The Rooster Crows – February 10 and 17, 2023

By Bill Anderson

On Saturday, February 4, after more than a week in the deep freeze, winter finally relented and allowed the temperature to soar all the way up to 37 degrees above Zero in Rutland, that’s 5 degrees above freezing. Snowdrifts that had been the consistency of granite since November were turned to mush by the combination of sunshine and higher temperatures that brightened spirits, warmed aching joints and removed some ice from streets and sidewalks. The local groundhog, Rutland Roscoe, would have seen his shadow had he been out on Thursday, February 2, predicting 6 more weeks of winter, but the temperature barely got above Zero on Ground Hog’s Day, and Roscoe stayed snug and warm, curled up in his burrow. Daily high temperatures in the mid-30’s continued from Saturday, February 4, through Wednesday, February 8, and then dropped back down to single digits before rallying back up to the 30’s for Super Bowl weekend, and even up to 42 on Monday, February 13. Valentine’s Day, Tuesday, February 14, started out nice, with no wind and the temp getting up to 34, but the bottom fell out at about 5:00 p.m. and the mercury plummeted as fast as the wind speed rose. A blizzard warning was posted, and the Weather Service meant business this time. There wasn’t a lot of snow, but what there was got piled up in front of doors and in driveways by the 50 mph winds, creating obstacles to foot and vehicle traffic alike. The spell of mild weather at the beginning of February did not mean that winter was over, but it did restore hope that this winter will end, one of these days.

The Rutland Sportsmen’s Club held its regular monthly meeting for the month of February and its 2023 Annual meeting to elect officers and chart the course for the coming year on the evening of Thursday, February 2, in the back room of The Lariat Bar in Rutland. Before and during the meeting members enjoyed a supper of soft-shelled tacos, tater tots & chips prepared by The Lariat, as well as beverages served by the staff of The Lariat. Club President Shannon Hajek was re-elected for another 3 year term. Vice-President Kyle Mahrer and Secretary-Treasurer Mark Wyckoff had been re-elected to their respective offices in 2022. The Treasurer’s report indicated that the club currently has approximately $27,000 in its operating fund, and approximately $33,000 in its gaming fund. Several events and activities have been scheduled for the coming year, including: Coyote Hunt on Saturday, February 11; Annual Great Northern Pike Fish Fry on Friday, March 3, at the Rutland Town Hall; Second Annual Gopher Classic on Saturday, May 6; Annual Youth Day on the Sunday before school starts in August at the John Narum Memorial Trap & Rifle Range 3 miles west and 1½ mile south of Rutland; and, a 50th Anniversary celebration on Saturday, September 9, at the John Narum Memorial Trap & Rifle Range 3 miles west and 1½ mile south of Rutland. Additionally the High School Trap League will be shooting on the Sportsmen’s Club’s range this spring, and the regular Trap league will be shooting at the range this coming summer. The Rutland Sportsmen’s Club was organized around a table at The Lariat Bar back in February of 1973, after Darwin Brakke had posted a notice on the wall asking anyone interested in getting a club organized to write their name on the signup sheet. The response was good, and in short order Attorney Bob Case had filed the paperwork to organize the club as a North Dakota not for profit corporation, and John Narum had volunteered to sell his farmstead north of Silver Lake to the club for use as a trap shooting range and rifle range. Club members volunteered to clear the old buildings from the farmstead, except for an old boxcar granary and attached lean-to shed that became the clubhouse for several years. A used manual clay pigeon thrower was purchased from the Cogswell Gun Club to get the club’s first trap shooting range going. Volunteers also leveled the south side of the property and constructed a dirt berm backstop for the rifle range. Tree belts were planted on the north and east sides of the property, and other trees were planted to mark the edges of the rifle range. Over the years there have been many improvements constructed on the club’s grounds. Some have come and gone, and some remain. Back in 1973, some of the powers that be at the time thought that no club organized in a bar by a bunch of guys who enjoyed a good time could long endure. Now, half a century later, in 2023, however, the Rutland Sportsmen’s Club is still going strong, bigger, better and more active than ever, with the club members still doing good things, and still enjoying a good time. Most of the original members are now gone to their reward, but their spirit remains, evident on the faces of the young sportsmen and sportswomen who now utilize the club’s facilities. Sometimes you can do a good thing and have a good time at the same time.

Fifty-four 2 person pinochle teams were present in the Rutland Town Hall on the morning of Saturday, February 4, when play commenced at the 27th Annual Rudy Anderson Memorial Pinochle Tournament. When the last cards were dealt at 4:20 on Saturday afternoon, Norm Fertig and Bill Zink were declared the winners of the 27th Annual Rudy Anderson Memorial Pinochle tournament. Their score of 1731 points topped Ronnie and Dave Aberle’s total of 1685 by 46 points. Cindy Steiner and Clyde Craig came in 3rd with a score of 1678. When the tournament ended 54 teams were hooting and hollering, rejoicing in the 37 sunny degrees and enjoying friendships made with participants ranging in age from 9 years to 94 years. Players came from Oklahoma to Seattle, WA and points in between. They acknowledged the steadfast loyalty of Stella Bell and Roger McLaen who have played in all 27 tourneys, and they also congratulated Roger and Benita Ziegler who have participated in 26 of the 27 tournaments. They also celebrated the scalloped potatoes with ham served by the Rutland Community Club which also brought in some diners who do not play cards but enjoy the “World Famous” appetite satisfiers coming from the Rutland kitchen. This tournament is held in memory of the late Rudy and Edna Anderson who would have rejoiced in knowing that pinochle is still enjoyed by so many. As Rudy once said, “A place without pinochle may as well roll up the carpet and turn out the lights.” The invitation to the 28th tournament to be held on February 3, 2024 in the Rutland Town Hall was extended to all participants as they departed. In Rutland, the carpet remains down, and the lights are still on. Thanks to tournament organizer Sonja Christensen for the above report.

Roger Pearson made a quick trip by ambulance to the Emergency Room at the Oakes Hospital on the morning of Thursday, February 2. From Oakes he was transported to the new Sanford Hospital on Veterans’ Boulevard in Fargo for treatment of a serious infection. Roger was released from the hospital on Tuesday, February 7, and has since been recuperating under the care of his daughter, Brenda Gibbon, at the Gibbon family’s ranch near Delamere. Roger anticipates that he will be back home in Rutland by Friday, February 17.

Curt Silseth was taken to Sanford Hospital in Fargo on Friday, February 3, after suffering what is believed to have been a slight stroke. Curt was released from the hospital on Monday, February 6, and is taking therapy to overcome a slight speech impediment. He reports that all is going well.

The Rutland City Council met on Monday, February 6, 2023, in the Rutland Town Hall, with Mayor Mike Mahrer, City Auditor Deb Banish; Council President Rodney Erickson; and, Council members Bill Anderson; Delores Lysne; and, Lori McLaen present. No members were absent. No members of the public were present. The City has purchased the tax forfeited property at 217 Arthur Street from the County, and has obtained the property deed. Anderson/Lysne moved to sell the property at Lots 1 and 2, Block 5, Original Townsite, City of Rutland, on bids with a minimum bid of $5,000. Bids will be opened on March 6 and individuals submitting a sealed bid no less than $5,000 will be permitted to participate in an open bid process at the meeting. Motion carried. The kitchen door of the Rutland Town Hall is damaged beyond repair and needs to be replaced. The quote received last month was to replace both of the front doors, main & kitchen, for approximately $18,000. Council President Erickson said that he will obtain another quote for the doors for further discussion at the March meeting. The Auditor reported that there are five delinquent water, sewer and garbage collection accounts at this time. The Auditor also reported that the City’s new Bobcat has been delivered and has already been put to good use. City Maintenance Man Scott Haan reports that the new Bobcat’s deluxe cab, with its Air-Ride heated seat, is a blessing for a guy with a sore back. The Mayor reported that snow has been pushed onto the Liermark property without the property owner’s consent. The responsible parties have been made aware of the problem. Council Member Lori McLaen reported that a new furnace motor was installed in the Hall prior to the pinochle tournament. The Mayor requested that the City Auditor remind residents that garbage bins cannot be left on the street after pickup, but should be removed from the street as soon as possible after the garbage is picked up on Tuesday, and no later than the next evening. After reviewing the City’s financial reports, the Council authorized the payment of bills as presented. The meeting adjourned at 5:50 p.m. The next meeting of the Rutland City Council is scheduled for Monday, March 6, 2023, in the Rutland Town Hall. All meetings of the Rutland City Council are open to the public, and Rutland residents are invited to stop in and observe their City’s government in action.

The Board of Managers of Rutland Improvement d/b/a The Lariat Bar met at The Lariat Bar to receive a monthly report on the condition of the business from Manager Shauna Bergh. Ms. Bergh reported that several changes intended to keep the business operating smoothly had been implemented and appeared to be working well. There were still some glitches with the electronic Point Of Sale (POS) system, but progress was being made on that front as well. The Lariat’s financial condition is good, reported Ms. Bergh, and her report was verified by the LLC’s Treasurer, Mike Wyum. Investors were requested to make requests and comments concerning the operation of The Lariat to Board Member Patty Woytassek, the liaison between the Board of Managers and Ms. Bergh. So far, there are still a few bumps in the road, but, on the whole, things are going well. As of February 10 The Lariat had been open for 2 months. Manager Bergh says that changes will continue to be made as needs are seen and opportunities present themselves. In the past week there was a Super Bowl Pot-Luck Party on Sunday, February 12, and a Valentine’s Day Special on Tuesday, February 14. Rutland and the Sargent County Community have been very supportive of The Lariat Bar since it reopened back on December 10, and both the Board and the Management are grateful for that support.

The February meeting of the Rutland Community Club was postponed for a week, from Monday, February 13, to Monday, February 20, due to the illness and absence of some Board members, according to Club President Katie McLaen. The next Community Club sponsored event will be the Annual Community Fun Night in March.

Several members of the Sargent Central Chorus, under the direction of maestro Kaia Mahrer, took to the road on Valentine’s Day, Tuesday, February 14, to share the joy and romance of the day with others in the community. They made an appearance at the Rutland Senior Citizens Center just before Noon, and serenaded a nearly all male audience as all of the ladies except head chef Janet Kiefer had gone to St. Mary’s in Forman for the Valentine’s Day Luncheon there. Members of the chorus who made the road trip were: Emmett Bergeman; Addison Bergeman; LeiLani Ringer; Morgan Temple; Mikyla Nelson; Charlize Willprecht; and, Parker Dockter. They performed a medley of romantic songs, suitable for turning the attention of even the crustiest old bachelor to thoughts of romance. Their performance was thoroughly enjoyed by all. The Rutland Seniors extend their thanks to Kaia Mahrer and Sargent Central’s Valentine’s Day Chorus for their outstanding performance.

A couple of weeks ago, The Rooster Crows started out with some stories of days gone by that had originally been told by Rutland pioneer John Bloomdale. Some folks doubted that a man who could tell such stories had ever existed. Well, thanks to a modern invention called the internet, a Rutland native in far off western Montana did some research and found historical verification of Mr. Bloomdale’s existence, and of his good humor, too. Rutland native Pat (Anderson) Kulzer recently supplied the following article that came from the February 8, 1901, edition of The Teller of Milnor, then as now, a reliable source of information.

“Here is the link to the site where I found the following Rutland article: The site has all the towns in Sargent County. Rutland: In 1895 Rutland had a population of 257, a post office and an express office. Rutland was a listed RR stop in Sargent County. Rutland is located on the township line separating Rutland and Ransom townships. RUTLAND (Source: Sargent County Teller, February 8, 1901) All About One of the Progressive and Lovely Little Cities of Sargent County. Located In a Fertile Farming Section Adjacent to the Sisseton Hills It was the pleasure of a Teller representative to visit Rutland last week, and to enjoy a walk through its streets, to obtain glimpses of business conditions as they exist, and to chat with the leading businessmen and citizens of that beautifully located and progressive little town. Rutland is located as the English say–when ordering a drink, “half and half,” in Rutland and Ransom townships. It is situated on the G. N. railway–of which two branches fork here one from Aberdeen, S.D., and the other from Ellendale, N.D., then continuing as one line into Minnesota, tapping Jim Hill’s ,main line at Tintah Junction, Minn. Eastbound trains remain here one hour for supper, hence Rutland is quite an important point with the traveling public. The Great Northern Railway Co., maintains a neat round house here, and an agent the year around—the latter being no mean distinction, all things considered. Here is the home of the sheriff of Sargent County, Mr. David J. Jones, and his estimable wife. “Dave,” despite his election Nov. 7th last, will continue his important business here. He maintains a lumber office and yard, wood and coal depot, flour and feed store, all of which lines do a land-office business. Mr. Jones efforts to build up Rutland have been persistent. It was owing to his pushing that the Rutland creamery has since enjoyed an enviable degree of success. * John Flados, dealer in general merchandise, has a large business. John is considered as one of the salt of the earth. J. F. Johnson, dealer in general merchandise, is also an enterprising and successful business man. * There is another general merchant, Edward Bentson, who does a nice business, and is popular with his patrons. * Ole Wedin, postmaster and dealer in general hardware, is a prince of good fellows. * Landlord Jones, of the City Hotel, sets a good table and gives patrons staying overnight clean beds. * Wm. Bouch, manager of the Rutland Livery Stable, is a prime favorite of the entire community. * John Bloomdale, six feet tall, conducts a restaurant, confectionery stand and barber shop. He is one of those kind of fellows happy the livelong day. * D.J. McKenzie, popularly known as “The Elder”, collector and real estate agent, has his home here. He has two charming daughters. * Ole A. Fladby is a practical blacksmith and wagon repairer. Farmers come from many miles around to employ Ole’s services. He was recently married to an estimable young lady of the township. * The town has a sufficiency of good water, there being a good flowing well just north of the railway depot.”

The foregoing information was placed on the internet website back in 2005 by Jerry McQuay. Thanks to Pat (Anderson) Kulzer of Salmon Prairie MT for bringing it to our attention.

Well, that’s the news from Rutland for this week. For additional information about what’s going on in the little city that can, check out the community’s internet web site at, and stop by to take a look at the Rutland Facebook page while you’re at it, too. Don’t forget to patronize your local Post Office, and remember to keep the pressure on the U.S. Postal Service and the North Dakota Congressional delegation to SAVE OUR POST OFFICE! Later.

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