Footbridge over the Sheyenne River

"Armour & Company, W. Fargo; January 8, 1938; Footbridge." from 8x10 photo. (more here)

Labels: , ,

Leatherheads: North Dakota High School Football, 1930s

Yeah, you could consider this a tie-in to the new movie Leatherheads (opening today across the country!), but it's as good an excuse as any to show an old movie of leather-helmeted football I own. The video linked above was part of a very small film-reel from the late 1920s or early 1930s; it couldn't be any earlier, because the buildings depicted weren't around before 1927. The first 80% of the film is an Armistice Day parade, which, of course, sets the date as November 11th. The last few minutes of the film, however, shows the Fargo-Grand Forks football game that evening, held on NDSU's football field. Not much is shown, however it's probably the oldest movie of North Dakota high school football on the internet. Sure, it doesn't have any George Clooney, but it's real high school football, the way it once was: full of bruised faces.

Labels: , , ,

Little Eddie Schafer and His Dad

"Eddie" over there on the right, has a tough road ahead of him -- despite his shaggy appearance and obese lapels, he's got big shoes to fill. His dad, a prominent North Dakota businessman, had appointed Eddie to be his successor in taking over the family business. How do you think Eddie did? Would a guy named "Eddie" ever do well in any career other than car sales or running a pawn shop?

As president of Gold Seal, Eddie was in charge of the Mr. Bubble fortune, but it didn't take long to drop the childish suffix. Harold Schafer's son, now just "Ed Schafer", went on to be North Dakota's governor for most of the nineties -- only 11 years after this photo was taken. He remained politically active after his term, and just recently George W Bush appointed Schafer to the position of Secretary of Agriculture. Here, have a look at Eddie today: he's come a long way from a goofy smile and gingham dress-shirts.

Labels: , , ,

Armour Stockyards, West Fargo ND, 1938

More of the Scenic Red River Valley of the North -- about the same time period as yesterday's photo, but from one of the tallest structures for quite some distance, the water tower at the Armour Processing Plant in West Fargo, North Dakota. This view is of the stockyards -- each of those tiny dots in the distance is a hereford. See anything else between here and the horizon? I didn't think so. Snow and nothingness as far as the eye can see. It's the desert and the ocean all rolled into one, but it doesn't have nearly as many poems written about it.

Labels: , ,

Stay At The Auto-House

This funny little tin house is a throwback to an earlier time -- one before houses were automatically assigned a wide-open, roofed, cement-floored siamese twin known as a 'garage'. When people started buying cars they needed someplace to put them, and one of the competitors in the 'automobile storage kit' was the Rusk Auto-House, an overtly-fancy steel shed that owes its beauty to its Fargo-based manufacturer: a producer of embossed tin ceilings and copper cornices. Sadly, the metal shortages of the World Wars put an end to tin ceilings, copper cornices, and, as you might guess, stylish little steel car-homes.

Labels: , , , , ,