By Deborah Banish and Bill Anderson
The huge cottonwood tree that stood in front of the house at 217 First Street for 117 years came crashing down at about 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 25, felled by the chain saw wielded by Jerry Schumacher of Oakes, with the assistance of the track-hoe operated by Calvin Jacobson. Water poured out of the tree as if it was running out of a hose reported Denny Pherson of Rutland, one of the many witnesses who gathered to watch the giant tree come down. Cottonwoods are hydrophytes, water pumps, and Mr. Schumacher stated that a cottonwood of this size would take in a couple hundred gallons of water a day. After it was downed, an examination of the base of the tree showed that about two feet of the center of the 7′ diameter trunk was hollow, rotted away over many years. According to Mr. Schumacher, the huge hollow tree was a disaster waiting to happen, and the lightning strike that split the tree, requiring its removal, actually averted a more devastating occurrence later on, when a northwest wind might have toppled the tree onto the house it had stood near since 1902. Saving a section of the trunk for a chain-saw sculpture project had been considered, but the chain saw sculptors contacted did not recommend it, as cottonwood tends to fall apart once it dries out. On the morning of Wednesday, June 26, water was still running out of the large sections of the trunk remaining on the yard. Mr. Schumacher had begun the removal project last Saturday, June 22, but a problem with the large bucket lift used to reach the branches at the top of the tree delayed completion of the felling process until Tuesday. So passes into history a landmark of the prairie.
“The Rutland Brothers,” a take-off on “The Statler Brothers” singing group that entertained many from the mid-20th to the early 21st Centuries, met in the Rutland Town Hall on the evening of Tuesday, June 25, to rehearse two musical numbers that will be presented during the Rutland School Reunion on Saturday, July 6. The new group consists of Steve Wyum, RHS & SCHS Class of ’66; Eugene Breker, RHS & SCHS Class of ’66; Earl Fust, RHS & SCHS Class of ’65; and, Bill Anderson, RHS Class of ’63. They were assisted at the rehearsal by sound and technical adviser Diane Smith of Rutland, and by Statler Brothers fan Sheila Wyum of this community. According to Earl, the Statler Brothers practiced these numbers for 44 years in order to get good at them, but the Rutland Brothers will be winging it on two practice sessions. The performance will be presented only once, during the program following the banquet on Saturday, July 6, so anyone who wants to hear it had better get their banquet ticket before then. Contact Larry & Carolyn Christensen or Bonnie Anderson for more information about the 2019 Rutland School Reunion.
The Rutland City Council will meet Monday, July 1, at 5 p.m. at City Hall. The agenda includes discussion of new Health Ordinances on garbage and open burning, which is not permitted in the City, as well as outlining a specific process to deal with dangerous buildings; the City Engineer will discuss the Lagoon Project bid opening process. It is a public bid opening (Tuesday, July 9th, 11 a.m. at City Hall) and anyone can attend. The Engineer will compile the bids and present a recommendation at a special council meeting on either July 9th or 11th – date to be determined on Monday, July 1; and the Council will have a preliminary discussion of the 2020 City budget. The City Council is required to adopt a preliminary budget in August and a final budget in October for 2020.
The City’s Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) on the community’s drinking water supply is available. The CCR is required by the EPA and North Dakota Health Dept. to be available to residents by July 1. Each year we make available a short report that tells where your water comes from and what is in it. The CCR has been posted at City Hall, the Rutland Post Office, the Senior Center, and the Rutland Branch of Sargent County Bank. It is also available on the Rutland website at www.rutlandnd.com/water-quality-report or by calling the City Auditor Office at 701-724-3081 to have a print copy mailed directly to you.
Upcoming activities in Rutland: July 5th – 7th – Rutland All School reunion; July 8th – Rutland Community Club meeting; July 10th – Groovy Art in the Park; July 9th or 11th special City Council meeting; August 3rd – Ribfest and Junkfest.
That’s it from Rutland this week – no column next week due to the Monday deadline – but the Rooster (or Hen) will be back on July 12th to report on all the activities that will be happening in Rutland during the next two weeks. Have a fun and safe 4th of July!