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Posts Tagged ‘Carl Zapffe’

George Angus Barclay operated a “half-way house” or stopping place in the area of Pine River.  He was not the only one who had such a place along the Leech Lake Road.   He was situated 30 miles north of Brainerd and so his location was a good place to stop, rest, refresh and then continue your journey on to Leech Lake or some other destination.  

“When the Cloughs’ outfit finished logging that area, they sold the ranch to Jenkins; and by that time there was so much commotion and traveling along the Leech Lake Road — and the abilities of Ma Jenkins in the kitchen had become so widely noised about — that they had no insurmountable problems continuing the place as a “Halfway House” or traveler’s rest station.  Next north was George Barclay’s at Pine River; to the south was John Bishop’s at the Gull-Round thoroughfare; and now the Web Hill Ranch helped split the distance between the latter two.” 

Source:  Old Timers, by Carl Zapffe, of Historic Heartland. Association, Echo Publishing & Printing, Volume I, pages 6-7, 1988 1st Edition, 1998 2nd Edition.  Mr. Zapffe passed in 1994 and his Association is no more.  The photographs in his collection and maybe more were given to the Nisswa Historic Society, Nisswa, MN, unfortuantely they do not have a website. 

See my post dated January 17, 2011 “Wedding Photos of George and Amarilla,” for more information about Mr. Zapffe.  

I tried to use the maps of the Leech Lake Road in Mr. Zapffe’s Vol. II that apparently came from the National Archives, but it was very hard and since I do not live in Minnesota I decided to abandon the effort but what I did create on my map was almost a direct line between Bishop, Jenkins and Barclay pretty much following Hwy 371. 

The Pine River Centennial newspaper of 1973 had some very interesting articles and mentions George and Amarilla:

“…The history of Pine River really starts with Mr. and Mrs. Barclay (Mrs. Urton).  Mr. Barclay came here in 1876, and with a partner by the name of McNannie, starting a trading post about a mile south of what is now the village site, a few rods this side of the river where the remains of the old cellar may still be seen.  This location was abandoned after a little over a year, in favor of the present location of the village where Mr. Barclay built a log building and conducted a little store and Indian trading post, about where the Anderson Lumber Company yard is now located. 

 Mrs.  Barclay, or you will remember her as Mrs. Urton, came her in July 1878.  At that time there were only three log buildings where the village of Pine River now stands, one being the store formerly mentioned, one used as sort of half-way house for Tote-Teamsters on the trip to and from Brainerd to Leech Lake (now Walker), and a very  large log barn where several of those large loads of supplies could be driven in for over night. 

 Logging had not been started at this point at that time and there were very few white settlers in the territory.  Mrs. Urton once related that while the inhabitants were practically all Indians, she never had any fear of them and they never gave them the least bit of trouble of any kind until after the white man came with his firewater. 

 About this time the Episcopal and Catholic societies started to try educating some of the Indian children and used to come up here to gather up a group of them, taking them away for a four-year course.  They were taught some kind of trade and it was some of those boys who, on their return from the school, built an addition on the old log store and that was where the first school was started.  It would indeed be interesting to trace the evolution of this school through to our present modern high school but time will not permit.”

Source:  Pine River Journal, Pine River, Cass County, Minnesota, 1873 to 1973 Centennial, Vol. 37, Number 22, pg. 2, “Early History of Pine River,” by Frances M. Allen.  

Ever since I heard the term “tote road” I became interested in what it looked like.  I have seen pictures of them as dirt roads or roads with logs laid across them.  You can use Google Images and search for photographs.  People are taking wonderful photos and writing blogs about tote roads.   This is as close as I could get to the area in question.  Can you image driving a wagon with ox or horses along a muddy road.  Hmmm…?

http://www.panoramio.com/photo/61191318

Notes of Interest:  My copy of this issue was given to me by the Pine River Journal Newspaper.   They have a wonderful collection of newspapers at their office in Pine River.  The Minnesota Historical Society also has a great newspaper collection but they are missing some issues of the Pine River newspaper in the 1930’s.
There are actually two volumes of Mr. Zapffe’s “Old Timers” booklets.  They are oversized measuring 16 inches long by 11 inches wide and they contain approximate 188 pages with an index.  I obtained my copies at the Crow Wing Historical Society in Brainerd.   They are amazing, with lots of photographs, great stories of the families in the area, maps and more covering the Cass and Crow Wing Lake Region.  He does indicate where he obtained the information in some cases.

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These photos were given to me by my Aunt Miriam, the granddaughter of George and Amarilla.  She said they were their wedding photos. 

The first one is my great-grandfather George Angus Barclay as a young man. 

George A. Barclay ca. 1878

On the back Aunt Miriam wrote:  “George Angus Barclay, Born _____ Died 1898.  1878 Wedding picture.  Enlisted Aug. 15, 1862, at Fort Snelling (Not correct it was Fort Ridgely) as wagoner, Co., I, 9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry. Honorable Discharge 1865. Marched with Sherman. (George probably didn’t march with Sherman as indicated in a past posts dated June 15 and June 25, 2010.) ” 

In dark pen and in another person’s handwriting it reads:  “Print from Screened neg. ,Z3668, Historic Heartland Assoc.”

This photo is supposedly of Amarilla as a young girl.  Miriam indicates that it is her wedding photograph.

Amarilla Spracklin Barclay

On the back in Aunt Miriam’s handwriting:  “Amarilla Spracklin Barclay, Nov. 17, 1858 – Aug. 10, 1942. Born near Marengo, Iowa, died in Pine River, Minn.  1878. Wedding picture age 20.”

Again the same black pen and different handwriting:  “Print from Screened neg., Z3666 , Historic Heartland Assoc.”

Carl Zapffe was the founder of Historic Heartland Association.  His photo collection is housed with the Nisswa Historical Society as far as I know.  I talked personally to the president of the Nisswa society in 2007 about these two photographs and later sent copies and wrote to them.  They eventually wrote me back and told me they were unable to identify or give me any further information on these two photographs.  In exchange he referenced an article about George that I will discuss in a later post.

When I visited Pine River in 2000, I shared these two photographs with the Editor and they were printed in the Pine River newspaper in an article about my visit.  See my March 15, 2010 post – An Appointment – Pine River Journal for more information.  

Mr. Zapffe wrote several oversized historical booklets about “Oldtimers” in Minnesota that I purchased and will feature later on in my posts.   The Crow Wing Historical Society in Brainerd may still have copies.  You can Google his writings which are still out there?  He died sometime in the 1990’s, I believe?

Mr. Zapffe actually corresponded with my Aunt Miriam at some point.  I found a brochure that had family photographs in color in her possession.  There is a photograph of a bride – Christina Ethel Zapffee and groom Thomas Richard Anderson, Jr. dated 1973.  A family group photo with all the names of the children but just Mom and Pop listed and I suspect that Pop refers to Mr. Zapffe.  Other family groupings photos are included in the brochure.  The brochure/pamphlet is 4 pages long.  On the back is a discussion of the Mystical Window featured on the front page and a Merry Christmas at the bottom.  The envelope has a Baltimore, Maryland address and is stamped with Dec. 1973.   The brochure is a real treasure of family photographs for both Anderson and Zapffee who are not my family. 

Would I be interested in the story behind this and how my Aunt Miriam obtained copies of these photographs of Amarilla and George, my great grandparents?  Just another mystery in my family!

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