With wooden ladders still propped against
the remains of this bank building, Faribault citizens gathered
across the street to view the damages after one of the most costly
fires in the towns history. Fire was an unfortunate but
regular feature of early towns, with early firefighting equipment
pitted against a collection of flammable wooden buildings. This
1878 fire destroyed almost all of one downtown block, including
two banks and ten stores. Losses were estimated to be between
$100,000 and $150,000 at the time, roughly the equivalent of $2
million in todays terms.
Downtown Faribault hosted a wide variety of
community festivals. With over 10 percent of its population comprised
of German immigrants by 1902, the town of Faribault showed its
colors around the turn of the 19th century by displaying both
American flags and a German sign bidding visitors Welcome
to the Joyful Singers Festival.
THE CIRCUS PARADE
Even elephants participated in downtown
events. Central Avenue provided the pathway from the circus train
to the circus grounds ca. 1925.