By Alan Sorensen
This column has been months in the making. People from throughout the land have contributed to the rightness or wrongness of the information.
Unfortunately, our computers went down a few months ago and all of our files were lost. Then, not two months ago, my e-mail server went down and all of the e-mails in my file and trash were lost.
Not to worry, though, for I still have some information left enough, in fact, for at least one more installment on the subject, and maybe two or three.
The first person I heard from upon announcing my intention to put together a list of the old neighborhood stores, gas stations and drive-ins around town was Susie Hines Shulund Bessette. Her recollection, as I recall, was of Kelly's Texaco at the corner of First Street and 14th Avenue. The location included Kelly's store, where numerous east end families bought their ice cream, candy and some less necessary commodities. Also at the corner were Kelly's Cabins, a long string of motel entrance units frequented by Canadian tourists.
The property was purchased and operated by Archie Kuka for a number of years. The motel, as I recall, was used as a training location for firefighters and went up in flame. The corner today is occupied by the Duck Inn parking lot across from Uncle Joes.
Sitting on the island between U.S. Highway 2 and First Street was the Glacier Motel, fronted on the west by the Glacier Cafe. The cafe also served as the Havre Taxi stand until its closure a few years ago. It was renowned for its greasy menu, TV and the numerous cars and motorcycles that came in through the window instead of using the door.
Bessette also mentioned the East End Grocery that was Rockstrah's Grocery when I was a kid. Who ever owned and operated that store at the corner of 12th Avenue and Third Street seemed to be the one to take responsibility for the ice skating rink at Carpenter Park. Many was the time I sat in the warming cabin listening to my gloves and coat sizzle on the wood burning stove as Mr. "Rocky" Rockstrah stowed more fire wood in the bin.
But, hey, this let's hear from more of our contributors. This is what Jane O'Neil Dorsha had to say:
I hope you haven't written the column about the grocery stores and service stations yet. I get my Havre Daily a bit late, since I'm too cheap to have my own subscription. I live in Williston and another Havre native (Joanne Larson Olson) brings me her Mom's papers.
I wanted to remind you (probably many people have), about Happy and Florence Filler's grocery store that was on Sixth Avenue between 10th and 11th streets. They loved kids and we certainly loved them! They moved later to Fifth Avenue where the miniature golf course is now. Also, there was a grocery store in a house that was next to Milam's floral. They had excellent penny candy! Back in the '50s there were lots of little neighborhood groceries. How about Ray Hill's on the corner of Sixth Street and ?? Third Ave.? My Mom always shopped at Marra's. They delivered.
What was the name of the drive-in on the curve at the bottom of the hill coming in from Highland Park? I was really little but they had the BEST Hamburgers! The first Taco I ever tasted was at Clyde's. They had great cherry cokes, too. And if you were a kid in the '50s, who could forget the "Super." I was too young to go there. (as my cousin Nancy O'Neill told me again and again. She is 1 year older than I.)
There was Tiger's (Evans) service station. Lots of cute guys hung around there. I should know the name but can't think of the service station on the corner next to the Havre Theater. (Weren't they going to have 3D movies at the Havre?)
I missed the Fossil Festival but heard it was really fun. Your column is wonderful. Please keep it up.
Jane O'Neil Dorsha HCH '64
P.S. I think Diane Jones graduated in '64, didn't she?
(OK, everyone, the cafe on the S-curve where the apartments are now was the College Inn. It had a counter and stools and was, from what I've been told, very popular with college students before the SUB got going. I remember driving by with my family, but my parents wouldn't take me in I was too young, I guess.)