A walk down memory avenue
A look down Washington Avenue can be a historic view.
Although the businesses inside the buildings have changed over the years, the buildings themselves haven't.
According to files at the Becker County Historical Society, the Detroit Grocery Company built a building along the railroad tracks in 1906. Frank L. Bolen of Detroit Lakes was the architect, and Holmes Artificial Stone and Brick Company supplied the concrete block. Detroit Building and Manufacturing Company provided the construction.
The Detroit Grocery Company was owned by a group of local businessmen including Frank W. Clark, manager, E. G. Holmes, A. G. Wedge Jr., W. I. Taylor, W. H. Gieselman and J. A. Teague.
The building was built on the previous Reid and Wackman Company site. Detroit Grocery sold bulk groceries from 1906 to 1955.
That building is now Hartman Hide and Fur Company, which was previously located in the Blacknik Café building. Morris Hartman and his sons, Max and Samuel, ran the business at the time.
The Graystone was built in 1916 for $100,000. The Hotel Minnesota Company of Detroit Lakes built the "fireproof" Graystone with the intention of replacing Hotel Minnesota, which was built in 1884 and burned in 1915.
E. G. Holmes was the primary shareholder in the Hotel Minnesota Company.
The Graystone was up and operating by July of 1917. The Graystone Annex was built in 1904 and used as the hotel annex in 1917. In 1927, Holmes made the exterior of the annex to match the Graystone.
The building was used as the Greyhound Bus stop for a period of time, and it was converted into apartments in 1970. In 1998, Midwest Minnesota Community Development Corporation purchased and renovated the building.
The Holmes Block, which is a two-story building to the west of the Graystone building, was built as tall as the three-story Graystone to accommodate an opera house on the second floor.
It was constructed in 1892, and the Teague Addition was built in 1900. Fire razed the building in 1889, it was rebuilt and then burned again in 1891. Holmes rebuilt it a third time in 1892, after which it housed the Blanding and Norby Company.
On down Washington
-The Detroit Lakes Public Schools district administration building was the post office, built in 1934.
-The Northern Pacific Passenger Depot was built in 1908 and replaced a wood-frame depot on the north side of the tracks.
-Toy Finders was once the Record newspaper office.
-Lake Avenue Plaza was city hall and the fire department.
-The old Mac's building was once First National Bank.
-Beug's Ace Hardware was Security State Bank.
-Price's Jewelry was Peoples Book Store.
-Barbara's Hair was the Nunn-Dexter Building, built 1915. It housed Nunn's Furniture and Undertaking. The building is broken into three parts -- "J.J. Nunn," "1915" and "Dexter."
-The Glik's portion of the Washington Square Mall is housed in the Nunn Block, built in 1910. The façade was redone in 1986 to match the mall when it was built.
-The former White Drug building is the Converse Building, built in 1915.
-Book World was once the State Theatre.
-J's Hallmark, the Sound Shop and the former Bliss building was the McCarthy Hotel, built in 1905.
-Norby's was constructed in 1889 as the IOOF Hall, and L. J. Norby bought it in 1918.
-Ben Franklin was Woolworth's.
-The former Ladies Unique building was Gambles Hardware Store.
-Flowers by Val and Schurman Law Office were Nelson Drugs.
-Main Street Restaurant was the Masonic and Hamilton Block.
-Northland Realty was the Detroit Robe and Tanning Company.
-The Avenue was the Lake Theatre and Cinema Theatre.
-JC Penney was DeLakes Dairy.
-Culligan Water was Carlee's Landing.
-Red Willow was a gas station.