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Pathways Through Our Past

Doesn't it just frost ya when you're driving down a beautiful, scenic highway or a picturesque country road and someone throws a pop can or pizza box out their window? If you see it happen, record their license number and turn 'em in! Save the environment and our tax dollars. I wonder what the inside of their house looks like!

Five hundred dollars is still waiting to be claimed at the History and Art Center. You haven't forgotten, have you about the award that will be given to the person(s) who identify when and where the Blackduck School Song, Maroon and Gold Forever was first used. And, of course, we're still trying to determine who wrote the lyrics. The music was written (Munson) and patented in 1934 and it appears the words came about the same time as the new gym, 1937 or 1938, when it, the gym, was dedicated. Give us a call at 835-4478 if you have questions, ideas or information regarding this mystery.

This is the last week to see Joe Rossi's photo display. Hopefully, when they move back to this area, we'll see more of his work. It's excellent! Maybe he'll even become a member of the Art Council. How about you? We know there is a lot of talented people in this community -- don't let your artistic ability go to waste. Share it and maybe even make it a career. Call Shirley Gilmore for more information.

Pete and Dora Peterson

By Delores Peterson Achenbach

This story is from the Hornet Township book located in the History Center's Library.

"In 1931, my parents, Pete and Dora Peterson moved from North Dakota to a tiny rented log cabin in southern Hornet Township. The decision for this move was made when a doctor told my parents that they would have to leave the swirling dust storms to save my life; I was severely asthmatic. Where could they go when their resources were reduced to almost nothing after the crash of 1929 and the Great Depression that followed it?

"My mother's uncle, O.C. Mueller, and his wife Anna, were living in Hornet Township. 'Come here,' he wrote to my parents. 'There are no dust storms here.'

"They brought my brother, myself and some cattle via train. When they unloaded the cattle at the train station, they herded the cattle to the field that adjoined the log cabin. There, the cattle huddled fearfully as far from the woods as possible. The animals had never seen a wooded area and it took time to adjust enough to venture near the trees.

"The first convenience that I remember was a washing machine powered by a noisy gasoline engine. My mother was plagued with excruciating back pain so washing clothes on the washboard was almost impossible. By the time I was six years old, my parents had bought some heavily wooded land in northern Hornet Township. My dad had cut enough logs from our new place to saw into lumber for a house. Next, he built a sawmill. They still didn't have a team of horses, so dad harnessed the bull. The bull pulled one log at a time over the snow to the location of the sawmill.

"I had attended my first year of school at the Maesse School in southern Hornet Township. When we moved to our newly-built house in northern Hornet, my brother, Duane, and I attended the Murray School. When the snow became too deep for walking, my brother and I skied to school on skis dad made for us to use.

"Buying fruit was an impossibility on our meager income, so my mother picked and canned wild berries. This was an ongoing procedure summer after summer. Fortunately, my mother enjoyed this, but I still have an aversion to picking berries!

"My teenage grandchildren are always amused when I tell them about our telephone system when I was living in Hornet. They can't believe that the telephone line was a 'community' line where everyone on the line could listen to other peoples' conversations.

"Mother was a gifted artist, and she would work at her easel during the long winter months. When her affliction with arthritis ended her oil painting, she concentrated on making log cabin quilts. When she was in her late 1980's, she made a quilt for my brother and one for me. Then she made 14 more --one for each grandchild. Her last quilt was made for a raffle at St. Ann Catholic Church in Blackduck. Between the time of her late 80s to the age of 92, she had made 17 quilts.

"My parent's spirit of survival and hard work were typical of the times and of the people who lived in Hornet Township."