On the Street Where You Live (Condemned Buildings)

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By Cecelia Wattles McKeig (from The Depot Express newsletter, Fall 2014) Driving down the street last spring, I was surprised to see a backhoe at work tearing down a building at 1207 Bemidji Avenue. I quickly made a left and came back through the alley and watched as the claws of the machine tore at the old house. I wondered who had lived there and why it was being torn down. No doubt there was good reason, as many houses in Bemidji have “gone to seed” and needed to be removed. In the early 1960s, more than three dozen old […]

On the Street Where You Live (Neighborhood Groceries)

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By Cecelia Wattles McKeig (from The Depot Express newsletter, Summer 2014) Neighborhood Groceries One of the memories that many of us share is that of the neighborhood grocery – the kind of place that just did not change much. A kid could ride his bike there to pick up a quart of milk for supper, or approach the owner with a note and a quarter from his mother when he was sent to pick up a pack of Lucky Strikes or Camels. Most of the time the owners were patient with us when we counted our pennies or stammered when […]

On the Street Where You Live (Irvine Avenue)

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By Cecelia Wattles McKeig (from The Depot Express newsletter, Spring 2014) Irvine Avenue The new Bemidji Post Office facility opened on Sept 24, 1980. The one block area bounded by Fourth and Fifth Street and Irvine and Mississippi Avenue was chosen as the best site for the new post office facility. In 1979, the council said that while it was a residential area then, business development in that area was predicted with the completion of the Highway 2 bypass. The site also had the fewest and the oldest houses of the three sites considered and the least assessed valuation. Here […]