6/15/2005 – Editorials
By Richard Peterson
I’ve got a couple corrections to confess.
First, the Churchs Ferry Alumni Day will be held Saturday, June 25. Mark that on your calendar and cross off the date which appeared in this column last week. The correct date, once again, is June 25.
Secondly, Garvin Plummer stopped at the Farmers Press the other day to correct a common misconception that has been repeated several times in this newspaper.
The fact is that the fieldstone and glass house in Minnewaukan built by banker V.A. Helberg in 1959 was not designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
Although some of the features in the house may have originated with Wright, the house was actually designed by architect Fred Herman of Ira Rush Associates of Minot. Herman consulted with Helberg’s wife, Marguerite, to formulate the final design. The blueprints of the house, signed by Fred Herman, are in the Minnewaukan Museum. Plummer is well acquainted with the house and its origins because he wired it.
This is not to take anything away from the beautiful home, Plummer says. "I just want to make sure the people who designed it get the proper credit, and not someone else."
Herman also designed the home on the Roger Kenner farm near Leeds for Roger’s dad, Alvin. Plummer also wired that house. "They’re somewhat similar," Plummer says.
Herman was also the designer of the Minnewaukan School which was built in
1959 and he probably designed Minnewaukan Residences just west of the school. If he wasn’t the architect of the residences, the firm he worked for, Ira Rush Associates, definitely was because Ira Rush was present at the groundbreaking in 1965.
The photo of early day Leeds, which appears on Page 4 of this issue was taken by early day photographer Olaf Arveskaug, whose name appears on the back of the photo. As a young man O.H. Arveskaug established himself as a photographer in Leeds.
I believe he’s the same man I knew in Fessenden in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. My dad was a barber in Fessenden from 1930 to 1951 when we moved to a farm near Flora.
Arveskaug was a good friend of my dad. I saw Arveskaug’s signature once on a check or something and it was "H. Arveskaug." Nobody ever knew him as Olaf or as Hjalmer, his middle name. Everyone knew him as "Arvey."
He was a Norwegian immigrant and was apparently self-taught. He was an intellectual of sorts and read voraciously. He gave our family many books, including the great books series with authors like Shakespeare, Balzac, Darwin, etc.
As far as I know he didn’t do photography in Fessenden. He was a lifelong bachelor and was a bartender at Sawyer’s Recreation.
He died in about 1952-54 or thereabouts at what was then a ripe old age. I think he was about 80, which would put him in his 20’s when he was at Leeds.
I see there is a Hjalmer Arveskaug buried in Eddy County, but I have no further information.
When we lived at Fessenden in the 1940’s Dad closed his barber- shop one week every summer and we went to Wood Lake for a vacation. It was a fishing vacation, of course. Fishing was my dad’s passion. While we were there Arvey came to go fishing with my dad.
I loved to go to Wood Lake because there were other things to do besides fishing, which was pretty boring for a kid. Especially fishing with my dad.
If you were dumb enough to get in the boat with him, you were stuck out on the water the entire day. He took his fishing far too seriously.
We rented a small cabin from Frank Louden, who also operated a store and cafe. The cabin was a one-room building with no conveniences except a screen door and screens on the windows. We brought our own kerosene stove as I remember. There was no running water, of course. I don’t think it was much of a vacation for my mother.
The Loudens also had a pavilion where roller skating took place. I remember wading near the dock but I can’t remember the water slide, although it must have been there in the late 1940’s. I know I never went off it.
Those were the days of nickel ice cream cones and although nickels were hard to come by, I managed to get at least one ice cream cone every day and maybe even a Popsicle or a 6-ounce bottle of Coke. My mother was a soft touch.
Eating Juneberries right off the bushes was great fun. And, of course we had fresh fish to fry for supper and breakfast, too. Suppers were always late because Dad never docked the boat until it was too dark to see the bobber. Mom fixed breakfast for him early in the morning so he could get out on the water again. Later, when I got up she fried fresh fish for me. I never got tired of eating fish, but trying to catch them wasn’t my bag.
I had lots of playmates at Wood Lake. I especially remember the Wold brothers, sons of optometrist Miles Wold of Devils Lake, who had a fancy cabin at the lake. I can’t remember what we did, but we had a lot of fun.