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Pathways Through Our Past

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Bemidji Pioneer
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Pathways Through Our Past
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

The History and Art Center's Fall Fest was well attended, many coming a considerable distance to "check it out." Plants and produce, jams and baked goods sold quickly and coffee and donuts "hit the spot" while people moseyed around the displays. Visiting over a bowl of chili and corn bread on a dreary day seemed to be the thing to do. Thank you all for contributing to the success of our fund raiser. A special thanks to our volunteers and others who donated goodies for our sale. You are appreciated!

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The subject of post offices has been in the news again lately, so I thought I'd nose around and see what I could find about post offices from the good old days.

This story is about the Rosy Post Office and some of the developments it incurred while serving the Good Hope area through the years.

In the 1901 era, mail came from Bena and/or Blackduck to the Max Post Office and the Rosy post office, which was just east of the Rosy cemetery in Third River Township on a hill on the north side of the road. (Bet you know just where that is, don't you?)

The first postmaster here was Peter O. Bohn. His salary was derived from the sale of two and three cent postage stamps for letters and penny post cards. He also handled a small line of grocery items and cloth materials. Harry Sorby became the postmaster here for quite a few years while Mr. and Mrs. Bohm went to Canada to file claim on another homestead up there. The Bohm's however, came back in 1922 to operate the post office until it was closed in 1924. The store in Rosy continued to do business for a few more years.

In those previous years, the mail carrier traveled on foot and by water between the Max Post Office and the Rosy Post Office. Drop off places were established at some of the homes where the mail was left for other settlers to pick up.

As time went on, mail box routes were developed where settlers placed mail boxes at trails and roads along the mail route.

After the Rosy Post Office was closed a post office was located at the George Bloomquist residence in Good Hope Township called the Dunbar Post Office. That location later became the Larue Forseen home. Mrs. Bloomquist was the postmistress for several years. This post office was also closed and mail routes by individual mail carriers became longer as road conditions improved.

At this time, the mail carrier for this area came from Blackduck. He traveled many miles through the Third River area, Good Hope Township to Squaw Lake and on to Max and returned by way of Alvwood. At Alvwood, the post office was at the O.D. Hanson General Store, which was also a "Telephone Central" for the area.

So as with everything else, the mail service of Good Hope changed many times over the years. This shows why the addresses of settlers of Good Hope Township varied from time to time over the early years. As for today, the residents of Good Hope can, for the most part, pick up their mail at a mailbox at the end of their driveway.

My father-in-law had a mail route to Pennington and often times when I was just a school girl, I would hitch a ride with him to a friend's house that was on his route. (Hitching rides was a no-no). Sometimes he hauled baby chicks -- yuk, what a stench and noise, other times it was large, heavy Sears & Roebuck and Montgomery Ward catalogs that were a beast to get into small mail boxes.

Speaking of Montgomery... there was a man of that name that wasn't very friendly for some reason. One morning as his neighbor across the highway, walked to his mailbox, Montgomery up and shot him right between the eyes. My father-in-law's name was second on his list to be murdered! Some of you will no doubt remember that event.

My father-in-law was a softy and many times he would stop at Webster Lake to have his lunch and to feed all his little wild friends. He sang and whistled there too. There are many stories that could be told of the singing mailman named "Bud.

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Pioneer staff reports
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