Sanders Flats name honors pioneer Moorhead family

Sanders Flats. (Photo/Nancy Hanson.)

Magdalina Maier Taylor Hansen’s daughter Dorothy and husband Jim Sanders Jr., for whom Eventide’s new apartment building was named. (Photos/Eventide Senior Living.)

Nancy Edmonds Hanson

Naming new residences is often a fanciful stretch – heavy on imagined waterways, landmarks and trees. But when Eventide Senior Living sought a moniker for its new independent living apartments on Eighth Street South, it went in a different direction: It delved deeply into the plot of land on which the brand-new four-story, 46-unit structure.
Unlike The Linden just across the avenue, Sanders Flats’ name comes directly from the earliest annals of the city of Moorhead. It honors the family who farmed the land in the 1880s, when it was miles south of the little settlement established at the spot where the brand-spanking-new Northern Pacific Railroad had crossed the Red River only a decade or so before.
According to research gathered by MaryBeth Kalvig, the land on which the newest Eventide development now stands was homesteaded by a German-Russian immigrant family, the Maiers. The youngest of the settlers’ seven children, Magdalina, grew up in the house her parents built. According to the Cass County Historical Society, to whom it was ultimately donated, it originally had just two rooms and was plastered with mud and straw. In 1898, a lean-to was added, doubling its size.
The young German-Russian girl inherited the house after her parents’ death. It was Magdalina Maier Taylor Hansen’s home for the rest of her life, through two marriages and seven years of widowhood. There she raised two children, Merle and Dorothy, farming and selling vegetables and flowers they grew on the land.
The house now stands on the grounds of Bonanzaville. According to the Historical Society, it had gotten electricity by 1940, but wasn’t plumbed until the 1950s … and never got hot water.
Daughter Dorothy and husband Jim Sanders built a new house on the lot in the 1950s; brother Merle Taylor and his wife Georgia lived nearby on another plot of the previous farmland on Seventh Street and 16th Avenue.
“My parents were known for their beautiful gardens, especially the red geraniums that adorned them,” the Sanders couple’s son, Jim Jr., said in a story published in 1983. Active at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, the couple was married for 69 years. Jim Sr. passed away in 2015; Dorothy lived at Eventide Fairmont until her death in 2021.
Eventide ultimately purchased the land for the new community for active older adults. After a ground-breaking in August 2022, the contemporary apartments – described in the organization’s literature as “comparable to a boutique hotel” – welcomed the first tenants to its one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments earlier this year.
The building that has taken the homestead’s place is connected by skyway to The Linden, an assisted living facility. According to Carney, it has been designed for the lifestyles favored by today’s wave of aging Baby Boomers looking to downsize into more carefree living quarters. Its style is modern and clean, with a neutral color palette. The spacious apartments sport high ceilings, roomy bathrooms and living rooms with plenty of natural light.
The facility includes amenities like a golf simulator, fitness center, a pub and self-serve bistro, underground parking, and convenient skyway access to the Eighth Street Eatery in The Linden, with takeout meals and delivery available.
More information on Sanders Flats can be found at

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