Thursday, February 10, 2011

Old Pembina City Hall

Old City Hall in Pembina (1934) - Does anyone know when it was built?
[Source: SHSND's Digital Horizons]
Until recently when a reader of this blog alerted me to this image in an online collection, I had never seen a photo of the old Pembina city hall.  I definitely had never seen the building myself.  What happened to it? I found out that in 1935, a new city hall was built - the one I had been familiar with - and soon after that building was started, the old one burned down.

An earlier photograph (date unknown, but presumably around the WWI
time period) showing parade, with old Pembina city hall in background...
I notice one difference in the building in this earlier shot - no 'City Hall Pembina' sign on the bell tower.  It's possible there is no exterior staircase, also, but the soldiers in the parade prevent that determination.

Since this post is about city hall, let's review some of Pembina's past mayors:

Charles Cavileer - He was also (at various times), Pembina's postmaster, Collector of Customs, and a territorial librarian.
J.M. Chisholm - In 1897, Hamilton, ND is listed as his residence, but by 1904, he's in Pembina, and listed as Mayor.  However, later that same year, he is listed as deceased...
Albert J. Christopher - He was mayor of Pembina for over 38 years in 1968 when I found this quote of his:  "I was elected mayor in 1931 and I am now in my 38th year as mayor.  My present term expires in 1970.  I was 34 years old when first elected."  I have not yet confirmed it, but I think there is every reason to believe he holds the record for the longest-serving Mayor of Pembina!
A. Franklyn Barron - I am fairly confident that he was mayor right after Albert Christopher, according to this record found online - his length of office, however, is not known.
Hetty Walker - Wife of Charles Walker, and another long-time mayor, including during the 1997 Red River of the North flood...