Monday, January 27, 2014

Chewing the Fat @ the Virtual Water Cooler

Recently, on a social media site, a few individuals who grew up in or near Humboldt, MN were reminiscing...

Deacon Jim Hunt One of my fondest Humboldt memories was living across from the Tri Honey Apiary. Old P.N Tri would let us go in when they were loading the extractors and get gobs of wax and honey on our fingers to chew. It was delicious and fun for a small boy growing up in the 50's in the little Minnesota town.Still love that honey and think of the Tri family every time I taste it.
Keith Finney I have lots of fond memories of them and the honey as well. Only got stung once and PN put a gob of wet mud on it. My eye still swelled shut. Ha. Tony and I used to stop by his grandma's after school for peanut butter and honey snacks.
Deacon Jim Hunt Henrietta - Very kind old woman.
Michael Rustad I used to worry about the bees but never once got stung. I spoke with Helen Tri often in her last years and I learned that Humboldt honey was mail-ordered around the world. They had a large number of dedicated customers in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria to name just a few. We had our specialty food business right in Humboldt across from the Hunt house. And speaking of that house, it was huge! We had some really big houses in Humboldt and some really small ones too. The Boatz house, built by the Elevator Association, was tiny. Our house later occupied by my Grandparents and still later by Dick Gatheridge was a nice size. Does anyone remember Ree Schoenberger and their house. I think Bill Sylvester lived there before Ree and his wife.
Does anyone remember an incident when a massive tree was cut down near or at the Hunt's place by an unknown vandal. I wonder how that could have happened.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Monitor Steam Engine: EXPLOSION!

The steam engine has not yet been restored in this photograph and the
seat is visible. [An unrelated piece of machinery is in the background.]

In 1893, when steam was king down on the farm, an engine exploded, killing both man and animal.  This happened across the river from St. Vincent not far outside Pembina.

After the original incident, the damaged engine was buried on the spot of the accident - a field on the Frank Moris farm near Pembina. Seventy-four years later, the late Ben Fisher of Bowesmont, ND, dug up the steam engine in 1967 and restored it to its present condition.

After the restoration in 1967...

The engine is now owned by Dr. Roland Larter of Hallock, MN and is on loan to the Pembina County Historical Museum, Cavalier, N.D.

An excellent engraving of the Canton Monitor portable steam 
engine, made by C. Aultman & Company,  Canton, Ohio...

The Pembina engine is more accurately described as a Canton Monitor portable steam engine. Describing the Canton Monitor, an Album (aka industrial encyclopedia) published back during the 1890s says it is 'cheaper and better than any power operated by horses.' It continues . . .

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Walhalla Chautauqua

Among the most beautiful summer resorts is Walhalla, "The Garden of the Gods." Here nature has been particularly lavish in spreading her charms. Here every summer the Chautauqua Assemblies are held in the far-famed Mager Grove, which is almost encircled in the embrace of the Pembina River.

Chautauqua Auditorium in Walhalla, ND (circa 1920).
The delightful shade of the tall stately trees, the running spring water, and the carpet of green, makes this an ideal place for rest and recreation. Here visitors find bathing facilities, either in deep water or along a shallow beach, where even the smallest children are perfectly safe. A motor boat makes regular trips up the river to accommodate those who enjoy boating through the ever-changing charms of the beautiful Pembina. An abundance of row boats are also kept, and these are rented at nominal rental to visitors.

William Jennings Bryan spoke here on July 4th, 1918.

Within easy distance are many interesting spots—the State Park, which is cared for by the state appropriation, is only a scant quarter mile from the Chautauqua grounds. A half mile in another direction brings one to the Cemeteries with the Martyrs' grave and monument. The monument was erected in memorial of three missionaries who were murdered by the Sioux Indians in 1852. Visitors often make side trips to the Mennonite village, six miles to the north into Canada, and to old Fish Tray, eight miles to the west, where the magnificent Canyon of Pembina, a mile wide and five hundred feet deep, leaves a picture impressed on the mind that time can never efface. The Walhalla Chautauqua draws a large patronage from Canada, as well as from the state. Many of the visitors bring their own tents and cooking facilities. As the Chautauqua is in session for several weeks, a most enjoyable time is assured.

- North Dakota of Today (1919)


The Rev. Allen O. Birchenough, pastor of the Pembina and Jolliette, ND [Methodist] churches, preached at the Walhalla Chautauqua on Sunday, July 2, to an audience estimated at 2,000. His sermon is receiving high praise.

- Northwestern Christian Advocate, Volume 64 (1916)

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

"As mentioned in..."

To find out more about the book,
referencing Pembina & St. Vincent
The two rooms would be filled with fiddle music, he said, and sit-down dancers, when his St. Boniface relations came visiting in winter.  He vowed that he and Sara would cross the Red River to the French side to attend the winter carnivals, the snowshoe, horse and dog races a new priest in the parish of Ste. Agathe had taken to organizing.  Go from house to house on New Year's Eve, and celebrate the French way, as he used to do, firing his rifle into the wind, begging the favour of a drink and a kiss.  I have relations coming out of my ears up and down the river, he told her.  As far south as St. Joe and Pembina.  The Carons, Berthelets, Branconniers, Dubois, St. Germains, Delormes.  He recited the names, the syllables like a church bell tolling across the snowbound land.

Emilie would not have believed that at that moment Oliver was going farther away from them, the lit-up town of Emerson beckoning. There was a small hotel there, he knew, and a cafe where he would get something to eat.  Then he thought perhaps he would bypass the town and cross the border, go to Pembina, where he'd heard there was a tavern.  Leastways, there had been years ago, and a woman named Ma Shorts who rant it.  She had a room at the back, and for a price she would let people sleep off a drunk or have a quick romp, whether or not the couple was married.  The night air had chilled him through, and he was no longer inclined to sleep under the stars.

From: "Children of the Day", by Sandra Birdsell