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November 7, 2013     Tri-County News
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November 7, 2013

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PAGE 6 Thursday, November 7, 2013 y ....  .......... Local Histor :.......: ,,.X.]R.++  .:: i II "':+ Memories of a special community event Mike Nistler Watkins & Eden Valley Historian want to take home with you and wake up to the next day. Speaking of the next day, the Saturday after the fish fry was almost as fun for me as the event itself. That was clean-up day at the school. I remember tagging along with my father to help put away the tables and chairs and get the school ready for business the fol- lowing Monday. My best friend at the time, Larry Schneider, would do the same. Larry and I were too young to do a lot of the "heavy lifting." We did odd jobs to help out. But mostly we ran around the school like we owned the place. Dur- ing the school day there was no running allowed in the hall- ways. The Benedictine Sisters who were our teachers were fairly strict about enforcing that rule. Our dads, however, didn't care. We would look for treasures as well. You never knew when you'd find a nickel, a dime, or a quar- ter that had been dropped on the floor. Oh, and the pop dispens- ers were still hooked up and we as "workers" were entitled to wet our whistles in case our throats were parched. Young boys run- ning around a school can build up quite the thirst. It was always a bit sad when at the end of the morning, the clean- up was done and I'd climb into my dad's Ford pickup and Larry into his dad's Chevy. Each would be pointed in a different direction as we'd head to our family farms. The fish fry would be over for the year. Our morning of having unsupervised fun in our school had ended. And on Monday, we'd be back to being students who had to follow rules and study. I was 6 years old when the Men's Society of Holy Cross Church in Pearl Lake held its first annual fish fry in 1963. I must have attended the event, but I don't have any particular memories of that first meal. It's just that I have so many memories of the fish fry that they all seem to run together. For many years as a young boy of the parish, I was expected to work at the event, waiting on tables. We had to wear white shirts back in those days, with ties. The ties would eventually not be required, and then some years later the white shirts would be phased out as well. I guess young boys waiting on tables and wear- ing white shirts might not have been the best idea. Since the food is served cafe- teria style, our job as servers was to make sure people had bev- erages of milk, coffee or water, and that the tables were always well stocked with breaded fish. After all, when you come to an all-you-can-eat fish fry, you want to eat A LOT offish. After our work shift was done, my friends and I would disperse to partake in some of the activi- ties offered at the fish fry, such as bingo or some of the kid's games offered. I also remember what I smelled like when I left the tiny school to head home. I smelled like a giant fried fish. In some of those early years, the fish was actually fried inside the school's tiny kitchen. Anyone who stayed in the build- ing for any time would be satu- rated in the odor. It's one thing to inhale the fried-fish smell when you are hungry and enter the building. It gets your taste buds going. But it's not a smell you New, Research Center Workshops Workshop at 9:30 a.m. Wednes- day, Nov. 20. The workshop will begin with an Introduction to the Stearns History Museum Research Center and Archives fol- lowed by an in-depth workshop at 10 a.m. entitled "Basics of Gene- alogy". Whether you are a sea- soned research veteran interested in genealogy, town histories, the history of a local business, or just a beginner, this class is for you. Please RSVP to (320) 253-8424, or e-mail swarmka@stearns-museum .org. Founded in 1936, the Stearns History Museum has focused on preserving and interpreting the history of the region for 77 years. The mission of the museum is to engage people in the exploration of the County's diverse heritage! by providing connections to the past, perspectives on the present, and inspiration for the future. The Stearns HistoryMuseum is nation- i ally accredited by the American i  Alliance of Museums. Wednesday, Nov. 20, free for members, $5 for non-members Have you ever wondered what resources are available in the Research Center and Archives of the Stearns History Museum? Come and find out. The Stearns History Museum is offering a new monthly class to highlight the many resources available and show you how easy they are to access. Beginning at 9:30 a.m. on the third Wednesday of every month, our archivists will teach an Introduction to the Research Center and Archives workshop. We will show patrons how to use our archives and all of the differ- ent databases and collections that are available. Want to learn even more? We will offer an additional in-depth workshop every other month with our archivists high- lighting one of the resources avail- able at our facility. Join us at the Stearns History Museum for a Research Center www.tricou ntyn ews. M N Civil War digest: This week 150 years ago Major Highlights for the Week Other fighting broke out at Wednesday, Nov. 4,1863 Confederate General Brax- ton Bragg sent Lieutenant Gen- eral ]ames Longstreet's corps from the Chattanooga area to face Fed- eral Major General Ambrose Burn- side's forces in east Tennessee in an effort to retrieve the Knoxville area into Confederate hands and re- establish communication with Vir- ginia. Because Federal Major Gen- eral William T. Sherman's forces were still en route from Vicksburg, Miss., and had not arrived in Chat- tanooga yet, Major General Ulysses Grant knew that he could not act upon Chattanooga and had no reinforcements to offer to Burn- side. Burnside would have to hold on as best as he could. Confederate President Jeffer- son Davis visited James Island along with the forts and batteries around Charleston Harbor, S.C. Thursday, Nov. 5,1863 Federal Major General Ulysses Grant, at Chattanooga, Tenn., hoped that Major General Wil- liam T. Sherman would arrive in time to allow the Federals to strike Confederate General Brax- ton Bragg before Confederate Lieutenant General James Long- street could attack Major Gen- eral Ambrose Burnside near Knoxville. Fighting broke out at Hart- wood Church, Va.; Neosho, Mo; Vermillionville, La.; Mill Point, W.V.; Loudon County, Moscow and LaFayette, Tenn.; and at Holly Springs, Miss. Two Federal vessels seized three blockade-runners off of the mouth of the Rio Grande, show- ing the increasing effectiveness of the blockade. Three other run- ners were taken off Florida and South Carolina. Friday, Nov. 6,1863 Engagement at Droop Mountain, W.V. Moving over the mountains of West Virginia from Beverly to Lewisburg, Federal forces under Brigadier General William W. Averell encountered Confeder- ates blocking the road at Droop Mountain. Averell divided his force, sending a major portion of his men on a lengthy detour to the rear of the Confederates under Brigadier General John Echols. By mid-afternoon, the two Federal forces attacked forcing the Con- federates to pull away down the pike or scatter into the woods. The engagement enabled the Federals to proceed towards Lewisburg, W.V., keeping in effect Averell's plan to clean out the remnants of Southern opposition and destroy important railroad links between Virginia and the Southwest. Little Sewell Mountain, W.V.; Point Isabel and Brownsville, Texas; Rogersville, Tenn.; and at Falmouth, Va. Saturday, Nov. 7,1863 The Army of the Potomac, under Federal Major General George G. Meade, pushed across the Rappahannock River at Rap- pahannock Station and Kelly's Ford, with severe engagements at both places. Confederate General Robert E. Lee began withdrawing to the line of the Rapidan River. It was not a major Federal offensive, but the result was the restora- tion of the positions that existed before the Bristow Campaign. Sunday, Nov. 8,1863 The Union advance across the Rappahannock River in Vir- ginia continued with fighting at Warrenton, Jeffersonton, Rix- eyville, Brandy Station, Stevens- burg and Muddy Creek near Cul- peper Courthouse, Va. None of the fighting was heavy but it indi- cated that Mede and Lee were not entirely idle. They were both maneuvering and probing for proper opportunities to attack. In an important change of command, Confederate Major General John C. Breckihridge superseded Lieutenant General Daniel H. Hill in command of the Second Corps of General Brax- ton Bragg's Army of Tennessee, in another attempt for Bragg to alle- viate the ill-feeling between he and his generals. Monday, Nov. 9,1863 President Abraham Lincoln attended the theater and saw John Wilkes Booth perform in The Marble Heart. Skirmishing occurred in the Choctaw Nation, Indian Terri- tory; near Bayou Sara and Indian Bayou, La.; near Weldon, N.C.; and at Covington, Va. A heavy early snowstorm fell in Virginia as President Jefferson Davis returned to Richmond from his southern tour. Tuesday, Nov. 10,1863 Since Nov. 7, Fort Sumter had received 1,753 rounds in the Fed- eral bombardment in Charles- ton Harbor. Confederate casu- alties were limited to just a few wounded. Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of Nov. 4-10, 1863 1st MinnesotaVolunteer Infan- try - Advanced to the Rappahan- nock Line and was on duty at Kel- ly's Ford, Va., until Nov. 26, 1863. 2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry - On duty in the Siege of Chattanooga, Tenn., until Nov. 23, 1863. 3rd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry- Participated in the MINNESOTA 1861 CIVIL WAR 1865 capture of Little Rock, Ark., where they remained for garrison duty until April 28, 1864. 4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry- Participated in oper- ations against the Memphis and Charleston Railroad in Alabama until Nov. 23, 1863. 5th Minnesota Volun- teer Infantry - On duty at Canton, Miss., until Nov. 14, 1863. 6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry - On garrison duty in Minnesota until June 9, 1864. 7th Minnesota Volun- teer Infantry - On duty in St. Louis, Mo., until April 20, 1864. 8th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry - On garrison duty in Minnesota until May 24, 1864. 9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry - Moved to Jefferson City, Mo., for duty guarding rail- road from Kansas Line to near St. Louis. Stationed at Rolla, Jef- ferson City, LaMine Bridge, War- rensburg, Independence, Knob Noster, Kansas City, Waynesvitle and Franklin with headquarters in Jefferson City until April 14, 1864, anti at Rolla from April 14 - May 1864. 10th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry - On garrison duty and provost duty at Jefferson Bar- racks, Mo., until April 21, 1864. 1st Regiment Minnesota Cav- alry "Mounted Rangers" - On duty at Fort Ripley and Fort Snel- ling until Dec. 7, 1863. Brackett's Battalion of Minne- sota Cavalry - On duty along the Tennessee River until Nov. 14, 1863. Hatch's Independent Battal- ion of Cavalry - Organized at Fort Snelling and St. Paul. Companies A, B, C and D marched to Pembina for duty until Nov. 13, 1863. 1st Minnesota Light Artillery Battery - On duty at Vicksburg, Miss., until April 4, 1864. 2nd Independent Battery, Min- nesota Light Artillery- On duty in the Siege of Chattanooga, Tenn., until Nov. 23, 1863. 3rd Battery, Minnesota Light Artillery - Four sections on duty at Pembina, Fort Ripley, Fort Ridgely and Fort Snelling until June 5, 1864. 2nd United States Sharpshoot- ers, Company A- Advanced to the Rappahannock Line and Kelly's Ford, before retiring to Brandy Station, Va., for duty until Nov. 26, 1863. County awards bids Stearns County is moving ahead on the remodeling of its Law Enforcement Center. Commis- sioners today approved awarding $2.7 million in bids to contractors to do the construction. Thirty-one individual pieces of the remodeling project went out for bid, on everything from secu- rity systems to jail toilets, and 84 companies bid on those proj- i ects. It was an open competitive bid process, and overall the bids came in $123-thousand below original estimated cost. Stearns County needs to remodel the Law Enforcement to remodel Law Enforcement Center Center for safety and security reasons. Plans are to expand the booking area to make it safer, to accommodate the 8,000-9,000 bookings done by Stearns County every year. Plans also call for downsizing the work-release inmate area since it's under :,ti- lized. That area will go from 60 beds to 12. Remodeling will also add more male housing, nine more cells, and 11 more female cells. Stearns County transfers about 10 females a day to other counties for jail housing. Total estimated construction cost of the remodeling is $5.1 million. Of that total cost, nearly $1.3 million is work that will be done in-house, such as the car- pentry, electrical wiring and plumbing. Construction on the Law Enforcement Center will start in January. It is a project that will take approximately 12-14 months to complete. The remodeling project is a short-term, 10-year, fix for the County's jail needs, but will give Stearns County time and an opportunity to focus on a long- term 30-year solution.