Friday, December 20, 2019

The Village of Sandstone


The building of Sandstone is coeval with the quarry. At first it was two tents, then a log boarding camp and hovels, and a few scattered buildings near the spring in the ravine south of the quarry. Only one family remained over the summer of 1886, the remainder having removed to Sandstone Junction. With the completion of the Kettle river railroad, people connected with the quarry built houses and brought their families here. A post office was established in January, 1887, and W. H. Grant, Jr., was commissioned postmaster. In May following, the townsite of the old town was platted by the Sandstone Townsite Company, numerous lots were sold and building progressed rapidly. The building of the Eastern railway of Minnesota in 1888, for several months, made Sandstone by far the liveliest town in the county. A fine system of water works were constructed, two commodious hotels opened, and many business and houses were added to the already prosperous town. In February 1889, the village was incorporated and its officers elected. On the day of the annual election William H. Grant, Jr., was elected president of the village council, and his successors have been as follows: Michael Ring, Albert L. Glasow, J. E. Erickson, Christ Heisler, Jr., Peter Peterson, F. L. Dennie, Angus Gunn, H. P. Webb. In 1890 the population was 517; 1895, 1054; 1899, 1800. In October, 1894, the plat of Sandstone Quarries was filed by the Minneapolis Trust Company, and then commenced the rebuilding of Sandstone.

Sandstone's Gift Souvenir...c. 1899


While this photo is not original to the Sandstone Gift Souvenir, it was taken not long afterward and shows a very similar scene.

Monday, October 14, 2019

"First Opening of the Quarries" written by Col. W. H. Grant


No history of the opening or development of the stone quarries at Sandstone has ever been written. Space here forbids anything but a meager outline.

The first opening was made on the river bank about two hundred feet south of the present quarry office, August 22, 1885. At that time the river bank, the bluffs and in fact the whole region was thickly covered with timber and a heavy growth of underbrush. This opening was made by the writer, no other person being then interested in the enterprise. The crew consisted of Daniel Ryan, foreman, John McCoy, Michael McNamara, and John Randal, quarrymen, Orville C. Cox, blacksmith, Michael Logue, cook, and Joseph Thomas, Henry Mapes and James Campbell, lumber jacks, for cutting brush. This crew remained for ten days, two or three days of which were too rainy for work. The first picture of the quarry was taken some weeks later showing however the only opening made and its condition, when the crew was discharged. The stone at the upper right corner, was the first cut in the quarry. During the progress of this work four loads of stone were hauled by team to Hinckley and shipped to St. Paul. Col. R. A. Smith having the honor of hauling the first load and Leavitt Reynolds the second. One large block was sawed by Lauer Bros., and the remainder cut by Matt Breen at his sheds on Court square, St. Paul, and all exhibited at the state fair, where they attracted much attention.

For the purpose of introducing the stone the quarry was opened during the following winter, giving employment to about thirty men, and 232 car loads were quarried, hauled to Sandstone Junction, and from there shipped to St. Paul, Minneapolis and Stillwater, during the summer of 1886. Meantime the Kettle river railroad was constructed from the quarry to the St. Paul & Duluth track and shipments of stone commenced December 1, 1886.

About November 1, 1885, John P. Knowles became a partner with the writer in the enterprise and so remained until the quarry was finally sold. In December, 1886, the Kettle River Sandstone company was incorporated with a capital stock of $200,000, the stock of which was owned by the writer, John P. Knowles, Fred A. Hodge, James Hurley, and W. H. Grant, Jr. This company never operated the quarry, but soon after leased it to Ring & Tobin, who erected a four gang sawmill and operated the quarry extensively until it was closed on account of the panic in 1893. During 1887, 1888, and 1889, the quarry was worked on a large scale, often giving employment to more than four hundred men. The great fire of September 1, 1894 having destroyed the mill and all other property in the quarry except the office and powder house, The Minnesota Sandstone company succeeded to all other interests. The present capital stock of the company is $100,000. It gives steady employment to three hundred and fifty men, and last year shipped two hundred and ninety car loads of stone. The shipments for the first six months of the present year have been one thousand seven hundred car loads.
Sandstone's Gift Souvenir...c. 1899

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Lost Communities in Pine County, Minnesota, Part 5


Researched and written by LaJune Troolin

Sand Creek Community - Sandstone Township, east of Sandstone - After logging operations stopped, Kock & Company of Chicago bought up miles of land and started advertising that the land would be perfect for farming. Scandinavians began to buy up the land and formed a small community around Sand Creek. The first school was held at Svardal's home until a school could be built in Section 11.

How the Community of Sand Creek Began by Holger Larson

Sandstone Junction - Dell Grove Township Section 18 - To be able to haul rock from the quarries in Sandstone, a railroad spur was built from the quarries to about four miles west of Sandstone at a little place called Sandstone Junction. Here the spur connected to the main railroad line. Sandstone Junction had a train station, hotel, general store, and school.

Sandstone the Quarry City-page 51

Silverton Village - Park Township Section 27 - This was a platted village for the Arrow Line Railroad, and a hotel was built with the understanding that there would be traffic from the railroad coming through.

Pine County and its Memories-page 322

Springdale Community - Arlone Township Sections 23-24 - A small community of settlers came here because of the rich farm land that was advertised in this area.

Minnesota Place Names-page 445; Pine County and its Memories-page 296

Stage Stop - Pine City Township Section 11 - This stage stop was on the old government road.

One Hundred Years in Pine County-page 144

Tuxedo (Bergman) - Pokegama Township Section 26 - Tuxedo Inn was a very popular resort on Pokegama Lake. It had a ballroom, and well known orchestras often performed there. A post office was established at the inn and was called Bergman from 1898-April 1905 and later became Tuxedo but discontinued in October 1905.

Minnesota Place Names-page 445; Pine County and its Memories-page 157

Villstad Community - Partridge Township Section 4 - Swedish immigrants built a church in 1899 and named it Villstad after a village in Sweden, where they came from. A cemetery surrounds the church. The church and cemetery are still there and are well cared for.

Minnesota Place Names-page 445; Pine County and its Memories-page 184

Wareham Village - Sandstone Township Section 21 - There was a station here of the Great Northern Railway.

Minnesota Place Names-page 445

Whalens Village - Keene Township Section 21 - This was a proposed village for the Arrow Line Railroad.

Minnesota Place Names-page 445

Stage stop - Windemere Township Sections 10-11 - This stage stop was on the old government road.

Pine County and its Memories-page 90

Glasspool - A post office was here between July and November 1905. No location can be found.

Minnesota Place Names-page 442

Mille Lacs - A post office was here between 1856 and 1859. The location has not been found but is possibly in Ogema Township.

Minnesota Place Names-page 443

Mortimer - A post office was established on February 19, 1889, with Thomas Creeper to be the postmaster. Some records show that he could have operated the post office until April. The location has not been found.

Minnesota Place Names-page 443

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Lost Communities in Pine County, Minnesota, Part 4


Researched and written by LaJune Troolin

Meadow Lawn Community - Chengwatana Township - There were a number of nationalities that settled in Meadow Lawn. They were hard working farmers, and their first homes were log homes. The first school house (section 10) was also made of logs, and about 1903 a frame building was built. 

One Hundred Years in Pine County-page 135; Pine County and its Memories-page 5

Midway Village - Mission Creek Township Section 34 - Midway was platted just north of Beroun in 1855 by Frank and Julia Lewis but was never developed.

Minnesota Place Names-page 443; Pine County and its Memories-page 59

Milburn Community - Pine City Township Section 32 - The earliest settlers, who were Swedish, came in 1885 to the Milburn area. It was a logging community, and in 1894 a lumber mill was started there. Milburn Community had two churches (Swedish Free Mission and Norwegian Lutheran), a school, and a cemetery.

One Hundred Years in Pine County-page 144; Pine County and its Memories-page 36

Mineral Springs - Finlayson Township Section 8 - A brochure was found advertising a mineral spring with therapeutic qualities northeast of Finlayson. A company was formed, sold stock, and started planning a resort and health spa. There is evidence of structures and curbing, but nothing became of it, and the company was dissolved.

Pine County and its Memories-page 111

Mission Creek Village - Mission Creek Township Section 10 - Most of the settlers in the village were Swedish, and it was considered a sawmill town. They had a sawmill, a railroad depot, a hotel, a general store, a post office (1876-1908), a blacksmith shop, a school, 26 houses, and a cemetery.

Minnesota Place Names-page 443; Pine County and its Memories-page 59

Morgan Stopping Place - Clover Township Section 20 - Henry Morgan owned a livery stable and an inn in this stopping place. The township meetings were also held there. When Mr. Morgan left in 1906, James Dunphy took over the livery and inn and also operated a sawmill.

Pine County and its Memories-page 216; Then & Now in Clover-page 13

Neshodana Village - Arna Township Sections 35-36 and Ogema Township Sections 1-2 - In 1856 this area was platted but never settled.

Minnesota Place Names-page 443; Pine County and its Memories-page 287

Otto Village - Park Township - This was a proposed village for the Arrow Line Railroad.

Pine County and its Memories-page 268

Pine Grove Community - Pine City Township - The Pine Grove Community was located in the center of the township about five miles southeast of Pine City. The old government road ran through this section of the county. The community was made up of mostly Swedish immigrants. At first they logged but stayed on to farm when the logging was finished. They had a church and two schools in the area.

One Hundred Years in Pine County-page 143; Pine County and its Memories-page 35

Friday, September 20, 2019

Lost Communities in Pine County, Minnesota, Part 3

Researched and written by LaJune Troolin

Fortuna Village - Finlayson Township Section 11 - Fortuna was platted in January 1857 and was incorporated May 19,1857. It was to be the county seat for the new Buchanan County (May 1857- March 1861), which is now the northern part of Pine County. The investors believed the village would grow because of the stagecoach stop that was already there and with lumbering companies coming to the area. Fortuna had a hotel, and traces of other foundations that might have been businesses or houses have been found. The Rocky Dam Relay Station was on the site before Fortuna. It was a stagecoach rest stop that was built in 1855 for $5,000 and was owned by Burbank Merrian & Co. of St. Paul. Some have claimed that Fortuna was on the site that later became Sandstone, but it was not. Sandstone is actually about six miles farther south.

Sandstone the Quarry City-page 11; Pine County and its Memories-page 107

Friesland Village - Dell Grove Township Sections 25 and 36 - In 1895 the Theodore F. Koch Land Company was hired by the St. Paul & Duluth Railroad to sell railroad land in Pine County. It started sending out advertisements to the Dutch communities of Holland about the great farming land in Pine County, Minnesota. Friesland was built to accommodate the immigrants that were coming from Holland. They had a number of businesses, a post office (1896-1917), and a railroad station.

Minnesota Place Names-page 442; Pine County and its Memories-page 96

Groningen Village - Dell Grove Township Section 1 - Groningen started out with the name of Miller Station. The St. Paul and Duluth Railroad established a flag stop and section house in 1870 at Miller, and by 1890 a depot was moved there. A post office called Belknap was established (1877-1881) at Miller. After the 1894 fire the immigrants that were coming from Holland purchased land in and around Miller and changed the name to Groningen. The village had a number of businesses, a school, and a post office (1896-1913 and 1917-1954).

Minnesota Place Names-page 442; Pine County and its Memories-page 96

Harlis Village - Nickerson Township Section 1 - The Soo Line Railroad had a depot at Harlis. The village had a school and a post office (1914-1932). There were also a few houses built around the depot. Nothing is left of the village now.

Minnesota Place Names-page 442; Pine County and its Memories-page 253

Holly Community or Center - Danforth Township Section 21 on Fleming Road - This community was a staging center for loggers' supplies that were coming from Grantsburg, Wisconsin, and also a location for loggers to pick up their mail.

Pine County and its Memories-page 209

Hustletown Community - Chengwatana Township Section 19 - There are a number of nationalities that settled near Hustletown. The community had a school and a church with a cemetery.

Pine County and its Memories-page 3; One Hundred Years in Pine County-page 135

Friday, September 13, 2019

Lost Communities in Pine County, Minnesota, Part 2


Researched and written by LaJune Troolin

Chengwatana Village (Alhambra Village) - Chengwatana Township Section 26 at the point of were the Snake River leaves Cross Lake - The area around Chengwatana (Alhambra) had been inhabited for many years by an Indian village and later by trappers, traders, etc. The settlement was first platted in 1856 as Alhambra by Elam Greeley, Judd, Walker and Company, and before the ink was dry, a share was bought by Daniel Robertson (Robertson Company). In July 1856 Herman Trott became an agent for Robertson Company, and his first task was to plat a new town and call it Chengwatana. The Alhambra plat was set aside, and the new plat was made larger. In February 1857 Chengwatana became the first county seat for Pine County. The first county commissioners were Herman Trott, George Staples, and Royal Grey. The village had a school, post office (Alhambra 1856-1857; Chengwatana 1857-1873), court house, general store, hotel, blacksmith shop, sawmill, several houses, etc. When the train went through Pine City instead of Chengwatana, Pine City became the new county seat in 1872.

Minnesota Place Names-pages 440-441; Pine County and its Memories-page1; Who's Who in Minnesota 1942-page 1156; A Preliminary Historical and Archaeological Survey of the "Old Chengwatana" Locale, Pine County, Minnesota by Douglas A. Birk

Clint Village - Royalton Township Section 29 - This area was developed by Swedish immigrants in the late 1890's. The village contained a store, post office (1900-1902), sawmill, school, and cemetery.

Minnesota Place Names-page 441; Pine County and its Memories-page 73

Copper City - Nickerson Township - This village was proposed for the Arrow Line Electric Railroad (Twin City and Lake Superior Railway) about 1907.

Pine County and its Memories-page 263

Danewood Community - Royalton Township Section 31 - Danish immigrants settled the southwest part of the township in the late 1890's.

Minnesota Place Names-page 441; Pine County and its Memories-page 73

Deer Creek Stage Stop - Barry Township (first called Arthur Township but changed because Kanabec County already had an Arthur Township) Section 9 - Deer Creek Stage Stop was midway between Hinckley and Sandstone on the government road.

Pine County and its Memories-page 197

Eaglehead Community - Wilma Township Section 7 - The Farmers Land and Cattle Company established an experimental farm called Eaglehead. The new settlers in the area had no farming skills, and they were shown how to plant and farm. At the headquarters, they had a post office (1911-1917) and a confectionery. By 1918 Eaglehead and its farmers had closed down because the soil was no longer rich.

Minnesota Place Names-page 441; Pine County and its Memories-page 261

East Rock Community - Rock Creek Township - The first settlers in East Rock were Yankees, and then the Swedish immigrants arrived a short time later (late 1800's). A Baptist Church was organized on September 12, 1885 in Section 36 and a school in Section 36.

Pine County and its Memories-page 54

Elkton Stage Stop - Windemere Township Sections 10-11 - The stage stop was on the old government road.

Pine County and its Memories-page 80

Ellson Village - Bremen Township Section 4 - Ellson started out as a lumbering community in 1895. There was a sawmill, a halfway house that also served as a post office (1904-1925) and a store, a town hall, and a school. The 1918 fire completely destroyed the small village.

Minnesota Place Names-page 441; Pine County and its Memories-page 229

Erie Community - Keene Township Section 28 - The Erie Community was a farming area with a school, which was organized on September 16, 1915 and closed in 1936.

Pine County and its Memories-page 328

Monday, September 9, 2019

Lost Communities in Pine County, Minnesota, Part 1


Researched and written by LaJune Troolin

Quarry Settlement - Finlayson Township, Section 34-35 - In 1892 the Water Power Sandstone Company began operating in the quarries by Hells Gate. That same year St. Paul & Duluth Railroad put a spur in from Miller (Groningen) to the quarry, and between 300 and 500 men were employed at the quarry. A boarding house was located near the quarry for the employees. At the time of the 1894 fire, the boarding house was not burnt, and the Sandstone survivors were able to walk there for help after their town was destroyed.


Banning Village
- Finlayson Township, Section 34 - In 1896 Martin Ring bought property near the Water Power Sandstone Company and persuaded the St. Paul & Duluth Railroad to extend the tracks of the spur 1/3 mile to where he started quarry operations. He platted the village above the quarry and named it Banning after W. L. Banning, who was a past president for the St. Paul & Duluth Railroad.

The village had close to 300 people. There were two hotels, a general store, saloon, school, post office (1896-1912), boarding houses, etc. By 1905 the quarry work was finished.
The Barber Asphalt Company, who had started operating a few years before, continued to operate and give employment. The asphalt company closed in 1912 and of the Banning population only four families were left.

B
rochure Banning Park; Pine County, Minnesota, Minnesota Place Names-page 439; Pine County and its Memories-page 107

Beldon Village - Beldon Township, Section 1 - The village of Beldon was established in 1912 when the Soo Line Railroad began operating through that area and was incorporated in 1921. The village received its name from Grace Beldon, a lady who worked in the Tri-state land office in Minneapolis. Beldon was primarily a lumbering and pulpwood town. It had a general store, post office (1913-1943), depot, blacksmith shop, school, etc. The little village was auctioned off in November 1943.

Minnesota Place Names-page 440; Pine County and its Memories-page 314

Big Spring Camp (Fox's Logging Camp) - Hinckley Township, then Sandstone Township, section 15 - It was one of the largest logging camps in the area and was still operating after the 1894 fire.

Pine County and its Memories-page 148

Blomskog Community (Swedish meaning "blooming forest") - Windemere Township, Section 10 - The Blomskog church was established on July 13, 1897, by a Swedish Lutheran Congregation. It was named after their parish in Värmland, Sweden. The church closed on October 27, 1968. The Blomskog cemetery is in Section 8.

Minnesota Place Names-page 440; Pine County and its Memories-page 83

Browns Hill Community - Mission Creek Township Sections 33-34 and Pokegama Sections 3-4 - This may have been an early site of Beroun.

Minnesota Place Names-page 440