And now, nothing from . . . now. While going through old newspapers the other day, I found an ad that made me think of an old jingle.




A bygone restaurant chain.

Remember the Embers! Yay, Arne Fogel.


Re-ember the Member! We never said that. I wish we had; it would have been in-group code for heading off to a particular restaurant for coffee and cheesecake. The Embers restaurant chain was a local operation in a few states; we had one in Fargo. It was like Perkins, but classy. Good hamburgers, or rather Embergers, with a special savory sauce. There was one in Uptown as well - I’d forgotten about that.

There is but one, now. I can’t google any history about the one in Fargo, because there was an Embers in the movie “Fargo,” and that spoils all the results.

One interesting hit: a piece about the M building in Minot, which had a fine-dining restaurant on the top floor called the Embers. The M is apparently vacant.

It’s beautiful! In that unadorned International Style way. That thing came to town, you knew it would be up-to-date in all possible ways, including push-button window blinds! (In the bank president’s office, anyway.) This part gave me a pang for small prairie town life, and the memories that people of a certain age have of their downtown.

She recalled the building at that time was full with tenants. It included a luncheonette and theater in the basement, along with the bank’s safety deposit boxes. The Shirley Room was a popular eatery, and the Arnold Theater was available to nonprofit groups. Many a dance and piano recital were held there.

The bank later closed the theater, leveling the sloped floor and moving in its bookkeeping department.


I went looking for Minot newspapers to see if there was anything about the building or the theater, but's only Minot paper stops in 1921. Just for fun I looked at a paper from June 5, 1919.

  Hamburger Joe. Wonder what happened.

Not a lot in Plaza.


Plaza is a city in Mountrail County, North Dakota, United States. The population was 171 at the 2010 census. Plaza was founded in 1906. The business district is built around a central town square, city park or "plaza". A key feature of the plaza is a recently completed large covered gazebo.

It’s like a sad Sim City town you laid out just right, but never got off the ground.

On the other hand, it has its telling vistas.

But I’m doing a Main Street before Main Street; oughtn’t do that. The Embers! Remember?

I found an ad that had the original locations.

All gone. But one.

I walk over the grave of another one three times a week, but that's another story.

A 1971 commercial with local TV personality, preceded by the loudest, most annoying beeps you’ve heard today.









Or, if you wish, Lickville.

"The community derives its name from Nathan and Daniel Morgan Boone, who were the sons of Daniel Boone and established their salt business near the community in the early 1800s, delivering their product from salt licks to St. Louis. The area has been called "Boone's Lick" and the route from the lick to St. Charles/St. Louis, Missouri is called the Boone's Lick Trail."

Eight thousand, three hundred souls. Let's start.

I suspect it was a decommissioned gummint building that the Masons took over.

Of course, the Masons took over the gummint a long time ago, you know.

Like an old tall bony blind man who stands on the street corner and tells strangers to repent.

Did it lose something in a storm?

Another decommissioned gummint building?

Ah: upon close examination, it appears to be the immigration office for Munchkins.

"Well, there was an argument between the church’s two most prominent families, and they fell out. When the new church was built, it had to work around their intense mutual dislike.”

“Well, there was an argument between the International Order of Oddfellows two most prominent members, and they fell out. When the new church was built, it had to work around their intense mutual dislike.”


"Once a year, the sirens blow, and a man comes out of the door, looks around, then goes back in.”

Ah, I see now. It’s attached to this.


It’s like the architectural version of a car door blown off by another vehicle:

On any vacant lot covered with grass, you'll get an infestation of small John Deeres. They just show up and stay unless you spray.

I always wonder if they had a member named Monty.

The Knights of Pythias is a fraternal organization and secret society founded in Washington, D.C., on 19 February 1864. The Knights of Pythias is the first fraternal organization to receive a charter under an act of the United States Congress. It was founded by Justus H. Rathbone, who had been inspired by a play by the Irish poet John Banim about the legend of Damon and Pythias. This legend illustrates the ideals of loyalty, honor, and friendship that are the center of the order.

The order has over 2,000 lodges in the United States and around the world, with a total membership of over 50,000 in 2003.

A rare old perpendicular sign.

They have to say "Shoes" plural, or people think they sell singles.

OUMB, with two different architects: one for the ground floor, one for the second. They did not work together, but occasionally had vague phone conversations about what they were up to.

A decommissioned bank turned into a gummint building, if I had to say.

“I tell you, it’s my building, and I’m paying for it, and if I want one room to be done entirely like an ocean liner stateroom, then that’s what I’m going to get”

Assertions that aged like milk:

One building for tall people, one for those who preferred to stoop.



Handsome building - and note howthey centered the entrance t0 the second floor. Always looks better than putting it off to the side.

Ancient palimpsest for a harness shop; everyone involved long gone, of course.

I found a genealogy page that said the elder Durr was a member of the Knights of Pythias.


It's like Scotty screwed up the transporter coordinates.


A battered old bird, grateful for the mask of the tree:


Sounds like a Marvel comic "Where Monsters Dwell" creature. I believe it was this fellow.

Imagine its original state, its facade almost completely glass, glowing at twilight in the winter months.

Hard, but possible.


There are more than a few careworn old citizens in town.


10 to 1 it was a car dealership, right?

The old brand peeks out, and still makes you thirsty.

Finally, a civic building that’s more than two floors high:

Nothing special, but sober and self-contained. Built for the ages.

May it stand forever.

That'll do; the weekly ration of motels awaits.




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