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…?