Picture/reply from Bill Grimme (65):
Thank you for posting the nice picture of my uncle, Harry Fassett. Harry was my mother’s brother.
Here is a picture of Harry and his family. Back – Rachael and Harry. Front L-R James, Donald, Orville, and Carol.
Harry had a repair shop in Dunseith for a while. It was located across the street from the Lucien Bedard home, I believe. Carol died at a fairly early age. I was fairly young when Harry left Dunseith, but, I can tell you, he was a very nice uncle.
Harry Fassett Family
Back – Rachael and Harry. Front L-R James, Donald, Orville, and Carol.
From Mona Dionne Johnson (48):
The Harry Fassett family lived in the Thorne area and of course all of
his kids attended Russell School where we did out in the country. Harry
was our bus driver back then when buses changed from horse-drawn covered
sleighs in the winter to what he drove which was a Model A – he had
taken out the back seat and replaced it – adapting it with two board
connected at the ends, making it so twice the amount of kids could ride
in the back. In winter when we traveled to school and got by Ed
Leonards’ place, the snow would collect on a low area of the road to a
point that one could not get through. He just drove that Model A into
the ditch and we drove in the field until we got past the snowed area
and then back on the road and on to school !! His oldest son,
James and I started school together, in fact the last few days of school
before we started first grade, he and I went to get used to school a
little, and I remember the teacher had us both in her lap as we were
welcomed to school. His sister, Carol, and my sister were classmates.
James and I went thru the 8 grades at Russell. He went somewhere else
his first year high school, then came to Dunseith for the rest,
graduating together with me in ’48. He had a beautiful voice in song
and sang at our graduation. I remember the teacher having us sing
together when we were in the lower grades. What memories !
Mona Dionne Johnson ’48
From Susan Fassett Martin (65):
Harry Fassett was the son of Gilbert and Sadie Fassett. Gilbert was a brother to my grandfather, Wilmar H Fassett. In my dad’s history book it states, ” Harry & Rachel (Federick) moved to Dunseith from the Thorne area in 1943. Harry operated an auto and tractor repair shop and also served on the Dunseith force until 1956 when he moved to Bottineau to become chief of police there. Their children all completed high school in Dunseith. ”
Harry Fassett and Rachel Frederick had four children: James, who married Lvonne Cox, Donald, who married Christine St Pierre, they divorced and Donald remarried Agnes Harris–he died in 1984: Orville, who marred June Johnson and Carol, who married James Tessin–she is also deceased.
Harry had 12 siblings. My dad also writes, ” Gilbert and Sadie were married in Devils Lake and came to Rolette county in 1897. They staked their claim in Russell township near Thorne and they lived out their lives on that land. They lived in a sod shanty until about 1910 when they built the big frame house which served them the rest of their lives.
As a youngster in the 1920′s, I remember that we looked forward to a visit to “uncle Gil and aunt Sadie’s”. In addition to their large family there always seemed to be lots of company around on Sundays or other special days. All of their children were talented, though untrained, musicians on a variety of instruments from piano to the mouth organ and jewsharp so there was always singing and dancing.”
I have pictures of Harry and my grandpa holding a stringer of fish that they caught at Belcourt Lake and lots of history. If any of the Harry Fassett family reads this and would like any copies of any family history, please get in contact with me. I am happy to share.
Bette Nerpel is here in Sd visiting me. She is a first cousin to my father and 81 years of age. She had a phlethora of knowledge about the “old” days in Dunseith. I have been prompting her for memories and stories. What an interesting lady to visit with. She lives in Bottineau.
Thanks for all the memories. Hugs and prayers. Susan
Reply from Bev Morinville Azure (72):
ok Gary’s site it is. Gary I think you have done one of the nicest things a person can do you have bought old friends , families and who knows back together again. I have been blessed many many time reading and laughing at the stories that have been told . Now I really do wish someone would start spilling the secrets about the classes of the younger groups like 70 up I know we have alot of stories to tell. How about a few from BEER Can Alley for a start. Bev
Reply fromFrom Dick Johnson (68):
Gary and Friends,
Terry Hiatt’s mom was Delores and his grandmother was Julia Hiatt, my
grandmother Myrtle Olson’s sister. Colette, thanks for the compliment
but I think if we remove the memories of Dunseith from our minds, these
stories may be of much less interest. We all remember many places and
things to fill in the gaps in our stories that others would not be able
to do. Thanks for the encouragement though! Thanks Gary!
| Reply from Bobby Slyter (70):
Terry Hiatt’s grandmother was Julia Hiatt, wife of Walter Hiatt, his mother was Delores Hiatt and his step father was LeRoy Birkland
From Larry Hackman (66):
How are you today? I hope this finds you and your family well. Gary this is kind of long. If you want to save it for a slow day that would fine with me. You know, i haven’t given you pie report yet this spring. the rhubarb was excepional this year. Maybe because it was a cool spring, it grew slow and tasty. I had a pie, a upsidedown cake, and a rhubarb crisp. They all were to die for, if you know what I mean. DELICIOUS I can hardly wait for the second cutting. But, there is nothing like rhubarb in the spring. Do you have rhubarb on the islands?
You take care Gary and have a good day.
Larry, Any day is a good day for one of your very interesting stories. I know a lot of folks will relate to and enjoy this wonderful nostalgic story that you have shared with us today. Gary
1950′s Saturday Story
The 1950′s Saturday night always began on Friday back on the farm. The boys were all given hair cuts if needed. This was done by mother using a scissors. Then she washed everyones heads. I remember her digging into our ears. She said it was to get the grumberras (potatoes) out. I always thought she was trying to save time by cleaning both ears from one side. Just kidding mom. The girls got their hair washed and wrapped around them little silver pipes that were about three inches long and about 3/8 inches in diameter and full of holes for air circulation. Each little pipe had a clamp and wire clip. The wire clip had a little red bead at the opposite end which snapped into the end of the pipe curler to lock the hair and the pipe together. Mom plastered the girls heads with these pipes. Then in the evening after the chores were done and before going to bed, it was baths for everyone. Hot water was obtained from the reservoir that was part of the wood burning cast iron cook stove that sat in the corner of the kitchen. Behind that stove in the winter time was my favorite spot. It was a great place to soak up the heat right after coming in from freezing outside. The only running water in them days, was the person running back and forth from the pump with a pail.
The next morning mom and dad milked the cows, usually a little later then usual because the cows would have to wait until we got back from town. The folks then separated the cream from the milk with a hand cranked machine called a cream separator, the cows and horses wee turned out into the pasture for the day, the eggs were gathered and cleaned, the chickens, calves and pigs were fed and watered.
My folks milked 15 to 20 cows every morning and every night by hand. The cows were so tame that in the summer time they just layed around in the barn yard after being chased home by one or all of us kids. Getting the cows home from the pasture for milking in the evening was our job at that time. The folks would just walk around the barn yard from cow to cow with their pail and milk stool. The cow would get up when they approached, or would have to be told or bumped with the milk stool to let it know that it was its turn to be milked. Us kids were also in the barn yard sitting on the cows pretending we were cowboys and occasionally using the cows for water guns in a milk fight. The folks discouraged this, as it was a waste of milk and sometimes they would get shot. The cats loved it. Mother always claimed she could milk three cows by hand to every one my dad milked by hand, but she was still glad to have the help. She also would get more milk out of each cow. Warm hands? I suppose. She always claimed that my dad was so slow that the cow was going dry while my dad milked it. For you “city slickers” of which I became one at a young age, a cow can not produce milk unless it gives birth to a calf, so for about two months of every year it does not produce milk and is called a dry cow. A cow that has just given birth is called a “fresh” cow. A little Biology! Not only is this information entertaining its educational?
Back to the story and Saturday morning. We, the still clean kids job, was to stay in the house and stay clean on Saturday morning. Sometimes on Saturday morning to keep us busy and out of each others hair, mother would pour the ingrediants, milk, cream, sugar, and salt into a churn and we took turns, turning the crank to make butter and of course to get our reward. Drinking the buttermilk. If their was no butter to churn and nothing else to do we boys busied ourselves by adjusting them pipes attached to the girls heads. We figured if we adjusted them just right we could make contact with them space aliens out there. We found by twisting and turning these pipes in the girls hair we could get all kinds of volume and just when we thought we were about to make contact with them aliens, mom would come with the broom and we boys would have to make a run for it. She must of thought that we would make contact and she would have more work preparing for company? Mom didn’t want any unexpected guests for dinner because we were going to town. We called lunch, dinner, and dinner, supper back on the farm. Confused, I still am. Back to the pipe curlers! We, boys knew if we adjusted them just right, that we would have made contact with them space aliens (at least it sounded like we were about to make contact) Just think if we would have made contact, we would all be rideing in space ships by now, instead of having a few astronauts out there, orbiting around the planet trying to thumb a ride?
Back to the curlers? In the sixties didn’t the girls start rolling their hair around beer cans? Yes, I think some did drink the contents before they put them in their hair. Their hair didn’t turn out as nice but I don’t think they cared. Maybe some of them made contact with the space aliens. Let us know, would you.
Remember the eyebrow pencils. Some made the brow curl up on one side and on the other eye it would curl down. You didn,t know if they were winking or blinking. Probably to much beer?
Remember dad getting ready for town. He would get out that straight razor and run it across them razor straps. It sounded like somebody getting spanked on a bear bottom. Then he would take this large cup and add a little water into it, and then stir the contents with this brush until it created a foam. Then he would take this brush and paint this foam all over his face. Probably scared the aliens away? He would then again run the razor over the straps to sharpen it more, and then he would use that sharp instrument to scrape the foam and the beard from his face. I remember in some houses in the kitchen there hung a razor strap with each boys name on it. These people had girls but they never had any of the girls names on any of the razor straps? Go figure.
After lunch (dinner) the car was loaded with the crate of eggs, (12 dozen eggs) that were gathered and cleaned all week and usually a couple 8 gal. containers (cream cans) of cream that was separated from the cows milk with the hand cranked machine. The kids were all put in the back seat except for the trouble maker, who had to sit up front between mom and dad. The littlest kid was held by dad as mom would drive. Dad was already losing the ability to move his legs due to MS.
Remember the beautiful scenic drive on old highway #3 through the Turtle Mountians. That highway curled around
and over the hills and up against the shores of the lakes as it took you into town. It still is a pretty drive but not as pretty as it once was.
Remember when the San hill was really a steep hill with a small hill and curve at the bottom. We use to try, and did pass some cars up, while going down it on our bicycles. Remember Garret Myers had the first new 3 speed in town. He wiped out with his new red bike on the hill while rideing it from the Peace Gardens to town. He broke his arm and was covered with street pizza (abrasions).
We the Hackman were now entering Dunsieth for a fun saturday and to get our supplies for another week on the farm. Cruiseing into town and just before we would hit that intersection north of Morgan Lumber Co., mom would roll down her window and throw her arm straight out the window and keep it there. I always thought she did that to keep that old 1948 maroon Chevy upright as we made that left turn.
We would pass by Johnsons. Don had the first new Ford Mustang car in town. I remember standing in their yard with several other people admiring it. Don and Dick always wore the glasses with the Buddy Holly frames. I was diagnosed with needing glasses in the 5th grade, and I wanted a pair of them black framed glasses, but the lady that was helping me pick out the frame, said I was good looking enough to wear any type frame and presuaded me to chose another. I still wish I would have chosen the black frames as I would have felt more comfortable around town. A few that wore the black frames were John Morgan, Don Egbert, Larry Metcalf, Wayne Smith, Gregory LaCroix, Gary Stokes, and Kenny Nerpal. Ken it was too bad about you not making it, to the barn dance. I know you made it to the house, but the house was only half way between the parking area and the barn. There were several people in the house visiting, but the party and the band were in the barn. And Kenny there was even a fiddler in the band. You and Haggard Merl may also be right about the hay loft. There was straw falling down from between the loft floor boards, but I thought it was falling because of the vibration of the music. You sure missed a good barn dance by leaving so fast?
As we proceeded east on the street and where we took a right turn in front of the Northern Hotel, where Egberts lived, you noticed the wood piles. Someone had stacked the wood so that the split side of the blocks all faced outward and were placed in straight lines from the top center of the pile down to the ground. The piles of wood looked more like hay stacks then a pile of split wood. Who had the time? The piles were located in the area, where the Kalk house would be built. Believe it or not, Dan Kalk, had a path worn into the sod of them hills east of the San Haven to his house located about one mile east of the San, from walking back and forth to work. Remember Dorothy Egbert who grew them sunflower plants that were 10 ft. tall. She made the Turtle Mountian Star. Dorothy probably should of been a botanist, as she also had flowers blooming all year long in her planters out in front of the hotel. Adrian Egbert who would do almost anything to win a bet said, “that he once ate 49 boiled eggs to win a bet”. Adrian who also ran a taxie, like Gary Metcalf mentioned, took a fare from Dunseith to Seattle and back without stopping to sleep. Which would be quite a feat even with todays roads and vehicles.
The Leonard house was the next one we went by on the street going south after we made a right turn in front the northern Hotel.
I remember Ed Leonard being the C.O.P. and being parked by the phone booth in front of the Dakota Hotel. He always had a smile and would give you that famous one finger wave. No, not that finger, it was with the pointer finger off the brim of his stetson hat.
We would take another right at the end of Leonard’s yard and go west and in a half of a block we would arrive at the Bottineau Creamery. There Floyd Dion would help unload the cream and take it into the creamery for weighing and testing. The folks would get a cream check that would would enable them to buy groceries for another week. Then we would drive up to either Hassen’s Store or Sine’s Store to sell the eggs. At Hassen,s Store, O’Neal, we called him Neal, who would take out a 1″ by 10″ board about 3 feet long and lay it between the backs of two chairs. He then hung a light beneath the board. In the center of this board was a 11/2″ diameter hole that he would set eggs into one at a time. The light beneath the board would cause the egg to become translucent. This was called egg candling. I guess if he saw something looking back at him from the egg, he would make balute?
After the folks got paid for the eggs they would give each of us kids a nickle and tell us to buy something that lasts, because thats all we were getting to spend. So we would buy either a black cow or a sugar daddy sucker and then we were on our own to run run the streets of Dunseith, while the folks ran their errands and visited with other folks. There were people every where. The sidewalks were crowded with kids running everywhere and with grownups in circles visiting and some always moving from business to business. The streets were full of vehicles from one end to the other, even the side streets were full. Saturday night in Dunseith was like one huge carnival. I remember there was usally a wagon parked between the Red Owl and the Bakery selling popcorn. I couldn,t afford any popcorn because I had already spent my nickle, but I remember it sure smelled good and added to the atmosphere that I as a 6 year old farm kid, remember well. Saturday night. It was a great night. When it was dark and time to go home the folks would gather us all up and put us into the car. We the kids, would all fall asleep on the trip home, We would be put to bed when we got home and then the folks would go out and milk the cows and take care of the animals, to start the routine all over, to prepare for the next Saturday night.
It would be fun to go back to them times.
I hope this at least brought back some memories and maybe put a smile on your face. Them were the days!
From Dick Johnson (68):
Gary and Friends,
Axel Johnson told me about an incident from our area, from way back.
There was a bachelor named Carl Strand who lived near the southwest
shore of Sucker lake. He lived in a small house and liked to do a little
too much drinking at times. Axel kind of kept an eye on him to see that
things were OK. There was a small opening in the trees along the creek
from Sucker lake to Horseshoe lake where Axel could see the smoke from
Strands chimney if the wind wasn’t too strong. He said that after a bad
winter snowstorm he looked over to see smoke but there was none. He went
over and knocked on the door but got no response. He said he opened the
door and went in and found Carl, sitting, sleeping by his table. The
house was very cold so Axel went over and told him he better wake up and
build a fire or he might freeze to death! Axel said he didn’t move so he
touched his arm and he was frozen solid! Axel notified the sheriff and
they came up with a sleigh and horses and loaded him in the sleigh. He
was frozen in a sitting position and when they laid him down he looked
grotesque, so they went by the straw pile and covered him with straw to
not scare people they might meet on the road back to Dunseith! I told
this story to Bill Fassett several years ago and when I said they
covered him with straw, Bill pointed at me and asked if I knew the rest
of the story? I told him that was all Axel had said to me. Bill said his
dad, Wilmar [Old Bill] went along with the undertaker to get the body
and told Bill that when they got to town, they sneaked the body into the
back of the funeral parlor and then went over to the hardware and
borrowed a livestock water tank , which they filled with hot water to
thaw the guy out! Together we had the whole story from start to finish!
Carl Strand had a brother from Minnesota, named Andrew, who moved to
Carl’s house and stayed until the early 50s. Grandpa Hans Johnson bought
the land when Andrew went to the Old Soldier’s home in Lisbon, ND. We
still call the land the ‘Strand place’, to this day! Thanks Gary!