FAIRMONT - For 75 years, the building at 303 East Blue Earth Ave. has housed a chiropractor's office, making it the oldest continual health care site in Fairmont, according to local historical records.
Dr. Timothy Hamp is the fourth in line to own the property, after purchasing it in 1986 from Dr. Olaf Bjornlund, who had purchased it from Dr. Rod Lund, who bought it from the original owner, Dr. Marion Heng.
The tradition will soon come to an end, however, as Hamp is moving his practice across town to 1125 Spruce St. He signs papers next week on Dr. Ole Braaten's former medical clinic, and plans to do some remodeling before opening the doors to clients.
Dr. Timothy Hamp poses for a photo in his chiropractic office in Fairmont. For 75 years, the building has housed chiropractors, but this summer that will change when Hamp relocates to 1125 Spruce St.
"Ole and I have been friends for 20-plus years," Hamp said. "... I actually helped him plant trees around that office. Little did I know I was planting trees for my future office."
There are several benefits of moving, for Hamp and his patients, but the main one is accessibility.
"The clinic is all on one level," Hamp said. "There are no steps or stairs to climb, and parking is great. Access will be a lot nicer for people in wheelchairs and walkers."
"I've noticed the last year it's gotten a lot harder to hoist wheelchairs up my steps," he added. "I'm not 38 anymore."
Hamp came to Fairmont in 1985, after meeting Bjornland at a health care seminar in Okoboji. Hamp was two years out of Northwestern College of Chiropractic and had been working at an office under several other chiropractors in Sioux City, Iowa, but he was looking for a mid-sized town in Minnesota to open his own practice.
"I couldn't do acupuncture in Iowa," he explained.
Bjornland was nearing retirement and seeking someone to take over his business, and the two struck a deal.
"I love Fairmont," Hamp said. "I'm so glad I came here. ... I hate to leave the building, but it's a new chapter in life."
At 56, Hamp has no plans for retirement himself.
"Lord willing, I will work 'til I'm 85," he said. "Last I heard, retiring isn't a requirement, and ... I love my job. It's not work. It's a mission; it's a purpose."
In addition to chiropractic care, Hamp also offers acupuncture, homeopathy and allergy treatments.
His approach to chiropractic and patient care may not always be conventional, but it is popular. Hamp's office is always busy, and his schedule is booked at least a week in advance. To help meet the demand, a second chiropractor will join the practice in January. Zephanie Skow, a Fairmont native, graduates from Northwestern this year.