Eastwood Park Reporter

Minot, North Dakota

Est. 1991

May 2005

Special Edition

MacGregor Hall for Sale

History of the Home

McGregor Hall, located at 605 1st Ave SE in the beautiful neighborhood of Eastwood Park, is whimsically named for two early owners of the home. The house was built during the winter of 1907-1908 by Laura C. Hall who bought the lot that the house stands on as well as the lots on either side in July, 1907 for $1100 and sold the house and its lot for $3200 in March, 1908.

John & Sadie McGregor bought the house on Valentine's Day in 1912. John owned the McGregor Horse Co. that was located at 320 E. Central Avenue in Minot. After living in the house for 25 years, Sadie transferred the house to her daughter, Edna, in February, 1937.

In October 1945, Zelnoe and Susie Newnam purchased the home and lived in it for almost 30 years until 1974.

After changing hands several times, Todd Harkness purchased the home in 1976 and started to restore the home.

In November, 1990, Steven & Kay Cameron purchased the home after a long, six month negotiation They en­joyed the next 14 years living in their dream home and raising their two daughters.

This house has been the Cameron's dream home for almost 15 years. But now, perhaps it will be your turn to en­joy and care for this beautiful, historic home located in one of Minot's oldest and most beautiful neighborhoods.

The Beauty of the Home

When you first enter the house, you are transported back in time to the rich woodwork, fancy wallpapers and old fashioned comfort of the turn of the century.

The entry surrounds you with the beautiful woodwork of the stairway to the floor above and the columns leading into the living room as well as the flash of gold foil wallpaper that looks espe­cially enchanting at Christmas with twinkling lights reflecting off the walls.

The living room continues the won­derful woodwork with two sets of col­umns and an ornate fireplace exactly like one located in South Dakota at the 1880's Town which was hand-carved in Ohio in 1889. The room is accented by two stained glass windows.

The formal dining room's rich wallpaper, chair rail, picture rail and crown molding are topped off with the Lord's Prayer stenciled around the room. The bay window with stained glass adds a touch of elegance that makes it perfect for an intimate family meal or a formal dinner party.
On the second floor, the spacious, comfortable master bedroom comes complete with a bay window with stained glass and a private, cozy sitting room.

The two other bedrooms on the second floor can be used separately or be used as a mini-suite with a door join­ing the two together.

The two bedrooms on the third floor can also be used as separate rooms or a private third-floor suite; a bedroom with a sitting room or toy room.

Eastwood Park Platted in 1906

After six years of planning, a swin­dle and two lawsuits, the Eastwood Park Addition plat was filed on August 1, 1906, almost 99 years ago.

From the beginning, George Hecker wanted Eastwood Park to be one of the prettiest residential areas in Minot.

Although the land was naturally beautiful, Hecker and K E. Leighton, his attorney and partner, spent $1000 adding greens and shrubbery to the oak, and ash trees as well as rose bushes and grapevines that were already part of the landscape.

Trees were removed to form the streets and a bridge was constructed at the end of 6th Street for access directly to downtown.

Hecker and Leighton also knew that Eastwood Park was a good invest­ment. Minot was growing and its popu­lation was expected to top 10,000. Resi­dential areas close to downtown were expected to be valuable. In one adver­tisement, they predicted that the $300 lots would increase in value by a third within two years.

In the years that followed, the location and beauty of Eastwood Park at­tracted many prominent business people as Hecker and Leighton had predicted.

The Great White Way

In the summer of 1917, amid the concerns of war in Europe, Eastwood Park was preparing for a celebration and carnival. Ninety seven street lights had been installed in Eastwood Park and an additional ten were installed on East Central Avenue. Eastwood Park was preparing for the opening of its beauti­ful Great White Way. The lights made Eastwood Park the largest residential section of any city in North Dakota to be lit up with street lights.

The festivities planned included band music, a number of speeches, a street carnival of fun, a street dance and a souvenir booklet about the neighbor­hood. All the houses in the neighbor­hood were to have been decorated with Japanese lanterns as well as having their shades up and lights on throughout the house. All the street lights would be turned on at the same time.

Unfortunately, much of the festivities ended up being cancelled. Tue remain­ing celebration was a quiet one with all the street lights and houses lit up. Resi­dents of Eastwood Park held open houses for friends and family. Everyone in Minot was invited to visit Eastwood Park and enjoy the beautiful lighted scenery.

The Eastwood Park Forest Festival

In August, 1906, the Women's Club of Minot held a benefit for build­ing a YMCA building. The celebration was called the Forest Festival and was held in the newly opened residential district of Eastwood Park.

According to a story in the Minot Daily Optic, Eastwood Park's beauty was greater than any roof garden in New York or palm garden in St. Louis. Japanese lanterns were hung every­where and flashes of Roman fire added mystery to the evening.

There was everything from a full-fledged vaudeville performance to games of chance. Popcorn, ice cream and Russian tea were served. Many visi­tors wore costumes ranging from a Puri­tan maid to a flowery Geisha.

The weather was beautiful. Thou­sands of visitors attended the Festival, many of whom came in free buses from the Leland and Morrill Hotels.
The cost was 25 cents for adults and 10 cents for children. The Festival raised over $500.00 for the YMCA building project.

Unique Secluded Neighborhood

Eastwood Park has the oxbow formed by the Souris River to thank for its secluded and cohesive feeling of the early twentieth century. When a river moves slowly, it starts to form curves instead of flowing straight as a rapidly moving river does. As these curves enlarge, they can become U-shaped much like an oxbow.

In the 1970's, the U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers straightened the channels of the Souris River through Minot; eliminating several oxbows to speed the water flow through the city and reduce the threat of flooding. The oxbow sur­rounding Eastwood Park was cut off from the Souris River but the channel was not filled in with earth. The remain­ing oxbow still gives Eastwood Park a feeling of having a moat around the neighborhood.

The oxbow has given Eastwood Park more than seclusion. It has given the neighborhood many bridges. The two most famous are the False-Arch bridge and the suspension pedestrian bridge that crossed the Souris on Sec­ond Avenue to Roosevelt Park.

The oxbow makes Eastwood Park an island neighborhood and gives it a distinct boundary. It is one of the most unique neighborhoods in the state.

Early Planning

The earliest mention of Eastwood Park was found in the Ward County Reporter dated Thursday, April 12, 1900. A short paragraph stated:

"George W. Hecker, who recently purchased the Rowan farm adjoining this city, has a beautiful island which he will lay out in town lots and plat it as an addition to Minot. He intends to put in two bridges and make it the prettiest residence addition in the city. The addi­tion will comprise about 50 acres and the entire plat is a grove."

Eastwood Park Today

Eastwood Park has a rich history of festivals and community events. This tradition continues even today.

In recent years, the Eastwood Park Historic District Neighborhood Asso­ciation as well as individual residents have participated in many community activities.

In the Spring, there is an annual blood drive, a neighborhood-wide rum­mage sale and a neighborhood cleanup day.

In the fall, several residents open their houses for an annual Art Show and Sale highlighting neighborhood and area artists.

In December, the neighborhood holds a holiday lights festival and an­nual food drive to benefit local food banks.

Eastwood Park has hosted other events in recent years including Tours of Homes and neighborhood picnics.