I frequent the Ben Franklin Store in Park Rapids… otherwise known as “the dime store” or “the five and dime” although nothing is a dime anymore. They have paper and paints, yarn and who knows what all. I was looking for some small Christmas containers for cookies for the cookie exchange. I got some there last year. I hate going to Wally World…maybe I will stop by the new Dollar Store where everything is supposed to be a dollar. There are buildings sitting empty around town..yet they build new. Go figure.
It has been a Ben Franklin for a good long time. Back when Norman and Gladys Fulton had the store it was a Ben Franklin. A classmate and next door neighbor of Far Guys probably would have inherited the store. Norm and Gladys had no children, they took Danny under their wing as much as they could…sadly he was killed in a car accident in 1970.
You can barely see the name on the Fulton Bldg…but it is still there.
Norman was an only child born in 1914 , his mother was Belle J.Sobles Fulton Schmider and his father was the famous Fred Fulton Heavyweight Boxer. Lena Fulton helped raise Norman…she was his stepmother…she married Fred in 1939 but they must have lived together for some time. Lena was 18 years older than Fred and 67 years old when they married. There must be more to that story…and it must have caused many tongues to wag about town.
There are lots of stories about Fred Fulton…some not so pretty…did he throw some fights or “take a dive” as some report? He must have. He had quite a temper and hit his brother once…there was a law suit. He bought White City Resort in Park Rapids and ran it successfully for many years. There was a supper club and a dance pavilion out over the water in the late 1920’s and 1930’s. You had to pass by the drinking place known as “The Bloody Bucket” on your way out there.
Far Guy remembers seeing Fred Fulton around town and having to look up up up! Fred was 6 feet 6 1/2 inches tall.
Back when I was the Director at the museum, I ran onto an old packet full of papers and old photos of Fred Fulton. With the help of volunteer Tess we organized everything in Acid Free sleeves and put them all in a three ring binder. History which someone may want to look at someday.
Oh yes, there must be more to that relationship and like my hometown, I'm sure a lot of folks' tongues wagged! Very interesting about Fred Fulton - John will enjoy this post.
Just noticed your "fall" yard flag deep in the snow - that's just not right!!!!! You guys have a good weekend and love to Chance.
Morning, love Ben Franklins, as soon as wee hit Grand Forks that was one of our first stops. Neat to hear about the small town folk. Blessings Francine.
I haven't been to one of those old Ben Franklins in ages. They didn't have them in Boulder where I used to live, and sure not up here in the Pacific Northwest. I wonder why. I never heard of Fred Fulton, but then again, I've never been into boxing. :-)
Dime stores! Lots of good memories there. Before Walmart stormed in, it was the only place to buy fabric, yarn, and craft stuff.
I guess every town has it's "characters'" but they do tend to stand out more in small towns. Nice that Fred has his place in a museum now.
Oh my gosh, do I miss dime stores. I can still see the little sections holding hair nets and lipsticks and bobby pins. I remember going to them with my allowance and always finding something exciting to buy.
I didn't even know there were any Ben Franklin's still around! I woul dlove to live somewhere where they had one. I think realtors have it all wrong...you don't sell a house; you sell a community, a neighborhood, a culture. YOu are very lucky! Dollar Stores do not compare.
I also think people are so interesting,,,,everyone has a past and it's all interesting to me. Thanks for sharing that one.
Some of these old characters had a pretty lively history. Yes , information needs to be kept.
I too miss the dime stores. Nowadays the closest thing around is the dollar store. Great story! I'm your newest follower! :)
We have a little "dime store" here in Fredericksburg and it is always a must see among the tourists who frequent the town. It's fun to go in and reminisce about what all you could find back in the day. Enjoyed your story.
More fascinating history! We had a '5 to a dollar store'. I remember walking home from there carrying a gold fish in a bag full of water. The dollar stores here have all had to put their prices up to $1.25, although they still have a few things at $1.
Another wonderful post! I specifically remember the cashew nut display case in the Dime Store. It had a revolving pedestal mounded with nuts and below even more nuts. As a child I was meserized by that display.
The "five and dime" is a Christmas kind of memory for me. When I was a kid, my dad had an awful emergency surgery--which of course put him out of work with no sick leave or coverage like we have now--and my parents worried about what Christmas day would be like for the family. Somehow, over the months, I had accumulated all the nickels and dimes I had earned from doing odd jobs. I had saved them up for Christmas. While no one could have bought gifts on that kind of money even back then, I could find sweet nicknacks at the five and dime to buy a small token of love for each member of our family. It was a sweet Christmas :) Not commercial like our Black-Friday style of holiday giving nowadays...
I miss the old dime stores. Haven't seen a Ben Franklin in too many years. The first Walmart I worked at, the hiring lady told me it was the precursor to Walmart.
Don't know if i was true or not.
Very good story. Have a great weekend!
Our Robinson's dime store in Osceola had a similar family store. Two generations owned it and the second generation didn't have children. They were rich as they built a Frank Lloyd Wright house in town. I think nephews were due to inherit and a falling out took place. I am not sure who ended up inheriting it but now it isn't worth much. Fulton does sound like quite a character.
It's good to know there are still some Ben Franklin stores in existence. I used to love going the the Ben Franklin in Oregon City, Oregon to Christmas shop. The song "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas" always makes me think of the Ben Franklin store.
I didn't know there were still any Ben Franklin stores around. I love the old dime stores and I loved when they were in the old downtown buildings.
Reminds me of the Nanci Griffith 5 and dime song :-).
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