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Bar Mizpah: 1937

Bar Mizpah: 1937

August 1937. "Former bank, now a saloon. Mizpah, Minnesota." Medium format negative by Russell Lee for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


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Not a CB&Q (Burlington Route) depot

but rather Northern Pacific Railroad. (Minnesota & International subsidiary anyway). The "Q" never went anywhere near this far north. Burlington Northern took up the rails here in about 1992 and is probably why someone thought this was former "Burlington".

In the background

You see the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad depot and the tracks. This building is located at the corner of Woodland Ave. & Pleasant St. The Post Office building is at Woodland Ave. & Cedar St.

Boy, was I off

I thought this was Beerbank, California.

What it is

It's a Cannonball Alarm Company "Bug" bank vault alarm box, as seen here:

You gotta love the internet!

Another Guess

The mystery box could be the exhaust for the vault ventilator. BTW, I liked "Liquid Assets" better but "Bar Mizpah" is pretty darn good too.

Excellent business plan

I reckon nobody ever went broke turning anything into a bar in rural Minnesota.

Architectural Details

What the heck is this.

Mizpah, Minnesota

The building, located at 101 Woodland Ave, is currently the home of the Mizpah Post Office. I called them, and the clerk confirmed it.

[Actually, the post office is in a newer building a block and a half north at Woodland and Cedar, as noted in a comment above. -tterrace]

Building, built to last

I wonder what its used for these days?

View Larger Map

Box on the Wall???

What is the box on the wall above the awning near the roof line?

I am betting that it is an exterior alarm bell left over from the buildings earlier days as a bank. If not then it appears to contain a giant spider.


WOW! Based on betabox's research in his post above I was almost right on both counts. The only difference is his link looks more like a beetle than my giant spider.

Lucky Strike

Endorsing Lucky Strike cigarettes ("It's Toasted!") from beneath the awning is British actress Madeleine Carroll, the cool blonde in Hitchcock's 1935 thriller, "The 39 Steps." In '37, she appeared in three films: "On The Avenue," "It's All Yours," and the superb "The Prisoner of Zenda."

Grain Belt Beers

Grain Belt 'Premium', a pretty decent beer, was sold in the bar/restaurant of the old Hector Field airport at Fargo, North Dakota during the 1970s.

Record breaker

Mizpah had a population of 56 in the 2010 census. It holds the record for the latest snowfall in the state: an inch and a half on June 4, 1935.

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