’s Pharmacy, was 24x90 feet and like the entire building except the banking quarters, was finished in birch. The second story was divided into 18 offices, so arranged that they could be used singly or en suite. There was a lavatory in nearly every room and there were two toilet rooms on that floor. The Knights of Pythias stated their intention of leasing the entire third story and engaged architect Young, of Duluth to plan the rooms for them. Con O’Brien purchased the building in 1920. The new Scott Store opened in the Parker Block on 15 August 1929 at 613-615 Laurel Street with a second entrance at 222 South Seventh Street; it was the first Scott Store to be established in Minnesota and was the 17th new store of a chain offering the public merchandise ranging in price from five cents to one dollar. At its opening, the store had an attendance of well over 10,000. This building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

NOW:
613-615 Laurel Street, 222-224 South 7th Street, 15 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
613-615 Laurel Street, 222-224 South 7th Street, 29 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
613-615 Laurel Street, 222-224 South 7th Street, 29 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
613-615 Laurel Street, 222-224 South 7th Street, 29 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
The original windows in the second and third story have been retained and the large storefront windows on the left have been retained, however, they have been surrounded by some kind of fake red brick. Unfortunately, the large storefront windows on the right have been covered by fading murals and the original bricks have been painted. This building needs to be cherished and kept in good repair.
224 Laurel Street, jewelry store; 613 Laurel Street, yarn, antiques; 222 South Seventh Street, hair and nails

ALDERMAN-MAGHAN HARDWARE, 616-618 Laurel Street
THEN:
616-618 Laurel Street, ca. 1970s.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
618 Laurel Street, ca. 1940s.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
Built at 616 Laurel Street by the White Brothers (Isaac U. White and Charles. B. White) in 1893, it housed their hardware store until they sold it to James H. Alderman, Amos J. Maghan and Henry C. Mills in 1920, at which time, it became Alderman-Maghan Hardware. In 1930 Alderman-Maghan became part of the Marshall-Wells Company, an association of independent hardware dealers. Prior to Alderman’s expanding to 618 Laurel Street, that address was occupied by the National Tea Store in 1949. On 26 February 1987, a fire swept through Alderman’s Hardware and several other businesses and apartments located in the 600 block of Laurel Street causing upwards of a million dollars in damages.

NOW:
616-618 Laurel Street, 15 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
Parking lot

CITIZENS STATE BANK, 624 Laurel Street
THEN:
624 Laurel Street, ca. 1923.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
Known as the Brainerd State Bank when it was built in the Colonial Style in 1922. The bank was closed and its assets were liquidated on 18 April 1924. In May of 1927 the Citizens State Bank bought the building and moved across Laurel Street.

NOW:
624 Laurel Street, 15 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
624 Laurel Street, 29 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
The original Colonial architectural style of this building has been completely obliterated.
Sporting goods

JUEL BLOCK, 700-708 Laurel Street
THEN:
700-708 Laurel Street, ca. 1970s.
Source: Sharon Christian, Postcard
Originally the location of the Imperial Block built in 1904 by W. D. McKay and purchased by Con O’Brien in 1917, the Imperial Block burned on 19 April 1924. Built by Con O’Brien in late 1924 and named the Juel Block after one of his daughters. W. L. Alban, of St. Paul, was the architect on this building, and C. B. Rowley, of Brainerd was the contractor. The building is faced with pressed brick decorated with gray stone. The original building was designed with three store rooms in the basement, four on the first floor and eight apartments on the second floor, some with four rooms and others with five rooms. Once housed Sande’s Bar & Grill, Singer Sewing Center, Lundborg’s Jewelry and the Frances Shoppe.

NOW:
700-708 Laurel Street, 15 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
700-708 Laurel Street, 29 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
700-708 Laurel Street, 29 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
The original windows remain on the second story.
700 employment, 704 candy, 706 unknown, 708 unknown

SKAUGE DRUG STORE, 710-712 Laurel Street
THEN:
712 Laurel Street, 1958.
Source: Brainerd Daily Dispatch
Skauge Drug Store Interior, 712 Laurel Street, ca. 1930s.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
710 Laurel Street, ca. 1975.
Source: Unknown
It is not currently known by whom or when this building was erected. Otis Skauge was the owner of the Skauge Drug Store, which occupied 712 Laurel Street from 1907 at least through 1958. In the mid-to-late 1970s Tom’s Pet & Hobby occupied the building.

NOW:
710-712 Laurel Street, 15 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
The original windows of the second story have been reduced in size and some hideous green stuff resembling some sort of paneling has been used to cover the original front. Fortunately the large storefront windows in the first story remain.
Gifts and wedding chapel

LAUREL EAT SHOP, 711-715 Laurel Street
THEN:
711-715 Laurel Street, ca. 1950s.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
It is not currently known by whom or when this building was erected. In 1920 the James E Brady saloon was located at 711, Kaupp’s Sanitary Meat Market at 715, Gardner Hat Shop at 717, James M. Graham harness shop at 719. In 1927 the first National Tea Grocery Store at 711. In 1932 the Princess Candy Kitchen at 715, Kwality Grocery at 717, James M. Graham shoe repair at 719, Laurel Eat Shop at 719. In 1949 Laurel Eat Shop at 715, Goggins Candy Shop at 715, Eddy’s Barber Shop at 717, Artistic Beauty Shop at 717, Sears Roebuck & Co. order office at 717, The Coffee Pot at 719, Graham shoe repair at 719 1/2. In 1951 Laurel Eat Shop at 715, Goggins Candy Shop at 715, Eddy’s Barber Shop at 717, Artistic Beauty Shop at 717, Sears Roebuck & Co. order office at 717, The Coffee Pot at 719, Graham shoe repair at 719. In 1953 Laurel Eat Shop at 715, Goggins Candy Shop at 715, Eddy’s Barber Shop at 717, Artistic Beauty Shop at 717, Bennyhoff’s Office Supply at 717, Vacant at 719, Graham shoe repair at 719. In 1956 Laurel Eat Shop at 715, Eddy’s Barber Shop at 717, Esther’s Beauty Shop at 717, Chet’s Radio Service-new building built 1954 at 719, Roel’s Children’s Shop at 719. In 1959 Farmer’s Insurance Group at 715, Hanson Insurance Agency at 715, Laurel Eat Shop at 715, Fran’s Children’s Shop at 717, Eddy’s Barber Shop at 717, Esther’s Artistic Salon at 717, Chet’s TV & Appliance at 719. In 1961: Laurel Eat Shop at 715; Holevas Apartments at 715 1/2; Artistic Beauty Salon at 717. In 1967: Laurel Eat Shop at 715; Holevas Apartments at 715 1/2; Esther’s Beauty Shop at 717. In 1968: Ron’s Watch Repair at 715. In 1971: Vacant at 713; Not listed at 715; Holevas Apartments at 715 1/2; Beauty Haven at 717. In 1973: Paul’s Shoe Store at 711; Not listed at 713; Not listed at 715. In 1974: Paul’s Shoe Store at 711; Not listed at 713; Not listed at 715; Beauty Haven at 717, Carter’s Barber Shop at 717; Ron’s Watch Repair at 717.

NOW:
711-715 Laurel Street, 15 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
The little balcony once located in the center of the second story has been closed up with glass blocks. The original bricks have been painted but the large storefront windows remain.
Art gallery, hair styling

BRAINERD ELECTRIC COMPANY, 714-716 Laurel Street
THEN:
714-716 Laurel Street, March 1921.
Source: Brainerd Daily Dispatch
714-716 Laurel Street, ca. Unknown.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
716 Laurel Street, ca. 1939.
Source: Carl Faust
It is not currently known by whom or when this building was erected. The earliest known occupant was Benson E. Dunham in 1920, who was an electrician. In 1921 this building was occupied by the Brainerd Electric Company who did the wiring for the Columbia Theatre in 1914, the First National Bank remodeling in 1916 and in the new court house in 1920. Judd Wright & Son occupied this building in 1932. The Dutch Room Bar, operated by Thomas H. McIntyre, occupied this location in 1939 and the Rosalin Style Shop and Happy Hour Bar occupied this location in the 1950s.

NOW:
714-716 Laurel Street, 15 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
It appears this block has fallen upon hard times. The original bricks have been covered in what appears to be stucco. Just about everything that could be done to obliterate the original façade of the building has been done.
Bar and restaurant.

LAUREL BLOCK, 718-720 Laurel Street
THEN:
This 50x124 feet two-story brick building was built by Con O’Brien and completed in November of 1929 at which time the Fashionette, a women’s clothing store, occupied the west store room, decorated in ivory and royal blue. In December of 1929 the National Tea Store moved into the east store room at this location. The second story housed offices and apartments. John M. Bye Clothing company was housed in the eastern portion of this block from at least 1949 to sometime in the 1960s.

NOW:
718-720 Laurel Street, 15 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
The second story of this building appears to be original. Very fortunately the architectural detail on the center top remains.
Vacant

CHET’S TV & APPLIANCES, 719 Laurel Street
THEN:
719 Laurel Street, September 2017.
Source: Nick Phelps
Built in 1954 by Chet Roberts.

NOW:
Vacant

SLIPP BLOCK, 721-723 Laurel Street
THEN:
721 Laurel Street, ca. 1916.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
723 Laurel Street, ca. 1960s.
Source: Brainerd Daily Dispatch
723 Laurel Street, ca. 1953.
Source: Brainerd City Directory
Built by Edgar P. Slipp. At one time, it housed Slipp’s Brainerd Hardware and later, Henry Elvig’s Drug Store and Pharmacy as well as two apartments. Edgar P. Slipp and his son, Leigh Slipp, organized the Brainerd Hardware Company in 1916. The former came to Brainerd in 1903.

NOW:
721 Laurel Street, 15 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
721 Laurel Street, 14 August 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
The original name of this block, once located above the door, has been removed along with the very top of the building. The previously one story section of the building located on South Eighth Street has had an additional story added. The original bricks in the first story have been covered up as well as the storefront windows on South Eighth Street.
721 clothing, 723 bar

MONTGOMERY WARD STORE, 722 Laurel Street
THEN:
722 Laurel Street, 1958.
Source: Brainerd Daily Dispatch
Built by Con O’Brien to the specifications of the Montgomery Ward Company in 1929. The general contractor was Ben Radisson, of Bemidji. The front was to be of buff colored terra cotta with the top of the second story embellished with green textured panels. In September, 1929 the company commissioned a sculptor to create a statue called “The Spirit of Progress.” Once completed, Spirit became the new corporate symbol, and the company commissioned copies to place on other Montgomery Ward buildings across the country and it is believed one of these statues was placed in the niche located at the center top of this building in Brainerd. The building was constructed of hollow tile brick faced with white limestone decoration surmounted by the company’s symbol. By 3 p. m. on the day of the grand opening on 17 August 1929, 6,485 people had passed through its doors.

NOW:
722 Laurel Street, 15 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
722 Laurel Street, 14 August 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
Just about everything that could have been done to desecrate this building has been done.
Furniture & appliances

O’BRIEN CENTER, 804 Laurel Street
THEN:
This site was originally known as the O’Brien Block and the address was 307 South Eighth (Broadway) Street. In October of 1891 Con O’Brien opened a grocery store at this location and in September of 1895 the building was expanded to 50x100 feet. On 13 November 1953 a fire destroyed the O’Brien building which housed the Super Valu Grocery Store and an apartment building owned by the O’Brien estate, once known as the Mahlum Block, which, at the time of the fire, was known as the Early Block. Built sometime between 1956-1959, the large new building housed the First Federal Savings and Loan, William Graham, President. It later became the NP Credit Union, then the BN Credit Union which is currently located in this building. The smaller suites held an architectural firm, a hairstylist, etc. These buildings were once known as the O’Brien Center.

NOW:
804 Laurel Street, 15 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
Credit union

LAMPERT LUMBER COMPANY, 824 Laurel Street
THEN:
824 Laurel Street, ca. 1930s.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society

NOW:
824 Laurel Street, 15 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
824 Laurel Street, 12 November 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
The original Tudor architectural style of this building has been obliterated.
Church

DIXON’S ELECTRIC, 905 Laurel Street
THEN:
It is not known by whom or when this building was erected. In 1956 it housed the Dixon Electric Garage operated by E. H. Dixon.

NOW:
905 Laurel Street, 15 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
Unknown

GREAT RIVER DOOR COMPANY, 1001 Laurel Street
THEN:
It is not currently known by whom or when this building was erected.

NOW:
1001 Laurel Street, 15 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
Doors, gifts, carving

TOLTZ GAS PLANT, 1014 Laurel Street
THEN:
The original purpose of this building was to produce gas which powered dynamos producing electricity for the city of Brainerd. Owned and built by Max Toltz, of the Toltz Engineering Company, of St. Paul, in 1910-1911. In December 1910, the Ritari Brothers, in charge of Ernest Ritari, were the cement subcontractors. They erected a large frame shed measuring 50x125 feet and one story in height on the site. Thirty-five men worked in the shelter of this huge shed digging and doing other work preparatory to putting in the concrete foundations and the heavy cement work for the dynamos and other machinery. Six big stoves were going full blast and produced a summer heat. The shed was lighted by electricity and two shifts worked day and night. The first batch of cement was laid on 16 December. This cement was mixed by two mixing machines, one operated by steam and the other by gasoline. A large boiler was used to heat water and sand. Twenty-five farmers were engaged hauling rock and two teams hauled sand. A large stone crusher was at work outside grinding up the necessary rock. Ernest H. Husemann, of Brainerd, had the contract covering the bricklaying, erecting the steel work, putting in the steel trusses for the roof and laying the floors as well as finishing the interior. In February of 1911, six brick layers and eight tenders were at work as well as many helpers. The brick work enclosed the steel columns of the walls. A steam boiler in a shed was used to keep the sand and water hot. Sometime prior to 12 June 1912 this building was sold to the National Light, Heat & Power Company. It has been alleged that a fire occurred in this building in 1912, however, no written evidence of a fire in 1912-1913 has been found. Sometime between 1937-1939 Hickerson’s Garment Factory moved from the Iron Exchange Building to this building. Hickerson’s remained here until about 1969 when it was sold and became North Country Outerwear, Inc. North Country Outerwear continued in business at the Hickerson site until about 1982. Hickerson’s garment factory was established in Brainerd on March 1, 1928. Throughout its many years in Brainerd, the factory sewed garments for J. C. Penney, the Minneapolis Millers baseball team and other well known department stores in New York City and Chicago. They employed over 100 people, mostly women, who sewed from 50,000 to 60,000 coats and jackets a year.

NOW:
1014 Laurel Street, 15 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
1014 Laurel Street, 15 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
The original large windows of this building have been covered.
Electric company, martial arts

— — — —MAPLE STREET—WEST TO EAST — — — —
ARHART DENTAL CLINIC, 501 Maple Street
THEN:
Dr. Lloyd J. Arhart had a dental clinic in this building in 1959.

NOW:
501 Maple Street, 12 November 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
Unknown

MAPLE STREET LAW OFFICES, 510 Maple Street
THEN:
In the 1940s-1950s the Engisch Machine Shop was located at this address.

NOW:
510 Maple Street, 12 November 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
Law offices

MAPLE STREET STORES, 613-621 Maple Street
THEN:
This row of stores may have been built sometime between 1949-1951, at the same time as the Fitzsimmons-Echternacht Clinic. In the 1950s-1960s these five stores were housed at 613, Benson Motor Electric; 615, Nutting Insurance; 617, Friendship Shop; 619, Werner Electric; 621, Jewel Box. The Friendship Shop was the only place in Brainerd where copies of the original Nancy Drew Mystery series of books could be purchased for one dollar.

NOW:
613-621 Maple Street, 12 November 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
Unknown

FITZSIMONS-ECHTERNACHT CLINIC, 623 Maple Street, 322 South Seventh Street
THEN:
Built sometime between 1949-1951 possibly by Dr. W. E. Fitzsimmons, MD. and Dr. Jack Echternacht, DDS., it housed their medical and dental practices.

NOW:
623 Maple Street, 322 South 7th Street, 12 November 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
623 Maple Street, 322 South 7th Street, 29 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
623 Maple Street, 322 South 7th Street, 29 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
322 South 7th Street, hair styling

SCHAEFER’S MODEL MARKET, 712 Maple Street
THEN:
712 Maple Street, ca. 1955.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
712 Maple Street, 14 February 1955.
Source: Brainerd Daily Dispatch
Built by Ted, Bud and John Schaefer, the store held its grand opening from 15-19 February 1955. John Erickson was general contractor for the 100x140 feet brick, granite and concrete structure. Architect for the project was the Bettenberg, Townsend and Stolte firm represented by William Hendricks. The store employed about thirty-four people and contained some 6,000 feet of shelving, plus 55 feet of produce cases and 51 feet of frozen food cases. Fresh bakery goods were baked within the store daily. Offered in addition to various types of breads were rolls, cakes, pies and Swedish and Danish pastries.

NOW:
712 Maple Street, 12 November 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
Office supplies

— — — —SOUTH FOURTH STREET—NORTH TO SOUTH— — — —
E. HESSEL IMPLEMENT COMPANY, 124 South Fourth Street
THEN:
124 South 4th Street, ca. Unknown.
Source: Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Brainerd, Minnesota 1871-1971 Centennial Edition
Dealer in farm implements, wagons, carriages, Deering harvesters and binders and J. I. Case threshing machines. E. Hessel was located at 124 South Fourth Street in 1903, 1905, 1907. Hessel also operated the Monarch Elevator Company which was located next door to Hessel Implements.

NOW:
Northeast lawn of the Judicial Center

— — — —SOUTH FIFTH STREET—NORTH TO SOUTH— — — —
EARL HOTEL, 214-216 South Fifth Street
THEN:
214-216 South 5th Street, ca. 1910.
Source: Special Publication, 02 September 1910, Brainerd Tribune, A. J. Halsted, Editor and Publisher
214 South 5th Street, ca. 1900.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
216 South 5th Street, 1905.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
This hotel was a landmark in Brainerd, having been built about 1888 by George Stratton, when it was known as the Stratton House. The second photo above is of the interior of the Stratton House showing John Wise, the owner, behind the desk. Wise sold the business on 01 September 1901. By 1907, Jule C. Jamieson had acquired the Stratton and renamed it the Earl Hotel after his son, Earl. In 1910, this was one of the most popular medium priced hotels in the city occupying a three-story brick building on south Fifth Street between Laurel and Front Streets. Accommodations were furnished on the American plan at $1.00 and $1.25 a day and a sample room in connection provided the choicest wines, liquors, cigars, etc. The third photo above shows Phillip Tardy’s Saloon at 216 South Fifth Street, which had became part of the Earl Hotel sometime between 1905-1907. Sometime between 1910-16 the Earl was sold to Andrew Carlson who renamed it the Carlson, remodeled it, bought new furniture and added a steam heating plant. On 15 December 1916, a fire at 2 o’clock in the morning, starting from a basement furnace, totally destroyed the Carlson, its contents and the little one-story grocery adjoining, all owned by Mrs. Hilda E. Carlson, wife of Andrew Carlson. The building, said Mrs. Carlson, was valued by her at about $10,000, the furniture at $2,500, the grocery at $1,100.

NOW:
Salvation Army building on South Fifth Street

FIRE HALL, 215 South Fifth Street
THEN:
215 South 5th Street, ca. 1914.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
Designed by architect C. Howard Parsons, of the architectural firm of Alden & Harris, Minneapolis; Alden & Harris also designed the City Hall, Historic Court House and the Crow Wing County Jail, now the Crow Wing County Historical Society. On 17 August 1914 the general building contract was awarded to Hodgin Construction Company of St. Paul. The building was built of dark pressed brick variegated in color and trimmed with light granite and dark stone. Current address is 213 South Fifth Street.

NOW:
215 South 5th Street, 12 November 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
215 South 5th Street, 12 November 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
Community action

— — — —SOUTH SIXTH STREET—NORTH TO SOUTH— — — —
BRAINERD THEATER-BAEHR BUILDING, 119 South Sixth Street
THEN:
119 South 6th Street, 1948.
Source: Unknown
Built in 1936 by the Baehr Theaters Company at a cost of $150,000. It housed several apartments and the Brainerd Theater, which began operation in 1938. On 28 December 1964 a $400,000 fire ripped through the Baehr Building. Sometime during the first week of February 1999, the Baehr Building was torn down.

NOW:
Parking lot

NORTHERN PACIFIC YMCA, 124 South Sixth Street
THEN:
124 South 6th Street, ca. 1930.
Source: Postcard
124 South 6th Street, ca. Unknown.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
Completed in 1888, the Northern Pacific Railroad contributed $1,000 of $5,000 needed to construct the building and $500 a year for maintenance. It was a handsome structure, one and one-half stories high. In 1889 Henry Villard, formerly president of the N. P. company, gave $2,000 to the building fund. This sum was used to install steam heat, bathtubs and a gymnasium. The building contained large, well lighted, social and game rooms, a reading room with over fifty of the leading papers and magazines on file, free to the public from 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. The gymnasium and bathrooms were located in the basement. On the first floor there was a room capable of seating 150 persons, a parlor, library and reception room. The kitchen was located on the second floor along with several smaller rooms that could be utilized for various purposes. Yearly membership cards at $5 entitled men to the use of bathrooms with three fine tubs and one shower, hot or cold, and to the gymnasium with three sets of standard pulley weights, parallel bars, traveling rings, Indian clubs, dumbbells, etc. The building was closed in June 1923 and reopened in May 1924 after undergoing extensive repairs, improvements, and alterations. It is not known when this building was demolished, however, sometime after that occurred, the Golden Grill restaurant occupied this location.

NOW:
124 South 6th Street, 12 November 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
Pharmacy, insurance, home health

DRESSEN BLOCK, 213 South Sixth Street
THEN:
213 South 6th Street, ca. 1940s.
Source: Unknown
This building was one of the few owned and built by a woman. It was commissioned in 1892 by Clara Dressen, built by Isaac U. White and originally called the Dressen Block. The first business it held in 1892 was a very fancy saloon called the Gem, which was operated by James M. Quinn and Mike Cullen. Mrs. Dressen sold the building sometime around 1899. Later, the building held the Brainerd Tribune newspaper, the Garvey Café in the 1920s and early 1930s and later the Land O'Lakes Café.

NOW:
Parking lot

ODD FELLOWS’ BLOCK, 214 South Sixth Street
THEN:
214 South 6th Street, ca. Unknown.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
214 South 6th Street, ca. 1960s.
Source: Carl Faust
Built about 1882-1883 the Odd Fellows’ Block was owned by the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. On 28 October 1909 the Odd Fellows’ Block was nearly burned to the ground in the Columbian Block fire; the roof was burned off and the interior gutted, only the walls were left standing. The post office, which had been moved into the building in July of 1900, was on the first floor, G. A. Raymond’s barber shop in the basement, and the second story was used as a lodge room. Besides the Odd Fellows, there were lodges of the Yeomen, Samaritans, the Grand Army of the Republic, Women’s Relief Corps, and others having their home there. The building was valued at about $9,000 to $10,000. The loss was $8,000, and was covered by insurance. The roof and first and second stories of the Odd Fellows Block may have been repaired after the 1909 fire; if so, it would have housed, in 1951, Madison Sport Shop; 1959, Cole's Sport Shop; 1963-1970, Hank's Rod & Gun Shop, owned by Hank Egenberger. Hank’s was located in the building next to and north of the Iron Exchange building when it caught on fire on 22 July 1970. Although Hank’s was not severely damaged, it is believed this building was demolished along with the Iron Exchange building a few months after the fire.

NOW:
Parking lot

BRAINERD DISPATCH BUILDING, 215 South Sixth Street
THEN:
215 South 6th Street, ca. 1910.
Source: Special Publication, 02 September 1910, Brainerd Tribune, A. J. Halsted, Editor and Publisher
215 South 6th Street, ca. 1910s.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
215 South 6th Street, ca. 1920s.
Source: Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Brainerd, Minnesota 1871-1971 Centennial Edition
215 South 6th Street, ca.1930s.
Source: Lorel Jane Boone
The Brainerd Dispatch moved to this building in 1907, the day after the fire in the Sleeper Block destroyed its quarters in that building. In 1926 this building was extended south to meet the Elks Building. The Dispatch remained here until 1990 when it moved to Baxter. The building was demolished in December of 1993.

NOW:
Parking lot

COLUMBIAN BLOCK, 216-218 South Sixth Street
THEN:

219 South 6th Street, ca. 1890.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
219 South 6th Street, ca. 1890.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
216-218 South 6th Street, before October 1909.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
Owned and operated by Charles H. Paine and Henry F. McGinn; the meat market was located at 216 South Sixth Street, next to the Odd Fellows’ Block, from about 1888 to 1893. At the time the first photo above was taken, Paine & McGinn were located next to the Odd Fellows’ Block. As the Columbian Block was about to be built, the Paine & McGinn building was moved to the corner of Laurel and South Seventh Streets. Built in 1893 by W. D. McKay, the Columbian Block, the large building on the right, contained two store rooms on the first floor, both occupied by D. M. Clark and Company in 1894. The building was well suited for the immense line of goods which was carried by Clark; the furniture, carpets, draperies, etc., were displayed in one room, while the hardware and harness department occupied the other. In its day, the D. M. Clark Company was the largest purveyor of furniture, hardware and other household goods in the city. In 1895 Clark established an undertaking department in the basement. The second floor of the building was reserved for various offices (later apartments) and the third floor housed several lodges. On 28 October 1909 the building burned to the ground in a spectacular fire taking with it, much of the Odd Fellows’ Block which was next to it on the north. The Columbian Block was replaced by the Iron Exchange Building which occupied the foundation of the Columbian Block plus another fifty feet which brought the Iron Exchange Building to the corner of Sixth and Laurel Streets.

NOW:
Parking lot

ART’S SPORTING GOODS, 302 South Sixth Street
THEN:
302 South 6th Street, ca. 1958.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
310 South 6th Street, ca. 1903.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
310 South 6th Street, ca. 1960s.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
In earlier times the 302 location was occupied by A. L. Hoffman’s Furniture, Hardware and Bicycle store; in the 1920s by the I. C. Sheets Drug Store. From sometime in the 1930s-1950s by the Economy Drug Store; and from the 1950s-1970s by Art’s Sporting Goods, owned by Art Warner, who also owned the Rustic Bar. From 1903-1905, John Larson’s Fuel, Flour & Feed Store was located at 310 South Sixth Street where once was located the Maple Leaf Grill. It is believed the current law office building, in its present state, has occupied this location from sometime in the 1970s to the present and that this building subsumed what was once 302, Economy Drug Store, later Art’s Sporting Goods; 304, Rustic Bar; 306, Cottage Grill; 308, A. A. A. Liquor Store, and 310, Maple Leaf Grill buildings.

NOW:
302 South 6th Street, 15 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
302 South 6th Street, 12 November 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
Law offices

VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS [VFW], 307 South Sixth Street
THEN:
In 1920 this location was occupied by B. M. Underdahl’s café; in 1931 this location was occupied by the Minneapolis Tribune agency operated by Obert Benson.

NOW:
307 South 6th Street, 12 November 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
Veterans of Foreign Wars

IMGRUND AUTO COMPANY, 309 South Sixth Street
THEN:
309 South 6th Street, ca. 1917.
Source: Out of the Woods
On 08 January 1917, John T. Imgrund, cigar manufacturer, purchased the E. R. Smith automobile garage and auto agency and placed his son, John F. Imgrund, in charge of the business. The garage was to be opened on March 1st and the first ad, placed by Imgrund on 31 March 1917, was for three models of Buicks. In 1931 this location was occupied by the Home Bakery and Lunch Room operated by Christ M. Olson.

NOW:
Unknown

SHERLUND AND COMPANY GARAGE, 312-314 South Sixth Street
THEN:
312-314 South 6th Street, ca. 1910s.
Source: Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Brainerd, Minnesota 1871-1971 Centennial Edition
The Sherlund Company began as a plumbing and heating company, which provided heating for the new Park Opera House in 1901; plumbing for the renovated New Park Theatre in 1914; equipment for the Columbia Theatre in 1914 in the Lyceum Block; heating for the new Elks building in 1926; plumbing and heating for the new Montgomery Ward store in 1929; and minor adjustments in plumbing for Washington High School in 1930.

NOW:
Alley

TURCOTTE BROTHERS, 315-317 South Sixth Street
THEN:
315-317 South 6th Street, ca. 1910s.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
315 South 6th Street, ca. 1930s.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
Over the years the building has housed the Turcotte Brothers Feed, Coal and Sporting Goods stores and the Stensrud-Cahill Lumber Company.

NOW:
315-317 South 6th Street, 12 November 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
A second story has been added on the left of the building.
Bar

FRED DREXLER’S BLACKSMITH SHOP, 316-324 South Sixth Street
THEN:
316 South 6th Street.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
324 South 6th Street, 1970.
Source: Brainerd Daily Dispatch
The First National Bank was originally known as the Bank of Brainerd and was located on the southeast corner of Front and South Fifth Streets. This location on South Sixth Street was purchased by the First National Bank, and it was they who built this building, which was the third and final location of this bank.

NOW:
316 South 6th Street, 12 November 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
Bank

CANNIFF PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIO, 319 South Sixth Street
THEN:
Jessie D. Canniff was the second of two women photographers in Brainerd, learning the art of photography from Marie Canan and Lars Swelland. In May of 1918 she purchased Swelland’s photography studio, at this location, which she operated from 1918 to about 1951. Howie Hill operated his music store at this location from about 1951-1980s. Sometime after Howie Hill, John Erickson operated his law office from this location until 2017.

NOW:
319 South 6th Street, 12 November 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
Law offices

MIRACLE BLOCK, 320 South Sixth Street
THEN:
320 South 6th Street, ca. 1939.
Source: University of Minnesota Libraries
The Miracle Block was built in 1904 by Harmidas Turcotte and housed Turcotte & Sons Grocery—it was called the Miracle Block by Julia, Harmidas’ wife, who said it would be a “miracle” if it was built. In 1939 the building housed the Waldorf Café operated by Meigs & Weisner along with the Bus Depot.

NOW:
US Bank

SCHAEFER’S MODEL FOOD MARKET, 323 South Sixth Street
THEN:
323 South 6th Street, ca. Unknown.
Source: Unknown
323 South 6th Street, 02 February 1949.
Source: Brainerd Daily Dispatch
This building was occupied by Schaefer’s Model Market from 1917 to 1955 when a new store was built on Maple Street between South Eighth and South Seventh Streets. After the death of Theodore H. Schaefer, Sr. in 1945, the store was remodeled by his sons and a grand opening was held on 3-5 February 1949. The change from a meat market to a store which specialized in meats, groceries, produce and frozen foods was begun late in 1948. Magney, Tusler and Setter, Minneapolis architects, drew up the plans and the job of enlarging the market to include the space formerly used by the Select Cleaners was completed by Fred Olson and Son, contractors. At that time the basement was expanded, the building was enlarged, making 4,000 square feet of floor space available, and an all glass front was installed. Live poultry was purchased directly from the producer and taken to the processing plant on the second floor of the building where it was killed and dressed, thus assuring Schaefer customers of fresh poultry. Sometime after February 1955 the building was occupied by Burton’s.

NOW:
323 South 6th Street, 12 November 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
323 South 6th Street, 12 November 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
Vacant

STANDARD OIL SERVICE STATION, 402-404 South Sixth Street
THEN:
402-404 South 6th Street, 1939.
Source: Carl Faust
410 South 6th Street, Unknown.
Source: Carl Faust
The first Standard Oil Company’s filling station in Brainerd opened to the public at this location on the morning of 14 October 1919. It was located across the street from the post office and was supplied with two five gallon pumps for gas and two portable lubricating pumps stationed on the island between the two pumps. The station was nicely finished in cement and the interior had offices, a ladies’ rest room and a gentlemen’s rest room and toilet. The building was steam heated. Air was furnished for cars and Red Crown gasoline was sold. Some years later, Roy Wilson and Jim Sweet also operated a Standard Service Station at this location. Tom Loudon’s Hairstyling School and Salon replaced Mudford Plumbing & Heating at this location. All of this property is now occupied by the Short Elliott Hendrickson building. Current address is 416 South Sixth Street.

NOW:
416 South 6th Street, 12 November 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
Engineers, architects, planners, scientists, lawyers

POST OFFICE, 403 South Sixth Street
THEN:
403 South 6th Street, ca. 1949.
Source: Minnesota Historical Society
403 South 6th Street, ca. 1916.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
J. W. Miller, of St. Paul, was the lowest bidder at $43,272 on the contract for building the new post office. It was built in 1910-1911 in the modified renaissance style of architecture. The structure was built of high grade Menominee sand-mold brick, with Flemish bond, trimmed with Redford Indiana limestone used in its sills, keys and cornices. The steps were of Kettle River sandstone. The panels over the windows were of Vermont marble. The building was built from plans drawn by James Knox Taylor, the supervising architect of the government. The building was 55x72 feet in size and about 32 feet in height surmounted by a tall flag staff. The first floor was about four feet above the sidewalk grade, and was reached by a flight of seven steps. The granite steps which led up to the entrances were surmounted by handsome lamp posts, while there were also handsome bracket lanterns on the west entrance. The lobby was entered from Sixth Street through a revolving door and was floored with light gray terrazzo. The trimmings in the lobby were of marble and hardwood. The lobby was fifteen feet wide and ran along the entire west side of the building and half way across the Maple Street frontage. This was the first post office built by the Federal Government in Brainerd. In 1962 the building and the property were purchased from Crow Wing County by the city of Brainerd for $53,300. On 20 July 1962 the city offered to give the building away free of charge to anyone who would remove it within 30 days.

NOW:
Telephone equipment storage yard

PALACE HOTEL, 422 South Sixth Street
THEN:
422 South 6th Street, ca. Unknown.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
Built by James S. Gardner about 1888.

NOW:
Gas station

— — —SOUTH SEVENTH STREET—NORTH TO SOUTH— — —
REILLY BLOCK, 209-211 South Seventh Street
THEN:
211 South 7th Street, ca. 1960s.
Source: Brainerd Daily Dispatch
The first Reilly Block was built about 1893 by Michael J. Reilly to house his grocery store. On 25 June 1904 this building was gutted by fire entailing a loss of about $15,000 to the building and occupants. Reilly rebuilt the block in 1904, however, on 27 January 1907, another fire wiped out the block containing the M. J. Reis dry goods store, Brockway & Parker grocers and the Citizens State Bank building. Losses amounted to about $80,000. In April 1907 Reilly began excavating the basement for his new brick building. The lower floor was divided into two store rooms, one to be occupied by the Brockway & Parker grocery and the other by M. J. Reis dry goods. A steel ceiling was placed in both store rooms. The upper story contained two handsome apartments of seven rooms each and Mr. Reilly occupied the south apartment. The rooms were described as well arranged and well lighted. A feature that was to be appreciated by the “women folks,” was the large unfinished hall or enclosed porch running all the way across the rear, which provided an excellent place for drying clothes, storing fuel, etc. The building was completed in late August 1907. In the 1960s the south store was occupied by Gene’s Bakery operated by Gene Misener.

NOW:
209-211 South 7th Street, 29 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
The original name of the building remains on the top. The façade of the first story has been rebuilt and the bricks have been painted; the second story windows have been reduced by half.
209 antiques, 211 consignment, antiques, clothing

PHILLIPS-BEARE BLOCK, 213-215 South Seventh Street
THEN:
213-215 South 7th Street, ca. 1910.
Source: Special Publication, 02 September 1910, Brainerd Tribune, A. J. Halsted, Editor and Publisher
213-215 South 7th Street, 1958.
Source: Brainerd Daily Dispatch
This block has been known as the Beare Block, Phillips Block, Phillips-Beare Block and the Gates Block. The building was owned by Thomas H. Beare and built in 1910 by Emil M. Johnson, of Minneapolis. The new building was 50x100 feet in size, two stories and basement and one of the handsomest in the city. The block provided the H. F. Michael Company store, for whom it was built, 8,250 square feet with provision for much more room in the same building should they have required it. The structure had an arcade front exactly like that of the Golden Rule, in St. Paul, and was one of ONLY five fronts of this kind in the United States. The basement was fitted with steel ceilings, lighted with prism glass. The entire ground floor and most of the basement was occupied by the H. F. Michael Company. The most characteristic feature of the building was its arcade front and it was a big attraction. Because of the arcade arrangement, the building provided sixty-five feet of window space. In 1922 the building was sold to the Markowitz Brothers. On 02 January 1926 and effective 01 February 1926, the building was sold to E. F. Gates of Beloit, Wisconsin and H. F. Michael left Brainerd. Sometime about 1946 the S & L Store opened here.

NOW:
213-215 South 7th Street, 29 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
213-215 South 7th Street, 217-219 South 7th Street, 29 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
The front of this building, along with the front of the Gruenhagen Block to the south of it has been encapsulated with some kind of beige stuff and is laughingly referred to as the “Downtown Mall.” The hideous “remuddling” these two buildings have been subjected to verges on the CRIMINAL!
Vacant

OPSAHL BLOCK, 214 South Seventh Street
THEN:
214 South 7th Street, ca. 1920s.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
214 South 7th Street, ca. 1950s.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
Olaf Peterson’s clothing store was housed here in the late 1920s; in 1931 the building was home to the Quality Bake Shop operated by August Hedlof. During the 1940s-60s this building housed Akre’s Bakery, owned and operated by Earle E. Akre.

NOW:
214 South 7th Street, 29 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
The original brick of this building has been covered by some stuff that looks like it might be stucco.
Antiques

PATEK BUILDING, 216 South Seventh Street
THEN:
Charles M. Patek established his furniture business on the corner of Laurel and Sixth streets in 1882 and it grew to be among the leading retail concerns in Northern Minnesota. In 1902 Patek moved his establishment to the Patek Building on South Seventh street. In 1910 increased business demanded more space and he leased the store room directly south of the Patek Building, owned by E. C. Bane. His business grew until he was, at one time, conducting the largest home furnishings concern in Northern Minnesota. Among the well known hotels and institutions furnished by Patek’s were the Citizens State Bank Hall, the Spaulding Hotel at Crosby and the Deerwood Hospital. His motto was, "It's Good If It Comes From Patek's." Patek’s Furniture remained in business at the same location in Brainerd for more than seventy years, even though Charles Patek died in 1923.

NOW:
216 South 7th Street, 29 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
It appears the original second story windows have been replaced.
Music, musical instruments, lessons

GRUENHAGEN BLOCK, 217-219 South Seventh Street
THEN:
217-219 South 7th Street, 1908.
Source: Brainerd Daily Dispatch
217-219 South 7th Street, ca. 1910.
Source: Special Publication, 02 September 1910, Brainerd Tribune, A. J. Halsted, Editor and Publisher
Built in 1901 by Fred H. Gruenhagen and located next to the Koop Block. In August of 1901, Gruenhagen paid $3,000 for the two lots to the north of the Koop Block. The building was built of brick 50x100 feet with a full basement. In May of 1904 the Fred J. and Edward P. Slipp [aka Edgar P.] and F. H. Gruenhagen companies merged into the Slipp-Gruenhagen Company. The business occupied a store room with an area of 4,500 square feet on the first floor. There was a warehouse and workshop in the rear, each 25x40 feet. The combined company carried general hardware, guns, sporting goods, etc. and contracted for jobs in plumbing, heating, sewers and tinsmithing. In its later years the building was known as the Gruenhagen Block. During the 1940s-1956 the A & P Grocery Store was housed in this building.

NOW:
217-219 South 7th Street, 29 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
213-215 South 7th Street, 217-219 South 7th Street, 29 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
The front of this building, along with the front of the Phillips-Beare Block to the north of it has been encapsulated with some kind of beige stuff and is laughingly referred to as the “Downtown Mall.” The hideous “remuddling” these two buildings have been subjected to verges on the CRIMINAL!
Vacant

OHIO BLOCK, 220 South Seventh Street
THEN:
220 South 7th Street, ca. 1930s.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
Built by Ransford R. Wise and named after his home state. The Red Owl Grocery Store was housed in this block sometime in the 1930s.

NOW:
220 South 7th Street, 29 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
It appears that the original brick façade of this building has been clad in stucco and some kind of siding.
Miscellaneous

KOOP BLOCK, 221 South Seventh Street, 701 Laurel Street
THEN:
221 South 7th Street, ca. 1958.
Source: Evan Stalker
221 South 7th Street, ca. 1969.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
The new Koop Block, according to J. W. Koop, was 50x140 feet, two stories in height and was constructed entirely of brick. The first floor was divided into store rooms, one facing on Seventh Street, which was to be used by the J. C. Penney Company, 50x90 feet; the other on Laurel Street 50x50 feet. (The Penney space eventually took up the entire basement and first floor of this building.) Mr. Koop had not decided as to the arrangement of the second floor; but thought it might contain offices, a hall and apartments. On 09 May 1923 the J. C. Penney Company signed a ten-year contract with J. W. Koop to occupy space in his new building. Penney’s remained in this location until January of 1968 when it completed a new store in the east Brainerd Mall. In 2008 Penney’s moved to a new store in Baxter, which closed in 2017. Sometime after Penney’s moved from this building in 1968, it was occupied by Gambles.

NOW:
221 South 7th Street, 701 Laurel Street, 15 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
221 South 7th Street, 701 Laurel Street, 15 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
221 South 7th Street, 29 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
221 South 7th Street, 29 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
Another hideous mess has been created in the first story of this building by covering virtually all of the storefront windows and turning it into a windowless box.
Vacant

DUTCH ROOM BAR, 305 South Seventh Street
THEN:
Sometime between 1939 and 1949 the Dutch Room Bar moved from 716 Laurel Street to this location.

NOW:
305 South 7th Street, 29 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
Irish pub

LOG CABIN BAR & CAFÉ, 318-320 South Seventh Street
THEN:
318-320 South 7th Street, 1934.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
318-320 South 7th Street, ca. 1950s.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
318-320 South 7th Street, ca. 1970s.
Source: Carl Faust
Owned and operated by Everett Lassig.

NOW:
318-320 South 7th Street, 29 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
The original log siding has been removed from this building.
Vacant

NATIONAL TEA GROCERY STORE, 323 South Seventh Street
THEN:
323 South 7th Street, 02 October 1951.
Source: Brainerd Daily Dispatch
323 South 7th Street, 02 October 1951.
Source: Brainerd Daily Dispatch
Built in 1951 by Joe Gustafson and rented from him by the National Tea Company, this new 50x130 feet building marked the National Tea Company’s 25th year of serving Brainerd. The architects were Bettenburg, Townsend and Stolte and the general contractor was the J. E. Erickson Company. The store featured a white ceiling, rose and green wall decor and inlaid tile flooring in a two-tone green block pattern. A magic carpet mat, located in the vestibule, swung wide the two outside doors for the convenience of customers with loaded arms on their way out of the building. When the company first began business here in 1927, it had a small store at 711 Laurel. After three years of operations there, the enterprise moved to 718 Laurel, where it remained until 1934. Sometime after 1934 the store moved again to 618 Laurel Street, next to the Citizens State Bank. Current address is 321 South Seventh Street.

NOW:
323 South 7th Street, 29 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
323 South 7th Street, 29 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
The National Tea Grocery Store was demolished and replaced by this building.
Bank

NORTHWESTERN BELL TELEPHONE BUILDING, 402 South Seventh Street
THEN:
Built in 1948 by the Northwestern Bell Telephone Company. It housed the operators on the second floor, the business office and switching equipment on the first floor.

NOW:
402 South 7th Street, 29 October 2017
Source: Carl Faust
402 South 7th Street, 29 October 2017
Source: Carl Faust
Telephone company

MILLS MOTOR, 414-416 South Seventh Street
THEN:
416 South 7th Street, ca. Unknown.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
414-416 South 7th Street, ca. 1949.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
414-416 South 7th Street,1970.
Source: Brainerd Daily Dispatch
The Woodhead Motor warehouse; Woodhead Motor was owned by John F. Woodhead, the sales office was located at 624 Front Street, Walverman Block, in 1920. Mills Motor was co-owned and operated by Henry C. Mills. Current address is 416 South Seventh Street.

NOW:
414-416 South 7th Street, 29 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
The unique Tudor architectural style of this building has been erased.
Dance studio

YDE APARTMENT BUILDING, 418 South Seventh Street
THEN:
Believed to have been built by Harold F. Yde sometime in the 1960s.

NOW:
418 South Seventh Street, 29 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
418 South Seventh Street, 29 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
Apartments

— — —SOUTH EIGHTH STREET—NORTH TO SOUTH— — —
STANDARD OIL SERVICE STATION, 201 South Eighth Street
THEN:
201 Laurel Street, ca. 1920s.
Source: Ann M. Nelson
This service station was built in 1922 of pressed brick and stone, it measured 16x15 feet. A canopy covered a concrete driveway. At one time, Shanks Standard Oil gas station was also located here.

NOW:
Metal building selling fire equipment

BROADWAY CAFÉ, 213 South Eighth Street
THEN:
213 South 8th Street, ca. 1894.
Source: MHS
213 South 8th Street, ca. Unknown.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
In 1888 this building housed the contracting business of H. C. Miller, who built the Losey & Dean Undertakers’ building at 720 Front Street in 1888. In 1894 this building housed Bertha Theviot’s millinery business, later it housed the Theviot Saloon. By 1920 the building housed the Broadway Café operated by Christ Tampelas, in 1931 the café was operated by John Papostolou, and by 1949 by John Vemos. The building was demolished on 20 July 1976.

NOW:
Parking lot

BRAINERD MODEL LAUNDRY BUILDING, 214 South Eighth Street
THEN:
This building was owned by the Slipp-Gruenhagen Company, the contractor was Ernest H. Husemann, the same contractor in charge of building the Toltz Gas Plant in 1910-1911. J. C. Clausen, of Brainerd, built the sorting tables, sorting racks, pressing tables and counters used. H. W. Congdon did the inside painting, decorating and gold leaf sign work. Curtis & Weaver painted the large sign. Hagberg Brothers did the brick laying. The Mahlum Lumber Company furnished the lumber used in the building. The laundry opened for business on 05 January 1914. The front is of red pressed brick with stone trimmings; Brainerd brick were used to a large extent, the red building kind were furnished by David Ebinger, whose brick yards were in Northeast Brainerd. The first and second floors were occupied by the laundry and the third floor originally contained six suites of flats, there were two 2-room, two 4-room and two 5-room suites. The woodwork was fumed oak with birch floors; heavy sheets of deadening felt were used in the floors to make the apartments soundproof. The company handled laundry from over 80 towns within a radius of 400 miles of Brainerd, it shipped and received more express than any other Brainerd concern. From 30 to 40 people were regularly employed. In July of 1919 a fire occurred causing $10,000 damage to this building. In November of 1919 a very large copper still was installed, which caused the townsfolk to become all atwitter—thinking it was a still to be used to make alcohol. Alas, the still was used to distill gasoline for use in dry cleaning. The Brainerd Model Laundry was providing steam heat for the Whitney Funeral Home in October 1915. Whitney was located at 720 Front Street, the lot next west of the parking lot on the southwest corner of Front and South Eighth Streets. In November of 1920 the business was sold to E. F. Meyer and Oscar Meyer, St. Cloud. This building is also known as the Lakeland Building.

NOW:
214 South 8th Street, 14 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
This building is one of the few remaining in Brainerd that has maintained its original exterior integrity.
Saloon

SLEEPER OPERA HOUSE, 215-219 South Eighth Street
THEN:
215-219 South 8th Street, ca. 1883.
Source: Unknown
Built by Chauncey B. Sleeper in 1883 for about $25,000, it was 62x125x65 feet high and veneered in Brainerd-made White and Koop red brick. The stage was 50 feet wide and 40 feet deep. There were twelve sets of scenery with forty-six wings. The scenery was mounted on rollers and was so easily managed that a child could handle it. The stage was ceiled while the rest of the house was plastered and papered to represent fresco work. The opera house had a seating capacity of one thousand, and was divided into parquet, dress circle and gallery, so that there was not a seat in the house from which a perfect view of the stage could not be had. There were two dressing rooms on each side of the stage for the use of the stars, while beneath the stage were two large rooms for the use of the support crews. There were six boxes, three on each side, which were decorated with lambrequins and curtains with rail. The Masonic hall was housed in the upper level. On 03 January 1898, the opera house burned to the ground.

NOW:
215 South 8th Street, 14 August 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
Antiques, sanctuary, salon

O’BRIEN’S DEPARTMENT STORE, 221 South Eighth Street, 801 Laurel Street
THEN:
O’Brien’s General Store, 221 South Eighth Street, 801 Laurel Street, 02 January 1898
Source: Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Brainerd, Minnesota 1871-1971 Centennial Edition
Originally established in 1883 as a saloon by Cornelius (Con) O’Brien, it was a small frame building 24x30 feet; in September of 1891 the saloon was closed. On 02 January 1898 Con O’Brien’s double store, which sold feed, seed and clothing, burned along with the Sleeper Opera House. O’Brien immediately began arrangements for the construction of a new building on the site of the one destroyed and White & White drew the plans for the new structure. It was a one-story brick building 48x84 feet with a 16-foot ceiling, a steel roof, a plate glass front and was equipped with steam heat. The building was erected by C. B. White and was completed in April of 1898. In June of 1899 a new addition of 48x55 feet was built, increasing the size of the building to 48x140 feet. In 1905 the O’Brien firm was incorporated as the O’Brien Mercantile Company with Con O’Brien, President and Treasurer; J. W. O’Brien, Vice President; B. H. O’Brien Secretary. The firm did a general mercantile business, both wholesale and retail. The merchandise carried included dry goods and ladies’ ready-to-wear, ladies’ and men’s shoes, men’s clothing and furnishings, groceries, meats and provisions of all kinds, including flour and feed. About the middle of April in 1915 the White Brothers (Isaac U. White and Charles B. White) began plans to enlarge the O’Brien Department Store. There was a brick addition adding 27 feet to the width and with an arcade on Laurel Street. The floor was terrazzo and the finest quality plate glass window was installed. Sometime in the 1960’s the O’Brien Department Store moved to the old Montgomery Ward Store on the southeast corner of Laurel and Broadway [South Eighth Street]. The O’Brien Department Store closed its doors sometime in February 1973 and reopened a few weeks later as an Ehler’s Fashion Center operated by new owners. The current address of this building is 223 South Eighth Street.

NOW:
221 South Eighth Street, 801 Laurel Street, 15 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
221 South Eighth Street, 801 Laurel Street, 15 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
This building has been turned into another hideous, windowless box.
Drug store and pharmacy

FIRST LUTHERAN CHURCH, 424 South Eighth Street
THEN:
424 South 8th Street, ca. Unknown.
Source: The Word, a Century with Our Churches, Brainerd, Minnesota 1871-1971
424 South 8th Street, 1904.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
424 South 8th Street, ca. 1972.
Source: The Word, a Century with Our Churches, Brainerd, Minnesota 1871-1971
424 South 8th Street, ca. Unknown.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
The Swedish Evangelical Clara Lutheran Church was officially organized on 08 May 1882 and on 06 December 1883 the original church was built at this location. In October of 1915 the sanctuary of the second church was completed. This church’s name was eventually changed to First Lutheran.

NOW:
424 South 8th Street, 12 November 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
Church

— — —SOUTH NINTH STREET—NORTH TO SOUTH— — —
STAR CAFÉ, 210-212 South Ninth Street
THEN:
Operated by ‘Bud’ Bourbeau from sometime in the 1940s-1960s.

NOW:
210-212 South 9th Street, 12 November 2017
Source: Carl Faust
Bar

ELKS CLUB, 215 South Ninth Street
THEN:
It is believed this building was originally built to house the Moose Club. After the second Elks building, located on the southwest corner of Laurel and South Fourth Streets, was demolished to make room for the new Crow Wing County Judicial Center, this building became its home.

NOW:
215 South 9th Street, 12 November 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
Elks club

YESTERDAY’S GONE, 219 South Ninth Street
THEN:

NOW:
219 South 9th Street, 12 November 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
219 South 9th Street, 15 October 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
219 South 9th Street, 12 November 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
Bar and restaurant

SWEDISH MISSION CHURCH, 323 South Ninth Street
THEN:
Known as the Swedish Mission Church (1899-1907), aka Swedish Bethany Church (1920), Swedish Bethany Mission (1932), Bethany Evangelical Covenant Church (1933), address 323 South Ninth Street; aka Bethany Covenant Church (1951-1959), Community Covenant Church (ca. 1988), address 901 Maple Street. Now known as the Maple Street Church.

NOW:
323 South 9th Street, 12 November 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
323 South 9th Street, 12 November 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
323 South 9th Street, 12 November 2017.
Source: Carl Faust
Unknown

IMAGE CREDITS

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Thanks to the following individuals and organizations who made this website possible:

Crow Wing County Historical Society

Carl Faust
Brian Marsh
Pam Nelson
John Van Essen

Researched and Compiled by Ann M. Nelson. Last Update: 05 December 2017