Norwegian sawmill

Norwegian sawmill at the Elden Museum near Oslo, Minnesota. Courtesy of Alf Elden Oslo, Minnesota 56744

Alf Elden Oslo

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Oslo, Minnesota

Here we go again, just had another near record breaking snowstorm starting late in evening of April 16 lightning and thunder with winds as high as 63 m. p. h. reported from Fargo, N. Dak., with many telephone and power lines down in several communities. Here we had some snow fall and drifting snow most of the day of the 17th and about 12 inches of wet snow fell in all. As far as I know this the biggest snowfall in one storm this late in the season in fifty seven year. There was no school at Oslo for two days as the buses could not get through the snow. The five day weather forecast is for some rain and temperature 12 to 15 degrees below normal, so it sounds like we will have winter around for a while yet. We have been having cold, wet and late spring here for many years in a row, makes one wonder if we are approaching another Ice Age! The last one was ten thousand years ago.

I plan on telling about some happening or some incident taking place in every year since I was born, I already wrote about the year 1900 before.

In the year 1901 the schoolhouse whore I went to school was built in a newly organized district, which now has been dissolved many years ago, and taken over by town district. The building was sold to a farmer, moved away and is now used as a pig house, so they must be raising educated pigs in the old schoolhouse. The Oak Park town hall was built in 1901, and is still in use. Warren, Minn, was flooded at one time in the summer of the same year, on account of unusual heavy rains, at that time they had wooden sidewalks and they were floating in the water. Some of our neighbors along Snake river, a mile East of my home place brought their cattle over in our pasture because of the flood along the river, so they came over morning and evening to milk their cows. My old home place is on a little higher ground so it never gets flooded.

For the year 1902 the only thing I could find was the number of bushels grain threshed at home, 753 bu, wheat, 205 bu. barley and 434 bu. oats.

I remember my 3rd. birthday in 1903 my grandma gave me a nice looking tin cup with flower design etched on the outside. Work was started that year on a big drainage ditch 4 miles South from home, this ditch runs West, emptying into Red River Two Reeves steamers pulling elevator graders were used to take out the top few feet in the ditch. I believe Ed. Farder, one of my wife's uncles was operating one of the engines pulling graders. The following year the ditch was dug to it's full depth with a floating steam dredge. I think Karelius Mortenson threshed for my father that year.

1904 I remember hearing the rumble and noise from the dredge working in the ditch, on quiet summer evenings. My brother Ole made a weather vane in the shape of an arrow, he set it up on the roof of the woodshed, it stayed there for 7 years. There was a school picnic that summer at home on the 'South forty' which was at that time used for pasture, and partly covered by poplar thickets, willow brush, hazel nut and gooseberry bushed, wild plum, chokecherry and a few June berry trees and some strawberries. There were also some oak trees and only one lone ash tree. The best thing about the school picnics in those days was the homemade ice cream. Andres Skog threshed for us in 1904.

My father told about threshing in one of the early years shortly after he started farming at home. One fall there was a Negro who had a steam threshing rig so he had him thresh his crop. There were very few machines around in those days and it probably was a wet fall so they kept going till it was almost full winter and had to shovel may not have been in too perfect a shape, and the air being so cold, that a small steam leak would make a little cloud of vapor, and it seemed like there was steam escaping many places, Anyway my father said sometimes it was hard to see anyone for steam and smoke!

Then there was the man who went to see his doctor, the doctor asked him what seemed to be his trouble, he said oh, I have a headache, my stomach hurls, I have pains in my chest and also a backache, and my legs are hurting me. And then I don't feel too good myself either.