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Historic buildings razed in Kandiyohi

Chad Monson Excavating of Willmar began the demo process Monday of three vacant buildings on North Atlantic Avenue in Kandiyohi. The buildings once held key businesses to the small community. Tribune photo by Tom Cherveny

KANDIYOHI -- What was once the heart of the commercial district in the city of Kandiyohi will be a vacant lot by the end of the week.

Workers with Chad Monson Excavating of Willmar and MACC Inc. of Montevideo began demolishing three bu-ildings Monday on North Atlantic Avenue.

The buildings once held the community's grocery store, a hardware store, and a dry goods and notions store.

One of the buildings was converted into apartments in recent years.

''For some of us who have been here a while and certainly for the natives, it's the better part of Main Street,'' said Mary Jane Lindstrand, a Kandiyohi resident and a keeper of the town's history.

Brothers Art, Bernard and Harry Holm opened their first hardware store in Kandiyohi in 1914, according to newspaper accounts and historical records Lindstrand researched at the town's history center.

Lindstrand said the grocery store originally opened as a cooperative in 1913, and later sold to private owners. Over the years it went by the names of Beck's Red and White Market, Ray's Grocery, Mel's Grocery and the Kandi Country Store.

The dry goods and notions store was owned by Ed Backlund, who originally managed the grocery store.

The Holm Hardware store was one of the first started by the Holm brothers in Kandiyohi County.

The buildings have been vacant for a number of years and represented a safety concern for the city.

City Clerk Sue Kidrowski said the city owns the buildings and property, and expects it will cost roughly $60,000 to remove them.

It's the city's hope to eventually build a new fire hall on the site. The city does not have the funds to build the fire hall at this time, Kidrowski said.

Lindstrand said the buildings held busy commercial enterprises when she and her husband moved into town in 1966.

Workers with MACC Inc. previously removed asbestos-containing materials from inside the structures. They were removing roofing materials on Monday. The demolition of the three structures was expected to take a day or two, while the remainder of the week or more would be required to remove the debris and level the site.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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