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Ask Us: Chimes at Norby's Work Perks have a decades-long history

Norby's Work Perks, 11 S. Fourth St. in Grand Forks, where chimes have played tunes for passers-by for years. (Herald photo/Sam Easter)

Chimes have been ringing from 11 S. Fourth St. for decades.

In recent years, that's been Norby's Work Perks, which has been at the location since 1998, where an electronic chime system regularly plays patriotic songs. It's a reliable downtown staple that's lent the area a unique charm for years.

But where did they come from?

Doug Norby, the business' co-owner, said they have a long history. The building was first constructed in 1953, he said, and remodeled 10 years later by the Grand Forks Federal Savings and Loan Association. Norby said that the building had an extensive set of mechanical chime equipment in the basement that would play music for the downtown area, and was even operable by a keyboard device. For years, he said, a local resident would sit in the front window during the holiday season and play Christmas music.

The flood of 1997 destroyed the equipment, Norby said, but the tradition lives on electronically, like clockwork, serenading passers-by, through equipment the office staff has on hand in the building.

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Sam Easter

Sam Easter is a City Government reporter for the Grand Forks Herald. You can reach him with story tips, comments and ideas at 701-330-3441.

(701) 780-1108