Listen to the Weekly Radio Readings by Sheila Winstead, RCHS Board Member
Recorded July 2021
July 4, 2021:
I shared these newspaper stories with you 7 years ago, but it’s the perfect day to read them again. Have a safe and fun 4th of July.
Many of the small communities had their own celebrations of the 4th of July in the early days of the county. These two notices were published in a local paper inviting people to attend celebrations in Ross and Wannaska in 1911.
A grand celebration of the 4th day of July will be held at I. T. Collins’ place, ¾ of a mile north of Ross post office, and if you are looking for the best time ever, do not fail to be there. The management is prepared to entertain you and give you a day of great pleasure, enjoyment, and amusement.
There will be games and sports and dancing. A big bowery, holding 8 sets will be open in the afternoon and night for the enjoyment of all, with excellent music.
We want all to join us in celebrating the National Holiday.
The patriotic people of Wannaska will celebrate July 4th and want people in the surrounding towns and throughout the county to join with them in making the eagle scream. Oration, reading, music, and songs. There will be baseball, horse racing, foot, and wheelbarrow racing, and sports of all kinds. Bowery dance day and night. A magnificent display of fireworks in the evening.
In the Roseau County Press dated July 7, 1906, Malung was mentioned in a news brief.
Fourth of July was celebrated at many different parts in the county, on quite extensive scales. Most of the Malung people …listen for the rest of the story.
July 11, 2021:
One hundred years ago, the Wannaska Creamery burned down. Here’s the account of that fire from the Roseau Times-Region of July 15, 1921:
The little town of Wannaska suffered a very disastrous fire last Monday morning, when its most important institution, the creamery, went up in smoke. When discovered, the fire had gained such a headway that nothing could be done to save any part of the building or contents. Luckily the wind was from the east at the time, which undoubtedly saved the rest of the town from the flames.
The fire is thought to have started in the roof from sparks. Buttermaker Qual had fired up in the boiler a short time previously and was out getting a lunch when the fire was discovered.
Besides the building and machinery, forty-two tubs of butter were also destroyed. The latter was covered by insurance while about $2200 was carried on the building and machinery.
The destruction of the creamery at this time is a heavy loss for the Wannaska community. It was doing a fine business, making up to 5,000 pounds of butter a week. Temporary arrangements for taking care of the cream from the community have been made with the Roseau creamery, the cream being hauled in by truck.
Just what will be done will not be definitely known until the meeting of the stockholders set for July 25th is held. It is, however, expected that the creamery will be rebuilt.
Well, it didn’t take long to decide the future of the Wannaska Creamery. In the Roseau Times-Region of August 12th, 1921, this article appeared:
The Wannaska creamery, recently destroyed by fire, will be rebuilt larger and better than ever, according to a decision taken at the stockholders’ meeting held last Friday. It was also decided to reorganize and dispose of enough new stock so …listen for the rest of the story.
July 18, 2021:
The Roseau County Fair of 2021 starts today. The first fair was held in 1906 near the intersection where the Budd Building and the American Legion are now. It was only one day long. You can look at an interesting timeline for the fair on the Roseau County fair website. You’ll enjoy reading some of the highlights.
I found a description of the fair held in 1921. It was getting bigger and better, and that year the headline said, “All Previous Records Broken at Fair”. Here’s the article from the July 1st, 1921, Roseau Times-Region.
The sixteenth annual exhibition of the Roseau County Fair Association, which opened Wednesday for a three-day showing, far exceeds that of any previous show in the number of exhibits. Particularly in the livestock is this true. Although a new and what was considered ample hog barn, which it was also thought would take care of the sheep exhibits, was built, it did not begin to provide room for these exhibits. The horse and cow barns are also entirely too small and all the room in the old sheds had to be made use of. This is a showing that is indeed gratifying as well as encouraging. It means that the farmer folks are taking more and more interest in the fair, which rightfully is their exhibition, and to take care of this properly more barn room will have to be provided in the future. In fact, judging from this year’s showing, it will practically have to be doubled.
The agricultural exhibit is another show which is an eye-opener to outside visitors and even to the home folks. Just which is the leader is a question but in grains, the palm probably must be awarded to the rye display. The other grains are also far beyond expectations, particularly flax. In grasses, there are some wonderful samples. A sample of Cossack alfalfa, which is the growth from one root, is a wonder.
In the women’s department, the showing is about on a par with last year. The exhibits in cooking are very good and received a special commendation from the judges. The canning exhibit is the only one to show up short of last year. The household art department is up to its usual standard which means that it is good.
One feature on the grounds is receiving much favorable commendation and much appreciation by ..listen for the rest of the story.
July 25, 2021:
There are a lot of great records to see at the Roseau County Museum, family files, veterans files, township and city files, and pictures and descriptions of businesses in many of them. I was recently looking for information about the Wannaska Creamery and found a folder of clippings and photos. One photo that was very clear was labeled as Anna (Mrs. Willie) Palm taking cream to the Wannaska Creamery in 1911. She’s sitting on a bench seat on a horse-drawn wagon loaded with cream cans.
The original Wannaska Creamery Association was started in 1907 and was reorganized in 1921 after its complete destruction by fire. There were several men who operated it over the years: Chris Thoen, R. V. Anderson, Walter Peterson, Alton Strandlie, Clifford Skime, Harlan Hams, Ole Fladeland, Duane Torfin, Arnold Lanes, and Duane Edberg at the time it quit processing for good in 1978. An article in the Roseau Times Region from September 14, 1978, tells more of its history.
At one time the Wannaska Creamery had over 240 patrons and net funds available for distribution of nearly $30,000 in a single year. The thriving creamery played a big part in community life and brought farmers from near and far to sell their cream, do their shopping, and get in a bit of visiting as well.
The creamery once hired haulers to pick up farmers’ cream cans which were usually put out along the road, awaiting the pickup. “We had cream routes to Pencer and Skime up to ten years ago,” said Mrs. Gilbert Loe, who has been bookkeeper at the creamery for the past 25 years.
“We used to advertise for bids to haul butter, too… and at one time we paid $2.65 a cord for wood. We bought our first eggs in 1930 and in 1951 we had $29,996 net available for distribution to patrons,” she said.
The creamery fought a losing battle as years went on, however, and last January quit accepting milk.
The boiler was closed down. The churn stilled. The rattle of cans on the roller track ceased and an era ended.
Now there are 12 still-loyal patrons who ship through the Wannaska creamery, but the milk is picked up and taken to …listen for the rest of the story.
Thank you to for letting us share the history of our county with your listeners.