Ellendale - Tour of the Core City

This is a tour of major business locations on Main Street, and significant locations on the two adjacent streets. A tour of the Majority of Business

Ellendale - Tour of the Core City

Ellendale, North Dakota 58436, United States

Created By: Coleman Memorial Museum

Tour Information


Welcome to the Tour of the Core City. This tour is a historical walk through the Ellendale business district, with a side trip up to the School and Courthouse. This tour was developed by the Ellendale Historical Society with assistance from the Ellendale Area Foundation. Inquires should be directed to Ken Smith at colemanmuseum@gmail.com.

While you are at it, please visit and like our Facebook page, which is at https://www.facebook.com/ellendalehistoricalsociety

Those interested in documentary resources related to Ellendale history, especially Ellendale High School Yearbooks, S.N.I./Teacher's College Yearbooks, and various newspaper and magazine articles, etc. touching on our local history, go to www.archive.org and use the search term "Coleman Museum."

More tours will be posted here later. Our next projects here will be a detailed tour of the college campus and a driving tour, which will present important historical landmarks in and around the Ellendale area.

Thanks for visiting this PocketSights tour. Your comments, questions, and suggestions are extremely valuable to us. Have a great day!

Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

50 Main - Coleman Memorial Museum (Originally Farmers National Bank) This building has served three vital functions in the community.  Originally a bank, it later housed the residence and practice of Ellendale's premier dentist, Dr. Loren ... Read more
62 & 66  Main - The Laundry Room / Calico Cat Laundry businesses proliferated in prairie towns in the early 20th century, and have been an essential part of the community for its whole history.  Early issues of the Dickey County Leade... Read more
Houghton's Meat Market (Center of the Empty Space) This space has been empty for several years now but it helped feed generations of area residents.  A meat market was located on this site (just west of the MDU building) for at least 100 y... Read more
281 & Main - Brandenburger Park / Walk of Fame Plaques The Ellendale Walk of Fame is a community effort to honor Hometown Ellendale citizens who have made particularly significant contributions to the town's advancement and who have had... Read more
95 Main St W. - Dickey Hotel / Nodak Hotel & Cafe Site Places to room were utterly essential to Ellendale’s early years.  The northwest corner of Ellendale’s main intersection is now vacant, but it was the site of two hotels until ... Read more
79 Main - American Legion / Leiby Drug / Rithmiller Tax, Choice Financial This location is of particular interest, as it has served not only as Ellendale’s Legion Hall, but was the site of Leiby Drug, one of Ellendale’s most important f... Read more
67 W. Main - Crabtree Insurance Duane E. Geer came to Ellendale from Cortland, NY, in 1882 as a surveyor for the government working with Thomas F. Marshall, later a congressman from North Dakota. One of the earliest settlers of Ellendale, h... Read more
105 Main - Ellendale Opera House This beautiful 3-story brick structure—listed on the National Register of Historic Places—was built following the 1908 fire that destroyed much of Ellendale west of Main Street.  Local businessmen belie... Read more
45 Main - Mertz Lumber / Dunphy Hardware From its founding in 1882, Ellendale has always had at least two active hardware stores.  Space near the Milwaukee Depot was a prime location for stores selling building supplies, lumber, and every ... Read more
45 Main - Milwaukee Depot This building was constructed in 1915.  It replaced the original, smaller depot which had stood on the same site since 1882.  It holds special significance because it symbolizes the town's origin as a stop on a r... Read more
Great Northern Railroad Depot Ellendale's Great Northern depot was built in 1905, following the elegant structural style preferred by James J. Hill's famous rail company.  This structure replaced the original Great Northern depot, which wa... Read more
Ellendale Power Plant Electric power in Ellendale is so constant and reliable that most residents hardly give it a thought.  Prior to 1914, however, Ellendale had no central source of electricity.  Some businesses, and the State Normal &a... Read more
Railroad Avenue, running parallel to the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul line, angles slightly to the northwest.  This required some ingenuity on the part of the architects who built the Opera House Block and the Farmers National Bank (n... Read more
 Townsend Livery Barn on Railroad Avenue This long structure, which occupies the space that is now the front yard of the Gerling property (and where Mrs. Gerling’s famous popcorn stand is still parked) was probably the largest of several... Read more
62 1st St. S. – Harvest Gardens (NW Corner of Lot) / 1st Roy & Guy Lynde Ford Garage Immediately after he earned his degree at the University of Minnesota, Dr. Roy Lynde began his 50-plus year medial practice in Ellendale, working out... Read more
Lacey & Barta / Otto Gerling Blacksmith Shop Blacksmithing has been a crucial trade in Ellendale for most of its history.  The ability to mend, shape, hone, harden, and join a variety of metals and machinery parts made the blacksmith o... Read more
66 1st St. S. - NAPA Store / Ralph Lynde Auto For many decades, the Lynde name in Ellendale was associated with both medical practice and automobiles. Immediately after he earned his degree at the University of Minnesota, Dr. Roy Lynde bega... Read more
67 1st Ave S. -  Ellendale Community Center / Redlin Implement This modern building was built to house a new and ambitious undertaking by a South Dakotan who shortly after the War decided that his best opportunities lay in the Ellendale ar... Read more
100 Main - Starion / 1st National Bank This building was the largest brick structure in the business district when it was built in 1906.  The First National Bank had its roots in a bank started in 1892 by F.B. Gannon in a structure located... Read more
112 Main – Kosel’s Four Seasons / Holte Hardware Nels T. Holte walked from Jamestown to Ellendale in the spring of 1882.  He started in the furniture and funeral service business with N.H. Bjornstad as a partner, later becoming the sol... Read more
116 Main - Ellendale Bakery / Fran’s Bakery & Cafe Records show that N.S. Diehl operated the Home Bakery in Ellendale in 1922. There were several other bakeries in the town from its very beginning. Otto Sehnert purchased the bakery in... Read more
118 Main - Body Shop / Bjornstad Building / Ben Franklin P.H. Bjornstad and Son established the first hardware store in Ellendale, in 1882, and became renowned for fitting and repairing horse harnesses, in addition to supplying the standard... Read more
126 Main - Lyric Theater   The Lyric Theater was the brainchild of Claude C. Baker of Minneapolis, who in 1909 purchased the Bodle Building, a frame structure across the street from the present location.  Baker “entirely remodeled and h... Read more
136 Main - Mahler's Village Variety Mahler's Village Variety has been a part of the Ellendale business district since October 1985, when Paul and Kathy Mahler purchased the store from Art and Ardys Fryslie, who had operated the business sin... Read more
144 Main - Corner Corral / North American Creamery / L.S. Jones General Merchandise Store This long, narrow brick building at the east corner of the central block of south main was the site of the L.S. Jones General Merchandise Store.  Jon... Read more
141 Main - Sanford Health Clinic / Roy & Guy Lynde Chrysler Garage The Lynde Chrysler Garage, built after the 1916 fire that destroyed the entire north side of this block, also housed the medical practice of Dr. Roy Lynde, who served El... Read more
139 Main – True Value Hardware Following the fire of 1916, all of the destroyed buildings were replaced except the for the one that occupied this spot.  Instead, a vacant lot stood in the shadow of the large Lynde Chrysler Garage (now th... Read more
129 Main - Seyer Plumbing & Heating This building was built in 1916 following the big fire that destroyed both sides of Main Street with the exception of the First National Bank (Starion Financial). In 1920 Ed Wallis and William Straub ... Read more
125 Main – Prairie Floral and Gifts / Stout Abstract / Ellendale Dry Cleaners A photograph from about 1930 (see above) shows this building occupied by G.D. Stout Abstract Company and a law office.  When Stout died in 1940 or 1941, his ab... Read more
This elegant building, constructed after the big 1916 fire, was the headquarters for Dickey County’s largest centrally managed farming operation.  George Baldwin of Wisconsin, an extraordinarily successful investor, had amassed 300,000 a... Read more
This block has had a drug store since Ellendale’s earliest years.  E.F. Bodle and C.M. Axtell were partners until Bodle retired in 1907.  In 1909, the original Bodle building (which was on the north side of the street) became the Lyric ... Read more
111 Main—Rath Optometry / Helder’s Barber Shop For most of its history, Ellendale has had several barber shops.  Helder’s on Main Street was one of the most popular.   The Helder Brothers, Francis (Pete), Bernard (Buck), Daniel (Dan... Read more
105 Main - Cutting Edge / Dobler & Brown’s Meat Market This building, built after the 1916 fire, was a meat market owned by Hafner and Crocki when it was bought by Matt and Richard Dobler in 1933.  It was equipped with a slaughterhou... Read more
101 Main - Merkel CPA / Blumer's Grocery / Town Hub Grocery The five storefronts sharing a common brick facade were erected following a disastrous 1916 fire that destroyed most of the buildings on Main Street.  The corner building--present... Read more
200 Main - Ellendale Masonic Lodge Ellendale Masonic Lodge #13 is Ellendale's longest surviving community organization having received its Charter on June 12, 1883. At that time, it was known as Ellendale Lodge #49 A.E & A.M. of Dakota ... Read more
210 Main - Dakota Dental Care  Dakota Dental Care started out as The Area Dental Clinic. It was built in 1975 and the first dentist to occupy the building was Dr. W.S. Stemm. The practice was eventually sold to Dr. Mark Persson and Dr. Ray... Read more
216 Main - DMV / Dickey County Leader Office This building, completed in late 1916, was the second home of the Dickey County Leader, Ellendale’s oldest newspaper.  The original building, which was on the same site, was destroyed in the b... Read more
241 Main - Evergreen Place / Ellendale Hospital / Site of Original Courthouse The space now occupied by Evergreen Place was the site of the first Dickey County courthouse, which was erected in 1884-85.  The building served not only the leg... Read more
55 3rd Ave. S. - City Hall, Water Tower 1914 was a good year for Ellendale advancement, as it marked the completion of a new City Hall building, and the beginning of a municipal electrical generation plant. The new brick City Hall, built, a... Read more
301 Main - Bjornstad Park / Ellendale Municipal Pump House The Harold Bjornstad Park was restored and in 1975 it received the Bicentennial Award for municipal beautifucation.  The small building houses a water pump that was used for the mu... Read more
321 N. 1st St, - Ellendale Public School The history of the Ellendale Public School is so long and rich that it deserves the full accounting it received in Ellendale's Sesquicentennial Book.  Click here to download a pdf (7 pages): http://... Read more
421 2nd Ave. N. - St. Helena’s Catholic Church The Catholic faith has been part of Ellendale’s history since the very beginning.  The first mass was held here in 1882.  In 1886 the corner section of this block was purchased for the pr... Read more
309 N. 2nd St. - Dickey County Courthouse Dickey County’s first courthouse was constructed on Main Street in 1884-85, and served the community and area until 1912, when the present structure was completed.  The new building cost about $1... Read more
115 3rd Ave. N. Original Presbyterian Church / Zion Lutheran Church Individuals and families of Scottish heritage played an outsized social and cultural role in the early years of Ellendale.  The Presbyterian Church was home to much of thi... Read more
121 1st St. N. – Char's Food Pride / Ulmer's Jack and Jill Ellendale has had numerous food stores over its history, and at times three or more grocers competed for local business. The last remaining grocery store was bought by Char Knight... Read more
The Ellendale Post Office was originally located in the First National Bank building (now Starion).  In 1953 it was moved to the Red Owl Store east of the bank.  It remained there until 1975 (?), when a new building was erected just west ... Read more
47.  61 1st St N. - Blumhardt’s Chevrolet & Lots What was previously a livery stable became a garage when F.M. Kendall and Edward Hamar opened for business as a car dealer in 1915.  Kendall & Hamar built a first-rate Chevrolet f... Read more
Bowling has a long history in Ellendale.  Some of its history since the 1950s is recounted in this doggerel poem by one of Ellendale’s biggest bowling fans: http://bit.ly/bowlingpoem Several smaller establishments featured bowling lanes,... Read more
50 N. 1st St. Carquest/Cenex Automotive / Salzer Lumber At the present site of Cenex repair and Carquest Auto Parts stood, a century ago, a large full-service lumberyard that serviced Ellendale with high quality lumber and specialty constru... Read more
End of Tour - Ellendale Coleman Museum You are back at the starting point.  We hope you have enjoyed this tour.  Please direct comments, questions, errors, additions, suggestions, and flattery to colemanmuseum@gmail.com. If you are taking... Read more


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