Downturns in the farm economy and easier access to larger shopping centers (i.e. the completion of the Expressway Bridge to south Bismarck’s Kirkwood Mall) led to many retail store closures in Mandan.Especially hard hit was the downtown business, aggravated by the discovery of an oil plume floating on the groundwater table.Impacts from the ground oil, real or perceived, stopped attempts to renovate or restore abandoned buildings to other uses, unlike numerous other small communities throughout the Great Plains which experienced the same commercial effects.
Another oil boom and bust cycle impacted Mandan. Crude oil (and gasoline) prices peaked in the early decade after a second worldwide oil embargo. Just as Amoco Oil Company's Mandan refinery underwent a major expansion in '81-82 to eliminate the use of lead compounds in gasoline, oil prices (and profits) plummeted in the middle of the decade and squeezed operations and staff levels.
The Mandan Park Board approved construction of new rodeo grounds on the former landfill site south of Memorial Highway. The estimated cost was $200,000 for just the grandstand, plus an added $56,000 for water and sewer. The original fairgrounds/rodeo stands will be reclaimed for the construction of additional softball diamonds.
After six months of traffic tie-ups, a new Highway 6 bridge was opened across the Heart River. The bridge was designated as the Custer Bridge by the city commission.
An outlet from the national chain McDonald's fast-food restaurant openned at an east Main Street location in December. Four video rental businesses were established. This newest form of entertainment allowed people to rent movie videos & the associated video player to take the equipment home and connect to their televisions for $24 a day with 4 movies. Among these stores was Feist TV and Electronics. Andrew Feist moved the store over from Bismarck.
The year also marked the innaurgation of Mandan's "Care and Share" program, geared to helping local families facing hard times. In its first year, more than $15,000 was collected which helped 283 families in need.
The four-lane Bismarck Expressway Bridge opens across the Missouri River tying the I-94 Business Loop in east Mandan to south Bismarck. While improving commuter times for residents of both cities, traffic was also diverted away from Memorial Highway. Mandan shoppers would also shift activity (and sales tax dollars) to Bismarck's large regional shopping centers. Mandan's J. C. Penney's store, for example, closed in April, after 65 years in operation in the city. The Gambles store closed in December.
The loss of Main Street retail stores continued. The Collins Department store closed in January 1986. The site had continousily hosted a clothing store starting with "Tubbs & Cummins Clothiers" in 1881, the same year the city of Mandan was incorporated.
Mandan High School's new 600 seat auditorium opened for performances in January.
On March 11, the Mandan Creamery and Produce building at the corner of Main St and 4th Ave NW would close after 90 years of operation at the site. The company, now known as Cloverdale Meats, would open a new $6 million facility in northwest Mandan which refocused its operation to pork and pork products.
The decline of the downtown retail sector continued with closings of several additional landmark stores including Dakota Four Seasons Clothing and Mushik Shoe Store.
John Mushik came to Mandan in 1909 and started his operation on east Main Street. The cobbler moved to bigger quarters in and sold exclusively men's shoes at 110 West Main in 1913. He shared the business with tailors A. S. Brazda and Mike Gish. In 1917 his son John Jr. joined in in the trade. Mrs. Mushik ran the store while the sons served in WWII. John III ran the store until his retirement in 1962. Jerry Hoff, a longtime employee bought and operated it until its close.
On October 15, the Mandan held the Grand Opening of their new home at 1408 Collins. The club boasted over 1000 members.
The Mandan Jaycee Rodeo was held for the last time at the Syndicate Rodeo Grounds over the July 4th weekend. Hot air balloon rides were a special feature of this year's event.
In July, the Joersz family celebrated the opening of their new 38,000 sq ft building on west Main Street, now home to their Bill's SuperValu store. The grocery store, previously at 511 1st St NW, has been in operation since 1976.
The MHSoc's museum and office is located at 3827 30th Avenue NW; PO Box 98; Mandan, ND 58554 Contact us at email@example.com