Volume 124, Number 51
25 year 4-H leader
Marie Williams of Maddock was honored for 25 years of continued support to the Benson County 4-H Program at the 56th Annual 4-H Leaders and North Central Soil Conservation District recognition banquet held at Leeds January 6. Marie has been the Happy Helpers 4-H Leader the past 25 years.
Oldest house in Minnewaukan getting a makeover
BY RICHARD PETERSON
The oldest building in Minnewaukan is getting a makeover. Wayne and Susanne Schuman are remodeling the old house from top to bottom.
The Schumans came to visit Aaron and Trish McQuoid, who purchased Minnewaukan’s only grocery story last year. The ladies are sisters. The McQuoids moved here from Isle, Minn. He originally came here as a fishing guide and continues that activity while she runs the store.
The Schumans are from Cambridge, Minn., about 50 miles north of Minneapolis. He’s a captain with the Minneapolis Fire Department.
When they came to visit in September of 2007, they discovered the house beside the Presbyterian Church was for sale. By December 1 they had purchased the house.
They started working on it even before the sale was completed. After Thanksgiving they spent their first stint at remodeling. Another session was held after Christmas and now he returned in mid-January to continue the renovation.
The heating system was pretty much redone before they bought the house. It’s heated with electric baseboard heat. The basement is "pretty much a mess," Schuman said. "But I’m going to add forced air heating and cooling eventually." The wiring had already been pretty much updated, so that’s not a problem.There’s quite a bit of plumbing work that will be necessary before the renovation is completed.
"You can tell this is an old house," he says, "because it has full dimension lumber." That means that a 2×4 is 2"x4", not the 1.5"x3.5" of new lumber.
Joe Clifton of Minnewaukan was hired to tape and spray the newly-installed sheetrock. New carpeting has been installed upstairs and downstairs. Wayne is doing almost everything else. "I’m not handsome, but I’m handy," he declares.
There are three bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs. Downstairs are a large living room, a large gaming room and a kitchen. On the north side there’s a large room that will be turned into a downstairs bathroom, laundry room and mud room. He also plans to build a kennel in this room.
The house will serve as an overflow rooming house for McQuoid’s hunting and fishing clients when the Schumans aren’t there.
"We’re going to spend as much time as possible here," Schuman says. Susanne and their 16-year-old daughter will likely spend all summer here and Wayne will come when he can. "I’ve got two years and nine months to retirement," he says, "and then I plan to spend lots of time in Minnewaukan."
The Schumans have two grown daughters in Cambridge and three grandchildren with another on the way. Sadly, they lost a 23-year-old son about a year ago.
Schuman is an avid fisherman, hunter and bow hunter, so Minnewaukan was tailor-made for him. Now they’re tailoring the house to their needs.
There’s lots of history connected with this house. Some of the earliest Minnewaukan pioneers, William and Sara Plummer and their sons, Clarence and Bertie, arrived in Minnewaukan by stagecoach from New Rockford on May 31, 1884.
On the way to Minnewaukan William stopped at Gull River, Minn. (near Brainerd) and ordered lumber for their own new house and additional lumber to sell. The lumber for the house came by train in June of 1884 to Devils Lake (Creel City).
Seventeen-year-old Clarence Plummer kept a diary and recorded the events of the lumber coming to Minnewaukan.
"Monday, 16, 1884 Weather Pleasent. Father was informed this P.M. that his lumber, which had arrived at Creel would not be brought over by Capt. Heerman till he heard from father and $3.00 a day was being charged for storage. He started at night." When William Plummer found out he was being charged $3 a day, he immediately set out for Devils Lake, even though it was at night, to get that lumber to Minnewaukan.
"Tuesday, June 17, 1884 Weather showery. Father accompanied Dutch Pete home last night. Started at 4 this morning with his boy for Creel 18 miles distant. Got there in due time. Freight $115.00 Hired it loaded on barge for $6.00. Fare over $2.00." Apparently the freight costs of moving the lumber from Minnesota to Devils Lake was $115 and the cost of loading the lumber onto barges was $6. The barges were then towed to Minnewaukan by the historic steamboat Minnie H for a fee of $2. The Minnie H plied the waters of Devils Lake from 1883 to 1908. The boat came to Minnewaukan between 1883 and 1889, then water levels became too low to dock at Minnewaukan.
"Wednesday 18, 1884 Still and pleasent. Went down this morning to unload barges. Finished at 3 P.M. Unloading the barges commenced in the morning before seven. Petterson, Father, Uncle James and myself pushed the barges as near shore as possible, but they soon stuck.
Petterson left after uncle James’ man joined us at 7:00. Rafted lumber ashore till the barges were light enough to be pushed a little nearer. Then we could wade out taking some on our backs and some on the (word missing) with one man on each side to push. It took most of the siding and flooring the latter way. By this time the bottom of the lake became churned up so it was very hard traveling. Then we took the sills of the house put one end on the forward barge letting them reach shoreward as far as they would reach. At noon by dint of pulling and pushing we got the barge to shore and at 3 P.M. had them unloaded and anchored."
The lumber was used to construct the first Plummer house built in Minnewaukan immediately east of the Presbyterian Church. It soon became evident that this house was too small and a larger home was built in the northwest portion of town.
In the meantime, the Plummers prospered, selling lumber, hardware, groceries, dry goods and farm machinery. They also owned extensive farmland.
The 123-year-old house has been the home of many families. Marvin and Adeline Jacobson probably lived there longer than any other occupants.
Wayne Schuman shows the primary reason he decided to buy the oldest house in Minnewaukan. Schuman and his brother-in-law, fishing guide Aaron McQuoid, caught several northerns north of Minnewaukan on January 17. The house he’s remodeling was built in 1884 and the lumber for it was towed on barges pulled behind the steamboat Minnie H.
This is the old house in Minnewaukan that Schuman is remodeling. It’s located just east of the Presbyterian Church. When he starts working on the exterior he expects to leave it historically accurate.
The week of January 7 the fourth grade class at the Leeds School, along with their teacher Mrs. Mitchell, completed a unit on weather. The class studied the water cycle, precipitation, different types of clouds, wrote reports on severe weather and practiced being meteorlogists. Lane Ritterman shows temperatures around the state.
Mathias Follman and Katelyn Nelsen are shown with the precipitation board.
Cameron O’Brien and Nikarra Nelsen explain severe weather.
Takes third in state
Katherine Sears, a 7th grader at Maddock, placed first in the District 6 VFW and Auxiliary Patriot’s Pen essay contest. She placed third in the state for her essay entitled "Why I Am An American Patriot." Left to right are Auxiliary president and District 6 president Adeline Klein of Leeds; Katherine Sears; Lucille Westby of Maddock, Auxiliary youth chairman; and Loren Knutson of Harlow, commander of VFW Post 757.
Foundation provides funding for Minnewaukan School, library
The Devils Lake Area Foundation (DLAF) distribution committee met December 20 and distributed $19,326.94 in grants from the general fund for area charitable purposes. Among recipients were the Minnewaukan School and the Minnewaukan Library. The grants are made possible by the earnings from gifts to the Devils Lake Area Foundation.
The DLAF was established in 1975 by the Community Development Corporation of Devils Lake to provide a method for philanthropy. The first donation in 1975 was shares of stock with a value of $6,700. Hundreds of donations (such as $10 memorials) have been made since 1975 and the total of all of the endowed funds has grown to $3,805,752.36 as of Nov. 30, 2007.
Gifts from the community are put to work to generate earnings that can be distributed for worthy charitable purposes that advance the civic, educational, cultural life, health and general welfare in the Devils Lake area. Since 1975 the foundation has distributed $1,126,406 in grants to nearly 170 local nonprofit organizations.
The Devils Lake Area Foundation (DLAF) recently awarded grants to several area non-profit organizations. The Minnewaukan School was a recipient of one of those grants. The funds will be used to purchase drums for the music department. Pictured are DLAF committee member Jeff Klemetsrud with Debbie Dyste, music instructor at the Minnewaukan School.
The Minnewaukan Library was also the recipient of a grant. The funds will be used to purchase various children’s resource materials for the library. Pictured are DLAF committee member Clint DeVier with librarian Cathy Burckhardsmeier and Lisa Wold, vice president of the Minnewaukan Library.
Honored in DL
US Senator Byron Dorgan presents Michael Anderson of Leeds with a Congressional Certificate of Thanks for taking part in the Upper Basin Irrigation Test project. Michael’s dad, Duane Anderson, was in Minneapolis, Minn. with daughter Hannah who was in a car accident near Leeds in November. The elbow of the person taking the picture is Virgil Anderson of Leeds, grandfather of Michael. Senator Dorgan complimented Michael on the fine job of raising sweet corn on the test site for his FFA project the past two years.
US Sen. Byron Dorgan presents a Congressional Certificate of Thanks to Glen Tofsrud of Minnewaukan for being part of the test project.
The presentations were made at the Lake Region Extension Roundup in Devils Lake.
Pictured left to right at the Lake Region Extension Roundup in Devils Lake are Joel Skjei and Jane Skjei (grandson and daughter of Russ Dushinske, winner of ’08 Water Stewardship Award) with Ben Grann, Minnewaukan High School graduate, who was the winner of the 2007 Dushinske-Jamison Water Resources Scholarship. (Photos by Mike Noone of the State Water Commission)