To explain this week’s Throwback Thursday, let me first explain the treasure trove I recently found in The Forum’s archives.
Some quick background: many of our paper archives prior to the late 90s are in large envelopes organized by subject (many of them, interestingly enough, are stamped “Historically Important, Save”). Many longstanding area institutions like the police force, the fire department, city government, businesses and the universities all have one or several, as do things like “ice skating rinks” or “parks” or “astronomy.”
One of these I found lately is simply titled “Fargo History – Special Stories.” It’s just what it sounds like, a collection of stories Forum writers have done over the years that handle different topics in Fargo’s history. They’re the Throwback Thursdays of the past.
This collection is amazing. There’s a seven-part series on Fargo’s “outlaw” past. There are lots of photos from the late 19th century of Red River Valley settlement, many of which rarely see the light of day. And there are some really good individual subjects, like the one used for this week’s TBT focusing on the first professional doctors to work in Fargo and Moorhead.
I was really drawn into this story, and probably because of how much health care has changed since that time and for how powerful a force it is in our local economy. Getting to know the roots of that was exciting.