Archive for May, 2011

STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY TO PARTICIPATE IN PROGRAM OFFERING FREE ADMISSION

STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY TO PARTICIPATE IN PROGRAM OFFERING FREE ADMISSION

TO ACTIVE MILITARY, FAMILIES MEMORIAL DAY TO LABOR DAY

 

BISMARCK – The state’s history agency is taking part in a national program called Blue Star Museums, offering free admission to all active duty military personnel and five of their immediate family members at its five state historic sites that usually charge admission, beginning Memorial Day, May 30 and continuing through Labor Day, September 5.  In addition, the State Historical Society of North Dakota’s museum stores statewide will offer a 10 percent discount on all items purchased in the stores during this time.

The five participating sites are the Ronald Reagan Minuteman Missile State Historic Site near Cooperstown, Chateau de Mores State Historic Site in Medora, Fort Buford State Historic Site near Williston, Fort Totten State Historic Site near Devils Lake, and Fort Abercrombie State Historic Site near Fargo.  There will also be free admission to the Missouri-Yellowstone Confluence Interpretive Center near Williston, and the seven-story high observation tower overlooking the Red River Valley at the Pembina State Museum.  The museum stores are located at the North Dakota Heritage Center in Bismarck, the Pembina State Museum, Fort Abercrombie, Fort Totten, the Ronald Reagan Minuteman Missile Site, the Missouri-Yellowstone Confluence Interpretive Center, the Chateau de Mores, Gingras Trading Post State Historic Site near Walhalla, and the Former Governors’ Mansion State Historic Site in Bismarck.

The Blue Stars Museums is a partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, and more than 1,300 museums throughout the nation.  Leadership support has been provided by MetLife Foundation through Blue Star Families.  The complete list of participating museums is available at www.arts.gov/bluestarmuseums.

“Last year the success of the inaugural year of the Blue Star Museums program showed that partnerships between the nation’s museums and military communities are a natural,” said Blue Star Families Chairman Kathy Roth-Douquet.  “We are thrilled that 300,000 military family members visited our partner museums in the summer of 2010.  We hope to exceed that number this year as the military community takes advantage of the rich cultural heritage they defend and protect every day.”

Museums are welcome to join Blue Star Museums throughout the summer.  The effort to recruit museums has involved the partnership efforts of the American Association of Museums, the Association of Art Museum Directors, the Association of Children’s Museums, and the American Association of State and Local History.

The Blue Star Museums program runs from Memorial Day, May 30 through Labor Day, September 5.  The free admission program is available to active duty military and their immediate family members (military ID holder and five immediate family members).  Active duty military include Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, and active duty National Guard and active duty Reserve members.

Museums that wish to participate in Blue Star Museums should contact bluestarmuseums@arts.gov or Wendy Clark at (202) 682-5451.

Blue Star Families is a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit network of military families from all ranks and services, including Guard and Reserve, with a mission to support, connect and empower military families.  In addition to morale and empowerment programs, Blue Star Families raise awareness of the challenges and strengths of military family life and work to make military life more sustainable.  Membership includes military spouses, children and parents as well as service members, veterans and civilians.  To learn more about Blue Star Families, visit www.bluestarfam.org.

STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY TO PARTICIPATE IN PROGRAM OFFERING FREE ADMISSION

TO ACTIVE MILITARY, FAMILIES MEMORIAL DAY TO LABOR DAY

 

BISMARCK – The state’s history agency is taking part in a national program called Blue Star Museums, offering free admission to all active duty military personnel and five of their immediate family members at its five state historic sites that usually charge admission, beginning Memorial Day, May 30 and continuing through Labor Day, September 5.  In addition, the State Historical Society of North Dakota’s museum stores statewide will offer a 10 percent discount on all items purchased in the stores during this time.

The five participating sites are the Ronald Reagan Minuteman Missile State Historic Site near Cooperstown, Chateau de Mores State Historic Site in Medora, Fort Buford State Historic Site near Williston, Fort Totten State Historic Site near Devils Lake, and Fort Abercrombie State Historic Site near Fargo.  There will also be free admission to the Missouri-Yellowstone Confluence Interpretive Center near Williston, and the seven-story high observation tower overlooking the Red River Valley at the Pembina State Museum.  The museum stores are located at the North Dakota Heritage Center in Bismarck, the Pembina State Museum, Fort Abercrombie, Fort Totten, the Ronald Reagan Minuteman Missile Site, the Missouri-Yellowstone Confluence Interpretive Center, the Chateau de Mores, Gingras Trading Post State Historic Site near Walhalla, and the Former Governors’ Mansion State Historic Site in Bismarck.

The Blue Stars Museums is a partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, and more than 1,300 museums throughout the nation.  Leadership support has been provided by MetLife Foundation through Blue Star Families.  The complete list of participating museums is available at www.arts.gov/bluestarmuseums.

“Last year the success of the inaugural year of the Blue Star Museums program showed that partnerships between the nation’s museums and military communities are a natural,” said Blue Star Families Chairman Kathy Roth-Douquet.  “We are thrilled that 300,000 military family members visited our partner museums in the summer of 2010.  We hope to exceed that number this year as the military community takes advantage of the rich cultural heritage they defend and protect every day.”

Museums are welcome to join Blue Star Museums throughout the summer.  The effort to recruit museums has involved the partnership efforts of the American Association of Museums, the Association of Art Museum Directors, the Association of Children’s Museums, and the American Association of State and Local History.

The Blue Star Museums program runs from Memorial Day, May 30 through Labor Day, September 5.  The free admission program is available to active duty military and their immediate family members (military ID holder and five immediate family members).  Active duty military include Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, and active duty National Guard and active duty Reserve members.

Museums that wish to participate in Blue Star Museums should contact bluestarmuseums@arts.gov or Wendy Clark at (202) 682-5451.

Blue Star Families is a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit network of military families from all ranks and services, including Guard and Reserve, with a mission to support, connect and empower military families.  In addition to morale and empowerment programs, Blue Star Families raise awareness of the challenges and strengths of military family life and work to make military life more sustainable.  Membership includes military spouses, children and parents as well as service members, veterans and civilians.  To learn more about Blue Star Families, visit www.bluestarfam.org.

BRIDGES ACROSS NORTH DAKOTA BOOK

BRIDGES ACROSS NORTH DAKOTA BOOK

RECEIVES NATIONAL AWARD

 

BISMARCK – A beautifully illustrated book about modern and historic bridges in North Dakota developed by the North Dakota Department of Transportation in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota and other organizations, has received a national award from the American Library Association (ALA).

Bridges Across North Dakota has been named to the ALA’s Notable Government Documents List of the best state publications for 2010.  It is one of only 11 state publications throughout the United States nationally recognized by the ALA.

Primarily an educational tool examining the history, technology and engineering of bridges in North Dakota, the 151-page coffee table-sized book features photographs of modern and historic bridges and captures how the history of bridge engineering, technology, styles and materials have changed over time.  Other organizations involved with the development of the book include the Federal Highway Administration and Kadrmas, Lee & Jackson, an engineering firm headquartered in Bismarck.  Many of the historic photographs in the book are from the collections of the State Historical Society of North Dakota, which has also been the primary marketer and distributor of the book.

Bridges Across North Dakota retails for $19.95 plus tax and is available at the North Dakota Heritage Center Museum Store in Bismarck, order online by visiting  www.history.nd.gov/museumstore, or contact Museum Stores Manager Rhonda Brown at (701) 328-2822  or email at museumstore@nd.gov.

Also available at Time Piece Gift Shop at the Barnes County Museum.

Valley City Drum and Bugle Corps

Valley City Drum and Bugle Corps

The American Legion Post No. 60 Drum and Bugle corps was fist organized in 1927 with Glen Levitt in charge.  It was officially sponsored by the Valley city Voiture of 40 and 8.

The first official appearance was at the funeral of Alfred J. Henry, a Grand Army of the Republic member and father of Post commander T. S. Henry on September 3, 1927.

Deactivated with the advent of World War Two, it was reactivated in 1947 under the direction of Adrian H. Pfusch, the only World War member and the Drum Major of the original Corps.  Under his able direction the group improved in quality and style and was designated the official musical organization of the North Dakota 40 and 8, as well as the official musical organization of the City of Valley City, which entitled them to some financial support from the city.  This enabled the Corps to purchase new uniforms and instruments.  The Corps had been self-supporting up to this time.

The Corps attended four National American Legion Conventions; Minneapolis, Mn in 1959, Miami Beach, Florida in 1961; Dallas Texas in 1964 and Atlanta, Georgia in 1969 ably representing North Dakota and Barnes County in each case.

The Corps was deactivated in 1970.

Gra-Green

Gra-Green

In August of 1879, there came to Valley city three obviously well-dressed and prospering individuals who registered at the Sherman House.

Contacting B. W. Benson, the leading land agent of the city, they explained that they were interested in homesteading some land.  They introduced themselves as Judge Green, His son, G. B Green, and A. H. Gray, all from Coldwater, Michigan.

Land was selected in Township 139 –Range 59 (Green Township) and the trio purchased horses, wagons, lumber and supplies and drive to their claims, where they built homesteader shacks, plowed a few acres then left for Michigan, informing the editor of the Northern pacific Times that they would return in the Spring with additional settlers and their families.

In January, 1880, the paper reported that G. B Green had married Fannie Grinnell at Coldwater, Michigan. April first a party of thirteen from Coldwater, Michigan detrained at Valley City, including G. B. Green and his new wife.  A. H. Gray arrived, but without his wife.  Judge Green remained at Coldwater.

By the fifteenth, the party had eleven houses under construction, and the editor noted that there was a Gray, A brown, A green, A black and A white in the group, and he suggested that it be called “The Colorful Community.”

On April 29th, the newspaper noted that A. H. Gray had arrived in town early in the morning, obviously on an important mission, since he “had on a boiled shirt” and wore his pants outside of his boots.  The occasion was the arrival of Mrs. A. H. Gray.  It was a big day for Mr. Gray as he was at the same time appointed a County Commissioner to replace Mr. Goodwin, who had resigned.

July 4th, 1880, was celebrated by the community, now called “Gra-Green” by a picnic and program at “Lake Gray.  On July 8th, the Gra-Green community petitioned the County commissioner for a county built road.

Indications are that, in addition to the post office established the next February 28, 1881, with G. B. Green as postmaster, there possibly was a small store and blacksmith shop located in Gra-Green.

Mr. A. H. Gray became associated with the American National Bank and engaged in the implement business.  G. B Green became the teller of the First National bank, was president of the Sanborn Bank and still later, in 1883, owner in part of the Bank of Lisbon.

Early Hunting in Barnes County

Early Hunting in Barnes County

The valley of the Sheyenne River was considered to be excellent hunting country by the Native Americans and the early French fur traders prior to settlement by white people.  Muskrats, mink, bob cats, bear, elk, moose and beaver were plentiful.  Buffalo roamed the prairie and annual hunts were carried on by the inhabitants of Pembina; sometimes as many as two hundred hunters forming a hunting party, complete with families and a Catholic Priest.

With the coming of the white man, the buffalo herds were decimated.  However, the first years of settlement of Barnes County were good years for the hunter.  In July of 1879, buffalo were found in the upper part of the county.  In November, Charley Walker and Cole Chapman shot two deer and a 500 pound elk, and in December, John Daily shot three deer with a muzzle loading rifle.  Trappers were busy with fox, badger, wolf, muskrat, antelope and deer and fur prices were good.

In February, 1880, four elk and three deer were shot at the Ashtabula Crossing, and in March, Mr. Dennett of Bald Hill Creek brought a very large elk to Valley City and sold it to Mr. Weiser, the general store owner.  That same month, E. W. Wylie shot forty three deer and an antelope within fifteen miles of the city limits.

Prior to the building of the mill dams on the Sheyenne, fish was exceptionally good and the paper reported the catch of a six foot sturgeon weighing seventy two pounds, some fourteen miles south of town.

Hunting parties from the East used Valley City as their headquarters and ranged as far north as Devils Lake.

By 1885 the hunting began to be scarce – the larger animals were either all killed or had migrated northwestward to the Devils Lake country where the pressure was not quite as severe.

Marsh’s Mill

Marsh’s Mill

The October 23, 1879 issue of the Northern Pacific Times reported that several loads of lumber had been transported to the site of a new flour and grist mill located six miles south of Valley City.  One George Marsh was reported as the builder.  George Marsh, was the brother of Colonel L. D. Marsh, then the County Register of Deeds and one of the very first settlers, coming in 1874.

On February 26, 1880, the paper reported that George marsh had about finished the dam on the Sheyenne River for his mill, and that James Sorenson had begun a dam for a mill fourteen miles south of the city.

Work went forward on the marsh mill which was being built on land owned by Col. Marsh.  Some difficulty was experienced in obtaining the machinery and the grinding stones, and carpenters were in great demand, so the construction was delayed somewhat.

The July 14, 1881 issue of the paper (now called the Valley City Times Record) reports that Col. Marsh expected to have his mill operating that week and would produce flour  the equal of any of the best brands manufactured.

Col. Marsh apparently was very over optimistic as the mill did not actually begin operation until December 9, 1881, with a report “three run of stone” and “four sets of bolts or rollers.  A master miller by the name of Sawden from Moorhead was hired to superintendent the milling operation and the mill produced the “Pride of the Sheyenne Flour”.

The actual date of the last milling is unknown.  Some years later the mill building was moved some yards from the river and converted into a barn.  The machinery was dismantled and the mill stones left in the farm yard.  One of the millstones is now in a private collection in Fullerton, North Dakota.   The location of the other is unknown.

The Walkers –Flour Mill Builders

The Walkers –Flour Mill Builders

Hiram Walker and his family moved to Valley City in 1879 from Rushford, Minnesota, where the family had established a flour mill, machine shop and foundry.

Purchasing land on the Sheyenne River at the south edge of Valley City Walker immediately proceeded to build a dam and install a saw mill, which when completed, was used to saw lumber to build a flour mill.

Upon completion of the mill, which was called the Sheyenne Roller Mills, the production of flour began and it was eagerly received by the citizens of the city and county.  The mill was operated by Hiram Walker until 1882 when it was sold to John Russell and his son-in-law, Arthur Miller, who were also from Rushford, Minnesota and engaged in the milling business.  The name was changed to the Russell-Miller Milling Company, the first mill in what was to become a major milling company, based in Minneapolis.

John f. Walker, a son of Hiram, and knowledgeable in milling, built a mill a mile east of what is now Kathryn and here he had a post office called “Oakport” as well as a general store and a community hall on the second floor of the mill.  His wife served as the postmistress and clerk of the store.

In the meantime, one James Sorenson had built a mill about a mile northwest of what is now Kathryn, near the community center of Daily.  Sorenson and his brother, Gabriel, a blacksmith and machinist, established an industrial center at the mill, with a blacksmith shop, a wheelwright’s shop, a store and a butcher shop where hogs were fed acorns from the many oak trees there and butchered for fine bacon, which was shipped far and wide.

Some time prior to 1894, the Walker mill at Oakport burned and John F. Walker then purchased the Sorenson mill, which he operated until 1910, when it, too, burned.

In 1881, T. J. Walker, another son of Hiram Walker, while deer hunting found that there was a small community below the hill at the site of old Fort Ransom and a site for a flour mill.  He built a mill and a store and operated both until 1919, when he sold the mill, the store and his resident to A. J. Olson.

John F. Walker homesteaded west of Valley City, building a fine home.  For many years the highway westward from Valley City, now called “94” wended its way up “Walker Hill”.