Sunday, April 30, 2006

Gateway to the North-West

Map of the Canadian Shield
"During this time, many settlers came from Eastern Canada, and the Eastern States, as well as the British Isles, to begin a new life, in a new country...They traveled by boat and rail to St. Vincent, Minnesota, crossed the Red River by ferry to Pembina; then progressed by ox-carts or wagons, toward the virgin prairie and along wooded streams where they established homes, with the Homestead, Preemption and Tree Claim Rights..." - From The Early History of Bathgate

The rough terrain of the Canadian ShieldThe Canadian Shield is a vast mass of exposed rock - as you might suspect, not easily traversed - so early travellers were forced to avoid it. It necessitated very long detours around and/or through the Great Lakes, for those that needed to go west from Eastern Canada. Many people that settled in and around St. Vincent took these routes. However, many simply passed through our area, as a matter of necessity, on their way further west. I think we can be safe to assume that the large numbers quoted by the Gambles in their letters, were no exaggeration, that they did indeed see hundreds and sometimes thousands of souls passing through the area for many weeks and months in the later 1800's...

Friday, April 28, 2006

Gamble Letter #13

Alexander Gamble's claim (Source:  BLM Archives)On your left is an image of the actual land claim for Alexander Gamble, recently found at the BLM Archives.

I have also located a fascinating article that mentions the fires alluded to by Emily Gamble in her letter below. The article, about halfway down this page, entitled Yellow Tuesday, tells of the effects of horrific forest fires in Canada, in September 1881...


St. Vincent Minn
Sep 14, 1881


My dear Maggie We received your letter and was glad to hear that yous Were all Well as this leaves us at present I would have rote before but I was waiting to the show would come of it was Monday the 5, We had a good time I saw a boy in the show Weighing over 540 lbs and a Wild bush girl she was found running Wild on the sandy Plains of Austrilia, and a horse with 8 feet There was a hotel burnt down in Emerson and a man burnt to death We had confirmation every Tuesday Lizzie and Jane and I got confirmed the bishop was from St. Paul his name is Bishop Whipple. There is no sunday school for a few sundays. We have not been to school for a Week or two. I was put in history I like it very well. Alice is getting on Pretty Well and so is Willie Alick thinks himself quite a man he bought a mare and two colts. he bought a Pair of duck. the book mark was very nice we see by the newspapers there is dreadful fires in Canada it was Very cold this morning. Pa got a paper from Dundee - Sammy is drawing an old pair of shoes across the floor Willie is hurding the cattle Alick is Pumping We have three Pigs Lizzie is going to St. Vincent this morning. I will send you some flour seeds I dont know the name of them I will Write a longer letter the next time so good by for the present Ellen Gamble
Write soon dont forget

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Red River Derby of 1917

In 1917, the St. Paul Winter Carnivale, along with others, sponsored a dog sled race - the Red River-St. Paul Derby - from Winnipeg to St. Paul along much the same trail as the Red River ox carts used to travel. There was great publicity all along the route, with major newspapers and news reel crews covering the event from start to finish.

One of the teams coming through the border near Pembina...People came out to see the teams, in every town they passed through. Despite temperatures up to 25 degree below, no one wanted to miss seeing the brave men and dogs as they challenged the elements. Towns provided resting stops when needed, and morale boosting as the sleds flew past to sounds of cheering.

Albert Campbell, winner of the 1917 Red River-St. Paul DerbyMany entrants were from Canada, but a few were from the States. The first man to cross the finish line was Albert Campbell, a Metis from the Pas, Manitoba, and his team of "...splendid blacks." He had made a pledge to his dying father only two weeks previous to the race, that he would win it in his honor.

Some of the other mushers that finished the race...

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Gamble Letter #12

One subject that few seem to want to touch when writing in a historical context, is domestic abuse. Academics write about it historically. Even authors of fiction incorporate it into their storylines. However, very few write about it when writing about family and place. It's because it's difficult, uncomfortable...and embarrassing. But the truth of the matter is, it's a fact of life. It's always been with us, and sadly will probably always will be with us...
St. Vincent
June the 5th, 1881

Dear father & Mother I once more take up my pen to adress a few lines to you hoping these will find you all well as this leaves us all at present this has been a very well Spring hear we have Just got done sowing on our homestead and we are starting tomorrow on our tree claim to put in barly we have put in about fifteen bushels of oats and about the same of potatas we had to buy another yok of oxen this spring ours own got so fat and heavy that they were to slow we work each yok day about we have a hundred and Sixty five dollers for them we had a man hired for a month at 25 dollers a month and board we bought five cows and to calves this spring we have none milk cows and four year olds and five this years calves twenty too head altogether we have a little boy hired for herding a purpose every one has to herd there own we have the Most Stack of any one around heare we have to pigs about 2 hundred weght each we were disapointed in not haveing young pigs this spring we had to buy some We churn every other day I get from thirty to 25 cents a Pound for the butter patatos is a doller a bushel and Sears at that We had not to buy any Charlie Robison's wife died on Saturday last she had a baby and she never got well he is going home again they lived in emerson and I guess they have been hard up he has Not been drinking this last while for he had nothing to drink with he used her bad since they came to this country the water never was so high in the river as this spring our children got their pictures taken in Pembina and we send yous one they go to school every day I am going to get the baby taken and I will send it to yous we think when we get the deed of our land that we might Sell out we could get a big price we all like this country we have done very well since we came I think I have told yous all the particulurs this time So I must bid you all good by for the present hoping to hear from yous soon I remain

Yours truly Mary Ann Gamble
Write soon

Monday, April 24, 2006

St. Vincent Crime: The Postmaster & The Decoy

Railway Mail Service workersAlthough I can't find the website where I first stumbled across this story for the life of me (I am still trying to relocate it, come heck or high water...!), I will still share it with you all, because I know I'm not dreaming I saw this...

In the 1880's, someone was creating mischief with the local mail in St. Vincent/Pembina. A postal inspector was called in, and he decided to test the waters by sending a 'decoy letter' with marked bills in it, from St. Paul. Sure enough, the letter never made it to the destination.

The inspector arrived in St. Vincent to follow up, and while having a friendly drink in a local saloon, the postmaster bought him a round. That's where he made a mistake. The inspector recognized the marked bills, and that...was the end of that...!

Alas, I do not know who the postmaster was at the time. Another mystery to solve...

Friday, April 21, 2006

Gamble Letter #11

Maggie Neil, family friend - taken in her later years, in Beaverton, Ontario
Sending along scraps or samples of material used in a dress, along with letters, was a way of staying in touch and keeping close; sometimes, the recipients would take the scraps and incorporate it into a quilt or other object as a reminder of a loved one far away...
St. Vincent
[undated]

My Dear Maggie I now sit down to write these few lines as this leaves us all well at present we are going to School we got a new teacher to day She is from Ontario her name is Hilda Sing Sammy is growing a big boy Alick is running the steam pump yet and papa is watching at the station there was seven hundred and fifty emagrants on Sundy all principaly from the township of cavan and carturite Alick seen singer Robinsons son and a good many more that he knew they think this a good Country we had a lovely winter the sleying is nearly done we send yous a paper Alice sends you a necktie they are sending you a piece of their dresses the greay is Ellen & Janeys the Brown is lizzies the Black is my own Altho we dont write often we think about yous often enugh when we see a passenger train we be lonesom about yous we had a letter from Scotland last week and young Joe ditcher is on the Road out here dont be long in writing

Mary Ann Ellen Janey Lizzie Alice Gamble

Early Red River Transportation: York Boats



York boats were one of the earliest forms of transportation in the North-West, as it was called in the 1800's, including our own area of the Red River of the North. They were based on the same design principle - although on a smaller scale - as the old viking long ships...


Here we see two contemporary sketches showing them in everyday action - one showing the boats being portaged, and the other showing them being brought up a bank to be offloaded...

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Major Seton's Sketches

From the Glenbow Archives, comes these images sketched by Major George Seton, of the Pembina/St. Vincent area in the mid 1800's...

A
A Metis Gathering
Metis Women
Red River Hunters
Red River carts meeting the York boats
1860 Red River Buffalo Hunt
Pembina Mission - 1859
Pembina Cart Train - 1859
Cree encampment at Pembina border
Tree marker at international border near Pembina - 1859
Old Pembina at the confluence of the Pembina & Red Rivers

Listed!

St. Vincent Memories made it onto Cyndi's List today...I'm thrilled! Look for it under April 18th listings.

Cyndi's List is one of the oldest and most respected genealogy resources out there, so it will give the site greater exposure for those that want information about the northern Red River Valley and its towns...

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Gamble Letter #10

Christ Church, St. Vincent, as it looks todayMany people were coming into St. Vincent in 1880. Some were just passing through, but others were staying and putting down roots.

The Gambles had been fortunate enough to come at just the right time. There was a lot of opportunity for anyone that wanted to put in the hard work to make it happen. Let's read about their experiences some more in this letter written in the fall of 1880...
St. Vincent
October the 17 1880


Dear father & Mother I now take up my pen to write a few lines to you hoping this will find yous All Well as this leaves us All well at present We have been very busy with the potatoes we have a fine crop of them this day week there was a awful storm of thunder and lightning the lightning struck the aald Station beside us and burned it to the ground it has been very cold ever since we bought another cow we paid thirty dollers for her we have four now I bought a new sewing machine at thirty five dollers the children all goes to School every day we are puting up a new stable twenty by sixteen we bought another farm since I wrote last about one mile from our own one hundred and sixty ackers it is a tree claim* we bought a man out we paid him for his right we can only hold a homestead and tree claim land is getting scarse here now and deare to there is going A nice Church and School house up heare the church is about finished we hauled all the lumber for them we have a man hired to drive the teem and he makes good Wages for himself and oxen there is the greatest emegration this summer that has been yet from all parts I have about one hundred pound of butter to sell I was offered thirty cents a pound for it cash but I want thirty five cents for it there has been a lot of rain here this summer all the harvest was wet I think I have told you all this time so I must conclude with our kind love to you all

this time
Mary Ann Gamble
Write soon
So good by for the present

*The Homestead Act of 1862 let an adult man claim 160 acres of land. The homesteader had to live on the farm for five years. Some also took tree claims. On a tree claim, the owner had to plant ten acres of trees and keep them alive for eight years.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Emerson 1880

Click for larger version - Early Emerson

From the Archives of Manitoba:
The Town of Emerson was incorporated as a legal municipality in 1880, but has a history reaching back to the early nineteenth century when it existed as the Hudson's Bay Company post, North Fort Pembina.

Two American businessmen, William N. Fairbanks and Thomas Carney*, are credited with the foundation of the town. In 1873, they approached Lieutenant-Governor Alexander Morris with a proposal to establish a town-site in the Province of Manitoba, and applied for a colonization grant to four townships that would include 640 acres for a town-site. The town was named Emerson after Ralph Waldo Emerson, Fairbanks' favourite author.

The history of Emerson has strong links to the development of the railroad in Canada. The townsite chosen by Fairbanks and Carney, located directly across from North Pembina, would align Emerson with two proposed railways: the Canadian Pacific Railroad, and the St. Paul and Pacific Railroad. It was hoped that the CPR would use the American route around the Great Lakes and re-enter Canada at the town of Emerson.

Emerson experienced a "boom" of sorts from 1876 to 1880, and was legally incorporated as a municipality in 1880. The town of West Lynne, across the river, had been incorporated a year earlier. In 1883, West Lynne and the town of Emerson were amalgamated to form the City of Emerson, but The Municipal Act of 1886 divided them once more into the towns of West Lynne and Emerson.
* Carney, according to local oral history, was an inventor of a cash register; although I could find no solid evidence to confirm this, I did find this intriguing tidbit about an obscure film documentary short from 1903...

AMENDMENT: Just found this bit of political trivia - looks like Carney, one of the founders, was elected as provincial representative in 1880...

Also, I found out that Carney built a home in Emerson in 1880 (he was a busy man, wasn't he?!) named "Kelvinside"; today, it is known as Aunt Maude's Tea Room - Trust me on this one, folks - it's an amazing home, and an amazing experience. I've had the fortune to visit Aunt Maude's Tea Room, where I discovered true scones, and devonshire cream, and had my old favorite tea...the hostess showed us her meticulously-designed English garden in her backyard, complete with stone walk and open-air gazebo and benches, and birds twittering away in the nearby trees. If you get a chance, be sure and visit!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Gamble Letter #9

Alex Gamble Jr., aka Little Alick - a few years later...
September 20 [1880]

Dear father & mother you will think I have forgoton yous but we have been so very busey that I could not get time little alick has been very sick this last whill he was working in the round house and we had to take him home from it or it would have killed him the gass out of the coal was bad for him the rest of us is all well We have a very good crop this year we bought a team of Mules this morning at three hundred dollers we have too teems and too waggons there is a excursion to canada this month I was going down to see you but Alick took sick and I could not leave him we are going to take up our potatos this week we think we will have about five hundred bushels they are forty cents a bushel here we had to buy a reaper to cut our grain men was so scarse you could not hire any one for love nor money we raised ten calves this year and we have five of last years we are going to plough a lot this fall and have it ready for another year there is three hundred men at work on the ridge beside us altreng [altering] the track to emerson they are taking it from the Alice Gamble low land and puting it on high dry land they are puting down six teen side tracks the round house is to be moved and the station they want to be prepared for high water another year I sold twenty dollers worth of butter this morning that was too weeks butter I have made a great deal this summer I get thirty five cents a pound we entend to thrash as soon as we can get them I think I have told you all the news this time I hope you are all well Alice send Maggy a alminack and Samy send a picture Willie and his father drives the oxan and Alick drives the mules and ellen & Janey herds the cattle and alice herds the calves and lizey and Me does the house work and sewing so you see none of us is idle dont be long in writing our kind love to yous all

Mary Ann

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Gamble Letter #8


St. Vincent
August 31 [1880]

Dear father & Mother I now take up my pen to write you a few lines to you hoping to find yous all well at present the only reason that we did not write before this we have been so busy putting up hay we got about forty tons up it is worth 2 dollers a ton Alick is still Watchman at the station and little Alick is running the steam engine that fills the tank where the engins gets there water at the round house he works half a day every day and he gets twenty dollers a month it has been very wet this last while we have splendid potatoes every one as big as a boul there is nothing particular hear at present be sure and not be as long in writing as us I suppose if we would not write yous wouldnt ether the children all goes to Sunday School the baby can walk I am sending you too papers to yous you will see the election* in emerson I will not be so long in writing to yous the next time so yous must forgive me this time the children send there kind love to all No more At present from your daughter and grandchildren

Mary Ann

Would yous have any Nataion of coming up heare this fall Maggie could do better hear than there you ought to let her come for her own sake I would do the same by her as I would do to my own lizzy could be married any day she would say so but she is to young yet


* This is probably referring to the election that made Thomas Carney, one of Emerson's founders, a provincial representative as outlined here...

Preview of Things to Come

Recently, I was able to track down a significant portion of the Pembina Museum Collection at the State Historical Society of North Dakota. This particular portion is 9 linear feet of manuscripts, which are not usually loaned out. Normally you would have to travel to Bismarck to see them at the Society itself. However, I have the fortune of living in Fargo, where the Institute for Regional Studies is located, and they have a reciprical loan agreement with the State Historical Society.

I put in a request for the collection, and it will be arriving in Fargo in early May. The loan is for a 3-month period, so you can guess what I'll be doing over the summer. Some people like to get outside during the warm summer months; but this summer, I will be in heaven pouring over old records in a stuffy library.

I will be sharing the fruits of my labors here, as soon as possible...As always, stay tuned!

Monday, April 10, 2006

"...a scale that was truly grand"

The army of half-breeds and Indians which annually went forth from the Red River settlement to make war on the buffalo was often far larger than the army with which Cortez subdued a great empire. As early as 1846 it had become so great, that it was necessary to divide it into two divisions, one of which, the White Horse Plain division, was accustomed to go west by the Assinniboine River to the “rapids crossing-place,” and from there in a southwesterly direction. The Red River division went south to Pembina, and did the most of their hunting in Dakota.
From The Extermination of the American Bison, by William T. Hornaday

An example of the scale of a typical hunt - "In June, 1840, when the Red River half-breeds assembled at Pembina for their annual expedition against the buffalo, they mustered as follows..."



To read more about what it was like, read this eyewitness account...

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Progress: Passenger Trains

The first train on the Pembina branch of the C.P.R., 1878, which joined Canadian tracks to American rails. Credit: National Archives of Canada
"Service...daily except Sunday, passenger train from Winnipeg to St.Vincent, 2 miles past Emerson, Manitoba, scheduled for 3 hours and 35 minutes."

Gamble Letter #7

19th century doodle of mosquito vs man by an anonymous MinnesotanI'm fairly certain the letters are now into 1880. Mary shares with her family back in Ontario their prosperity, and excitement, at building a new life in a new country. Alas, as anyone knows (and I know all too well!) who has lived in St. Vincent and vicinity, mosquitos are the bane of summer; evidently, nothing much has changed...
Dear father & mother & Maggie I now sit down to write these few lines to yous and I hope yous are all well as this leaves us at present we have been so busey that we have not time to look round us with puting in the crop and garden we have just finished the patotas this day we have three cows to milk and we get three wooden pails of Milk night and morning and we have too calves and too pigs to feed and we churn every other day I make from 18 to twenty pounds of butter a week we get 25 cents a pound for it so you see we have plenty of work the crops is looking well all over around here we got a new wagon at Seventy Dollers and a new plow at twenty dollers and a new harrald at 16 dollers the Misskittos is bad here in the summer but there could not be a better country for cattle such fine pasture every one herds there own cattle for there is no fences in this country and the herd law protects every ones crops if a beast comes along all you have to do is tie them up and the owner has to pay the damage we have put up a kitchen to our house ten by faurteen it cost about twenty dollers the children all goes to School the baby has got to teeth he is beginning to stand up there never was such emagration to any place as there is to this from England and Scotland there was a hundred families from dundee and glasgow and they new Alick people well and there is plenty from Ireland from the place you come from and from every county in Ireland and they give a hand account of the old country there is nothing particular here just now I will try and get the babys picture taken this summer and send it to you See him he is the best looking of all the children Willie put his letter in with this and you must mention it in your next letter or he will be mad I think I have told you all this time I will not be so long of writing the next time we all join in sending our kind love to you all so no more at present so I remain yours truley
Mary Ann Gamble
Mary ends the letter with a postscript, which implies this missive had a sample of the prairie contained with it - "this is sweet hay it grows all over the prairie"

Passing Through

Click to see larger version...

Mrs. Hall's Comments


Some are going into Minnesota, three of them having bought 13,000 acres in the Red River valley, which they are going to farm on a large scale, and hope in four years to have made fortunes

We arrived "quite on time" last night, rather an unusual thing with these trains, particularly since the floods, when the passengers were dependent on the steamer, we saw yesterday as we passed high and dry on the prairie, which had to convey them from one train to another across the floods close to St. Vincent.

The railway traffic also is enormous. During the flood 4,000 freight waggons were delayed at St. Vincent; now they are coming in at the rate of 4,000 per week, and still people cannot get their implements, stores, etc. fast enough.
From A Lady's Life on a Farm in Manitoba by Mrs. Cecil Hall [1882]

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Raging Red


For as long as anyone can remember, the Red River of the North aka the Miscousipi (Cree name, meaning 'Red Water River') has had a mind of its own.
The first well-documented attack was launched in April 1798. The victim was Charles Jean Baptiste Chabouillez, a fur trader.

From his home in Quebec, Chaboillez had pierced more than 1,000 miles into ragged wilderness in search of valuable pelts for the North West Company. Finally he set up a post on a dirty, sleepy, docile stream surrounded by a tabletop of flat prairie.

And there he wrote a daily journal. It became the beginning of recorded history for Pembina, North Dakota, the first settlement on the Red River of the North. In daring to invade the vast flood plain belonging to the Red, Chaboillez became one of the Valley's first recorded flood refugees...
Read the about more historic first-hand accounts of living through a Red River flood here...

Click here to see larger version...

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Gamble Letter #6

There is a gap of some months, and now the letters pick up again in 1879...
April 28

Dear father and Mother we just got your letter last night since we moved our letters is going astray you must send them to St. Vincent Minnesota we were happy to hear that yous were all well there is nothing particular here Minnesota is in the united states Cawen that kept a tavern in Beaverton lives about a mile and a half from us and Charlie Robinsian about too miles emerson is about 2 miles from us we can see it out of our door supposing the river that runs through Beverton was red river where Hamiltons & McKinnans is that is the villige of Pembina in decata terratory well oer the river where Gordon's house and McCaskells is the town of st Vincent and where Frank Thompsons busy is that is our land hunred and sixty ackers emerson is as big as Cannington & Beaverton put together pembina as big as Beaverton saint vincents only growing there is three taverns one store post office land office and all the railway buildings every one is telling us we are rich and we dont know it they be telling us our place is worth 5 thousand dollers there is rich men from saint Pauls to start Business here every one thinks it will beat emerson they say there is fish in the lake there is thousands of wild ducks on it we have a boat on it when they shoot ducks they can get them we have penty of wood on our place we could gather hundreds of bushels of hazel nuts there is hundreds of plumbs trees all over our place Alick is working every day at one doller and half a day the track is as far from our house as McCaskels is from you the children goes every day to emerson school I think I have told you all write soon and let us know when you are coming so as we will have a place taken up for you there is good places yet

Mary Ann Gamble

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Letters from a Student Passing Through...

I am now at Trinity College, on the eve of departure for Emerson. I go by rail to Emerson, sixty-five miles by stage afterwards. It is late in the year for business of this kind. I have been worried out of my life, for the last two weeks, by one thing and another, but have enjoyed my stay at Trinity College immensely, which, as you know, I always regard as my "Canadian home." I leave* Toronto Tuesday. November 8th, 15:50 p.m. Arrive at Chicago, Wednesday, 9th, 7 a.m. leave Chicago, 10:50 a.m. Arrive at St. Paul's, Thursday, 10th , 5:50 a.m., leaving St. Paul's, 10th , 7:30 p.m. Arrive at St. Vincent, Friday 11th , 4:40 p.m.; Emerson, Friday, 4th , 10 p.m...

...Floods have been bad in Emerson [May 1882], everybody living upstairs, water five feet in the streets. The fellow who brought my waggon out from Emerson, had to bring each wheel, axle, etc., over the Red River, separately in a skiff, and it cost him $4, the bridge being washed away by the flood.
From Letters from a Young Emigrant in Manitoba

* It wouldn't be until completion of the Canadian transcontinental railroad in 1885, providing a way to traverse the Canadian Shield, that there would be a more direct route from the east to the west in Canada...

Eyewitness to a Rebellion

The journey was a long monotonous one, over a level, treeless prairie, with no habitations, until we reached the small frontier village of Pembina, at the boundary between the two countries. After crossing the boundary line we came to the Hudson's Bay post of Pembina, and a few miles further we reached what appeared to be an old settled country. The changed aspect of things was very marked, and one could not help being impressed by it, in coming upon a comparatively well-cultivated settlement in the heart of an immense region which for two centuries had so little communication with the outer world.
These words - published in 1886 - are part of the diaries of a Major Boulton, who was a soldier during the Northwest Rebellion (1869-1885). An descendent of Boulton has transcribed his ancestor's experiences on a thoroughly fascnating website, nothing flashy. Just words...and what words! They take you back to the man on the march, in the middle of the land we grew up in, but nothing like we remember it...a land that was little touched by man, native or immigrant...

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Gamble Letter #5


St. Vincent
July 25th
(1878?)

Dear father & mother I now take the oppertunity of addressing a few lines to you hoping this will find yous all well as this leaves us all well at present there is nothing particular going on heare at present the wether is very warm Just now crops never looked better than they do at present our wheat is as high as my head we are busy at the hay we are going to put up a good deal of hay this season we have so much Stock we have thirty five head just now yous think the Midland does a big busness if you seen all the trafick on this road you would wonder there bees ten and twelve engins in every day the yard holds six hundred cars when they take a train to Manitoba there is another coming in from St. Paul there is over a hundred men emplased in the yard alone this was there pay day there was a thousand* men to pay half of them swedes and Norweigns the transfer busnes is all done here for Manitoba there goes five trains a day to Manitoba we have twenty bushels of potatoes planted and they look well we were all at a excursion down red river about twenty miles and had a good time we be all very busey all the time flour is four dollers a hundred butter thirty cents a pound pork twelve cents a pound eleven pounds of sugar for doller cotten cloth and print is very cheap heare good print 8 cents a yard what I used to pay fifteen cents for there dont be so long in writing the next time I must conclude with our kind love to yous all
So good by for the present
Mary Ann

* [By the 1870's] the railroads had begun to spread their network over the State. Jim Hill sent his agent to Europe and Colonel Hans Mattson went over for the State Board of Emigration. Soon the Scandinavians began to pour into the land, lured by booklets whose illustrations were probably the first examples of creative art, the State produced. Immigrant houses were erected by the railroads ; some of these transient homes were large enough to accommodate several hundred persons at one time. By 1880 the census showed a population risen to 780,773, of which 71 percent were Europeans of the first and second generations. - From the American Guide Series, Minnesota: A State Guide