Tuesday, May 10, 2011

St. Vincent: Port of Entry

H.R. Bill 814 makes St. Vincent's case

Did you know that at one time, St. Vincent was a port-of-entry?

After you read the original bill requesting that the town be made an official port (at left), you'll understand the logic; it actually makes sense for the time.

As of 1916, it was still a port. I'm not sure when it was discontinued, nor in what capacity it served as one.  Since the town wasn't right on the border itself (like Noyes) my guess is that it wasn't used for a crossing point, but functioned solely as a conduit for the border trade, or customs.

In 1883, it becomes reality - St. Vincent becomes a (sub)port-of-entry

I found out this much:  A deputy collector resided at St. Vincent during the time frame it was a port-of-entry.

With further research, I learned there was a Customs House in St. Vincent at some point, and not only was there a Deputy Collector of Customs, but at least two other positions there, also.

For example, in 1887, those on-duty were:  Adelard Guernon, Collector; Nelson E. Nelson, Deputy Collector; and Alfred F. Storey, Deputy Collector, Clerk & Inspector.

In 1887, there was no 'district of Dakota'; in fact, even the Pembina Customs was listed under the 'district' of Minnesota.  But between then and 1916, that changed...
The district of Dakota, to include all of the States of North and South Dakota and the county of Kittson in the State of Minnesota, with district headquarteres at Pembina, in which Pembina, Noyes, St. Vincent, Portal, St. John, Hannah, Neche, Ambrose, Souris, Walhalla, Sarles, Sherwood, Hansboro, Crosby, and Antler are ports of entry...

"The border crossing station at Noyes was established in 1905, after having been previously located in the nearby town of St. Vincent." - MN/DOT Historic Roadside Development