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Remember When

How Fort Dodge has changed over the years.

Members: 65
Latest Activity: Jan 28, 2015

Discussion Forum


Started by Gary Crouse. Last reply by Robert Maddox Jan 28, 2015. 13 Replies


Started by Joe Hendrickson May 3, 2013. 0 Replies

I can remember when

Started by David K. Adams. Last reply by Joe Hendrickson Mar 17, 2013. 7 Replies

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Comment by Anthony (Tony) Adams on August 7, 2011 at MyFortDodge.com

Sorry to hear about the Laramar (formerly the Playmore Ballroom). I played in my band there many, many times with Roger Dunker and Rick Wind (from Humboldt). Also played the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake - where Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper, and Richie Valens played their last gig). I can still visualize The Dog House and the car hops, putting the tray on the car window. Best onion rings ever - along with those at The Dodger Lanes bowling alley. I keep trying to remake the Hi-Ho The Dairio's pork tenderloin sandwich, but my friends here on the Big Island of Hawaii LOVE what I have come up with. I even made it using wild boar from the island. Many of the places my band played in the 60's are gone, I'm sure: Anver's (across from the police station downtown), The Green Garter, Del's Tavern, Tony's Famous Restaurant (on Highway 20, west of the hospital), plus the FD Country Club, Starlite Village, American Legion country club, and the Elks and the Moose Lodge (played the old Moose Lodge on central avenue before it burned down and the Knights of Columbus which also burned in the Fantle's fire). I also played at the original Holiday Inn on the west side of town. I also remember when Pasquale's opened on the square and everyone was excited about the new food from New York - PIZZA! I started playing the organ live on KQTV and KVFD radio in 1963 and my band was the "house band" for a live music show on KQTV at 10 am on saturday mornings in 1967 - hosted by Vince Flemming. Haha! No Dick Clark was he. It all seems light years ago, but only yesterday.


I climbed up the old water tower several times as a kid with my friend John Moore.  As a musician, I am very glad they rebuilt the band shell, but with they had kept the old benches that had so much charm - like the band shell in Central Park in NYC. I can still hear the noon whistle blow from the old Hormel plant by the river - could hear it all over town. I used to buy great clothes at Gate's Department Store, Larson's Clothing, and shoes at the Bootery on central avenue. Then get a vanilla phosphate, chuck wagon burger, and "shoe strings" at Constentines at central and 9th street. also used to hang out at MidBell Music on central. Those were great days downtown before the shopping center was built in the mid 60's. Very fond memories.

Comment by Thomas Schnirring on May 30, 2011 at MyFortDodge.com

I was sorry to see the old water tower removed just a few years ago.  But my very favorite Fort Dodge landmark was the 650 foot KQTV KVFD television tower at Television Square.  That tower stood so tall it could be easily seen for many miles, especially to the west of Fort Dodge.  I always made it a point to start watching for it when approaching town!  I always knew I was getting close when I saw it coming into view.  I really miss it, and I'm so sorry it is gone.  I have many fond memories of KQTV and KVFD.  Does anyone know how far the Channel 21 signal went when the station first started?  When the Bradgate tower was built, it extended the signal to cover three times as many homes as the original tower covered.

Comment by Bill Grady on February 19, 2011 at MyFortDodge.com

I had a request by a classmate of mine for a photo of King's Restaurant and Fort Dodge Fruit and Grocery.  If anyone has a photo of either those it would be appreciated if you'd share them here.

Thanks in advance!

Comment by Troy Hendrickson on September 16, 2010 at MyFortDodge.com
Wolves are part of the pack at the International Wolf Center in Ely, Minnesota.


They pretty much gutted the Laramar when Ackerman bought it and remodeled it to be a convention center, all the art deco features and neon gone, everything beige, they kept the chandeliers though.

We got coyotes, people like to shoot them. Iowa's idea of natural resources are paved bike trails with foam rubber corners.

I've only lived in Boone since 05, don't actually know many people beyond my neighbors and some of the local DNR people.Don't even work here, don't spend much time here, I'm on a 5 year plan out of this state and headed somewhere north of Highway 2 in Minnesota.
Comment by David K. Adams on September 16, 2010 at MyFortDodge.com
welcome Troy, some nice wolves you have there, do you raise them? All we seem to have in Az. is coyotees, and people are always trying to get rid of them, they don't realize that it is Us, who invaded thier area. What did they do to the Laramar? you said that it is gutted? I saw Buddy Holly play there, it should be a Shrine...not all progress is good!...Say, do You know Garen Christensen ? He lives in Boone I worked with him at the Super Value in Ft. Dodge many years ago...David
Comment by Troy Hendrickson on September 15, 2010 at MyFortDodge.com
The disco was the Runway, the Rain Forest became the Thirsty Cactus and then Silver Cinema if I recall, the Runway became Legends and then finally closed. Too bad, only real venue Fort Dodge had after they gutted the old Laramar and got rid of all it's character.
Comment by Joanie Joslin on March 13, 2010 at MyFortDodge.com
OMG! I can't believe i found this! I grew up in Fort Dodge and later moved to missouri! Oh how i miss Fort Dodge! My dad pastored achurch there and I am trying to find people I knew from there. His name was Kenneth Joslin. By the way, my name is Joanie Joslin and if you knew me........HELLO!!!! We used to eat at the pancake House all the time but some of my fondest memories were at Oleson Park. O to be a kid in Fort Dodge again!!!!!
Comment by Roberta West on January 19, 2010 at MyFortDodge.com
Steelman's Roller Rink! I think I lived there Friday's and/or Saturday nights from the age of 12. All Skate. Reverse Skate. Coldest bottled soda I ever had. And I still have my Chicago Roll Rights - changed the wheels out when I moved to Southern California and skated on Venice Beach - my shoe size never changed from the age of 12. I still have my skates.
Comment by Marvin R. Mattfeld on January 12, 2010 at MyFortDodge.com
Hi Jaci,

How are you? My usually infallible memory is not serving me well. I am unsure whether it was Tom or Jerry(?) Higgins who was in FDCC 1960 - 1961. Whichever it was also went to the University of Northern Iowa in 1962.

My recollection is that Ford Hopkins was on the corner of 9th Street and Central Ave., on the northwest corner of the intersection. I think Kresge was located on the southeast corner of 8th Street and Central Ave. Was there another 5 and dime on Central ave., (McClelland's perhaps or a Woolworth's).

Any help you can give me on Higgins would be appreciated.
Comment by Jaci (Armstrong) Pardun on January 12, 2010 at MyFortDodge.com
Kresge's across from Ford Hopkins had a soda fountain. Also an automated donut machine. Pretty neat for the "olden days"! That photo of Defoe Motors brings back memories. Karen was one of my friends. She has passed.

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