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February 07 , 2008

Herbst Department Store


Herbst Department Store held sway on Fargo’s Broadway for nearly 90 years. In 1887, a young merchant named Isaac Herbst came to Fargo to seek his fortune. He proved to be a dynamic salesman, and by 1892 he had founded Herbst Department Store. The business was destroyed a year later in the Great Fire of 1893, which wiped out most of downtown. Isaac rebuilt his business and expanded it until his death in 1910. The department store was continued by his widow, sons, grandsons, and a large group of loyal employees. The Herbst family took great pride in the community and was active in civic affairs. In the 1970s and 1980s, many customers abandoned downtown Fargo for West Acres Shopping Center and other large retail chains. Herbst was the last large department store remaining downtown until it closed in 1982. Images of America: Herbst Department Store shines a light on a business that had a great impact on Fargo’s vibrant downtown and community.

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