Thursday, March 15, 2012

Fern Valley

Left to Right:  Catherine Harris (wife), Gladys Harris (daughter),
and Dr. Charles B. Harris, posing in Fern Valley, circa 1898...

[Source:  Walker Family Collection]
When I was up in Pembina recently, Hetty Walker allowed me to borrow their old family photograph album.  Chuck Walker, Hetty's late husband (and a mentor of mine, regarding local history), had inherited it from his grandfather, Dr. Charles Harris.  I found the photograph above which features Dr. Harris and his young family at the time, enjoying an outing to Fern Valley, a popular spot for walks and picnics in the late 1800's and early 1900's near Pembina.

The old album that the above
photograph came from...

[Source:  Walker Family Collection]

Chuck, when explaining a reference to it in his book, Sheriff Charley Brown, once shared with me:  Fern Valley was later the Joe O’Hara farm. When I was a kid and before it became private property, it was solid ferns with no weed. (And a beautiful camping spot.) It was on the north side of the Pembina River along the road just two miles west of Pembina. Turn south off Highway 55 and as you approach the Pembina River it’s just to the left and follows the north side of the river to the east. To my knowledge there are no ferns left there. Many people in town transplanted from there to their personal yards.