LET'S GO FIRST CLASS across America: Part 8 - Plus a BONUS!

Here's the second oldest card I collected as a child. The Northern Motel in Indiana. Alas, it seems to be gone having been replaced by a Days Inn. No sense getting an image from today; we all know what it's going to look like.

Click on either image to see it larger.

This little motel looks like so many I remember. There was a sameness to a lot of these places, but they were more personal since a family ran it and not a corporation. You didn't expect to find cookie cutter sameness across the country. Now you can go to Days Inn in every state and eat at a Denny's and feel like you never left home. For some that makes travel seem secure. The food and lodging each night is the same and they don't even need to watch local tv channels because we're all hooked into the same networks.

You really have to spend some extra time looking for what once was America. The question is are people willing to spend the time doing that? I think a handful of us still are.

UPDATE: It's time to head out to find AMERICA

Last year I did a post about the card below. Today I heard from a relative who is the grandchild of the man who built this station.

The emails reads:
The (this) Log Cabin Service Station was built in 1925 by my grandfather, Charles G. Lindquist.

This article gives some history about it. The 'Jim Knapp' in the article is my father.
And here is the article they referenced from the April 21, 2007 Fergus Falls Journal:
Fergus Falls retiree Jim Knapp’s grandfather, C.G. (Charles) Lindquist, came to Fergus Falls in 1925 from Fairmont, N.D., and built the Log Cabin gasoline station on the southwest corner of Lincoln and Vine, where Century 21 now stands.

Even though the Log Cabin has been gone since the mid-1960s, its memory lives on — through ceramic replicas. One is owned by Knapp and his wife, Janet.

“It’s a prized possession,” Janet said, “especially in light of the historical ties of the Log Cabin to Jim’s family.”

Jim’s cousin, Joe Forbes of Bemidji, also has a ceramic Log Cabin. Another Log Cabin ceramic replica, part of the House in Snow Village collection produced by Department 56 of Minneapolis — just like the one owned by the Knapps — is treasured by Obert and Mary Houg of Fergus Falls.

“Our daughter Sally saw the replica in Fargo and bought one for Obert as a Christmas gift in 1999,” Mary said. “Sally and our other daughter, Jill, remember eating at the Log Cabin lunchroom with Obert and me back in the 1960s, after some of Obert’s softball games.”

The lunchroom was added to the Log Cabin several years after the original construction in 1925. A long counter for customers faced Lincoln Avenue, to the north, and a second counter faced eastward, toward what’s now Service Food.

C.G. (Charles) Lindquist operated an oil business in Fairmont prior to moving to Fergus Falls and running the Log Cabin starting in the mid-1920s. Before that he was in the shipping business at Big Stone Lake and Lake Traverse. He began his business career as an elevator operator at Diamond, S.D., a town that no longer exists.

The Log Cabin survived a serious fire in 1930, only five years after it was built. The pumps and tanks were not damaged, so gasoline and oil service went on uninterrupted. But much of the wood was damaged and had to be replaced.

The father of Charles Lindquist — Jim Knapp’s great-grandfather John Lindquist — fought in the Civil War with the Minnesota One fighting unit. His final resting place is at Ortonville where veterans pay homage at his gravesite each Memorial Day.

Charles Lindquist sold the Log Cabin station in 1946, after 21 years of ownership.

John Schrom ran the Log Cabin gas station and lunchroom in the 1950s and early 1960s. Eventually the station made way for the Western Station, one of the early convenience stores in Fergus Falls, established in the late 1960s.

The Log Cabin lunchroom later was moved to Wendell and is now part of the Wendell Cafe owned by Diane and Rick Branson.

Today the renovated Holiday Station on South Union Avenue in Fergus Falls reminds many old-timers of the Log Cabin that once stood at the southwest corner of Lincoln and Vine.

“It’s fun to remember the former eating establishments and other businesses from bygone years in downtown Fergus Falls,” Houg said. “And It’s nice to know that we have family and historical ties to the Log Cabin through the Knapp family.” (SOURCE: Fergus Falls Journal)
Once again a little piece of paper ends up telling a story.

Thank you to the family of Mr. Lindquist for providing this information. I really appreciate it.


  1. how wonderful that they sent this info. how nice to hear the story behind this great station!! Gone are the days of these wonderful places. thanks for keeping them alive on your blog!!

  2. Ann, I was happy this morning to see their comment. I've always wondered about that little station. Now we have some answers. Sooner or later someone types in the right search term to lead the way.

  3. An end to another wonderful story that started with a postcard.