'Raucous' gatherings once held at the El Zagal bowl

In today's "Neighbors" column, Bob Lind shares memories of the pillars that once stood at the El Zagal golf course in Fargo.

Ron Fredrickson took this photo several years ago at the old post office facade at north Fargo's El Zagal Golf Course. Special to The Forum

An email about a North Dakota State University professor comes up because of a column about the pillars which once stood at the El Zagal golf course in north Fargo.

It comes from Cloy Tobola, who lives near where the pillars were located.

“It’s my understanding that the El Zagal bowl was used as an amphitheater under the direction of NDSU theater professor Arnold Arvold, who was also a potentate at El Zagal. Or maybe he just proposed dramatic events,” Cloy writes.

“I’ve heard that Arvold used (or wanted to use) the bowl to stage elaborate programs with gaudy sets, dancing girls waving ribbons, and other pageantry.

“He also proposed a walking path lined with lilacs from Fargo to Grand Forks.”


Cloy also mentions the Lincoln log cabin in Old Main at NDSU. “When I was editor of the NDSU Spectrum from 1990 to 1992,” he says, “a story about the cabin seemed to pop up in The Forum and the student newspaper every few years.

“Apparently Arvold hosted private events in the cabin with NDSU theater students. He also invited well-known actors who were performing at the Fargo Theater to attend. Agnes Moorehead and Sir Cedric Hardwick were two of the names I heard mentioned as attending.

“A number of years ago,” Cloy says, “I ran across one of Arvold’s former students, who indicated those were fairly raucous gatherings.”

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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

Bob Lind
Bob Lind, Neighbors columnist. The Forum

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