Eastwood Park Reporter

Minot, North Dakota

Est. 1991

November 1992

Vol 2, No 11

False Arch Bridge Is Part Of History

By Kay Cameron

Minot has depended on bridges since its beginning because of its river and railroads. Eastwood Park is no exception especially since it is almost an island and depends on bridges to bring people to this beautiful neighborhood.

On September 23, 1926, the city commission hired M.B. Stone of Minneapolis as engineer to make the plans, specifications and cost estimates to construct a bridge across the Mouse River between 6th Street and East Central Avenue.

On February 11, 1927, the commission voted to build the bridge. Special attention was to be placed on the style of the bridge. They hoped to keep with the popular trends and architectural styles of the neighborhood it would link to downtown. The commissioners specified that it be an `arch' bridge unaware that the design was patented.

Bids were taken and bidders were allowed to submit alternate plans and proposals. On April 29, 1927, the bids were opened. They included a $39,971.00 bid from J.C. Pickus Construction Co. of Sioux City, Iowa; a $31,200.00 bid from J.J. Rue & Sons of Bismarck; a $36,865.00 bid from Kemper Huston of Minot; a $32,980.00 bid from Dakota Concrete Products Co. of Minot with an alternate plan for $25,000.00; and a $34,700.00 bid from Independent Bridge Company of Minneapolis with an alternate plan for $23,450.00. J.W. Speake spoke in detail about the alternate plan submitted by Dakota Concrete.

After viewing all bids, the city commissioners decided to table the bids so they could be seen by the County Board and citizens of Eastwood Park.

On May 5, 1927, the alternate bid by Dakota Concrete was accepted with the understanding that it would be reduced to $24,000.00. All five commissioners, Haldi, Kilbourn, Krantz, Theurer and Toftner, agreed on the plan.

Kenneth Haas, head of Dakota Concrete, had T.W. Sprauge, a highway engineer who later became Chief of the Bridge Design and Construction section, design a `false-arch' bridge. This would avoid paying patent costs but still give the visual effect desired for the bridge. The bridge, in fact, is a T-beam type, concrete bridge build in three spans supported on two piers. It has sidewalks on both sides of the roadway and a light at each of the four corners of the bridge. The arches that make it look like a true, arch bridge are only decoration.

Soon after the bridge was completed, problems occurred when beam seats began to crack. Temporary repairs were done in 1946 but it was left to withstand years of floods and steady traffic. In 1972, the bridge was further weakened by heavy equipment used during the flood. In that same year, the bridge was ordered to be taken down by the Ward County Commissioners.

On May 15, 1974, a 15-24 inch hole was found on the bridge. This was to become the beginning of a battle over the fate of the bridge which would last nine months. This fight would divide Eastwood Park and pit residents against each other. The battle ended in February, 1975, when it was decided that the bridge would be used as a walking and bike bridge.

The bridge is on the National Register because of its historic contribution to Minot and Eastwood Park. Great pride should be taken in caring for this bridge. Periodically, the bridge needs paint and cleaning. Also, benches and planters could be added to enhance to beauty of the bridge.

A special thank you must go out to Mary Janicki who saved a file full of clippings and documents about the bridge and the fight to save it.

Eastwood Park Lighting Contest

By Kay Cameron

Once again, as part of the Eastwood Park Holiday Festival on December 20th, there will be a Eastwood Park Lighting Contest. Everyone is encouraged to show their holiday spirit and put up a display. Let's make it bigger and better than last year.

To enter the contest, simply put up lights and turn them on during the judging and Holiday Festival. The winners will be announced at the Holiday Festival after the Sunshine Kids perform at 4:30 pm.

The first place winner will have their name placed on the travelling plaque and allowed to keep the plaque until the next contest.

The judging will be done the night before the Holiday Festival on Saturday, December 19th at 7:30 pm. So please have your lights on.

Anyone who would like to have lights up on their home but are not able to put them up can call Mark and Deanne Clemens at XXX-XXXX for assistance.

The 'Dirty Thirties' in Eastwood Park

By Pauline Howard

My memories of Eastwood Park go back a long ways, 56 years in fact, to 1936. I had just completed a business course at the Bemis College of Commerce here in Minot and was lucky enough to have landed a job. Hooray! Remember, this was during the `dirty' thirties and the country was suffering a terrible drought and a deep depression. So I considered myself very lucky indeed to have, at the ripe old age of 19, landed a full-time job that paid $15.00 per week for 48 hours of work at a wholesale farm machinery parts company called Minot Distributing Company. This averages out to more than 31 cents per hour. So much for minimum wage, an issue unheard of in those days.

So my girlfriend and I went looking for a room which we would share. The friend to whom I refer was Ruby Olson Christianson who still resides in Minot and whom I still consider to be my friend after all these years. We had met in school and she too was fortunate enough to have gotten a job at the State Fair Office. We found a cheerful room in that very nice part of town known as Eastwood Park. The room was located at 11 9th Street SE. The last name of the people who lived there was Peters, but I cannot recall their first names.

Our room was on the second floor. It was a nice big bedroom with windows to the south and east; very cozy and cheerful. The rent was $12.00 per month; $6.00 each. We were not supposed to do any cooking, but we were allowed to have a coffee pot and a toaster in our room so we could have our breakfasts. We ate our other meals uptown. Seventy-Five cents bought a full meal so it all balanced out, but there was never very much left over at the end of the week and I remember anxiously looking forward to pay day. Eastwood Park was beautiful in the spring and as I walked up Central Avenue to go to work, I thought life was great. I was a resident there for about a year.

Editor's Note: This is part one of a two-part story. In our next issue, Pauline will tell about her return to Eastwood Park.

Holiday Festival Volunteers Wanted

By Kay Cameron

To make the 1992 Holiday Festival on December 20th, a successful event, volunteers are needed in many areas. We need contributions of cookies, bars, hot cocoa mix and marshmellows. Warm blankets are needed for the hay wagon if the weather is extra cold or windy. Also, people are needed to help decorate the False-Arch Bridge and the pillars on Burdick. People are also needed to help sell tickets, take tickets, help people on and off the hay wagon, go caroling and serve refreshments.

There will be a volunteer meeting on Monday, November 30, 1992 at 7:00 pm at 605 1st Avenue SE or call Kay at XXX-XXXX if you'd like to volunteer.

EPHDN Association News

By Kay Cameron

On Wednesday, November 4, Betty Anne Beierle, a field representative from the National Trust met with the neighborhood Association. She spoke on how to attract more people to come to Association meetings and events. She also listed several organizations that have funds available for historic preservation. She felt that the Association was 'on the right track.'

The Eastwood Park Reporter Starts Its Second Year

By Steven Cameron

One year ago, Kay and I introduced our newspaper to Eastwood Park. We've had fun and frustration putting together each issue but looking back at the year, we are very proud of our work.

Now, we have begun to make some changes. The most visible is our front page pillars. But we are in the process of starting new columns and bringing back old ones. So keep watching and enjoy our second year of the Eastwood Park Reporter.

Join the Eastwood Park Holiday Lighting Contest!