MSU student continues history department's research into downtown Minot's past
Downtown Minotís past intrigues Amy Lisner, a New Jersey native now living on the Minot Air Force Base and attending Minot State University. Consequently, the senior history major enjoyed utilizing historical photographs and interviewing local residents about Minotís rich history. In conjunction with the Ward County Historical Society, Lisner will give a public presentation of her Downtown Minot project on Friday (July 10) in the Pioneer Village (on the grounds of the North Dakota State Fair), 7 p.m.
"Working with Minot locals has been an honor and a pleasure. I have been fortunate enough to meet local merchants, businesspersons and residents who were thrilled to invest their time and information on this project. I look forward to sharing the information I have gathered with the public," Lisner said. "There are quite a few empty lots in downtown Minot where hotels and businesses once stood, and with the aid of Minotís local resources such as the Soo Line Depot and Minot City Assessorís Office, a rich history has been unearthed" Lisner said.
Topics covered in Lisnerís presentation will include locations where historic buildings, like the Empire Theater, Flatiron Building and Leland Parker Hotel, once stood but are now parking lots. She will recount the stories of old businesses and residents, such as the Orpheum Theater and the history of the Parker family.
The bulk of the research dealt with Minot city directories, which for the years since 1923, contain street directories in which both businesses and residences are organized according to street address. Other sources included Minot State Teachers College yearbooks, the Minot Daily News, insurance maps and county atlases. Lisner contacted current and former business owners, or their relatives, and accumulated photographs and newspaper materials related to previous businesses.
Lisnerís work is the latest project on downtown Minotís history by MSU history students. This collaboration between the Minot Downtown Business and Professional Association and MSU initially began when DBPA requested that the Department of History conduct research on downtown buildings. The DBPA wanted to place historical plaques at significant buildings and locations and to develop a historical walking tour. Over the past several years, many students researched particular properties as volunteers or as part of class assignments.
Lisner hopes to uncover the history of other buildings, properties and people who made Minot what it is today. She is asking anyone with old photographs, newspaper clippings, records or stories to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Minot State University Department of History at 858-3243.