'Before online dating, there were Cupid Columns' history program scheduled
The Beltrami County Historical Society will host a "Before online dating, there were Cupid Columns" history program at noon on Thursday, April 20, at the History Center, 130 Minnesota Ave. SW.
BEMIDJI — The Beltrami County Historical Society will host a "Before online dating, there were Cupid Columns" history program at noon on Thursday, April 20, at the History Center, 130 Minnesota Ave. SW.
Local author and historian Wendell Affield will share the story of his parents, who met through Cupid Columns. He will share excerpts from his book, "Herman," about his stepfather responding to the personal ad of a New York pianist with four children.
In 1949, Barbara moved to his rural Minnesota farm with her young children, including the author. Participants will be able to see examples of original mail-order bride advertisements and correspondence and learn more about this centuries-old tradition and its impact on one Minnesota family.
"Long before we began swiping right to find true romance, our ancestors picked up the pen to place advertisements in papers and magazines nationwide, seeking love — or, at least, marriage," a release said. "Women were scarce in the developing Midwest and advertisements for mail-order brides helped bridge the miles between husbands and brides-to-be. Corresponding couples could only hope that their partner turned out to be an ideal companion."
Books will be available for signing and purchase. Participants are welcome to bring lunch to enjoy during the program. This program is free to attend.
The Cupid Columns and correspondence are on temporary donation by Affield for the History Center’s "I Thee Wed exhibit," featuring histories and images of marriage in Beltrami County. This exhibit is available in the History Center and through the Historical Society’s Facebook page through mid-May.
For more information about exhibits, programs and volunteer and membership opportunities, visit beltramihistory.org.