Listen to the Weekly Radio Readings by Sheila Winstead, RCHS Board Member
Recorded April 2020
April 5, 2020: Roseau has been lucky to have a bakery in town for much of its history. I was looking through some newspapers at the Roseau County Museum a while ago and found information about business changes taking place in 1929. The information was in a column from January 25, 1929, that talked about the bakery and another business. The article said that George G Olson bought the bakery, but a family member tells me that it was Alfred Olson, so I’ll replace “George” with “Alfred” in the article.
Two business deals were consummated this week in the village, changing the ownership of as many real estate properties. One was the purchase by Wilson Brothers of the barbershop building owned by R. O. DeLap and the other was the change of ownership of the Roseau Bakery, by which Alfred Olson bought James Stanley’s interest.
Wilson Brothers, in buying Mr. DeLap’s building are making the first move to re-establish their meat market business. A location was sought in the center business block. The change-over is yet a matter of time. Mr. DeLap has been located in the building for over six years with the exception of a short time when his barbershop was located in the basement room of the Citizens State Bank. Mr. DeLap has nothing definite in mind, although he will remain in Roseau for the present. He has been the owner of the building since the spring of 1925… listen for more of the story.
April 12, 2020: Last week I read some newspaper stories from 1929 about the transfer of ownership of the bakery in Roseau from Mr. Stanley to Mr. Olson.
Today I’ll read a little personal information about the Olson family, which I found at the Roseau County Museum in the family history area.
According to daughter Jennie, her parents, Alfred and Serine knew each other in Norway – she thought, more than likely met in Trondheim. However, Eileen Korn swears up and down that 2 different parties told her that he was an apprentice baker in Kongensvoll where stood the “red house” of the Kornelius Kristensen’s, Serine’s grandparents. That bakery burned down many, many years ago, but a tree there still bears the scars of the fire because it is very twisted and bent from the heat of the fire.
Alfred immigrated soon after the sisters did, and also went to the Redfield, South Dakota area where the sisters had settled with their aunt Berentina and husband, John P. Larson. Alfred had been a baker’s apprentice in Norway, and he found work in Redfield in a bakery. Alfred and Serene were married in 1908. In 1909 they moved to Roseau County, Minnesota, and homesteaded north of Salol near the Norland Church. There they endured the forest fires of 1910, as well as the hardships of trying to farm in that wilderness area. When the fires got out of control because of the terribly dry forest conditions in the summer of 1910, Alfred was helping other neighbors trying to fight the fires. Serine was at home with baby Jennie, just a few months old. Another neighbor came running to their farm telling them they would have to leave because their farms were in danger. They let all the animals go free to fend for themselves, and they walked all the way to Salol, carrying the baby. They were able to get on the train to Warroad, and everyone from that family came out of the ordeal safely… listen for the rest of the story.
April 19, 2020: A little column about lunchboxes appeared in the March 29, 2003 editions of YESTERYEARS, part of the Grand Forks Herald. It was written by Ed Hayes.
Not until the last few years of active duty at my newspaper did I ever tote a lunchbox.
Lunchbox? Well, yes, although I guess a cooler or ice chest would be the proper nouns in this instance. Definitely, the receptacle was more substantial in measure than the lunchboxes seen around schools in the 1930s.
Come to think of it, the young people of my era and frill-free neighborhood saw very few of these luxury items.
For one thing, most of us children lived within walking distance of the three schools – one public, two parochial – and sallied home for lunch.
Only an uncommon circumstance or severe weather dictated that a child leave the house in the morning with takeout for his or her midday nourishment.
In any event, some of the lunchboxes that we did or did not see, whichever the case, are currently treasured keepsakes at the Smithsonian Institution.
Matter of fact, the Washington-based cornucopia of nostalgia has just hit the road with this particular exhibit, aiming to carry it to the masses for the next three years.
Oh, sure, that should really kick up pleasant memory dust across the country. But I have a question. Was it possible, in some way, for the Smithsonian specialists to sustain any of the historic aromas of the contents of those colorful containers? Boy, the smells. That’s what I remember so strongly – and not necessarily so fondly. Picture this: A blizzard raging outside our buttoned-up, two-story, furnace-heated school… listen for the rest of the story.
April 26, 2020: With all the uncertainty and sadness of this Covid-19 pandemic, I was reminded of the Polio Epidemic that many from this area were affected by in the 1940s and 1950s. One family that I know personally is the Folland family from Greenbush. I called Marcia and she shared some of what she’s been told about those days. She was only a year old when she and her sister Aletha (called Lee) were taken to the doctor because of illness in 1946.
Lee was a few years older than Marcia. The doctor came out after examining the girls and the first thing he asked her parents was, “How much money do you have?”, followed by the devastating news that Lee had polio and would have to go to the Cities for treatment. Her parents were told that Marcia didn’t have it at the time.
Lee and her mother Adele Folland went to Gillette Children’s Hospital. Marcia stayed home with her dad, Ingvald. She was told that she cried and cried and cried after her mother left, enough that her dad took her back to the doctor. He assured Ing that it was to be expected that she’d cry a lot with her mother gone and treated Marcia for an ear infection. So poor Ing and Marcia went home again, but things didn’t improve and eventually, Marcia got the correct diagnosis that she, too, had polio.
Ing needed to take care of the girls’ brother Stuart and keep working to support the family, so mom Adele’s sister Aggie offered to accompany Marcia to the Cities and was at her side through her own ordeal. Marcia said she even started calling Aggie “Mom” during that time… listen for the rest of the story.
Thank you to for letting us share the history of our county with your listeners.