Furnberg Store

Furnberg Store-Adopted

Furnberg StoreInside Furnberg Store

Christian Furnberg was a young boy when he and his mother moved to Dakota Territory in 1871. As a boy, Christian would peddle goods to people in the area, shortly after getting married, Christian borrowed $50.00 from his sister-in-law to open a general store. A site southwest of Fargo was chosen for the store where the Great Northern Railroad came within a mile of the Shyenne River, called Osgood after a farmer who lived nearby. Christian, and his cousin, purchased lumber from the Robinson Company in Fargo and constructed the 20’ by 60’ store over the next three months. The simple building was made to look more impressive by adding a fancy front onto the store which was ordered from Chicago, IL. The storefront had large finial ornaments decorating either corner of the roof. Christian’s son, Oscar, noted that the ornaments didn’t last very long because every boy around used the finials for target practice.

Besides operating as a general goods store, the back room of the building housed a blacksmith shop. Farmers could get their horses shoed while shopping for goods. Outside of the building, there was an oil shed and two gas pumps where people could purchase coal, kerosene and gasoline. Warm orange cider was served from a barrel in the middle of the store. Customers would sit and chat while drinking the cider. Christian operated a printing press out of the store where he printed sale bills that were sent out to potential customers. The store also served as a post office for the area surrounding Osgood. Christian was the postmaster for the area and would walk to the train station twice a week to retrieve the mail. The post office remained at the Furnberg Store until it was replaced by a mail route in 1911.

The store was usually open six days a week. Christian would be ready to open the store at around seven in the morning and would close once all the customers had gone, usually around nine at night. The store was operated by Christian and his wife until about 1948 when his son Oscar, and his wife, took the store over until it closed in 1953. It was given to the Cass County Historical Society over a decade later.