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 Ben Franklin, Eric Brandt, 9/12/2007 9:04:34 PM
 RE: Ben Franklin, Linda Morgan, 9/12/2007 9:07:31 PM
 RE: Ben FranklinDonator Amorette Allison, 9/12/2007 9:12:48 PM
 RE: Ben Franklin, J. Dyba, 9/13/2007 6:09:07 AM
 RE: Ben Franklin, Bart Freese, 9/13/2007 7:40:34 AM
 RE: Ben Franklin, JLB, 9/13/2007 8:49:14 AM
 RE: Ben Franklin, Dan Mowry, 9/13/2007 4:46:24 PM
 RE: Ben FranklinDonator Amorette Allison, 9/13/2007 8:00:33 PM
 RE: Ben Franklin, Ken Ziebarth, 9/14/2007 7:20:44 PM
 RE: Ben FranklinDonator David Schott, 9/14/2007 7:35:29 PM
 RE: Ben FranklinDonator Amorette Allison, 9/14/2007 7:52:26 PM
 RE: Ben FranklinDonator Hal Neumann, 9/14/2007 8:23:24 PM
 RE: Ben FranklinDonator Tom Masa, 9/14/2007 8:47:30 PM
 RE: Ben FranklinDonator Richard Bonine, Jr, 9/15/2007 8:28:25 AM
 RE: Ben FranklinDonator Hal Neumann, 9/15/2007 9:05:13 AM
 RE: Ben FranklinDonator David Schott, 9/15/2007 10:20:58 AM
 RE: Ben FranklinDonator Hal Neumann, 9/15/2007 10:47:36 AM
 RE: Ben FranklinDonator Tom Masa, 9/15/2007 2:02:51 PM
 RE: Ben Franklin, Ken Ziebarth, 9/15/2007 3:34:29 PM
 RE: Ben Franklin, Ken Ziebarth, 9/15/2007 3:45:43 PM
 RE: Ben FranklinDonator Tom Masa, 9/15/2007 5:10:09 PM
 RE: Ben Franklin, Ken Ziebarth, 9/15/2007 6:21:07 PM
 RE: Ben FranklinDonator Hal Neumann, 9/15/2007 6:45:09 PM
 RE: Ben Franklin, Ken Ziebarth, 9/15/2007 6:55:27 PM
 RE: Ben FranklinDonator David Schott, 9/15/2007 7:38:23 PM
 RE: Ben FranklinDonator Tom Masa, 9/15/2007 8:19:21 PM
 RE: Ben FranklinDonator Richard Bonine, Jr, 9/16/2007 7:01:11 AM
 Subject: Ben Franklin
Author: Eric Brandt  Posted: Wed Sep 12 9:04:34 PM MDT 2007 From: - MT
I don't know if you noticed, but the Ben Franklin is under new management. Same owner, new local manager.

I have noticed a spruce up going on over the past few months that includes a wonderful change in the dining experience.

The gals in there have basically taken over with a complete face lift. They have invested thousands of dollars in equipment and upgrades which are underway. They have replaced dishes, silverware, and even table decorum.

They have revamped the Special schedule and are really starting to hone their skills for mass production. One of the highlights to me is the array of home-made soups.

I had a delightful home-made Chicken Noodle soup there today that left me speechless.

Considering the deep-rooted relationships between the Woolworth's Lunch Counters, American Civil Rights History, and even our on Local History, I think that a trip to this authentic antique lunch counter with a new crew and menu is a must. It's not the Ritz, but I promise you will be better for the experience! Check it out on the 800 block of Main Street!

Here is their Chamber Listing: Maybe they would post their menu there!

http://www.mcchamber.com//tiki-inde...s+City+Variety+Store
 Subject: RE: Ben Franklin
Author: Linda Morgan  Posted: Wed Sep 12 9:07:31 PM MDT 2007 From: - MT
hey thanks Eric will certainly check it out next time we are in town....
 Subject: RE: Ben Franklin
Author: Donator Amorette Allison  Posted: Wed Sep 12 9:12:48 PM MDT 2007 From: - MT
Susan and friends are working their tails off! Now if they can just get the electrician in to wire up the fancy-schmancy new dishwasher. . .They be cooking with gas!
 Subject: RE: Ben Franklin
Author: J. Dyba  Posted: Thu Sep 13 6:09:07 AM MDT 2007 From: - MN
When I was working at Steadmans Hardware I always took my break at B Franklins. It was a pleasant little dining counter.
 Subject: RE: Ben Franklin
Author: Bart Freese  Posted: Thu Sep 13 7:40:34 AM MDT 2007 From: - MT
When the new diocesan superintendent for eastern Montana Catholic Schools visited this Fall I took him to Ben Franklin for lunch. I wanted to go somewhere nearby, fast, and with good food. It was all three, as usual. Good luck! Now, where is the smiley face for yummy? wink
 Subject: RE: Ben Franklin
Author: JLB  Posted: Thu Sep 13 8:49:14 AM MDT 2007 From: - CO
so what are they doing to improve the store itself???? Or is it now called Ben Franklins Fine Dining? It would be nice to have that place cleaned up throughout. I've always liked the food counter but I don't think they were hurting for business all that much, they should focus on the retail section, it has potential to do well if they would just update a little. Get some polish on those floors and dust the shelves add some new merchandise and BAM!

[This message has been edited by JLB (edited 9/13/2007).]
 Subject: RE: Ben Franklin
Author: Dan Mowry  Posted: Thu Sep 13 4:46:24 PM MDT 2007 From:
I had one of my first jobs there in the late 80's. I started off taking the trash out, cleaning the place, etc. and then worked my way up to working the sales floor with my own department.

I wonder if Susan Cadlo is related to Mitch Cadlo? (Former Buttrey's unit manager in the early 90's).

Ben Franklin's had the best milkshakes, by the way.

[This message has been edited by Dan Mowry (edited 9/13/2007).]
 Subject: RE: Ben Franklin
Author: Donator Amorette Allison  Posted: Thu Sep 13 8:00:33 PM MDT 2007 From: - MT
Sue is the ex-wife of.
She has no control over the carpet or the floor but is trying to get the retail side looking good. However, she is, like every other employer in MC, desperately short-handed. As the lunch counter gets stable again, she will turn her attention back to the retail side. Look for more improvement.
 Subject: RE: Ben Franklin
Author: Ken Ziebarth  Posted: Fri Sep 14 7:20:44 PM MDT 2007 From: - CO
Speaking of Ben Franklin, who remembers when it was on 6th next to .... well do you remember what was also there?
Ken Ziebarth
 Subject: RE: Ben Franklin
Author: Donator David Schott  Posted: Fri Sep 14 7:35:29 PM MDT 2007 From:
I remember that "Ben Franklin" used to be called "Woolworth's" (it must have been remodeled and renamed "Ben Franklin" sometime around 1980) but for as long as I can remember it's been in the 800 block of Main Street.

Where on Sixth Street (north or south of Main / east or west side) was "Ben Franklin" (or was it called "Woolworth's") located?

- Dave
 Subject: RE: Ben Franklin
Author: Donator Amorette Allison  Posted: Fri Sep 14 7:52:26 PM MDT 2007 From: - MT
There was an earlier Ben Franklin in the mid-fifties. A Wonder Store, too. I 'd have to check an old city directory for the exact addresses because it was before my time.
 Subject: RE: Ben Franklin
Author: Donator Hal Neumann  Posted: Fri Sep 14 8:23:24 PM MDT 2007 From: - AK
When I was a kid in the 60s, there was a Ben Franklin's (south side of Main) and Woolworth's (north side) both on the 800 block of Main - I think Dan Copps (sp?) ran Ben Franklin's at the time.

The one Ken is referring to on 6th must be from before my time - or else my memory is totally shot - which could likely be the case.

I don't recall what was next to the Ben Franklin's when it was at that location. It seems to me at one time there might have a shoe repair shop in the little store front on the southeast corner of 8th & Main. The Singer Sewing store was just behind it on 8th - I think Emil Wyerbacker (my spelling is really off with that one - sorry) ran the Singer store. On 8th Street south of the alley was Ken's radio and TV repair shop.

There was a drug store on the southwest corner of 8th & Main then. I can't keep them straight after all these years, but I think it was Thompson RexAll or something like that. I believe the Renwick Torgunson drug store (again with the spelling) was also on the south side of the 800 block of Main - to the east of Ben Franklins. For a time when I was a kid Reynolds was at the corner of 9th and Main - I guess the Star is at that location now?

All of this is probably wrong - I seem prone to disremembering things from back then smile
 Subject: RE: Ben Franklin
Author: Donator Tom Masa  Posted: Fri Sep 14 8:47:30 PM MDT 2007 From:
Hal
You are so right. Your recollections are the same as mine. Ben Franklin's was on the south side. Dan Copps did run it. Reynolds was on the east end of the block on the same side. On the west end it was either a shoe repair or a sewing machine shop. Across the to the west was the pharmacy run by Jim Carlson.
 Subject: RE: Ben Franklin
Author: Donator Richard Bonine, Jr  Posted: Sat Sep 15 8:28:25 AM MDT 2007 From: - WY
The pharmacy that Jim Carlson & Tom Mensing ran (Thompson Rexall Drug) was between Reynolds and Ben Franklin. Smiths Bootery and a Barber shop were also in-between Rexall Drug and Ben Franklin all on the south side of main.
 Subject: RE: Ben Franklin
Author: Donator Hal Neumann  Posted: Sat Sep 15 9:05:13 AM MDT 2007 From: - AK
Richard - where was Renwicks' (sp) drug store? Was it the one on the southwest corner of 8th & Main?
 Subject: RE: Ben Franklin
Author: Donator David Schott  Posted: Sat Sep 15 10:20:58 AM MDT 2007 From:
I'm sure many people remember referring to Woolworth's (and Ben Franklin) as the "dime store" (or the "five and dime"). Here's some information about "dime stores" that you might find interesting:

http://www.answers.com/topic/dime-store

Some points:

Woolworth's lunch counters were so popular at one time they made the F.W. Woolworth Co. the largest seller of restaurant food in the world.

Sam Walton (Wal*Mart) started his retail business with a Ben Franklin store in Newport, Arkansas.

The S.S. Kresge Company changed their dime stores into "self service" discount stores called "Kmart".

Other names of variety stores included, W.T. Grant, H.L. Green, McLellan Stores, G.C. Murphy, Neisner's, and J.J. Newberry.

Ben Franklin was somewhat unique in that they operated their stores as franchises rather than company owned stores.

The last Woolworth dime store closed in 1997.
 Subject: RE: Ben Franklin
Author: Donator Hal Neumann  Posted: Sat Sep 15 10:47:36 AM MDT 2007 From: - AK
Interesting stuff David, thanks for posting it.



Tom, Richard (anyone) what do remember of the north side of the 800 block of Main? Other than Woolworth's and Penny's I don't recall much about that side of the block from the 60s.

I remember the Cream (sp?) Barber Shop, June's Beauty School and Marie's Gifts as being on the (700 block) northwest corner of 8th and Main.



Was there a farm & home store between Ben Franklin's and Reynolds at one time?

[This message has been edited by Hal Neumann (edited 9/15/2007).]
 Subject: RE: Ben Franklin
Author: Donator Tom Masa  Posted: Sat Sep 15 2:02:51 PM MDT 2007 From:
I think Thompson Drug was on the corner of 8th not between Ben Franklin and Reynolds. Was not Miles and Ulmer across the street from Ben Franklin and west of Woolworths on the corner of 8th?
 Subject: RE: Ben Franklin
Author: Ken Ziebarth  Posted: Sat Sep 15 3:34:29 PM MDT 2007 From: - CO
What I remember is a Ben Franklin on the West side of 6th, in the block south of Main, next to Montgomery Ward's.
Does this sound familiar to anyone?
Ken Z
 Subject: RE: Ben Franklin
Author: Ken Ziebarth  Posted: Sat Sep 15 3:45:43 PM MDT 2007 From: - CO
Thompson's Rexall Drug was on the south side of Main, west of 9th, between Reynold's and Gingry's Cleaners. You can just make out the beginning of the Rexall sign above the parade float in picture 13 of the 1925-1975 gallery.
Renwick and Torgeson (I was in high school with the Renwick sisters) was on the SW corner of 8th and Main, with the Custer Club bar in the basement. You can see it in picture 14 and 15.
Ken
 Subject: RE: Ben Franklin
Author: Donator Tom Masa  Posted: Sat Sep 15 5:10:09 PM MDT 2007 From:
Ken
Jim Carlson was a friend of mine in the early 70's and I would visit him at his drugstore on the corner of 8th and Main. Was that Renwick and Torgeson?
 Subject: RE: Ben Franklin
Author: Ken Ziebarth  Posted: Sat Sep 15 6:21:07 PM MDT 2007 From: - CO
I graduated and left in 1960, with only occasional visits to my parents after that. But it was called Renwick and Torgeson at least until then.
Ken Z
 Subject: RE: Ben Franklin
Author: Donator Hal Neumann  Posted: Sat Sep 15 6:45:09 PM MDT 2007 From: - AK
Ken, I remember the Monkey Wards store, but I'm drawing a blank on a Ben Franklin's near there - that must have been before my time. But that thanks for the reminder about those photos.

I see there was a Farm & Home on the 800 block to, so I wasn't totally imagining that.
http://www.milescity.com/Gallery/view.asp?gid=4&id=413

I also see that at one point there was news stand on the southeast corner of 8th & Main.
http://www.milescity.com/Gallery/view.asp?gid=4&id=415
I maybe kind of remember that - but I more clearly remember what I think was O'Conner's News down on maybe the 600 block of Main. Unless I'm confused again smile


I remember as a kid, buying comic books at Thompson's Rexall - I don't recall that they had a lunch counter. Renwick and Torgeson had a lunch counter, but if I remember correctly, no comics.

So when did Renwick and Torgeson close? When did the Gas Light open - was itthe first business to occupy the space after Renwick's closed?
 Subject: RE: Ben Franklin
Author: Ken Ziebarth  Posted: Sat Sep 15 6:55:27 PM MDT 2007 From: - CO
Yes, O'Connors did move down to the 600 block later. And it was also on 10th west side, south of Main, behind Reynold's in the late 50s I think.
Ken
 Subject: RE: Ben Franklin
Author: Donator David Schott  Posted: Sat Sep 15 7:38:23 PM MDT 2007 From:
Thompson Rexall must have relocated to the SW corner of 8th and Main where Renwick and Torgeson used to be located. The only location I recall Thompson Rexall Drug being was in that corner location. Here:

http://flickr.com/photos/dave_mcmt/...t-72157594191157346/

I remember Thompson Rexall having a lunch counter/soda fountain when I was a kid but they eventually took that out. It must have been sometime in the 90's when Thompson Rexall closed for good.

- Dave
 Subject: RE: Ben Franklin
Author: Donator Tom Masa  Posted: Sat Sep 15 8:19:21 PM MDT 2007 From:
I know there was drug store on that corner but for the life of me I can't remmeber what is was in the 60's and early 70's. I seem to remember a small fountain area in it.
I always remember O'connors being located in the 600 block. I discovered "The Sporting News" at that time and baseball stats. The elderly lady would always get after me for reading it and not buying it. As time went on I managed to buy them.
 Subject: RE: Ben Franklin
Author: Donator Richard Bonine, Jr  Posted: Sun Sep 16 7:01:11 AM MDT 2007 From: - WY
My grandpa, Buren Bonine, moved Western Pharmacy from the north side of main into the Renwick and Torgeson in about 1968-70 timeframe. Prior to that Western Pharmacy was between the Squire Shop (which he also owned) and the Creame barber shop. He sold the pharmacy twice, once to a guy who screwed it up in about 9 moths time so he took it back over. He sold it the second time to Jim Carlson and Tom Mensing who moved Thompson Rexall from their location next to Reynolds into the Renwick and Torgeson building.
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