A historical item from Elk Point's early days was recently found on Steve Andrishak's property in the east part of town. A beautifully engraved rectangular copper and lead plate, 9 inches by 7 inches, used by newspapers to advertise the 1917 Model T Ford was found near his garden.
C. J. Markstad originalÂly owned this property in 1916. Here he estabÂlished a Ford agency and implement shop. At that time the entire hamlet of Elk Point was located in the east part of present day Elk Point. On March 1, 1922 the entire block where the Ford agency stood was destroyed by fire. The buildings destroyed were: the community hall, the Canadian Bank of Commerce, Markstad's Ford Agency Elk Point's post office and Charley Hood's hardware store. The only building that was saved was the Caskey Hotel which was protected by an alley. The efforts of many men manning a bucket brigade managed to save this building.
Some of the burned out places of business rebuilt on the block, however C. J. Markstad moved to the area where our Credit Union now stands and rebuilt his Ford agency. He also built a store on the comer lot where Steve Wolanuk has his present day store.
This engraved advertising plate clearly shows the 1917 Model T Ford stopped at a scenic spot surrounded by large spruce trees.
From this advertising plate, the following information was derived: "Nature's loveliest beauty spots, her choicest hunting grounds are far removed from the railroads, away from the much travelled highways. Only a car of light weight and unusual power can traverse bad roads and marshy lands in safety. The Ford surÂmounts all road difficulties and takes you where you want to go.
"The Ford car is equipped with every modem refinement â€‘ one man top; a double ventiÂlating windshield; demountÂable rims, tire carrier and has leather door grips. The horn button is mounted on top of the steering column and the headlights are equipped with approved nonâ€‘glare lens. Electric starting and lighting equipment is furnished if desired at a slight addiÂtional cost."
You can see that the advertising of cars isn't something new â€‘ even as far back as1917 and earlier, car dealers tried to outdo each other so they could capture their share of the car sales market.
Speaking of early Model T Fords, the first one came out in 1908 and the last one was manufactured in 1927. During this 19 year span over 15 million Model T Fords were built and sold. They were ideal for country road conditions and you sure couldn't complain about their cost â€‘ In 1926 you could buy a Model T Ford runabout for as little as $340, F.O.B. Detroit, Michigan.