Verle Bleese, formerly of Fargo and now of Seattle, sent “Neighbors” an early 1940s map of Fargo-Moorhead showing the location of churches, government buildings, schools, parks and other places at the time. It was sent to new Fargo-Moorhead residents by WDAY radio.
It included this note:
“You have come to Fargo-Moorhead to stay, we hope. Most people do. That’s why we’ve presented this map... to help you get acquainted.
“This is a young ‘Rarin-To-Go’ community. There are men living here who knew this region before either Fargo or Moorhead came into existence. But, most likely, you won’t have a chance to talk to these early settlers, so let us tell you these facts:
“Fargo had its beginning in 1872, named after Wm. George Fargo of the Wells-Fargo Express Company, and a director of the Northern Pacific Railway. Also a director of that road was Dr. Moorhead from whom Moorhead received its name a few years before it came into the official fold in 1881.
“Up thru the years our population has grown to some 45,000 within a radius of six miles. We’re the hub of a vast and fertile agricultural region. ‘Bread Basket of the World,’ no doubt you have heard it called because of the great wheat fields. True enough, but we have diversified with dairy products, potatoes, sugar beets and livestock, to mention a few.
“As the center, Fargo-Moorhead distributes the necessary farm machinery, and also distributes and processes the produce to the tune of many millions of dollars. Millions more flow into our many outstanding retail stores. We can’t claim to be a factory city, but our industrial facilities are growing.
“Transcontinental lines of Northwest Airlines, Northland Greyhound Busses, Great Northern and Northern Pacific Railroads radiate from here, as do branch train and bus routes. 300,000 persons purchased passenger tickets here during 1942 for points outside of this vicinity. Not bragging, but we do get around.
“When we’re not traveling we enjoy the healthful, vigorous climate. Summer days are long and sunshiny, some of them hot, which days we try to spend in the heart of Minnesota’s 10,000 Lake Region, only an hour’s drive (after rationing). Some winter days are extreme, too, but the atmosphere, both summer and winter, is dry and invigorating, free from damp chill. But even Chamber of Commerce members dress warmly.
“We have all the regular religious, social and civic bodies here. We’ve listed the churches (on the map) together with the recreational facilities, transportation offices, schools, etc., so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding your way around.
“Glad to have you in Fargo-Moorhead.”
The message was signed “Station WDAY.”
Last fall, “Neighbors” carried memories of goofy but popular songs from years ago, such as “Mairzy Doats” and “Boop boop dit-tem dot-tem what-tem chu.”
That led Kathleen Bennett, Fargo, to write that her mother-in-law, Maurine Bennett, used to sing that “Boop boop” song to Sarah, Kathleen’s daughter and Maurine’s granddaughter.
Maurine lived in Webster, S.D., and Aberdeen, S.D. She died in 1989.
Kathleen thanks “Neighbors” for carrying that song, saying “It sure brought back memories from 30-plus years ago.”
And here’s Ruth Carlson, Ada, Minn., who asks via email, “Who remembers this?
Hut-sut rawlson on the rillerah,
Add a brawlah brawlah soo-it.
If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107, fax it to 701-241-5487 or email email@example.com.