The Red River Floods of 1997 Oral History Project: Interview with Greg Stennes
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Description BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Greg Stennes was born in Rosa, Minnesota, in 1947. He grew up in East Grand Forks, and took a job at Whitey's Cafe while attending the University of North Dakota. Established in the early 1930s by Edwin "Whitey" Larson, Whitey's Cafe and Lounge had become a landmark in the East Grand Forks community. When Larson retired in 1973, Stennes became the manager of Whitey's and ultimately became one of three people to own the establishment. SUBJECTS DISCUSSED: Stennes discusses the flood of 1997 and its impact on Whitey's Cate, which was located just beyond the East Grand Forks downtown dikes. He describes the steps he took to try to protect the building, and he relates the events that occurred after the town was flooded in mid-April. He explains the extensive damage that the flood had on Whitey's, and why the town's decision to extend its dike system made it necessary to tear down the original site of his restaurant. Stennes also discusses the flood damage to his East Grand Forks house, and the steps he took to move his home east of the town and well away from the Red River. COMMENTS ON INTERVIEW: At the end of the interview, Stennes indicated that, at the time he spoke, he planned to reopen Whitey's in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Since the interview, however, he changed his mind. After further negotiations with the East Grand Forks city government, he and his business partners decided to remain in Minnesota. Whitey's was slated to reopen at a new location in East Grand Forks in late September 1998.
Quantity 2 hours sound cassette
34 pages transcript
Format Content Category: sound recordings
Content Category: text
Measurements 80 minutes length
Creation Interviewee: Stennes, Greg
Interviewer: Shoptaugh, Terry
Made in East Grand Forks, Polk County, Minnesota, United States
Subjects Made in East Grand Forks, Polk County, Minnesota, United States
Dates Creation: 10/28/1997
Holding Type Oral History - Interview
Identifiers OH 57
Accession Number AV1999.66.27
More Info MHS Library Catalog
Related Collections Oral History - Project, MHS Collection, project: 'The Red River Floods of 1997 Oral History Project'

User Comments

  • Mark Daley on April 19, 2017 06:45:00 PM

    GREG is my hero....OK he's my BROTHER IN LAW but I still think he rocks. Great story to preserve!!!

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