Historic Architectural Survey of Bowman County


Scranton had a mixed economic and social base almost from the outset, for it not only has served as an agricultural trade center but also has been a center for coal mining activity--first shaft mining, and later open-pit mining. The commerial crux of Scranton is the corner of Main and Brodie, with businesses stretching for about a block in all four directions from that intersection. Some of the key sites in this area (as well as others across town) are featured in the exhibit.

Another prominent site in this area, however, is the Grand River Bank building, a two-story brick building situated on the southwest corner of Main and Brodie, directly across south of the Bank of Scranton. The building now houses a tavern. (Go inside if you want to see the old bank vault.)
And up the street west, right alongside the Land Office, is the old Post Office, dating from the 1920s. This well-preserved brick building now serves as the American Legion club. It seems hard to imagine it now, but to an earlier generation, this area along Brodie west of Main was the heart of the town, with the principal hotel and other businesses standing across Brodie north of the Land Office and Post Office.
Both the Scranton water tower and the WPA water system that accompanied it date from the mid-1930s. The water tower is situated on an island in the middle of the intersection of Main and Dilse, atop a hill, and is a visually commanding feature of the town. When it was built its location was at the very north perimeter of town.
On the east side of Scranton a neighborhood of working-class residences, reflecting the coal-mining base of the community, developed in the earliest years of the town. The houses here were built in the styles customary for modest family residences at the time--the Hip Roof Box and Bungalow styles. The hip-roofed bungalow at left is an excellent representative of this neighborhood.
More prosperous citizens built somewhat more elaborate residences in other parts of town. For instance, the gabled brick house at right occupies the northeast corner of the intersection of Main and Peake, just north of the city park. The house was built in the 1920s by and for a local construction contractor.
Across town and west of Buffalo Creek, along Fifth Avenue, stands this distinctive hip-roofed bungalow of buff brick. The present owner has painted the concrete sills under the south bay window and the other windows of the house dark red, so that they stand out as accents.
A fairly recent, and yet attractive and significant, addition to the architectural heritage of Scranton is the Dilse house, on the north side of Dilse Street, in the hill-top northern neighborhood of town. Built in 1948, the stucco house faces the street with an attractive brick front entry.

Center for Heritage Renewal