Hens Do Crow! June 21, 2019

By Deborah Banish

Tragedy befell Rutland on the evening of Friday, June 14, 2019, when one of the City’s oldest residents was struck and killed by lightning. The disaster occurred at 9:45 p.m. when a bolt of lightning struck the huge cottonwood tree at 217 First Street, The Old Parsonage, splitting the tree from top to bottom, and blowing chunks of wood and tree bark for over 100 feet. The death of the tree created a hazard requiring its removal before it fell into the street, or onto the adjacent house. The magnificent cottonwood, over 70 feet in height and over 20 feet in circumference 3 feet above the ground, had been a mute witness to the history of the Rutland community for 117 years. It was planted as a sapling at 217 First Street when the house at that location was built by pioneer Rutland businessman C. E. Johnson in 1902. A photo taken of the Rutland Community Band in front of the house in 1910 includes the cottonwood, then already as tall as the house behind it. Originally, another cottonwood tree had been planted on the south side of the sidewalk leading up to the house, and the branches of the two trees arching across the sidewalk made for a dramatic entrance into the house, the first two-story house built in the community. In 1938 the house became the parsonage for the Rutland Baptist Church, and one of the first Baptist ministers to reside there was the Rev. Seaquist who was the father of a lovely daughter, Norma. Two teenage boys in the community, Raymond Erickson and Milton McLaen, had taken a shine to Miss Seaquist, but she had not returned their interest. One summer Saturday night, when Miss Seaquist was shopping on Main Street, the two boys climbed up the trees flanking the sidewalk and hid among the branches. When Miss Seaquist walked up the sidewalk to the house, the 2 boys dropped out of the trees, kissed her and ran away. Miss Seaquist was shocked, but not unimpressed. The story must be true, because both Raymond and Milton related it in later years at different times, each without prompting from the other. For the past 117 years the cottonwood tree, a majestic prairie patriarch, has been a silent witness to the life of the Rutland Community: Through good times and hard times; through World Wars and other military actions; through epidemics and the efforts to halt them; through drought, depression and recovery; from the days when the only vehicles on Main Street were pulled by horses to today when huge trucks and mammoth farm tractors powered by engines of several hundred horsepower pass by on a regular basis. When Rutland School Alumni arrive for the Reunion on July 5 & 6, they will see a sight that no one now living has seen: Main Street without the big cottonwood in front of the Baptist Parsonage. Schumacher Tree Service of Oakes has equipment large enough to handle the job of removing the carcass of the tree, and plans to be in town on Saturday, June 22, to accomplish the task. The current owners of the property, Bill Anderson & Kathy Brakke, intend to plant another tree to replace the cottonwood, but only those living 117 years from now will be able to tell if it matches its predecessor in size and grandeur. All things pass, and nothing is forever, not even huge and stately trees that have been there for as long as anyone can remember.

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Hens Do Crow – March 1, 2019

By Deborah Banish

Mother Nature has not been playing nice lately and I know I am getting tired of the snow. The snowfall and ground blizzard on February 24th resulted in some area events being postponed or cancelled. The Rutland Community Club Fun Night has been rescheduled for Sunday, March 10, same time (4-6 p.m.) at the Rutland Hall. The Rutland Sportsman’s Club cancelled the Fishing Derby at Silver Lake but the Club’s drawing will be held once all the sold tickets are received. The next snow event that is predicted for Friday, March 1, is the date of the Rutland Sportsman’s Club Fish Fry but that won’t stop this event from happening. The Sargent Central Clay Target League members will be holding their bake sale fundraiser that evening so be sure to head in early. Serving starts at 5:30 p.m.

The Rutland Community Development Corporation (RCDC) had to postpone their January 30th meeting to February 20th at the Rutland Senior Center. Several members attended but, due to weather, the turnout was less than planned. The Lariat Bar is current on the loan payments with the RCDC and those are the only two loans out at this time. The RCDC has money that is available to be invested in the community if any individual or entity is interested in establishing a business in town. Calvin Jacobson and Jake Erickson were both elected to another term on the RCDC Board and Cam Gulleson was elected to fill the remaining two-years of the term held by Sam Gillespie.

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Hens Do Crow! February 22, 2019

By Deborah Banish

Paul Anderson and Carol Fridgen took a trip to Longboat Key, Florida, to shake off the snow and replace it with seawater and sand. They left on February 10th and returned on the 16th. While in the area they took in the Ringling Circus Museum. A very interesting look into the logistics of putting on a show and moving it every day. The weather was in the mid 70’s to low 80’s and the sun shone every day. Lots of time in the pool and at the beach. The only disappointment of the trip was having to come home. It was -10 when they left, and -9 when they got back, guess they should be happy temps are heading in the right direction!!!

Kaia and Kyle Mahrer and family took their first family vacation of 2019 spending six cold February days in Orlando visiting Walt Disney World. Kaia’s father Steve Thorfinnson and Aunt Janelle Brakke accompanied the group that left Minneapolis on February 12. Kaia provided the following information: The past 6 days were wonderful! Disney is a magical place and my kids will have memories for life of spending time as a family. I would like to thank my amazing father for this trip of magic. This was our Christmas gift (for the next 10 years!!) from him and we couldn’t be more grateful for the memories, the warmth, the love, and all of the money spent to make this a truly great trip! Addy met her favorite Disney character, Vampirina and the light in her eyes made me tear up. Julia got to meet her favorite, Cinderella and it was such a wonderful sight to see her magic come alive. Brody loved toy story land and dinosaur land and was so happy to be a pirate for a day. Kaitlyn loved the animals. My magic came alive seeing my kids eyes light up to all the sights and my favorite part was Avatar. Florida was beautiful and Brody asked if we could move there. I wish, buddy!

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The Rooster Crows – February 1, 2019

by Bill Anderson

Mother Nature’s vocabulary of four letter words seems to be limited to3 this past week: cold; snow; and, wind. The coldest weather of the week, the month, the year and the Winter arrived on Tuesday & Wednesday, January 29 & 30, with the daily lows bumping off the -35 mark and the daily highs hovering around -10. According to the weather experts, this week’s weather is the coldest since this time of the year back in 2004, so, if you thought that you were experiencing déjà vu, you were right. The weather system that moved through ahead of the cold brought about 1½” of new snow on Saturday night, and another 4 or 5 inches on Sunday. The snow was hard to measure, because the wind brought it in sideways, piling it up at intersections, around buildings and in the trees. Tuesday’s winds of 20 to 30 mph, combined with the sub-zero air temperatures, produced a “wind-chill” index of 55 to 60 below, according to the weather gurus. Ground Hog’s Day is coming up on Saturday, though, and the TV Weathermen are predicting a high in the upper +20’s to low +30’s, just so Rutland Roscoe, the local ground hog, can wander out to see his shadow. Well, Saturday, February 2, is also the date for the 24th Annual Rudy Anderson Memorial Pinochle Tournament in Rutland, so it just might be the aroma of scalloped potatoes with ham that lures him out. Another cool down for the first week in February is predicted, but, with a little bit of luck, the worst cold may be behind us. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, “This is not the end of the winter. It is not even the beginning of the end of the winter; but it may be the end of the beginning of the winter.” That Winston sure had a way with words, didn’t he?

FYI. Paul Anderson’s electronic digital thermometer recorded a low of 36 degrees below zero on the morning of Wednesday, January 30, in his backyard at 309 Gay Street in Rutland, and Jesse Brakke’s electronic digital thermometer recorded a low of 37 below in his Ransom Township farmyard between Rutland and Cayuga that same morning. Mike Anderson stated that he was sure glad that he lives a mile north of Jesse, because his thermometer only got down to 31 below before it froze up.

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T-Shirt Design Contest

Calling all artists – and want-to-be – artists and graphic designers. The Rutland Community Club is accepting design entries for the 2019 Uffda Day T-shirts.

  • Design should be simple and include the words “Uffda Day 2019
  • Design should be unique with a Scandinavian influence
  • Design should depict the event’s purpose to celebrate our Scandinavian heritage
  • Applicants may submit more than one entry.
  • The winner will receive $50.00 and will have their name and design printed in the Sargent County Teller on April 19, 2019.
  • The winner will be announced on the Rutland City website and Facebook page.

T-shirts will be printed with a goal of having them available for sale starting Memorial Day 2019.

Please submit entries by March 31, 2019 one of the following ways:

  • in person to Rutland City Hall, 115 Gay Street
  • by mail to Rutland City Hall, PO Box 181, Rutland, ND 58067-0181
  • or, by email to rutlandnd@drtel.net

The City and Community Club are anticipating your wonderful designs!

The Rooster Crows – January 25, 2019

By Bill Anderson

One week to go until Ground Hog’s Day, and a chance to break Winter’s tyrannical grasp on a people who will be neither bowed nor cowed, although they may, occasionally, have to be towed. We are now at that stage of the Winter in which it has ceased to be interesting or entertaining, and has become a brutal burden, to be endured, outlasted and overcome. Adversity does create opportunity, though, and men of ambition, such as Dave Young, Jim Brown and Larry Christensen, have shown that even winter’s bleak cloud brings with it the silver lining of polished and shiny snow shovels. Bitter cold and the sharp sting of snow driven by fierce winds cannot stay these stalwart yeomen from the efficient completion of their appointed snow removal duties. 

On Tuesday, January 22, Sonja Christensen, one of the co-chairpersons of the 24th Annual Rudy Anderson Memorial Pinochle Tournament, reported that 57 teams of pinochle enthusiasts had preregistered to play their favorite game of skill on Saturday, February 2, in the Rutland Town Hall, and that there is still room for a few more teams. The tournament is sponsored by the Rutland Community Club, which will also serve morning and afternoon lunches, as well as a Noon dinner, to tournament participants and to the public. For more information about registering to compete in the pinochle tournament, give Sonja a call at 701-899-1463.

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