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Mueller talks about local history at SCMM

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Jamestown, 58401
Jamestown Sun
701-251-2873 customer support
Jamestown North Dakota 121 3rd St NW 58401

On July 22, Niles Mueller spoke at the Stutsman County Memorial Museum Front Porch Chat. He referred to the historical sites booklet that he compiled for Jamestown's 125th Anniversary Celebration. Mueller stated 1,500 copies of the booklet were printed by the Jamestown Community Foundation for the 2008 celebration. Copies are still available for those that want one.

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He said he got the idea for the booklet after reading a 1983 centennial newspaper report that included about a dozen residences. The downtown buildings section was written using a 1996 study done by Ekstrom and Associates of Fargo as the main reference. The opinions and suggestions were not used for the booklet: Only the building and business history sections were used.

Mueller mentioned a few of the businesses he felt would be of particular interest to his audience: The First Community Credit Union location was the former site of the Russell-Miller Flour Mill, originally built by Anton Klaus, and (later) Feton Lumber Company. The Stutsman County Memorial Museum is listed as being built by and home of pioneer and lumber yard owner, George Lutz. (Mueller also noted it is among the most well-preserved historical buildings in Jamestown.) Hansen Heights Apartments, built in 1900, was moved to its current location on Fifth Avenue NE. It was originally part of the student dormitory building at St. John's Academy.

The booklet also includes short descriptions and histories of a number of different residences in Jamestown. Mueller stated Real Estate Abstract Records for each property were checked, wherever possible, and family records of the current owner or personal memories were the basis for some.

The booklet includes an 1883 map of Jamestown that shows the various additions such as Capital Hill, Russells, Lloyds, etc. Mueller said the original street address names are shown on the map, but changed in 1939. What is now Main used to be Fifth Avenue, but, interestingly, the address of the Lutz Mansion remains Third Avenue SE. Many of the streets and avenues were not numbered, they were named for presidents, pioneers and notable places and people.

The discussion of the area in the northeast part of the city that used to be called Holter Heights centered on many people's memories of the exotic animals that the Holter family had in that area. If anyone has more information on this topic they are invited to contact the museum to arrange for an interview to capture this bit of memorabilia.

On Sunday the Front Porch Chat will feature Ruth Brubakken's discussion of Theodore Roosevelt, the president that is probably most directly connected to North Dakota's history.

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