As you scroll through the highlights, listen to Bill Cox’s “Midnight Special,” written in the 1900’s.


Alvarado Headlines

1902

  • P. H. Thompson and Ole Sands sells the townsite land to John Cheney, who sells it to Charles Fering.

1903

  • Railroad surveying crew decided Ole Sands’ post office would be a good place to put a town.

1905

  • Charles Fering sells land to the townsite company..
  • The townsite company also sees the need for grain elevators and buys land for that purpose from P. H. Thompson. C. L. Spaulding of Warren builds the first elevator. The Atlantic and Northland elevators are built shortly after. Nels G. Backstrom serves as the manager for Spaulding elevator; Carl 0. Olson manages the Atlantic, and probably K. C. Huff manages the Northland.
  • Wheat receipts from the three elevators are around 90,000 bushels. Flax receipts are around 42,000 bushels.
  • Railroad crew put down track and build a station called “Alvarado” after one of the stakeholders. Several hundred Italian immigrants do most of the work.
  • The name of the post office was changed from Snake to Alvarado on September 12th.
  • Martin Sands builds the first hotel.
  • There is local and long distance telephone service.
  • The average value of unoccupied land is between $30-$35 per acre.
  • The townsite agent advertises that a creamery, barber shop, and brick yard are wanted in town.
  • The Robertson Lumber Company builds their yard and supplies all of the materials to build practically all buildings from 1905 to 1922.
  • Henry Backstrom builds the first grocery store on Marshall Street because of some trees that served as a windbreak. As a result the whole business district grows up one block west of where the townsite company had planned.

A New Name

Railroad crew put down track and build a station called “Alvarado” after one of the stakeholders.

Businesses

Martin Sands builds the first hotel, and Henry Backstrom builds the first grocery store.

Telephone Service

There is local and long distance telephone service, which is located in Sands Mercantile Co.


1906

  • Sands Mercantile and Iver Iverson build their stores.
  • The post office and telephone office are located inside the Sands Mercantile Co.
  • Farmers State Bank and State Bank of Alvarado are organized.
  • The Soo line publishes a booklet showing maps and descriptions for the towns along the new track. It states that 83 lots had been sold in Alvarado and that three elevators had been built.
  • A section crew maintains a section of the Soo Line railroad track. The crew, or “gang,” rides handcars to look for and replace rotted ties, tamp loose spikes, and tighten bolts.

1907

  • There’s a ton of snow, and the drifts hang around until late in June. Mail service is interrupted for three weeks that year as the Soo Line trains are unable to move. The mail is finally brought from Warren by horse and sled.
  • Martinus Larson builds his home, later owned by Albert L. Larson.
  • Frank T. Johnson takes over the pool hall.
  • Carl Bergan sells his farm, moves into town, and builds a residence.
  • John Johnson works on the section and owns his home near the present New Hope Lutheran Church.
  • Julius Christensen builds his home in the southeast corner of town and lives there several years while working on the section.
  • Peter N. Bloomsness moves from Warren and opens his blacksmith shop and builds his dwelling.
  • D. S. Christensen opens up a hardware store.
  • E. F. Baker builds a harness shop.
  • Anton P. Nordlund, who had an inland store at Vega, moves his building into Alvarado.
  • Lundgren-Wittensten of Warren starts their branch machinery business.
  • August Johnson operates a general store.
  • John G. Smith moves in from Vega and operates a meat market (and later a harness and shoe repair shop and served as mayor for several years).
  • K. J. Taralseth & Co. of Warren opens a branch hardware store.
  • Louis Larson opens the first livery barn, serving a place to gather to see the broncos harnessed and hooked to buggies to transport traveling men to neighboring towns.

1908

  • The population is 202.
  • On Oct. 16, the Village of Alvarado is incorporated. The first president was S. S. Trickey; Trustees, Nels Backstrom, D. S. Christensen and C. 0. Olson; Treasurer, M. H. Sands; Clerk, F. E. Dahlgren; Justice of the Peace, Carl Sands and L. A. Johnson; Constables, Peter Bloomsness and Berndt Christenson.
  • Axel Pederson, known as “Klink Axel,” builds his blacksmith shop, feed mill, and residence. He had the first gas pump, which dispensed one gallon at the time out of a 100 gallon storage tank.
  • S. S. Trickey moves into town from his farm. He is a happy guy who serves as auctioneer, pulls teeth, sells Reo automobiles, and serves on the Village Council.
  • Ole Sebjornson serves as a mail carrier and has his barn where the present school is located.
  • On February 14, a chemical engine and hand fire extinguishers are purchased for $320. On March 2 a fire alarm bell is purchased for $40, and on March 21, members of a volunteer Fire Department are appointed.
  • I. N. Lodoen moves from Warren to be cashier of the Farmers State Bank. He serves as Sunday School Superintendent for many years and leads the choir. This helps to make Alvarado noted for its singing people and has continued through ever since. (This “singing people” claim is in the original book. Love it.)
  • N. Lodoen leads the choir and makes Alvarado noted for "its singing people."

  • S. S. Trickey moves into town from his farm. He is a happy guy who serves as auctioneer, pulls teeth, sells Reo automobiles, and serves on the Village Council.

  • Mail service is interrupted for three weeks because of snow as the Soo Line trains are unable to move. The mail is finally brought from Warren by horse and sled.

 

Regional Headlines

Courtesy Minnesota Historical Society

1900

  • With North Dakota being a dry state, East Grand Forks enjoys an economic boom due to its brewery and 30 saloons.
  • Grand Forks downtown merchants organize “Winnipeg Day,” an “international crazy days” that brings in several hundred Canadians.
  • Minnesota mills are grinding 14 percent of the nation’s grain.
  • Duluth is a major lake port.
  • The Twin Cities are becoming a center of commerce, led by the Minneapolis Grain Exchange and the foundation of the Federal Reserve Bank with its ninth district in Minneapolis.
  • Seventy percent of immigrants on the iron ranges are from Finland, Sweden, Slovenia, and Croatia.
  • Virginia, Minnesota, has a rough time of it as it is again destroyed by fire.

1902

  • The Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company (3M) is founded in Two Harbors. 

1903

  • Lake Of The Woods County is known for its logging industry. 

1904

  • Open-pit mines are well-established on the Mesabi Range, with 111 mines in operation. 
  • Iron is discovered in the Cuyuna Range in Crow Wing County. 

1907

  • On November 1, Oslo residents vote to change the name from the Village of Oslo to Soo City by a vote of 48 to 24. 

1908

  • On March 10, voters in Soo City decide to change the village’s name back to Oslo by a vote of 42 to 27. So the name of the village appears in the minutes of the village council as Soo City for a period of about four months. 
 

U.S./World Headlines

1900

Watch Thomas Edison’s short film about The Exposition Universelle of 1900.


  • The Exposition Universelle of 1900 is a world’s fair held in Paris.  
  • Boxer Rebellion begins against foreigners in China. 
  • Kodak introduces $1 Brownie cameras. 
  • Sigmund Freud publishes The Interpretation of Dreams

1901

  • William McKinley takes oath on March 4th to begin second term of Presidency. 
  • McKinley assassinated, dies September 14th. 
  • Theodore Roosevelt becomes 26th President on September 14th. 
  • First Nobel Prizes awarded. 
  • First trans-Atlantic radio signal. 
  •  Queen Victoria dies.

1902

  • Theodore Roosevelt becomes first president to ride in an automobile on August 22. 
  • The teddy bear is introduced. 

1903

  • The Wright brothers make first powered flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, on December 17. 
  • The great automobile race from New York City to Pittsburgh takes eight days. 
  • First license plates issued in the U.S. 
  • First message travels around the world. 
  • First silent movie, The Great Train Robbery, is produced. 

1904

  • Ground broken on Panama Canal. 
  • New York City subway opens. 

1905

  • Theodore Roosevelt takes oath on March 4, beginning second term of Presidency. 
  • “Bloody Sunday” Russian Revolution of 1905 takes place. 
  • Einstein proposes his theory of relativity. 
  • Freud publishes his theory of sexuality. 

1906

  • Great San Francisco earthquake April 18 kills over 500 people. 
  • Finland first European country to give women the right to vote. 
  • Kellogg’s starts selling Corn Flakes. 

1907

  • Florenz Ziegfeld stages his first “Follies” on the roof of the New York Theater. 
  • First electric washing machine created. 
  • Picasso introduces cubism. 

1908

  • First Model T rolls off Ford Motor Co. assembly line. 
  • SOS accepted as universal distress signal. 

1909

  • William H. Taft takes oath on March 4 becoming the 27th President. 
  • Robert E. Peary & Matthew A. Henson reach North Pole. 
  •  Plastic is invented.