These stories can also be heard Sunday mornings around 10 am on WILD 102’s “Looking Back in Time” program. Each week’s radio story will be posted in its entirety here on our website.
Weekly radio stories are researched, compiled, and read by Sheila Winstead, RCHS Board Member.
Available recordings are also linked to the Wild 102 “Looking Back in Time” page.
April 23, 2023
Recently at the Roseau County Museum, I was searching old newspapers looking for stories and came
across a 50 th wedding celebration in 1968 for a couple who were married in 1918. They were Mr. and
Mrs. Christ Corneliusen of Salol. Here’s what the article from the May 16, 1968 Roseau Times-Region
had to say about them.
Young couples today would faint at the prospect of starting their lives together with a team of oxen and
a small farm … of spending their summers commercial fishing on Lake of the Woods and their winters
back on the farm … but to another pair of “youngsters” who observed their golden wedding anniversary
Sunday at Norland Church near Salol, the memory is bright and happy. Mr. and Mrs. Christ Corneliusen
began their lives together that way and don’t regret it at all!
“We had a neighbor take us to Warroad with his car (on April 11, 1918) and then we caught the train to
Roseau where we were married by Mike Holm,” Christ recalled. They got on the train two hours later
and Bill Sutton took them from Warroad back to his father’s farm near Salol where his bride stayed
while he served in World War I as a member of the army in Europe.
When he returned, they began farming near Salol, using oxen and keeping the wolf from the door by
starting a sawmill, which he operated for about four years with a big old “steamer” (they still have the
mill but not the steamer) and cutting ties, pulp and cordwood.
At that time Salol was a booming town, thanks to the lumbering industry. It had a bank, hotel, grocery
stores, a Yeoman’s Lodge and many of the features of an up-and-coming community. “The roads
weren’t very good then … there were none to Warroad, only a muskeg,” Christ recalled.
They got their first car sometime later (after they switched to horses for farming and hauling) and it was
a 1912 Studebaker EMF. He smiled when he recalled the vehicle which had a magneto, dry batteries and
Presto-Lights. “We cranked it by hand,” he recalled.
They moved to Oak Island in 1926, commercial fishing with pond nets during the summer season and
moving back to the farm in winter. “We enjoyed Oak Island, it was a nice life and if it weren’t for
rheumatism, we’d probably be there yet,” he said. They enjoyed the friendliness of their neighbors, the
visiting and working together. “Most of our help were the Indians who lived on Buckety Island … they
were fine people and you didn’t have to teach them fishing … they knew,” Christ emphasized.
Mrs. Corneliusen kept a big garden and enjoyed Oak Island, too. She recalled that supplies came in three
times a week via Captain Fay Young’s “Resolute.”
They sold their fish directly to New York and Chicago markets as well as to Selvog and both Fisheries in
Warroad. “I had nets from Sugar Point to Flag Island and used to lift every day possible,” he said.
They moved back to the farm in 1936, giving up the fishing, and concentrating on their 240 acres of land
on which they are still active and raise grains and grass seed. “He got rid of the cows,” Mrs. Corneliusen
They have seen many changes in the Salol area … the coming of roads, the disappearance of the heavy
timber, REA, mail service, telephones; “Everything has come a long way in 50 years,” he said. Mrs.
Corneliusen said she couldn’t believe the time had gone so fast.
They raised four sons on the home farm: Clarence, now Clerk of Courts in Roseau; Lionel and Bertil, who
farm near Salol; and Clifford who is at home. They also have 12 grandchildren and are glad “to have
them so close to home.”
They still like to fish with hook and line, “and we’ll be out there the first day giving it a try,” he smiled.
He also loves to hunt and was out with the rest of them after deer last fall. “We plan to continue living
on the farm but if the winters get too tough we may have to do like some of the rest of them and make
a trek to the south,” they confided.
During his active life, Mr. Corneliusen was a member of the school board, secretary and trustee of
Norland Church, a member of the Algoma town board, a member of the Odd Fellow Lodge and an
American Legion member for many years.
Mrs. Corneliusen has been active in the church and still does the cooking and housework in addition to
sewing, making rugs and as much handiwork as she can.
Both are spry and alert and look forward to many more years on their home farm near Salol.
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