From: Dr. Joseph H. Foegen
For anyone interested in nostalgia, and in light of the September 13, 2013 fire, it might be worthwhile to review one block of Third Street.
Before the “Big Boxes” arrived - and admittedly they have their advantages too - downtown was the hub of city retailing. In just one block of the south side of Third Street were Choate’s, Bailey’s with its circular radiator near the front door, and in a pre-cash register era, a money transfer system that carried cash requiring change to a cashier upstairs to the rear. Also nearby were Penney’s - with two floors, one at street level and the other below it - Graham and McGuire Sporting Goods, Morgan’s Jewelry - which is the only one of these left - and Northern States Power Company, then the city’s utility.
On the north side of the block were Stager Jewelry, Ford Hopkins Drugs, F.W. Woolworth, W.T. Grant, and Ted Maier Drugs.
Currently the hub of retailing has shifted to east of Mankato Avenue. Older readers, however, will recall the earlier days of Third Street.