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Posts Tagged ‘Pine River Journal’

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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We were on a mission back in 2000 to get to our appointment at the Pine River Journal newspaper office in Pine River.  

I had written to the Pine River City Hall and apparently my letter had been read in a Pine River Chamber of Commerce meeting.  The editor at the time emailed me and informed me that they had bound editions of the newspaper going back to the 1920’s (some years missing) and that I was welcome to come in and look through them.  I made an appointment. 

Pine River Journal Office

We arrived at the newspaper office in the early afternoon and were greeted and escorted into the editor’s office.  The editor asked me questions and I loaned her photos which she took to make copies.  The result was a full-page article that went something like this… 

 “Climbing Through the Branches of the Family Tree,” 

“It started 16 years ago, with the death of her mother, Bonnie Jean MacDonald, a resident and native of Seattle, Washington, began wondering about her family history.  She gathered bits and pieces of information from an aunt — but the business of life soon took over and she set the project aside…then a year and a half ago, her aunt passed away. 

It was about my quest to learn about my family history and my great grandparents George and Amarilla Barclay of Pine River. The article appeared on page 16 of the Pine River Journal on Thursday, May 11, 2000.  For purposes of copyright, I cannot reproduce this article here but only point you to it.  The Minnesota Historical Society in St. Paul has a state newspaper collection and the Pine River newspapers are available in that collection.  

The article was very well done.  I had my 15 minutes of fame.  I do have to point out a slight error. One comment in particular needs to be addressed for it is just not true.  Under the caption for the old picture of Amarilla’s house, that I provided, it states that Grace grew up in that house.  The house that was Amarilla Barclay Dawes Urton’s and later the Durkee’s home wasn’t built till 1904.  My grandmother Grace was born in 1882 in probably Pine River.  She didn’t grow up in that house she grew up in the pioneer house(s) that her father George built.  

We spent some time looking through those old bound editions of the Pine River newspaper.  I made copies of course. There is just something about the feel of old documents.  

The article mentions that we toured Amarilla’s home. This is true.  This was one of the happiest days of my life.  I was very grateful to the current owners for indulging me.  There are very few things left of a personal nature that are part of my great grandmother’s legacy so knowing that this home is still standing is so very comforting to me.  They are tenderly caring for this old historic home.  

The article states that I received a copy of the Pine River history book and this is also true:  

BOOK:  “Logsleds to Snowmobiles 1873 to 1973” written by the town of Pine River.  This is celebration of the 1st 100 years of Pine River’s history. 

Don Moser did indeed hand me a copy and I remember him saying it was the last copy.  I am grateful. I was so excited!  The book has been well-loved and falling apart because of it.  What is in that book has been enormously helpful.  I have learned that there is a copy at the Family History Library (FHL) in Salt Lake City but it has not been filmed yet.  

I am very grateful to the Pine River Journal newspaper they have been very kind to me and helpful over the years. We will be revisiting this newspaper in the future for it has opened many doors to my research.

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