I have had many people ask why I use the name Chahinkapa. It was a park where I grew up and it was beautiful. I have many wonderful memories of spending time on the playground, at the zoo, and especially at the pool. Many of my friends through the years will remember the good times at the pool and parkette. The name Chahinkapa is a Sioux Indian word which means “end of the woods” and I have always felt a bit on the edge of the end of the woods and on the edge of beginning of civilization.
I am including a bit of Wahpeton History for those who remember Chahinkapa and for those who might be interested in how that part of the United States became settled. My great grandfather Jake Lotzer owned the first wood and coal yard in Wahpeton.
More than one hundred years after the Carver expedition, a Government surveying party passed through the Wahpeton area. J. W. Blanding, a member of the expedition was so impressed by the fertile river valley that he returned to his Wisconsin home determined to move his family and belongings to the Dakota Territory. Blanding so influenced other Wisconsin settlers that many of them arrived and homesteaded in the Wahpeton area before Blanding could return.
The first settler was Morgan T. Rich. His plow turned the first furrow of rich black bottomland in 1869. When other settlers arrived, they formed a tiny community and quite naturally named it Richville. An apt name considering its founder and the fertile quality of the soil.
In 1871, a Post Office was opened. At the same time, the town’s name was changed to “Chahinkapa” an Indian name meaning “the end of the woods.” Two years later, the county was organized and called Chahinkapa County. Later that year the county was renamed Richland County and the town of Chahinkapa renamed Wahpeton. Credit for suggesting the name Wahpeton is given to an early settler named William Cooper. Wahpeton is a contraction of the Indian name “Warpeotonwe” meaning “Leaf Village”.
Growth of the village of Wahpeton was quite slow during the first few years. But a flurry of activity was created in 1872 when the St. Paul and Pacific Railway (now the Great Northern) extended a line into Breckenridge, Minnesota, a tiny community just across the Bois de Sioux River. This created a booming business in flat boat building in both Breckenridge and Wahpeton. Flat boats could carry freight directly from the railroad down river to northern North Dakota and all the way to Winnipeg, Canada, via the Red River of the North, the waters of which eventually reach Hudson Bay.
At the same time, the railroad opened up the area to many more settlers. Germans, Bohemians, Scandinavians and native Americans moved to Richland County to file homesteads. Wahpeton was growing. And in 1874, Jacob Morvin and Joseph Sittarich opened the first retail store in the county. By 1876 the traffic between Wahpeton and Breckenridge had grown to where the local ferry could not handle it and a bridge was built across the Bois de Sioux River connecting the two towns.
Another flurry of growth was realized in 1880 when the St. Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba Railroad crossed the river and pushed its tracks on toward the north-west. A few years later, in 1883, the population of Wahpeton was estimated to be as high as 1,400 people.
As the county seat, Wahpeton was the center of all activity. Here was the courthouse, the bank and the first flour mills. In 1889 the Red River Valley University was established later to become the North Dakota State School of Science.
As the century came to a close, Wahpeton had settled down into a hard-working agricultural community. Its frontier had, years before, passed further west.
In 1904 the United States Government established the Wahpeton Indian School (now called Circle of Nations School) for the education of Native American children from northern Minnesota, North Dakota and northern South Dakota.
Through the Twenties and Thirties, Wahpeton continued to grow, develop and to keep pace with the rest of the nation. It has been through this half of the Twentieth Century that the Red River Valley has earned its reputation as one of the richest agricultural belts in the nation.
This is definately typical of the North Dakota folks.
After having dug to a depth of 10 meters last year, Scottish
scientists found traces of copper wire dating back 100 years
and came to ‘the conclusion that their ancestors already had
a telephone network more than 100 years ago.
Not to be outdone by the Scots, in the weeks that followed,
British scientists dug to a depth of 20 meters, and shortly after,
headlines in the UK newspapers read: “British archaeologists
have found traces of 200 year old copper wire and have
concluded that their ancestors already had an advanced high-tech
communications network a hundred years earlier than the Scots.”
One week later, “The Times Record, a Valley City, North
Dakota newspaper, reported the following:
“After digging as deep as 30 meters in a corn field near Casselton,
Ole Johnson, a self taught archeologist, reported that he found
absolutely nothing. Ole has therefore concluded that 300 years
ago North Dakota had already gone wireless.”
Gee, the week is moving rather slowly. I think it is because Thanksgiving is just about upon us. Whatever happened to that season between Halloween and Thanksgiving. I remember we didn’t see a Christmas item until the day after Thanksgiving and that is also when we brought home or cut down the tree. Now we hardly see Halloween off the shelf before Santa and Mrs. Santa are pushing the ghosts and witches out the door. Too much pressure..time to relax…
Let’s take some time this year and enjoy the season. Remember your manners when shopping. That isn’t always easy and the hip checks are frequent.
Here it is Monday morning already and I am back to the north country. Florida was cool this weke-end which makes visits to the park much more relaxing. A ride on the mono-rail is just what will bring me into the right mood and get me kicked into gear for a Disney week-end. It you live in Florida,…a quick one day visit to the parks is really rejuvenating. If you are interested in more information on packages and fun events the best site I have found is destinationsinflorida.com. Now if it is just tickets you want…of course I would recommend http://www.Orlandotickets.securedstore.com.
I also opened a new eBay store and quickly flipped through and named it before I had an opportunity to realize it was not the name I wanted. Oh well, who knows that may be Karma. The name of the store is damom_FL and it is filled with eclectic “stuff”. Right now it is limited to a few shells but it will expand very quickly into a mecca of online uniques. Must head off to lunch….soup sounds good..it is cold outside.
Ok, it is definately time to leave the north country. Large flakes of snow are falling from a rather grey sky. It is cold but like always not too cold when it snows. I have been in the Detroit area since July during the week, but am just not quite ready for snow. I have my jacket that was a gift when I was in Salinas working with A. Duda & Sons. What a wonderful gift that has kept me warm for the past few days. It has the logo on the front and I always get questions when I wear it. Sometimes people in Florida ask me about it as they are familiar with the family and the history of a great company. I’ll have to get a thank you off to the Salinas group for keeping me warm this winter.
Our project is moving along and processes are coming together. It is the day to fly back home and I am anxious to get there to see Kelly and Hunter. We will be working with their mom and dad to plan our adventure to Mousefest at Disney. If you have never been there, now is the time to go. It is the time when the Disney fans unite and have a great time at the parks.
Have you ever had a beef pastie? These are a favorite fare of those who live in Northern Michigan. When I was a child I had them when I went to visit my Grandfather in Ironwood, Michigan. He had a cabin on Manitowish Waters and I sure wish I owned it today. I could drive from Detroit and enjoy the north country on the way. But alas, I live in Florida and work in Detroit and there is no family cottage in Michigan anymore. But the pastie’s still exist and I had one last night at Dobskis in a Detroit suburb..could have been Waterford. Anyway it was great food and great memories. I wonder if Universal would include this on one of their menu’s or perhaps Disney would at one of the parks. Is there a Poland in Epcot? Want to go see then go to http://www.orlandotickets.securedstore.com and pick a ticket package.
Ok, I lived in Montana for awhile and found that if you were in Eastern Montana, many times you had to stop for sheep. However, I never expected to have to stop for Canadian Geese crossing the road in Detroit. What can I say, it would have made for good ditch hunting. Speaking of which. I found a great store on eBay to purchase outdoor items. Go to: http://stores.ebay.com/Gator-Outdoor-and-Travel and you will find great things for hunting, camping and just general outdoor sports. OK so it isn’t Florida and definately not Disney or Univesal but fun can be had in the north if you have the right gear.
Wow what a week-end. Allison, owner of Destinationsinflorida.com ran the New York City Marthon and finished in just over 5 hours. Anyone with that kind of stamina, enthusiasm and energy is one you would want to work with to plan your Florida Vacations. Allison worked at Disney and did her residency with them when she was a student at the University of Florida. Disney becomes a part of your heart when you work there and it is even better when you don’t consider being there work. Allison continues today to help people plan their vacations and have a great time at the parks in Orlando…but this week-end it was all about the Marathon. Congratulations Allison. If you are planning a trip to Orlando or Disney..don’t forget to visit the ticket site and get them in advance so you can enjoy every minute.