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.

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

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