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Sarah Walker

  • On this date in 1905, fire destroyed the Grand Central Hotel in Valley City. It was believed to have started in the heating system, though the owner of the hotel, Pat McNulty, couldn’t determine the source as smoke began to fill the building. For several hours the smoke continued to build, then finally the place erupted into flames around 2pm. The newspaper said the blaze “proved a very hard proposition for the [fire] department to handle,” as the smoke was just too dense. It also affected a connected novelty store. At one point the firemen thought they had the fire under control, but it broke out again, stopping only after destroying seventy-five feet of property along Main Street, causing thousands of dollars of damage.
  • On this date in 1914, multiple newspapers reported that Ben Benson, also called Buffalo Head, visited Curator H. C. Fish at the State Historical Society of North Dakota to see a drawing of his father, Iron Eyes, which was on exhibit there.
  • In 1966, a Job Corps center opened in Bismarck at Fort Lincoln after the army had declared the site as surplus. The first 22 men to arrive at the Lewis and Clark Job Corps Center, had a quiet entrance into North Dakota, with little fanfare. However, this was perhaps a welcome relief, as much controversy had developed over the opening of the site in the past year, placing Bismarck squarely in the national news as tensions rose.
  • On this date in 1911, William Gilbreath, Commissioner of Agriculture in North Dakota, was busy—in fact, the Bismarck Tribune called him “about the busiest official at the state house for the past six months.” And no small wonder!
  • There was a ghost haunting the streets of Bismarck in 1892. At least, that's what the Bismarck Tribune reported as Halloween neared, stating: "Bismarck does not claim for itself anything out of the ordinary, but it does, just at present, rejoice at the possession of something which does not fall to the lot of every city; it owns a real, live ghost, with the white robe and all other appendages of dress, the possession of which is absolutely indispensable to the fashionable personal appearance of a well-dressed ghost."
  • Today, with American Archives Month winding down, we conclude our series on North Dakota’s State Archives, which are part of State Historical Society.Herbert Fish was curator for the historical society from July 1907 until August 1915. He was a strong force, travelling the state to conduct field work, and collect documents and artifacts. He didn’t always have to go far; a report in local newspapers stated that he played a lucky role in saving the private correspondence of the state and territorial governors. Their letters were found in a vault at the Capitol where the society had its office. The letters were about to be destroyed by the janitor when Fish discovered them. Instead of ending up in the ash heap, they were added to the society’s collections.
  • Today we continue our series on American Archives Month. In North Dakota, the state archives are part of the State Historical Society, and while the curator of the State Historical Society was initially the only permanent member of the staff, he did end up with more assistance as librarians were hired to aid with the collections.
  • Today we continue our series on October as American Archives Month.In North Dakota, the state archives are managed by the State Historical Society. In early 1907, the society received welcome funding and some office space in the Capitol for the collections. However, by December, the Bismarck Tribune reported that the archives already needed more room and more funds, saying: “The [Society] has a good start, but we are far behind our sister states, and much of historical value that ought to be in our possession has already gone to enrich the treasures of other states.”
  • October is American Archives Month, where archives around the country celebrate the records in their holdings and recognize the archivists who assess, collect, organize, preserve, and provide access to information of lasting value.
  • October is American Archives Month, where archives around the country celebrate the records in their holdings and celebrate the archivists who assess, collect, organize, preserve, maintain control of, and provide access to information of lasting value. The North Dakota State Archives is part of the State Historical Society of North Dakota.