The railroad came on a Sunday
afternoon in June 1905. People came from all directions to
watch the historic moment. Thus, the town of Fairdale grew.
town had three general stores. Ole Nordlie built a
double building north of our Community Center, Ed and
Louis Conlin built a store where our post office now stands,
and Ed Larson built one where the Community Center now stands.
They sold groceries, clothing etc. Sugar was 7 lbs for 50
cents, cookies 10 cents a lb., breakfast food for 10 cents a pkg.,
soup meat for 5 cents per lb., Bull Durum was 5 cents a
pkg., and a cigar was 5 cents. Later, part of the
Nordlie building became Andy Hultstrand's store and Ike Iverson
bought the Conlin store.
The town had three
hardware stores, stocking all kinds of hardware including cook
stoves and heaters. Sorenson handled the Quik-meal, Frank
Olson the Mealable , and John Rorvik the Monarch Range. He
also sold John Deere and McCormik machinery.
Ole Stromen built a pool hall
and bowling alley north of the locker plant. That was a lively
place. The young men spent many nights there.
Fairdale had two lumber yards,
the Bovey Chute built on the Aune Garage site and managed
by Charlie Richardson and the Robertson built between the Fairdale
Supply and the brick garage managed by Mr. Yotter.
A printing shop was built by
Pete Johnson and the town had a weekly newspaper called the
Fairdale times. It is now the Verke house.
Fairdale had two hotels.
J. S. McNish built a large hotel on the corner where the Farmers
Union Station stands. Esther Smith, a widow , with 3 girls
built a smaller one east of the Community Center and later it was
sold to Simon Bolstad.
Annie Isackson ran a millinery
shop in the front of the Conlin Store.
Fairdale had two banks.
Bill Robertson started one south of our hall, and Mr Larson built
one where the Polar building stands.
There was a furniture store
east of the Robertson bank , but it didn't do well so it
became a photo shop run by a Barsness and later by Fred
Manley Livingston built a
Barber Shop just north of the Myrvik house.
The town had a jewler named
Hosenpud. He was from Minneapolis and worked in the back of
the Rorvik Store.
George Johnson from Edmore
built a drug store north of the Conlin store and it also had a
icecream parlor and soda fountain.
Fairdale had 5 elevators.
They were the Atlantic Co., Woodworth, Northland,
Spaulding, and Eaton Co.
The livery barn was built by a
Koppang and a feed mill east of it was built by Ingvald Myra and
The blacksmith shop was built
by Ole Tappen, which he sold a year later to Henry and
Herman Naegli. It burned, was rebuilt and later sold to Mr.
Olaf Hammer built a small store
east of the Smith hotel and sold candy, ice cream, groceries and
lunches. Another store east of it had soft and hard drinks.
There was a big hall above the
Rorvik store that was used for dances, school programs, 17th of
May celebrations,roller skating, church services, before the
church was built, and lodge meetings for the Masons and the
The town had wooden sidewalks
made of 2by 6 planks that were 5 or 6 feet long.
In 1912 Andrew Aune put in a
light plant, a dynamo run by a large gas engine. Most places
were wired to this so they had electric lights a few years before
Ottertail came. They also had a few street lights.
Mr. Grass had the first
automobile in town. It was a little red one seater with a
steering rod. Bill Robertson had the first real car, a
Kissel in 1908 that cost $3000. That was the banker.
The first post office was in
the back of the Nordlie store and Pete Solberg was the first
The first depot agent was Lee
Tollack Wogie was the
first dray man.
John Rorvik was the undertaker
for many years.
The school was built in
1909-1910. Mr Davis was the first professor.
People lived above the stores
at first and then houses started being built.
Fairdale had a good baseball
team. They played the Boston Bloomers, a ladies traveling
team, and beat them. Some of the players were: Fred
Thompson, Fred Robb, Edmund Robb, Alfred Thjompson, Hans and Oscar
Tappen, and the Naegli boys.
The first doctor was Dr.
Lindberg who, was killed when he fell under a train in Adams.
Dr Joistad from 1910-1919, and Dr. Dixon was the last one
We had dentists also. Dr
Chively the first two years, Then Dr. Hughes, Dr.Tom
Smith, and Dr. Baason.
Fairdale had a big celebration
in 1910. In 1915 they had to guarantee a merry-go-round
operator $400 to come. They took in $800
the first day at a nickel a ride. In 1916 they had a
celebration with horse races and many sports played. Jacob
Westby said he had a good horse that should have won but he was
"a no good rider."
These facts were taken from
Jacob Westby's memories of Fairdale.