Hotel Pathfinder postcard - Postmarked May 3, 1946

Hotel Pathfinder postcard – Postmarked May 3, 1946

Over the summer I made a stop at an antique store in North Saint Paul, Minnesota, during a car show. It’s typically a bad idea for me to step foot in an antique shop, especially when one of my companions drags me in stating that I should see the old beer cans and bottles they have for sale.

As I headed back to the old cans I passed shelves and shelves of postcards, my main weakness when it comes to antique shops. Especially when they were as neatly organized as they were here. Two whole aisles with shelves of boxes, sorted by state and alphabetically by city. On a whim I thought I’d search for my hometown of Fremont, Nebraska. Sure enough, in one of the boxes there was a complete stack from Fremont.

I quickly went though looking for ones that interested me and came up with about eight. One being a postcard from the Hotel Pathfinder in 1946, another showing 6th Street where someone had written in pencil “Hotel Pathfinder” with an arrow pointing to a building in the background.

The back of the 1946 postcard also included a message that was mailed to someone in Iowa. I always find it interesting to find correspondence from people who had passed through my home down decades before I was even born, giving me a glimpse into their life. It also find it interesting that some of these, mailed to Chicago or elsewhere, find their way back to Fremont–or in this case Minnesota–to be sold in an antique shop only to end up in an former Fremonter’s hands. It is a small world and these cards have had an amazing journey.

I post the Pathfinder postcards today as it is the anniversary of the tragic explosion that occurred on January 10, 1976. I’ve written about it several times on this site including posting the pictures that my grandparents took of the reaction and devastation as the fire raged in the downtown establishment.

Back of Hotel Pathfinder Postcard dated May 3, 1946

Back of Hotel Pathfinder Postcard dated May 3, 1946

6th Street Looking West - Someone penciled in Hotel Pathfinder with arrow

6th Street Looking West – Someone penciled in Hotel Pathfinder with arrow


About Chad Leigh Kluck

Originally from Nebraska, I am a history and railroad enthusiast currently living near Saint Paul, Minnesota. I enjoy trains, photography, and nostalgic memories, as well as the history of transportation, agriculture, eateries, breweries, and railroad towns. More...

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