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Pathways Through Our Past

Suppose you noticed 2012 is just a few hours away. Where, now-a-days, do we go to celebrate and ring in the New Year? Use to be that the ladies would get all dressed up and I guess wearing a suit and tie qualified the men as dressed up too. When's the last time you saw suits and ties and fancy dresses on a dance floor?

Blackduck's old City Hall (second floor) laid claim to being the best Ballroom with the best music and dances in the north years ago. Sure wish that old city hall was still on the corner across the street.

Haven't had much time to search and find interesting old stories -- instead I'll just share some tidbits that are in sitting in my "Tidbits" file.

From 1902 -- "Sidewalk To Be Built From Main Street" -- Another much needed improvement now talked of is the building of a walkway from Main Street to the Railroad Depot. This will be greatly appreciated by all who have business at the depot as well as by the traveling public. Work on this is scheduled to begin within the next week or as soon as satisfactory arrangements can be made.

It is understood Mr. Stoner has promised to furnish the greater part of the material for this project. (Speaking of Stoner, Rich Morine informed us the other day that he has built another house on Stoner Lake, just off the Scenic Highway. Sounds interesting). There are many Mr. Stoner and Stoner Lake stories that we may write about in the future.

From 1902 -- "Electric Lights Soon To Illuminate Streets, Businesses and Homes -- It is now almost a settled fact that Blackduck will have an electric light plant in the not far-off future. That this is a much needed adjunct to our thriving village no one will deny, and our business men and others are anxiously awaiting the opportunity when they can discard kerosene for electricity.

I suppose I should stick to the subject but, it seems every time I write I can relate to that time or subject. NO, I don't go back that far in time -- 1902! I was thinking though, about using kerosene lamps and lanterns on our farm. We didn't have lamps in every room, rather a lamp moved into a room every time we did. It could get spooky with the shadows and all.

From 1902 -- "First Regular Train Arrived Monday Noon: Coaches are Crowded" -- The first regular train arrived in Blackduck on Monday noon. It was not a passenger train as many had hoped, but was composed of only two passenger coaches and twenty five freight cars.

Notices were posted that a mixed train will leave Bemidji every morning at 8 o'clock from Turtle, Tenstrike and Blackduck, returning during the afternoon. This will continue until arrangements for passenger service are completed, which it is reliably reported will not be later than the 15th of this month. A large number of people took advantage of the first ride in a passenger coach and came up to view the sights.

One more tidbit from 1902 -- "Brass Band Organized" -- A preliminary meeting was held to effect the organization of a band last Sunday. Quite a number of persons were on hand, anxious to join, and at a meeting Monday night, 21 names had been submitted to the secretary. This insures a good beginning! Several of the members are musicians of considerable ability. S. Brown of Red Lake Falls will be the director.

The following have signified their desire to become members: M. A Clark, J.M. Reed, James Rauch, Julius Hermanson, T.C. O'Leary, M. Gallagher, Bert McLaughlin, Henry Johnson, H. Latterell, Louis Latterell, Chas. Moon, Geo Orcutt, A. J. Mingo, Alfred Olson, Frank Freeman, A. Newstrom, John Thompson, E.O Jackson, Eugene Smith, Fred Taylor and S. Brown. Might some of you inherited your musical ability from members of this list?

From 1918 -- Toboggan Slide To Be Built -- Those who enjoy the fascinating winter sport of tobogganing will soon have an opportunity to gratify their desire if the plans underway are carried out. This morning the matter of raising funds was discussed among some of the business men and Dr. Koch, every ready to help boost a good thing, started out with a subscription list and just as we go to press the doctor reports that he is meeting with much encouragement and liberal contributions. The slide will be built just east of Praught's Livery Barn and will be put up in a substantial way so that it may be used for many years without further cost.

Okay, I need help here... where was Praught's Livery Barn located?

About $125 is needed, most of the labor having been promised and if you have been missed, call up Dr. Koch who will receive your contribution. Next week a list of the contributors will be published. .These fellows really made things happen.

Remember now, the Blackduck Area History and Art Center will be closed for the month of January. Things are happening there too! Happy New Year. Hope to see you all in 2012.