05/15/2017 (2522)

Thanks to the Dunseith Alumni Blog Reader
From Keye K. Lystad-Kirk: Fargo, ND

Hi Gary,

I wanted to thank everyone who responded to my query about why my great grandmother was possibly hospitalized at San Haven for a short time in the 1940s. The consensus is that she most definitely had TB, but a very mild case.

One explained that San Haven had too many people needing care to provide hospitalization for anything else. From Brenda Hoffman I found it interesting to learn that, “Each state had a TB sanatorium in the highest, coldest part of the state as the original cure was plenty of fresh food and cold, fresh air.” So even though my great grandma was already living in Bottineau, they moved her to San Haven as they had the addition of the medical facilities. (Thank goodness for her family that she didn’t have to go far!)

I also found out from several others that many people found their spouses at San Haven–whether they were patients or employees!

And in the end what is so sad is that they let the beautiful building and grounds go to waste. Even though there was asbestos in the tunnels, it makes me wonder if they could have just closed down the tunnels and still kept up the buildings and the grounds. What a waste of a stunning setting up there.

Kaye K. Lystad-Kirk


Aasness & Bjornseth Reunion
From Keye K. Lystad-Kirk: Fargo, ND

Hi Gary,

I have another message for your Dunseith blog I’m hoping you’re willing to post for me:

Greetings to All Aasness & Bjornseth Relatives and Descendants,

This is a “Save The Date” message to let you know of an upcoming Aasness / Bjornseth Reunion on Saturday, July 28, 2018, at the Christian Center at Lake Metigoshe; with an optional breakfast on Sunday morning, July 29, 2018!

There will be more details to come regarding the venue, places to stay, meals, etc.  So that you receive further reunion communications, may I ask you to PLEASE…

  • Forward your email address to either me, Kaye Lystad Kirk, or Benda Berseth, so in the future we can communicate with you via email (our email addresses are at the end of this message)
  • Forward this message to as many other Aasness and Bjornseth relatives and descendants as you can
  • Forward to me or Benda all of the email addresses that you just used above, because we need to be sure everyone receives future communications from us regarding upcoming reunion details

Thanks everyone and we hope to see you in 2018!


Reunion Organizers:

  1. Benda Berseth, daughter of Della & Clarence Gronneberg, originally from Cooperstown, ND, now in Brookings, SD. (Descendant of Inga Bjornseth)    EMAIL: berseth2@gmail.com
  2. Kaye Lystad-Kirk, daughter of Joyce (Emerson) & Willie Lystad, originally from Bottineau, ND, now in Fargo, ND. (Descendant of Clara Bjornseth)    EMAIL: klystad1@gmail.com


Blog (596) posted on October 19, 2009

Posted on October 19, 2009

Janice Metcalfe (71) passed away

From Vickie Metcalfe (70): Bottineau, ND


Gary my siblings had been trying to reach all am. When I connected
with them by telephone……..
They told me,our cousin Janice Metcalfe Poitra died this morning.
Raphael is her husband. Jaime Metcalfe is her son. Kelly(Poitra)
Olson (daughter in law of Terry Olsen) is her daughter.
Travis and Elaine are her surviving siblings.
Kennedy and Joss are her grandchildren.
Emil and Ann were her parents
As of right now I’m in strong denial so need to sign off……I
think this news ….. will end up in the Minot paper then when I read
it in print I will have to believe …….what was told to me is

Vicky’s reply when asked about posting:

Yes Gary, I think by now Travis and Elaine have been notified.
Janice passed away today at her home, Sunday October 18, 2009. I
spoke with Shan who was in the area today when emergency vehicles
were in the area. He’d spoke with her son Jaime who told Shan that
his mom had passed away.

I understand she had been seeing doctors for a heart condition. We,
the Metcalfe Kith and Kin will miss her deeply. Our hearts ache for
Raphael, Jaime, Kelly and Kennedy and Joss. Vickie

Vickie, I am so sorry to hear of the passing of Janice. Raphael was in our class of 65. What a super person he is and I’m sure Janice was the same. My condolences go out the Raphael, his family and all of the Metcalfe family with the loss of Janice.

Folks, Raphael and Janice have been the owners of Kelvin for a number of years now.

Dorothy Robert was Killed in a car Accident.

From Ivy Eller Robert (74): Everett, WA.

I just got a phone call from my son, Jonathan, who lives in Minot, North Dakota, letting me know that Dorothy Robert was in a serious car accident and died this morning. She is the mother of Carol, Duane, Russell, Darla, & Diane Robert, was married to Orphula Robert, who died about 10 years ago. Jon didn’t have any of the details of what happened yet, other than saying that, the accident was near Langdon. Orphula & Dorothy were like second parents to me all of my life, and I will miss her!

Ivy Eller Robert (74)

Ivy, our condolences are with you, and the whole Robert family with the passing of Dorothy. Gary

LaVonne Getzlaff Allard passed away

From Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND

WILLOW CITY LaVonne Allard, 52, Willow City, died Thursday, Oct. 15, 2009, on arrival at a Rugby hospital.

She was born March 1, 1957, to Norman and Margaret Getzlaff in Bottineau. She married Duaine Allard Oct. 24, 1975, in Willow City.

Survivors: husband; daughters, Jessica Allard, Bottineau, Lindsey Lorenz, Williston, Brittany Allard, Bismarck; sons, Riley and Tyler, both Willow City; four grandchildren; parents, Bottineau; brothers, Jerome and Ardell, both of Cleveland, N.C.; sister, Sherry Bullinger, Gillette, Wyo.

Funeral: Tuesday, 10 a.m., First Lutheran Church, Willow City.

Burial: Memorial Park Cemetery, Willow City.

Visitation: Monday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Nero Funeral Home, Bottineau.

To the Allard and Getzlaff families, our condolences are with you with the loss of LaVonne. I did not know LaVonne personally, but I knew her aunt Gloria Hagen very well. Carol & Larry Allard, her husband Duanine’s siblings were in my class of 65. Gary

San Haven’s fate

From Allen Richard (65): Midland, MI

The San came under attack not long after it began serving an overflow of residents from the Grafton State Hospital for the mentally handicapped. The Association for the Mentally Retarded (ARC) Had won class action suits in several states when they filed against ND.

The legislature fought long and hard but lost in the end. The San was closed in favor of group homes scattered through out the state. I was in the ND house and Senate from 76 through 90, so being the only legislator that could see the hospital from my home south of Dunseith, I was up to my ears in the issue.

The state put a few million dollars in upgrades, but that went nowhere. The ARC won the case and a number of larger cities across the state began planing and promoting group homes in their communities. Eventually the votes we had from these cities began to fade away as other places saw ways of making economic gains at the expense of Dunseith and the whole Turtle Mountain area.

After that, the state tried to sell the property — or rent parts of it to a number of business entities. The turtle Mountain Tribe expressed an interest in taking it over and turning it into a casino/hotel. I’m not really sure what happened, but the idea never flew. I think the facility was too big and the older parts or of it were packed with asbestos making remodeling very costly. Maybe a few other things..

I only drove by on HWY 3 when i was back in 2007 and didn’t have the heart to stop in. I drove through and risked ruining my tires in the late ’90s and the big buildings and housing were gone. The main hospital was partly demolished ad what remained was a shell of the building with no windows. It was being gutted for the value of the structural steel — so I was told.

I still have trouble driving up HW 3 from Rugby. I was so used to seeing the building as I came over the hill that is the Rolette County line. Now I hear that most of the site is a cow pasture.

That is about all I know. That is my perspective. I’m sure that those who lost their jobs and others who had more direct ties to the place have other ideas. I just know that a lot of friends, neighbors and relatives got hit very hard in the pocketbook.

Allen Richard

San Haven Memories

From Sybil Johnson: Cheyenne, WY.

Good morning Gary and all,
I remember San Haven and how it overlooked the wide open spaces. Augie’s sister Barb had resided there for years, until the order came down
to relocate all the residents. I thought it wrong then and I still think it was wrong. We use to go up and see Barb, everytime we came up to
Dunseith. She worked up in the nursery and several times, she would take us up there. It was sad to see those babies in their cribs, but I knew with Barb, they got good care; for she loved each and everyone of them.
I also remember Kelvin and all of the memorabilia that was there. Also, many times going up there with mom and Pa Johnson, to listen to the
band. There was one gentleman, Tiny, that I use to dance with; even though he wasnt very tiny. I also had a couple of showings up there with my Parklane Jewelry. It was alot of fun. Sybil Johnson.

Don & Bernice Johnson pictures

From Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND.

Gary and Friends,

One evening last month Elouise Boppre gave me a picture she had of my
folks just after they received their teaching standards from Minot
State. This was in 1946 and I think she had also received hers that day.
I took two of our pictures out of an album that were taken that same
day. The building behind them is Old Main on the Minot campus ( I think
they call it Old Main). With this 6 week certificate, you were allowed
to teach school. Dad taught on this Standard until 1964 when he got his
Bachelors Degree in Music Education. He received his Masters two days
before he died in 1980. I just thought these pictures may be of some
interest to so many who had Dad for a teacher. Thanks Gary!

Lorraine Olson’s obituary reposted with picture

From Eileen Brudwick:Fargo, ND


Funeral Services will be held Monday, October 19, 2009 at 2:00 pm in Trinity Lutheran Church in Binford , ND .

Visitation will be Sunday from 5:00 till 7:00 in the Church and one hour before services in the Church.

Family Service at 7:00 pm in the Church

Interment will be in the Trinity Cemetery , rural Binford , ND .

Lorraine Olsen, 84 of Binford , ND , died Thursday, October 15, 2009 in MeritCare Hospital , Fargo , ND .

Lorraine Pederson was born March 21, 19 25 on a farm five miles north of Binford , ND , the daughter of Palmer and Julia (Hoffich) Pederson.From infancy she was raised by her grandparents John and Sina Pederson.

Lorraine married Melvin Ingvold Olsen July 2, 19 43 in Binford , ND . The couple farmed in the Binford area.Melvin passed away February 2, 1972 .She left the farm and moved into Binford on the east side in 1976 where she resided until her death.

She worked many years as a cook and baker at the Red Willow Lake Resort.She was well known for her baked goods, bread, Norwegian “Goodies” and thousands of yummy lefse rounds.

She was very active in her Church.She enjoyed music by performing organist duties and singing in the choir.Bible study and Ladies Aid were important arms of her spiritual life.Social friendship was enjoyed many years through the Willow Homemakers Club.

Lorraine is survived by three children: a daughter, Joan Richard, Dunseith , ND ; son, Barry (Faith) Olsen, Moorhead , MN ; son, Neal Olsen, St. Louis , MO ; nine grandchildren, six great grandchildren with one expected in February, two step great grandchildren and many others that called her Grandma.

She was preceded in death by; her parents, husband, grandson, John Melvin Richard.