Guaranty’s Grand Opening



During the summer, construction of the Guaranty State Bank proceeded after a delayed start. Groundbreaking and construction of the bank under Henning M. Nelson was to have begun on May 27 but workers found a mallard duck nesting on the site. Walter C. Rasmussen ordered a halt to all construction until the ducklings could hatch and be taken to a game farm. A snow fence was erected and a guard posted 24 hours a day for protection. The story even “hit” the national wire services.

The Guaranty Bank replaced the miniature golf course, which had replaced the AIcan saloon. The Alcan saloon was so named because its owners, Art Bolier and Jim DePuy, had worked on the Alcan Highway. Previously the “Truffy” DeMars grocery and saloon had occupied the building. The Guaranty Bank opened for business on October 26, 1964. Open house was held the week of November 16, culminating in a big reception with many dignitaries including Mayor Walter (Red) Sochacki, Alderman Earl Hiller, Police Chief George Roope, newly appointed U.S. Senator Walter Mondale, State Legislator Linn Slattengren, State Senator Richard Parish, Chamber of Commerce President Al Steel of Howard Lumber Company, Minneapolis Alderman Joe Greenstein and, of course, the bank officers and president.

Harmon Glass on West Broadway in 1964

The first president of the bank was Walter C. Rasmussen who became chairman of the board. Warren H. Thompson became president on January l,1980.

For years the Guaranty Bank had a community room on the lower level available for free use by community groups. This had to be discontinued when the bank was remodeled. In the 1978-79 remodelling, the bank was enlarged and an aesthetically designed and landscaped parking lot was built. Concerts were held there for a few years. In 1979, Rudy Valee, the famous “crooner” of the 1930’s, appeared. In December, 1982, the bank was sold and the Citizens State Bank with Constance L. Bakken, Chairman of the Board, and Roger L. Hauge, President.

Olivet Baptist in 1964

Lakeview Elementary School opened in September because of an increasing number of students. For a few years in the 1980’s  it was the only school operating in the city Robbinsdale.

In November, the voters approved a change in the form of government from Mayor-Council to Council-City Manager form. George DeLay, who had been city clerk and treasurer for seven years, was appointed the first city manager in early 1965. In 1968, he became executive secretary of the Housing Authority in addition to his City Manager duties.

This post is part of a series loosely based on the book Robbinsdale Then and Now by Helen Blodgett. The Terrace Theatre is featured in the photo at the top of the post.

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