Saturday, October 30, 2010


[Click to enlarge]
I try and spread the word about this blog so as many people can be aware of our local history as possible.  The other day when I did that on the Minnesota Historical Society's local history Facebook page, they paid me a very kind compliment.  It really encourages me to continue to not only write about my local history, but to continue to strive for accuracy/proper sourcing, quality/interesting content, and appealing presentation...

Friday, October 29, 2010

KCND's Legacy

Although this happened last year, I only recently came across this on an online forum about KCND/CKND/KNRR's ultimate demise...To provide a complete picture of the once-local station's 'life', I include it here (it has a happy outcome...)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ferry Command Revisited III

Click to view larger...

I stumbled across the story at left today when going through archived newspapers.  It's on the backside of an article about my mother that appeared in a February 1940 issue of the Pembina New Era.

What's interesting about this article (although the term is never mentioned in the article itself), is that it's talking about Ferry Command.

I get a big chuckle out of how it's repeatedly stated that NO airplanes are being flown across the border.  That is literally true.  But what is not mentioned is that there had been planes towed across the border just the month before, thus not breaking the letter of the Neutrality Act of 1939...

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Christ Church Revisited

At this point, Christ Church was still considered a Mission...

In 1971, attempts were made to preserve Christ Church, the Episcopal church in St. Vincent. 

QUESTION:  If Christ Church was bought, restored, and donated to the St. Vincent Historical Society, how did it get back into private hands, the situation it is in today?  Some possible answers follow the article below, which documents the 1971 preservation efforts...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Census of a New Town

1857 Minnesota Territorial Census of St. Vincent...
[Click to see larger image]
The above image is of the actual 1857 census of my hometown.  If you look at the enlarged image, you will note it says that at this time, the town existed in the "...County of Pembina, Territory of Minnesota." Kittson County did not exist yet.

That year was a momentous year for St. Vincent.  It was the year it was FIRST incorporated.  First, because it was incorporated twice. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Old Highway 81

Red line shows route of Old Highway 81
Highway 81 as it was prior to the Interstate age, was the main highway through the Pembina area, the North Dakota 'twin' to Minnesota's Highway 75, as Pembina was the twin to St. Vincent, in a manner of speaking.

I often heard the term "Old Highway 81" used in passing, by my parents and other older residents of the area, growing up. I caught on that part of it was the road that went into an area I never knew that well (not knowing anyone that lived there) called South Pembina. South Pembina was the area south of Pembina proper, across the Pembina River. It was where the old museum was, and where the park, baseball field, and grandstand still are.

However, there was a lot more in South Pembina at one time.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Story of a Building

What is the history of this building?
Photo by Megan Sugden - Used by Permission
The building at left is located in Teien Township, Kittson County, not far from the Red River of the North.  It's all that is left of the unincorporated community of Robbin.

I have crossed the river by Drayton many times, necessarily passing this building but never knowing it.  Recently I became aware that it is now more apparent to passersby.

Monday, October 11, 2010


The Manitoulin - steamer ship featured in Chuck Walker's BORDER TOWNS
The photograph above, recently located on this website, is one of the only known photographs of the original ship by that name that ran under the Great Northern Transport Company between Collingwood, ON and Duluth, MN.  It carried many emigrants from Canada to Minnesota in the 1870's and 1880's.  It had a colorful history, being known as the only ship to have sunk twice.  The short version of the story is, it caught fire in 1882 as the Manitoulin, the hull was salvaged and it was rebuilt as the Atlantic, and later burned/sunk again - this time for good - in 1903.  It was on a ship like this that the Gamble family took for part of their journey to St. Vincent, also.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Caribou Tales: Dennis Boucher

St. Nicholas Ukrainian Church (Caribou, Kittson County, Minnesota)
Let me introduce you to someone from my hometown area - eastern Kittson County to be more exact, an area known as Caribou.

His name is Dennis Boucher1, and he grew up in Caribou.

Dennis and I found one another through this website. For the past eight months, he and I have been corresponding via email, with Dennis sharing many stories of his family and area local history of which his family has been a part of. Much of it is unknown outside his family, and I am thrilled that he has been willing to share it with me.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

BOOK: Minnesota's Last Frontier

In what appears to be a self-published work, J.W. Durham1 wrote about his experiences in northwest Minnesota in the late 1800's. While most of those experiences were further east of St. Vincent in Roseau County (part of which was once included in Kittson County), there were some recollections of individuals with a connection to my hometown area, of which I share below.  Please note that the language is of its time and style, and some of the content would be considered inappropriate and even offensive to modern ears - please read with a historical frame of mind to give it proper context...