Stephen Tenvoorde, a blacksmith and owner of a bicycle shop in St. Cloud, signed a dealership agreement with Ford in 1903 – before the Ford Motor Company was even incorporated. The Tenvoorde family continues to own and operate the business, which is now the oldest Ford dealership in the world. Their company website, www.tenvordeford.com, has a section on their illustrious history. All images and captions below are from their website, unless noted otherwise.
In the 1890′s bicycle racing was a popular sport. Although there were always shorter “sprint” races, the usual thing was a race from Saint Cloud to Minneapolis – sort of cross-country race. Many of medals for racing were won by Steve Tenvoorde who “trained” as many athletes do today. He used the race track on Third Street North – the city ball park – for practice runs, took alcohol rubs and kept his “racer” in excellent repair.