Dakota Datebook

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January 6, 2020 - An unusual burglary occurred in Fargo early on this morning in 1907. The bandits were not after the usual white diamonds, but those of the black sort.

As North Dakota and surrounding areas of the country were suffering through an uncommon shortage of coal, the fuel’s value skyrocketed, and many people were forced to either find other means of heating their homes or unconventional methods of obtaining the black diamonds.

On this day, burglars visited the rear coal shed of the Tromsness Hotel on Front Street and stole a half-ton of the precious fuel. The culprits worked so quietly that two employees working inside of the hotel did not hear a sound; the theft was not discovered until early the next morning. It was reported that “...the robbers were kind enough to leave just about enough fuel to last the house over [the next day].” C. Tromsness, the proprietor of the hotel, then placed a rush order to quickly secure a new delivery so as to keep his guests warm and snug.


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