Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Lois E Johnson
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Glimpse of 1918: automobile club is formed


August 2, 2018

Life 100 years ago in 1918 was progressing, despite World War I raging in Europe. People at home were supporting the troops. More and more people were switching to automobiles, although horses were still used for farm work. The following are excerpts taken from the pages of the Star-Gazette.

Feb. 24, 1918: Home Guard Doings – Tickets for the big spree tomorrow are selling for one American dollar. Several towns along the line who have Home Guards say they will have delegations here for the grand military ball. There are many coming from Willow River, if the train will stop for them. McGrath is to be represented by two squads, three officers and a musician, making 20 men in all. Hinckley informs us that she will send up a delegation under Major Kruger. It is likely that Major Kruger will drill the Moose Lake outfit a short time.

Feb. 24, 1918: Moose Lake Automobile Club organized – An automobile club was formed a meeting of automobile owners on Saturday at the Rex Hotel. The club will shortly affiliate with the state association and the American Automobile Association.

Members from all over the surrounding country are being taken in, and especially area farmers who own cars are invited to join. It is the intention of the company to recruit 200 members by late spring. Good roads are as much of an asset to the farmer as to the town man, for it is good roads that makes the farm valuable, affording a means of marketing produce when it should be marketed, at a time when it commands a right price.

May 2, 1918: That million-dollar rain has arrived. Rain began falling last Saturday and continued through the first of the week. It is doing a great deal of good to farmers. Grains and grasses will now grow nicely.

A Red Cross auction held at the school house west of Sturgeon Lake last Saturday night netted a profit of about $100. Nearly everything from live chickens to dresses was sold to the highest bidder and, judging from the amount of money that was taken in, there were plenty of bidders.

Half a dozen cars of Moose Lake Home Guards were in attendance and their buying powers seemed to be unlimited. The Home Guards were in attendance to quell a threatened non-partisan meeting scheduled to take place after the auction. When the speaker, Rupert Kinney of Willow River, arrived, he was gently escorted back to his car and told to “leave while the leaving was good.”

July 4, 1918: A list of names of Moose Lake boys now serving with Uncle Sam at the front will be placed on the large flag pole between Knutilla’s store and the post office today, so that anyone attending the Fourth of July celebration can see who has gone.

July 18, 1918: Now that the crop is nearly mature, it is time to being to prepare for next year’s crop. The experience of farmers, as well as experimental evidence, goes to show that early fall plowing returns the best crops. Early plowing allows gives a longer period in which to decompose the stubble, opens up the soil to the fall rains, helps to dispose of weeds, lessons the amount of work that has to be done in the spring, and it enables one to avoid crowding of time, which is easier on both horses and men.

August 15, 1918: A delegation of citizens from Barnum appeared before the Carlton County Board and presented a petition asking that the present course of State Highway No. 1 be diverted from and be made to follow the old abandoned railroad grade into the Village of Barnum. The board decided to refer the matter to the State Highway Department and the Federal Road Engineer.

Construction of State Road No. 2, on the hills between Mahtowa and Blackhoof River, was authorized by the Board.

Sept. 5, 1918: Hugo Anderson has fine chicken farm – Hugo Anderson of Barnum has 23 acres, neatly fenced off into pens, holding five or six hundred chickens each. At the time, Anderson is skimping along with 3,000 chickens, down from over 4,000 a month ago. He sold 300 broilers to a fancy poultry in Duluth. He has 1,000 laying hens and gets 500 eggs a day. Egg cartons carry the Maplewood Farm brand.

The Moose Lake Area Historical Society is collecting unpublished stories about the 1918 fire. Call the historical society at (218) 485-4234.


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