Alvin T. Shotwell started the A.T. Shotwell Floral and Nursery Store in 1888, and opened his first shop next to the Headquarters Hotel at approximately 16 Broadway. The shop remained at this location until 1898, when it was move south of the N.P. Railroad tracks on the northwest corner of Broadway and Front Street (Main Avenue). At that time they also built two small greenhouses on South Broadway near Island Park. During the early years most of the plants and shrubbery had to be shipped in from the east. In 1908, the company purchased a tract of land at 13th Avenue and 8th Street South. A greenhouse was erected at that site, and Shotwell’s began growing their own plants and flowers.
Also in 1908, A. T. Shotwell brought on his son, Winthrop B. Shotwell as a partner, and the firm became Shotwell Floral Company. In 1946, John (Jake) W. Shotwell, joined the firm, adding a third generation to the business. On March 17, 1968, the Shotwell building on Broadway blew up in a gas explosion. The business set up temporary headquarters at 814 Main, the then moved to 614 Main about a year later. John W. Shotwell, Jr. joined the business in 1971, making a fourth generation involved in the business. In 1972, Shotwell’s was one of the first stores to open a branch location in West Acres Shopping Center. In the early 2000’s Shotwell Floral built a new greenhouse facility at 4000 40th Street South and began to consolidate the business at the location, by closing its downtown and West Acres locations. In the summer of 2011, the greenhouse and store at the corner of 13th Avenue and 8th Street South closed and was torn down to make way for condominiums.
Fargo and Moorhead City Directory. Fargo, 1881-1927.
Polk’s Fargo and Moorhead City Directories. St. Paul, MN: R.L. Polk and Company
“Saying it with flowers for over 62 years” Fargo Forum and Daily Tribune (4 June 1950): sec. 7, p. 1.
“Shotwell Floral firm leveled by gas blast” The Forum (18 March 1968): 1.
“Floral family” The Forum (11 June 2011): C-1.
“Meet Fargo’s greenest thumbs at Shotwell Floral shops” Howard Binford’s Guide. Moorhead: Howard Binfor, Vol. 10, No. 11 (May 1978), p. 50.