Oh my, in reviewing my posts, I realize I failed to share any pictures of my visit to my mom’s home town, Chisholm, Minnesota.
Chisholm is in the Iron Range (or “The Range” as old timers call it), north of Hibbing, which is several hours north of Minneapolis.
My mother’s father was in the dry goods business, at one point owning a store called People’s Department Store.
The librarian did some great research for me. I called her from the road on Thursday and she asked me to call back in an hour. When I did, she had addresses for me, of both the store and my grandparents house. She found them in a 1924 city directory. We’d think of it as the phone book, but of course in 1924 not everyone had a phone in their home.
Some years ago there was a big fire and almost all the streets were renamed and the buildings renumbered. That made finding the addresses listed in the directory a bit tricky. Lake Street, thankfully is still Lake Street.
The street numbers went from 127 to 131. The listed address of the People’s Department Store, 129 West Lake Street, just wasn’t there. But the building at 131, while now sort of subdivided, was easily seen as a single, rather large space.
Finding the house was much less satisfying. Hemlock had turned into 4th, there was no house with the number 112, my mother had described living across the street from the lake, but now her street ends not at the lake but at a property that is owned by the town and used as a municipal garage. Maybe that property was used as a park when she was young?
We stopped at a thrift shop and I bought the dozen or so Chisholm-themed t-shirts they had. Sports teams, restaurants, the bowling alley – they all had made shirts at some point. They made great gifts for my cousins. Which was cool, because there wasn’t even a Chisholm-themed postcard at the drugstore, and that was about the only place on Lake Street that looked open and like it would have postcards.