First Buildings

First building in Fargo.

N. K. Hubbard recalled in the Sunday Argus on July 5, 1896 that the first building built in Fargo was of board and batten, one story, door in the center, with "a nice pair of elk horns over the door." The building was erected by E. Sweet, Jr., one of the bridge builders for the Northern Pacific Railroad. That building is shown in the upper right photograph.

A. H. (Harry) Moore, a native of Wisconsin, came to what is now the site of Fargo in 1869 to homestead. He built a log house (with the aid of carpenter George Mann) near what was the slough in present day Island Park. The house was later moved to higher ground at 119 4th Street S. At this site it served as a hotel and a jail. The building was later purchased by Henry Hector and it was home to his family until 1952. In 1939 the Pioneer Daughters of North Dakota formally recognized the structure as Fargo’s first wooden house and had a bronze plate affixed to a stone in the front yard. The house was moved in the late 1950s to make way for the new YMCA building. Its new location was 205 23rd Street S. In 1974, it was threatened with demolition, so the Fargo Board of Realtors and Max Moore, grandson of Harry Moore bought the house and donated it to Bonanzaville. It was restored to its original appearance in 1980 by Palmer Forness, and is preserved as Fargo's oldest existing wooden building.

First house in Fargo.

The first two story building in Fargo was built by Mr. Pinkham at what was known as No. 27 Front Street (Main Avenue). Pinkham's Hall was located at the corner of Front and Fifth Streets and was used for a wide variety of purposes, including school, church services, and theater.