This branch of the Austrian Hesch family is descended from Johann Hesch and his wife Marya (Schlinz) Hesch, who came to America from Oberschlagles, Bohemia with three sons: Paul, Mathias, and Anton. +++Johann & Marya settled in Buffalo County, Wisconsin but moved to Pierz, Mn in about 1885. .+++Mathias settled in Waumandee, Wisconsin and moved to Pierz in 1911. +++Anton never married but farmed with his dad in Agram Township, where he died in 1911.+++And Paul, my great grandfather, settled five miles away, in Buckman, Minnesota. He died there in 1900.

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

New Pierz, Minnesota in 1910

 New Pierz, as far as we can tell, was named because Pierz itself couldn't decide where a depot should go.  The  Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie Railroad (Soo line) got tired of the dispute and simply built the tracks south of the village of Pierz.
However, New Pierz/Genola was never a pretty town ☺

Larry found this "postcard" for sale on ebay (tho it looks more like a newspaper print).  The photo was taken from the NE, looking SW.  Besides the depot and elevators, the hotel is the most identifiable building.  

Here's a closer pic from the Morrison County Atlas, to compare with the new old pic Larry found.   The historic airphoto from the Minnesota DNR shows where the photographer stood to take that pic.  Obsessive is obsessive.
Genola in 1940

Sunday, July 20, 2014

A Feuerspritze for Schamers

It's such a delight to have a kindred spirit in Su, our genealogical doppelganger across the Atlantic.  Our shared fascination with the details of living a couple hundred years ago in a tiny berg in Bohemia gives all three of us new insights that we might have missed out on otherwise.
We assume YOU share an interest cuz you're here ☺. 

Su is writing about Schamers, the nearby market town where our family traded. The info's not directly related to Heschs, but it gives us an idea of what daily life was like, and it gives Su a way to summarize and share her translations and research.  We all win.  However, she warned, this letter might require two cups of coffee AND a donut...

BTW, the "Heimatskunde" is a book written by Josef Binder, our private saint.   Herr Schemiceck's "Chronicle of Schamers" was the official account of day to day life in the village.  It's written, longhand, in old German.  Herman is Su's venerable 1942 German-English dictionary. 

Dear Marlys,
Sometimes, when tired of wrestling with Google translate, several other translation engines and dear Herman with his minute Fractur print, I idly leaf through Cousin Joe's Heimatskunde, grasping at words I can understand like a drowning man clutches at straws.
The modern edition of the Heimatskunde that I have is a scan (of slightly variable quality) of the original, which was printed in a variety of Fraktur. I have a lot of trouble distinguishing between the 'long' s and lower case 'f 'and it is very evident from the things google translate has been having hiccoughs over that the original type-setter occasionally got rather muddled as well! Despite the difficult grammar I do like German; it amuses me so much as some words are so similar to English but with a funny twist to them. There is literalism and
earnestness that can be both exasperating and endearing.

There are some words in the following passages that particularly amuse me but might be different in American English. In vernacular UK English the word for a man or woman employed to put out a fire is Fireman or (in these days of equality) Firefighter. The powerful vehicle that carries a crew of fire-fighters, a tank of water, a pump and a hose, has a bell/klaxon/siren to draw attention to itself and is usually painted bright red and silver is commonly known as a Fire Engine and the place it is stored in (be it very large or only as big as a domestic garage) is a Fire Station. The body that organizes the nation-wide coverage and to which all these things belong is the Fire Brigade or Fire Service. I have no doubt that in these days of political correctness and curiously evasive job titles all these items have different names within the service itself but if you called the emergency services and asked for a fire engine and firemen to come and help you the right sort of thing would (hopefully) arrive.

In the time of Josef Binder's Heimatskunde, firefighting was a different beast because all the power needed to work it was generated by men or possibly horses. So a modern fire-engine is ein Feuerwehrauto but the Heimatskunde uses the word Feuerspritze which google insists is a 'fire syringe'! I have a wonderful mental images here of the voluntary firemen bravely dragging forth a huge medical syringe and hypodermic needle then sending it careering through the streets of Schamers to surgically inject water into the flaming building followed by minor explosions, squawking chickens and burning wheels falling off in the best black and white silent movie style. Herman says a better translation would be a Fire Squirt but it is still very amusing and just changes the image to one of a gang of puffing men working the pump for all they are worth and half the water escaping through leaks and holes while a mere trickle comes out of the hose. Today a Fire Station is eine Feuerwehrstation but in the Heimatskunde it is, delightfully, the Spritzehaus and thus the Syringe House or the Squirt House. It really can't get much better.

Heinz told me that No. 40 Schamers (Granddad Ludwig's birthplace) had been

rebuilt after a fire in in 1843 but I did not realize that several other houses had been burned down at the same time. This explains why Nos 39- 43 (excluding No. 42 which of course was rebuilt again in 1894) all look so similar in size, shape, construction style and alignment. It is even more striking if you look at the aerial view you can see on Google. How terrifying it must have been: the lowing cattle, screaming horses, the panicked grabbing of things most dear when suddenly awoken from sleep. It was winter; did they have time to put on warm clothing over their night clothes, and what a grim time of year to lose everything - I wonder how they all managed. I know the winters can be bad in central Europe; was the stream at the bottom of their gardens frozen so they could not get enough water or was it just so quick that nothing could be done?

The Heimatskunde reports this very fire in Chapter 19, page 327:

Schamers ein Schaden[s]feuer aus, bei welchem die Privathäuser Nro. 39, 40, 41, 42, 43 und 45, dann das Rathaus Nro. 45 ein Raub der Flammen wurden. On the eighth February 1843 broke early between 4 and 5 o'clock clock in the markets town of Schamers damaging from fire, at which the private houses Nro. 39, 40, 41, 42, 43 and 45, then the Town Hall Nro. 45 [fell/became]a prey to the flames.

Von den niedergebrannten Häsern waren Nro, 41, 42 und 43 bei der Triester Azienda assecuratrice versichert. 
Of the burnt houses were Nos. 41, 42 and 43 insured with the Triester Azienda assecuratrice.
Aus der erhobenen Sachlage ging die Vermutung hervor, dass das Feuer durch das Abholen des Viehfutters aus der Scheuer am Tage des Brandes früh beim unverwahrten Lichte oder brennender Pfeife verursacht worden sei. 
From the collected facts, the presumption, it appeared that the fire was caused by the collection of animal feed from the barn on the day of the fire in the morning on unexpected/unguarded light or a burning pipe.

This was just the most recent of many fires recorded in the Heimatskunde and it must have been an ever present danger with hay, straw, flax, wood and similar materials stored in the barns next to the houses, the dwellings themselves made of flammable materials and the only sources of light and heat an open flame of some sort. Most of the roofs in that area are now made of clay tiles but it is possible that they were once made of wooden shingles, the most likely roofing in a well forested area. There may not have been open fires in the houses as the Austrian/German kachelofen or ceramic tiled closed stove has been around for a very long time as shown by the illustration from a medieval manuscript.

Note that the man has removed a boot and his hose (leg coverings) and is toasting his presumably frozen foot in the radiant heat while supping something comforting. A piece of bacon hangs temptingly from a rail over his head. I do not know if such stoves were restricted to the better off or were common to all regardless of income. They were safer because the fire was better controlled, very efficient in their use of fuel because the hot gasses were made to follow a very circuitous route to the chimney by a complicated system of internal baffles and the likelihood of sparks escaping up the chimney into the open was much reduced, and they remained warm for the whole 24 hours. I once came across a kachelofen in an Austrian Climbing Hut that had glazed flowerpots built into the domed top. This was a very old design intended to increase radiation by increasing the surface area They were a handy place to dry wet socks over night; one pot comfortably held one pair of thick woolen socks. Josef Binder, writing of No 42, the house in which he was born, rebuilt after the disastrous fire of 1843 reported that:

Dieses alte Bauernhaus enthielt eine große Bauernstube, wo noch eine Hängwleuchte war; neben dieser Bauernstube war das Stubengewölbe und
hernach der Backofen angebracht, worauf die Kinder zu schlafen pflegten. 

This old farmhouse contained a large parlor, where there was still a hanging lamp, beside the peasant's room the vault room, and afterwards, the oven was installed whereupon the children used to sleep.

Gegenüber vom eingange ins Wohnhaus, nämlich vom Hofraume aus, war ein Vorhaus und dann kam man in die schwarze Küche, wo auf offenem Herde zur warmen Jahreszeit die Speisen gekocht wurden.
Across from the entrance into the house, namely the court-yard was from a
vestibule and then you came into the scullery where were on open stoves for the warm season, the food cooked. 

Im winter geschah das Kochen der Speisen in großen Kachelofen bei einer Heizung von der Küche aus. 
In winter the cooking of the food took place on large tiled stove that heated the kitchen. (Chap. 20 page 350).

The newly (2013) renovated No 40 Schamers (also rebuilt after the fire of 1843) has something similar  (left) although how close that is to the original in the house I have no idea.
The one at No 42 may have been more like this (see below right) from The Folk Architecture Museum at Kouřim, Cz.  The blue stove and its surround provides something like the sleeping area for children and has the ubiquitous drying rail above it. The important thing

was that the basic construction should be massive; either of brick or stone or soil but the outer finish was probably a matter of taste or economics. Plaster would do, but ceramic tiles, so easily wiped clean, would have been a boon to the busy housewife and no double a source of some considerable domestic pride.

Whatever the cause, in an outbreak of fire the people had to help themselves so
Im Jahre 1876 wurde eine Feuerspritze um 600 Fl. angekauft; dieselbe ist von Ferd.  Hilgartner verfertigt worden. (Chap.19; page 340.) 

In 1876, a fire engine to 600 Fl. purchased; the same is by Ferd. Hilgartner been manufactured.
Eventually, a formal volunteer Fire brigade was organised and cousin Joe tells us about that too:
Der freiwillige Feuerwehr-Verein in Schamers
Der freiwillige Feuerwehr-Verein wurde im Jahre 1889 gegründet.
The Volunteer Fire Club in Schamers  

The Volunteer Fire Department Association was founded in 1889.
Obmann war Jakob Longin, Oberfehrer, Stellvertreter Ferdinand Binder, Kassier
Fucker Ludwig und Schrift-führer Johann Schimeczek.

Chairman was Jacob Longin, chief officer, deputy Ferdinand Binder, Treasurer Ludwig Fucker and font-leader (chief or maybe Fire Fighter] Johann Schimeczek.

Im Frühjahre 1890 bekam der Verein die erste neue Saugspritze, welche die Firma "Smekal" aus Prag um den Betrag von 900 fl. lieferte. 
In early 1890, the club got the first new suction pump, supplied by the company of "Smekal" from Prague [see below*] by the amount of 900 florins.

Im Jahre 1895 erhielt der Verein die zweite Saugspritze, welche
von der Firma Ischermak in Teplitz um der Betrag von nahe 900 fl. gekauft

In 1895 the club received the second suction pump, which was bought by/from the company Ischermak in Teplitz for the amount of near 900 fl.
Bürgermeister Ludwig Fucker. Der Verein zählte im Anfange 64 wirkende

The firehouse was built in 1891 under the Mayor Ludwig Fucker. The
association had 64 acting members in the beginning. (Chap. 22 page 367)

Note that Ferdinand BINDER was the deputy chairman of the voluntary fire
brigade. This is the Ferdinand BINDER (Granddad Ludwig's godfather and his mother Antonia's cousin) who appears as an old man with two of his brothers in front of No. 42 in the photo you posted on March 4 2014. He had good reason to support a fire service because his parents Anton and Josefa BINDER (also the parents of our St Joe) had been made homeless in the fire on 8th February 1843 when Josefa was 5 months pregnant with their first child.  Anton's younger brother Josef, (Rob's great, great Grandfather) as yet unmarried, was also made homeless because he was living at No. 40 with his parents.

No doubt Ferdinand and all his siblings and cousins grew up on the stories of the day the house burnt down and were probably taught to be very careful with fire. Note that the building on the right behind the 'fire squirt' appears to be roofed with shingles -the 'tiles' seem to have worn, ragged, lower edges, characteristic of old shingles, in a way that clay tiles do not.

The Volunteer fire Brigade in Schamers formed in 1889

*My first translation of this sentence wasn't very accurate and I was curious as
to whether the new fire engine was called 'Smekal' because that was its brand name or whether it was just an affectionate nickname, but on googling it I found a wealth of information. There was a Czech firm called Smekal who manufactured fire engines and were active from 1820 to 1940 and a book was written about it by Josef Jendrisak. They made both man and horse-drawn machines, and by 1891 were incorporating steam-powered pumps. Goodness me, you thought we were obsessed but there's a world-wide register of old fire engines still in existence and an entry about the company there. It's hard to tell from the photograph what type of engine the Schamers brigade had but it was quite a wealthy community and I think I can see the top part of a chimney in front of the middle man of the three in pale jackets in the back row and this suggests it was a stem powered pump. I haven't been able to find out anything about Firma Ischermak in Teplitz but the register of old fire engines says there was a company called Czermack in Teplitz and that seems suspiciously similar for me to suspect it could be the same company.

Having established and equipped a Fire Brigade it now became necessary to find a place to store everything so: 

Das neu Spritzenhaus.
The new fire station.
Daselbe ist im Jahre 1893 erbaut worden. 
The same was built in 1893. 

Es steht an der Stelle jenes Kleinhauses, das man beim Grofe [sic]=Jörgla=Schuister nannte.
It stands on the site of that small house, which was called the Große = Jörgla
= Schuister.
Es war ganz von Holz gebaut, da selbst der Schornstein zerklüfftet 
war und die Funken am Dachboden umherflogen, so war dieses Kleinhaus eine 
große Feuersgefahr für die ganze Umgebung. 
It was built entirely of wood, and since the chimney was fissured the sparks flew in the attic, so this small house was a big fire danger for the whole environment. 
Darum wurde dieses Kleinhaus von dem Besitzer Johann Thuswald um 300 fl. gekauft und an deiser Stelle das neue Spritzenhaus aufgebaut. 
Therefore, this small house was purchased from the current owner Johann Thuswald, for 300 fl and the new fire station built.

Der Bau dieses Spritzenhauses wurde geflissentlich in der Mitte des Marktes 
hergestellt, damit die Entfernung bei einem eswaigen Brande gleich weit sei. The construction of this Fire station was deliberately made ​in the middle of the market town, thus the distance is the same in a the event of fires.

I have worked out from the above description, Richard Schemiceck's list of houses and occupants and the accompanying map in his Chronicles of Schamers that the new fire station was directly opposite No. 39 so the fire squirt would not have had far to go to fight the fire in which nos 39-45 were consumed had it been around at the time. Even so, there had to be volunteers around to man the engine. The Heimatskunde records a fire that broke out in a house during the day and the wind was so strong that three houses were consumed before the villagers could return from the fields to deal with it. 
But what of the smaller villages like Niederschlagels/Dolní Lhota , Oberschlagels/Horni Lhota, and Neidermuhl /Dolni Zdar, outlying areas and the isolated farms? Perhaps they too made the best provision they could acording to their means and ability. 

In England I have seen huge hooks mounted on long poles hung on the walls just under the eaves of old buildings. Their purpose was to claw the burning thatch off the roof to try to contain the fire, the main danger to other houses being bits of flaming thatch borne up by the rising hot air and dropping on roofs nearby, but their weight and unwieldiness would have made them difficult to use even for several strong men. Few pumps or wells could have sustained the constant demand for water and as recounted above strong wind would have made the situation worse. Fire is a danger that is not so well understood by younger people used to central heating but, as my Dad wisely warned me when I was very small; 'fire is a wonderful servant but a terrible master' and we still can't do much about the careless smoker.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Fourth of July, 1904 was " continuous round of pleasure"

There's more time for posting than I thought today, since the kids are stuck in traffic leaving the cities.  Em called and said they were moving about 20 mph, along with thousands of others, going north on I-94...

That title quote comes from a letter published in the Little Falls Herald on June 24, 1904 (top left) encouraging area farmers to attend the festivities in town and even enter their teams in the parade.  That particular year, the festivities featured Chippewa dancers from the Mille Lacs Reservation.  People were urged to bring their kids to watch, as the tribe was about to be removed to White Earth.  
Seven years later, the Pierz Journal promised "a Program the Like of Which Has Never Before Been Attempted in This Village"...Woohoo!  The description of the festivities, beginning with a cannon blast at dawn, sounds fascinating.  Don't you wonder what the Goddess of Liberty on that first float looked like?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Little Falls High School, Class of 1941 has provided many good leads and photos to spice-up the blog, don't you think?  Here's another gem that really, only Morrison Co descendants would recognize or cherish.  That means it belongs here, even tho there's only one kid who was born a Hesch (and one lucky girl who became a Hesch) in the pic.  Still, many of the names are familiar from Pierz, Buckman and Royalton, and quite a few of those families have been mentioned here on HH.  
I assume the photo will en-biggen if you click it, but if that's not big enough, right-click it and "save as" (give it a name) and view it on your picture viewing program.  Actually, Paint works pretty well, too.

Here's the list of names that was posted with the pic:
Little Falls High School L to R 1st Row (Top)... D.Kusnerek, H. Schlesky, Ardell Sharon (Mrs. Lester Solem), Jeanne La Fond (Mrs. Vernon H. Lake), Geo. Copa, I. Gruber, Beverly Massy (Mrs. James Downey), J. Heigl, Reinhard Preimesberger (married Pearl Green), I. Japp, Ralph Nelson, Dorothy Manbeck (Mrs. Charles Bachman), Marjorie Rale (Mrs. Kenneth Worlie), M. Bellamy, F. Pitt, Alice Hansen (Mrs. Wilbur Nelson), Milton Voltin, O. Burrows 
2nd Row... Evelyn Wilcox (Mrs. Paul W. Williams), A. Sobiech, Lucille Meyers (Mrs. Stephen St. Onge), L. Perowitz, Viola Olson (Mrs. Vincent Paul), Patricia Gaveney (Mrs. Robert L. Stephenson), R. Hines, Cathryn Gulden (Mrs. Irwin Kastanek), R. Moehle, R. Sohlinkert, Elaine Billstein (Mrs. Kenneth J. Mahoney), Carlyle J. Nelson (married Mary Gannon), Stephen Januschka (married Rose Schmidtbauer), Earl Bayerl (married Virginia Stalpes), Louise Brick (Mrs. A. D. Foster), Eleanor Little (Mrs. F. L. Rigdon), Genevieve Trafas (Mrs. Clarence "Jack" Nowak), Ruth Feucht (Mrs. Robert D Laidlaw) 
3rd Row... D. LeMieur, Alice Hanson (Mrs. Wilbur Nelson), Z. Oothoudt, Leona Sharbonno (Mrs. P. Paulos), Joe Mosier (married Geraldine Reis), Jack Houle (married Mabel Gaboury), C. Mueller, Keith P. Blair (married Eileen Delaney), William Charles Grettum Sr., Margaret Le Blanc (Mrs. Theo Thielen), Mercedes Anderson (Mrs. William S. Lundberg Jr.), P. Piehowski, Betty Kobilka (Mrs. Bruce Sears), R. Kujacinski, Dorthy L. Walkowiak (Mrs. Larry Simonet), Vera Siegel (Mrs. Walter S. Sayer), Lyle D. Nelson (married Colleen Nygaard), D. Sundstrom 
4th Row... Mary Fueger, Clara Richter (Mrs. Jerome O'Brien), Joseph Theis (married LaRayne Lust), Dorothy Sharbonno (Mrs. Marvin Hough), Mary Ginter (Mrs. Charles Aus), Evelyn Zapzalka (Mrs. Henry Witt), Leo W. Thielen (married Dorothy Motschke), Fred J. Plettl (married Lorna Tiedt), Helen Rossa (Mrs. David Gwost), Dorothy Holste (Mrs. Wilbur Hines), Robert J. Mahling (married Marilyn Gosch), Alice Zierman, Jerome Terhaar (married Lois Lafavor), S. Fredrickson, Audrey Bjornoos (Mrs. William McKinney), Bernard J. Deick (married Jeannette H. Leding), Beverly Pantzke (Mrs. Philip M. Johnston), D. LeBeau 
5th Row... R. McGowan, Violet Super (Mrs. Florian Wotzka), C. Stumpf, Morris Virnig (married Lorraine Immel), V. Moeller, Barbara Holst (Mrs. John W. Cullen), S. Mrosik, F. Plohoez, Florence Brick (Mrs. Donald Rasicot), Russell Bergren (married Lorraine MacFarlane), William Gablenz (married Phyllis Frost), Shirley Gish (married classmate Raymond VonderHaar), Roman Vaverek (married Stella Lipshik), A. Solinger, Rose Marie Trafas (Mrs. Slanika), R. Kiewel, Ann F. Evans (Mrs. George E. Atkinson Jr.), Shirley Blake (married classmate Albinus Preimesberger) 
6th Row... Bernadine Chelling (Mrs. Robert L. Carmichael), Lewis H. Winker (married Marguerite Lux), Rosemary McGivern (Mrs. Daniel McMurray), Ben Lapos, Dorothy Enke (married classmate Donald Felix), Audrey Langer (Mrs. Jerome Deppa), R. Rockwood, Pat Gravelle (Mrs. Donald Moeglein), Otto Kaiser (married Dolores Doll), Claude Kapsner (married Dolores Gallagher), M. Boser, M. Vornbrock, Anthony "Tony" Bieganek (married Marie Rocheleau), Ione Heroux (married classmate Gerald Bratt), Bernard J. Bentler (married Pauline Fulton), H. Hesch, Ervin H. Joseph (married Margaret Kurowski), Gertrude Kurtzahn (Mrs. Joseph Hesch) 
7th Row... Norman Brock, E. Bermel, Geraldine Rausch (Mrs. George W. Martin), Raymond Kippley (married Dolores Faust), Lucille M. Anderson (Mrs. Conrad Tschida), Elias Wotzka (married Jo Ann Prezinski), Gerald Bratt (married classmate Ione Heroux), H. Harakel, C. Kemp, A. Witt, Leander M. Preimesberger (married Loretta Blais), Margarette "Margo" Rolph (Mrs. Harold Hendrickson), Lorraine Yourczek (Mrs. Dewey L. Edgemon), Raymond VonderHaar (married classmate Shirley Gish), I. Kupka, Ralph Nelson, B. Thelen, Ambrose M. Gelhar 
8th Row... Mary Trettel (Mrs. Eldred Phillips), R. Lange, A. Karpinski, Charlotte Brandenberger (Mrs. Milton Lonnee), Ken Houchins (married Alice Thielen), Sister M. Florence Liebl, Donald Guild (married Ruth E Dewey), L. Bayer, William T. Stoll (married Delrose Gruber), V. Jones, E. Holmquist, H. Brausen, Rose Vasaly (Mrs. Thomas Jones), James Shackman, C. Nordberg, Celestine Schmolke (married Viola Martinson), G. Erie, G. Gohman 
9th Row (Bottom)... Albinus Preimesberger (married classmate Shirley Blake), R. Rydquist, Shirley Smith (Mrs. Samuel M Lowe), Joseph L. Kempenich, Arlene Merkling (Mrs. Roy R. Muncy), G. Davidson, Ella Mae Worlie (Mrs. Ernest Domschot), Irene Larson (Mrs. George Stone), M. Nagel, Don Felix (married classmate Dorothy Enke), Ray Noe, Philomine Lepinski (Mrs. Douglas Brown), P. Schandel

Class of 1941 Little Falls, Minnesota

Thanks to Larry for finding this, 
and to the class for sitting still 73 years ago ☺

Thursday, June 26, 2014

What was a Chautauqua?

When I read a book or see a movie/TV series that takes place in the late 1800s, I often wonder what it was REALLY like.  What occupied great grandpa Paul's days besides taking care of animals and field work?  People are pretty much alike throughout history, you know--food, shelter, love, the families' welfare, learning, entertainment, business, feeling useful--human lives have always been concerned with similar things.  But even Pa and Ma Kettle movies didn't include time spent in the outhouse, and that unrecorded event would have taken part of their days too, right? ☺  The newspapers from Little Falls and Pierz  announced what was planned to get the farmers into town, like "market days" and sales, the county fair, circuses, plays and, one week a year, the tent Chautauqua.  This adult education event had to have been kind of amazing to people in small towns across the US. Take a minute to read thru the speakers, musicians and acts listed in this column from April 1918.  Attending had to feel like watching a TED talk today--current, advanced thought and entertainment right here in Little Falls. (1918 was midway thru WWI, and a lot of local men were over in Europe fighting and dying: part of the program was explaining our involvement, but the rest was aimed at enlightenment and entertaining).    
Times changed--the advent of cars made it easier to go find entertainment, and the radio eventually brought news, music and opinion right into homes, so Chautauquas died out, but oh, how I wish I could have attended even one.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Hartmann's Red Wing Pottery

Look what Larry found on ebay today: a premium pitcher from Hartmanns Store in Pierz, Mn.  Some good customer took it home to his wife in December 1925, and she probably used it for cream or gravy for the next 40 years.  Then she passed it on to her daughter-in-law who put it high in the back of her cupboards because who wants to use a grubby old stoneware pitcher with an AD on the side?  And when the grandkids found it last year, they sold it, and here it is on ebay: 
Wonderful old old Red Wing Cherry Band advertising pitcher, "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, 1925 - 1926 from Hartmann's store in Pierz Minn". No chips cracks or repairs. In EXCELLENT condition.

According to the current bid, it's worth $80.00, unless YOU want it? Then schnell wie ein Hase!  
The auction's over on July 2 ☺

Danke, Larry!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Dr. Hall's Hospital, Little Falls, Mn

 Did you know there was once another hospital in Little Falls, at 211 7th Street NE?  Granted, it started late and didn't last all that long, but it would have been a viable alternative in an age when medical procedures were iffy anyway (...i.e., most of the newspaper announcements of people going to the hospital were for "appendectomies").

Dr Hall's Hospital was billed as "roomy, homelike and free from institutional features", which to me means those were often objections to hospitalization in the 1910s.  I don't know when it closed, but it had X-ray equipment in 1928, according to the second ad, below.
The bio here is from The History of Morrison and Todd Counties, Minnesota by Clara Fuller, compiled in 1915, when the hospital had only opened in 1914...."devoted mainly to the treatment of cases where surgery is required".

Ad from the 1928 Little Falls Business Directory

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

News from Georgia in 1895

"The South is attracting much attention but it is doubly true that the public ear and eye are fixed on Georgia at present, with an intensity emphasized by the coming Atlanta International Exposition, and the unparalleled success of Central Georgia as the "Paradise of the Peach".  The Queen of the Harvest smiles and her hand-maidens joyously bear the burden of an over-luxuriant crop.  Miles and miles and acres and acres blush with the roseate hue of the rosy cheeked peach where once King Cotton held exclusive domain.  California wonders and the frozen golden orange look up to her stronger sister Peach for sympathy.  Macon issues invitations to the Georgia Peach Carnival, July 1st to 20th, land seekers rates".

In case you're wondering, Larry lives right in the middle of that peach ☺.  He found this clipping because it's fun to check other states' newspapers for page fillers  that are still of interest 119 years later.  In context, the Civil War had ended only 30 years before, and the South was still economically depressed. Then too, I think it must have been a gamble to depend on trees for a crop instead of seasonal "King Cotton".  They desperately needed people in other states to develop a taste for Sweet Georgia Peaches.  It seems to have worked.

Sunday, May 25, 2014


Frank Mischke c 1925
This is neat: We received a note from Joy yesterday concerning her links to the Mischke family.  Remember, she sent pictures and information last November...and she's looking for the assistance of a triple M: a Male Minnesota Mischke descendant to take a DNA test:
"I wanted to let you know that one of the Mischke descendants (my mother's 1st cousin Jim Mischke) has agreed to do his paternal line "Y-DNA" testing at FTdna (FamilyTreeDNA).  Do you know if anyone else from the Minnesota Mischke line have done any DNA testing?  If so, it would be interesting to compare and see if they are in the same Haplogroup.  You might put out the word on your blog, and find out if there are any volunteers for the Y-dna test.  I would be willing to sponsor it".
So there ya go!  If you happen to google MISCHKE and end up here on HH, and you're a Mischke guy (or know one) who'd want to scrape a few cheek cells,  email me and I'll contact Joy, ok?
(marlysky at gmail dot com)   Thanks, Joy!

Evidently comments aren't working right now, but here's what Joy would have added ☺ :

Thanks Marlys!  Hopefully someone will be interested in doing the Y-dna test for a comparison of the two Mischke lines.  We all should have descended from George Miszke and Catharina Kubin, ca1700's, Ellguth-Tillowitz, Kr. Falkenberg, Schlesien.  Jim Mischke was very excited about the idea, especially since there are some family legends that might be proved - or disproved - by the test results.  Warm regards from cousin Joy

Friday, May 23, 2014

Germany's Allotment Gardens

We marveled at a lot of things as we rode the train around Europe this spring. Heading from Prague to Munich, for instance, we saw along the train tracks, these plots of...neat tended gardens, some with swing sets, grills, flag poles, even landscaping, and always, a glorified playhouse.  
We were fascinated, because the same thing occurred near most every town along the way.  Each plot was interesting, but they went by so quickly we could hardly point em out to each other.  Why along the tracks?  Why so many of them?  They were typically German (to us)--very orderly, all of it done with great attention to detail, and property lines, and with humor.  (You can tell the Google photo, above, is taken from the height of a train).
So, when we got home, I looked it up:
"Most Germans may live in cities, but they still remain attached to nature. That’s why those who can’t afford their own house and garden often have a small allotment, enabling them to get away from the hustle and bustle of their daily lives and work. Generally located on the outskirts of cities, these allotment gardens are grouped into so-called “colonies”.
Read the rest of the explanation at the link--it's pretty cool and very German ☺