12/29/2017 (2587)

Orvin Hagen’s Father and Grandfather.
Picture/posting from  Kaye K. Lystad Kirk:  Fargo, ND

 Gary’s comments.

 I knew immediately who this picture was. I replied to Kaye and forwarded messages to both Tom Hagen, Orvin’s brother, and Donnie Nelson, Orvin’s (son) Nephew. This is a classic picture. Thank you so much Kaye for sharing.

 The majority of our readers knew Orvin very well. There was only one Orvin Hagen and there will never be another Orvin Hagen, ever, on the face of this earth. He was so well liked and loved by all. With all of his community activities, he burned the candle at both ends. He was our 4-H leader for well over 20 years too. He was the head Gardner at the Peace Garden for, my guess, 25 plus years. In his 90’s he was delivering meals on Wheels, in the blizzards, in Kindred, ND. He was so talented and perfected in so many areas. I.E. flowers, baking, gardening, crops, livestock, Arts and crafts and the list goes on.

Congratulations, Gary on the 10 year anniversary of your Dunseith Alumni blog! What an achievement!  And even though I’m not part part of the Dunseith Alumni, you were kind enough to let me join and even post. Thank you! I really do enjoy reading other peoples’ posts, as well.

When you mentioned something about photos we would like posted in your blog, I happened to think of the MANY old photos I inherited from my Grandma Thelma (Torgerson) Emerson. (Thank you, Grandma!). And I remembered one that I have that is not part of my family. So I thought I would do a good deed and send it the good old fashioned “snail mail” way to someone who is descended from OR related to one of the people in this photo.

On the back of the photo Grandma wrote “Ole Hagen, Sr. and Son, Tom.” It looks to me like it was maybe taken around 1900-1905…?

Here is some family background if it helps you figure out if you’re descended from these men:

  • Gro & Ole O. Hagen, Sr. (1857-1937) lived around Loon Lake and are buried at Vinje Cemetery.
  • Thomas (Tom) Hagen (1885-1934) married Agnes Melhus and are buried at Riverside Cemetery, Dunseith.

The first one to contact me will receive the photo. And if multiple people contact me, I’m hoping that the first person will work with the others to help make copies for the others… Otherwise, any other people requesting the photo can download the image from the blog to make copies for themselves…I really hope someone does claim the photo. It’s a shame when family photos go unwanted and unloved!

Kaye K. Lystad Kirk

Orvin Hagen’s Father and Grandfather.
1900-1905..? Ole Hagen Sr. and Son Tom
Hagen, Tom 2587

Hi Gary,

Now I know why the name Donnie Nelson was so familiar to me. He DID work for Dad at one point at the gas station. Here’s a photo of him with Dad and others at Dad’s Grand Opening of the Westland Gas Station on Nov. 4-5, 1971.

L-R: Dad, Audrin Larson, ?? (It could be a guy from the Westland headquarters), Sonny Larson, Marlin Williams and Donnie Nelson.


Bottineau Westland Gas Station Grand opening on Nov. 4-5, 1971
Willie Lystad, Audrin Larson, ??, Sonny Larson, Marlin Williams and Donnie Nelson
Westland 2587

Reply from Bill Hosmer (’48):  Tucson, AZ

Gary, Congratulations on another anniversary of the finest postings that have enlivened our appreciation for our community around and in Dunseith.  The names, faces and comments about our special place warms my heart.  As I have aged to an extent I did not anticipate, I find the posts more and more valuable.  For your and your family’s devotion to the citizens of our part of America, I give thanks and gratitude.  You have had a big hand in bringing us all together on the same frequency. Thank you, God Bless you and your family and Happy New Year.
Bill Hosmer

Reply from Dave Slyter (’70):  Sabin, MN

Happy Anniversary to the Dunseith Blog.    Gary you have done an outstanding job on creating and giving all of us the connections to all of Then and Now Dunseith residents.   Thank You for bring us all together.   😊

Dave Slyter
Class of 70


Country Cousin’s First Train Ride
Story from Vickie Metcalfe (’70):
 Bottineau, ND

Cousin Dean and I were almost 7 years old the first time we rode the rails.

Unbeknownst to the 2 Lamb kids or 2 Metcalfe girls, our parents, Uncle Floyd & Aunt  Dorothy, along with Uncle Willard & Aunt Betty Jane made a plan for us to visit Grand Forks.

Now I am certain organizing this grand adventure  for kids was not an easy endeavor.  T’was all done by old fashioned letter writing and US Mail.  Until 1963 the people of hills, used the old fashioned ringer telephones, of which long distance calls went through  the Central  Operator  located just south of  Kelvin Store.

Mom packed the little colorfully painted suitcases, Christmas gifted to us by Great Uncle Carl Wicks.  Dean and I had just completed 2nd grade and the two older girls just completed 4th grade. We were traveling by train the just 4 of us without  grown-ups!

Martha and Dean along with their parents stopped to pick up my sister and I.  Excited to be on our way the four of us boarded the East bound train at Rugby.  Gripping tightly to the suitcases the older girls found two long bench seats facing each other.

The big girls sat together facing the easterly direction.  Across the way, Dean and I slipped into the seat together.  A wee bit to our left across the isle from where we were seated was a water fountain, and  a door to a bathroom.

I was amazed seeing a strange small toilet sitting in a small caddy- corner.  I  stayed in there a long time, rather enjoying the flushing and looking down, flushing and looking down.  Wholly Buckets! When the toilet was  flushed ………. It (whatever?) went right onto the track to the ground moving below the track.

The four of us then ventured from car to car,  carefully opening the doors quickly hopping through, until we arrived at the dining car.  It was midmorning and people were still eating breakfast! Finally, we  retraced the way back into our seats to watch green earth moving ….bye out the window.

We watched small towns with water towers. And tiny cars moving on the highway.  Soon the train car was  filled with people from the many stops.

It didn’t seem long until the conductor shouted  out Grand Forks. The sisters said hurry and took off. Dean and I jumped up, gathered our suitcases , scurried  in haste along, lest we be left on behind on the train.  The conductor opened the outside door,  jumped down and placed a little bench step.

Meeting us, was our Uncle Willard with a big wide smile. We four  truly felt we were in the lap of a luxury  vacation, staying in their mobile home eating “city food in  the  big city of Grand Forks, with its strange city sounds.

Ah Ya…. know what I mean? They had soup out of cans,  sliced bread that came in a red plastic bag, and cereal was out of  a box.

Two days later our Uncle and Aunt deposited us at the train station. ALL ABOARD shouted the conductor! Each of us now had a confident feeling, “We were well seasoned travelers “making a return trip to Rugby to our parents  and  soon after the glorious hills awaited.

Happy New Year  All and many thanks Gary.

Vickie Metcalfe 12/16/17.


Blog (661) posted on December 24, 2009

Posted on December 24, 2009

Folks, It is currently noon on Christmas eve in the PI. The partying has begun. When we got up this morning folks were waiting for their packages. They were all so very happy with the things they got. The kids were happy with their toys and clothes and the adults likewise with their gifts. Bernadette’s brother-in-law who lives next door has the music playing and those that can afford, have purchased San Miguel beer that they are sharing with the others. The partying will continue until midnight when all the fireworks that everyone has purchased are shot off everywhere. Bernadette is preparing a big meal that she will be serving to those in our area following the fireworks. Tomorrow they will have the task of cleaning up all the debris from the fireworks. Because of the burn marks and debris generated from shooting off these fireworks, we do not allow them in our premises. Fireworks are very inexpensive here in the PI. Gary

Question from Sybil Johnson: Cheyenne, WY.

Gary, How close are you and Bernadette to that volcano? I’m curious. I just saw some pictures of it erupting and the dangers. Hope you aren’t close to it. HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE. Sybil Johnson

Reply from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND.

Gary and Friends,

It’s rather interesting to hear about how my little BB gun story
brought Bill Grimme to dig out his old gun and spend time remembering.
To me, doing things like that can open a chapter of ‘deja vu’ sometimes.
I’m not alone with that I’m sure. Several years ago I was selling some
‘trade’ guns at a gun show in Minot, when a guy about my age walked up
to my table and asked what the price was on a little old Stevens boy’s
rifle. I quoted him a price and he picked it up and said he would take
it. I asked him if he had a son at home who he was buying it for? He
said he wanted one when he was a kid and never got one so now he was
buying it for himself so he could relive some of his childhood that he
missed out on. With that explanation, I offered it to him for less than
the marked price although he hadn’t tried to negotiate with me. Almost
everyone will try to deal a little so I had room for that, but he just
laid down the cash and said, “No, I have plenty of money now, we just
didn’t when I was a kid.” He walked away with a little bit more of his
life fulfilled I suppose. This is what Bill’s reply brought to
mind—–do it for old time’s sake! Thanks Gary!

Art & Emeline Pigeon Richard:
Pictures from Allen Richard (65): Midland, MI

These are two pix I have of Mom and Dad. One is at their wedding as they were leaving on their honeymoon June 17, 1946 — the Chevy next to them was a 1941–it upchucked before they got to wherever they were going, so they made it as far as Bemidji.

The other one of Mom (Jean Emeline Pigeon) was earlier, some time between 1941 and 1945. She is sitting in a chair she gave her dad after he had a toe amputated in ’41. He died in ’43. I have the chair in my basement.

I’ll see what other ones I can scan. Sadly we have no outdoor pix of the original house I lived in for my first 14 years. Mom destroyed all the pix of the “tarpaper shack” that had no electricity until ’52, one bedroom until ’55 no plumbing until ’57 —- and never had a phone —we got that 9 family party line in ’62 after we moved into the existing house. Carmen Richard or Ydola Pigeon could have some of it, but I haven’t asked yet.

Merry Christmas to everyone!


Art & Emeline Pigeon Richard

Emeline Pigeon Richard