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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Devils Lake in Ramsey County, North Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Downtown Devils Lake Historic District

 
 
Downtown Devils Lake Historic District Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 15, 2012
1. Downtown Devils Lake Historic District Marker
Inscription.  Forty-seven downtown properties comprise the Devils Lake Commercial District, a. U.S. National Park Service recognized historic district, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, this nation's official list of historically significant properties.

Devils Lake was established by Heber M. Creel in 1882, and secured a connection to James J. Hill's Great Northern Railroad line to Minneapolis. The area "boomed" as American, Canadian and European immigrants poured into the area and established an economy based largely on agriculture. The boom was triggered by the fortuitous combination of free (or inexpensive) farm land, the development of new strains of spring wheat especially suited to the area's climate and the particular demands of flour millers, and the opening of rail transportation to the Minneapolis flour mills.

The sixty-five wood-frame buildings which comprised the first commercial district were destroyed by fire in 1884. After the fire, new commercial buildings were required to have brick and stone exteriors. The buildings that make up the current historic district were built between 1885 and 1937. Six of the properties
Downtown Devils Lake Historic District Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 15, 2012
2. Downtown Devils Lake Historic District Marker
(marker is located beside the Old Post Office Museum entrance)
survive from the pre-1900 period, including the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (I.O.O.F.) Building (1885), which is the oldest in the district. Most of the properties were built during the Second Dakota Boom (1900-1915) and the post-boom period (1916-1937). Major historic influences for these later periods include a second influx of immigrants after the opening of parts of the Fort Totten Indian Reservation to private land acquisition in 1904, the growth of Devils Lake as a commercial center and railroad hub, and the adoption of automobiles for local transportation.

Although the properties in the district are primarily two-story brick and stone buildings, a variety of architectural styles are represented. Attention to stylistic details and adherence to common architectural themes were outweighed by the urgency of assuring functional and fire-resistant commercial buildings. The most common building material was brick from the Red River Valley Brick Company of Grand Forks. Consequently, the Devils Lake Commercial District demonstrated the melding of popular eastern design trends with the functional needs of a boom town economy, expressed in locally available materials.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AgricultureArchitectureIndustry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers.
 
Location.
Lake Region Heritage Center / Old Post Office entrance image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 15, 2012
3. Lake Region Heritage Center / Old Post Office entrance
48° 6.697′ N, 98° 51.518′ W. Marker is in Devils Lake, North Dakota, in Ramsey County. Marker is on 4th Street Northeast just east of 5th Avenue Northeast, on the right when traveling east. Marker is mounted along the sidewalk, directly in front of the Old Post Office Museum. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 502 4th Street Northeast, Devils Lake ND 58301, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 2 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Keating's Furniture Annex (approx. 0.2 miles away); Landing of the Steamboat "Minnie H." (approx. 0.4 miles away).
 
Regarding Downtown Devils Lake Historic District. National Register of Historic Places #89001675.
 
Also see . . .
1. Devils Lake Commercial District (Wikipedia). It includes architecture by Joseph A. Shannon. It includes 44 contributing buildings, including the separately NRHP-listed U.S. Post Office and Courthouse and the Bangs-Wineman Block. (Submitted on December 15, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Devils Lake Commercial District National Register of Historic Places Nomination. (Submitted on December 15, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
3. United States Post Office and Courthouse (Wikipedia). The U.S. Post Office and Courthouse in Devils Lake, North Dakota, was built in 1908. It was designed
Old Post Office Museum image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 15, 2012
4. Old Post Office Museum
Not just a Post Office
• Federal Courtroom
• Native American Center
• Starkweather Barber Shop
• Judge’s Chambers
and much more…
by James Knox Taylor and includes Classical Revival architecture. Also known as Devils Lake Post Office and as the Federal Building, it served historically as a courthouse and as a post office. Its Greek Revival styling is rare in North Dakota, and especially in Devils Lake, a "small rurally oriented community". (Submitted on December 15, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

4. United States Post Office and Courthouse National Register of Historic Places Nomination. (Submitted on December 15, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
 
Federal Building Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 15, 2012
5. Federal Building Marker
Federal
Building
Contributes to the
Devils Lake
Commercial District
Placed on the
National Register
of Historic Places
1989
• • •
Former Post Office
April 1910 to
November 1977
Old Post Office Museum Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 15, 2012
6. Old Post Office Museum Marker
U.S. Post Office
1910-1977
Listed on the
National Register of Historic Places
Managed by
Lake Region Heritage Center
Old Post Office Museum image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 15, 2012
7. Old Post Office Museum
(marker visible on right side of entrance)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 16, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 15, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 42 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on December 15, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.
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Mar. 1, 2021