Outdoor entertainment continues to flourish in downtown Wahpeton.
A former grain bin has been transformed into the patio bar at The Boiler Room, Dakota Avenue. The grain bin was transported to Wahpeton Tuesday, July 28 by Duane Werner, a Breckenridge High School alumni, and Blake Sherven, who graduated from Wahpeton High School.
Sherven’s Grain and Livestock, located west of Wahpeton, assisted in the transportation. Cables were run through an open portion of the bin. Once secured to an interior tire, the bin could be lifted above Fourth Street North, over the Boiler Room fence and at its final place.
“We want to make sure the Ward is facing out,” former Wahpeton Mayor Jim Sturdevant said.
Sturdevant and Wahpeton Park Board Commissioner Roger Jensen were on site to watch and assist with the process. They also briefly explained the history of mail-order structures.
The original Montgomery Ward and its primary rival, Sears, Roebuck and Co., had a unique sales arrangement in the late 1800s and early 1900s. In addition to their stores, the retail giants also provided goods via catalogs. The merchandise, including building plans and materials, could be shipped nationwide.
“Way back in the old catalogs, they sold houses and everything,” Sturdevant said.
Sears is estimated to have sold between 70,000-75,000 houses by the time they stopped the “kit homes” catalog in 1940, NPR reported.
“Some mail-order house enthusiasts estimate that 70 percent of Sears houses are still standing today,” Ayesha Abid wrote in 2018.
As for Sherven, he thinks it’s cool to have an antique structure downtown.
“It’s a clever idea,” he said.
The Boiler Room and neighbor City Brew Hall are part of a two-block stretch that recently hosted the Borderline Chalkfest and will co-host the upcoming Headwaters Music Festival.
Look to Daily News for coverage of summer events in the Twin Towns Area.