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Pathways Through Our Past

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

Not that long ago

As the lawn emerges from under the snow we begin to think that spring is just around the bend. I hope the plants and trees don't think so, it's possible there is still some more winter out there.


Our cars help make traveling around much nicer and the toys we enjoy so much that get us out of the house. Even the price of gas hasn't slowed us up. Not that long ago when gas cost less than a dollar, people didn't think of traveling to the south or west for the winter and very few young people had a car, if so it was usually bought after graduation or after returning from their time in the service.

If our forefathers could see how we live today they would be shocked. Just several of generations ago saw very few woman working a eight hour job. If she was a single parent she might find work in a factory or as a house keeper, but after working that job she still had most of the work to do at home.

Her children tried to help by doing the chores and taking care of the younger ones. No TV watching ,no I Pods or music playing through head sets. Children didn't talk back to the parent like they do today. Few women knew how to drive a car if they had one. It was either use a horse or walk to where she had to go. Laundry was scrubbed on a board and hung out to dry, winter or summer. Milk and meat was kept from spoiling by putting in ice or in a well house.

When money was short things or time was bartered. Maybe butter or eggs in exchange for flour or salt. That would never be used today, imaging asking if you could exchange a couple dozen eggs and a can of milk to have a bone set.

Today if you want to see how our ancestors lived you can read about it or visit any of the history centers in the area. You can look around and be glad that life has been made easier or wish you could bring back time as it used to be. That is what we strive to do at our history and art center.

Right now we are constructing the town of Blackduck as it was when the first railroad connected us to the outside world. Bring supplies into our town and taking much needed lumber to the outside world. The railroad was our link to the future. I am sure it wasn't the one we now have, no one can predict what will change in the future but here at the history center we can look back and appreciate what we had.

And speaking of looking back, come and enjoy looking at some wonderful art by done by past residents of our community. What wonderful things have come out of the hands of our former neighbors.

Pioneer staff reports