The Dray Line

Here is a little bit of Rutland history for your enjoyment until we get another installment of the Rooster Crows.


In the grey dawn, Oscar Hoflen climbed to the spring seat atop his dray wagon and ordered his team of large draft horses to “Giddap”. The two Percherons, Pride and Bess, easily pulled the heavily loaded wagon away from the freight house door on the north side of the Rutland Depot. Oscar swung his team and wagon south on Main Street to begin delivering the freight which had arrived during the night to the businesses in town. Most mornings several loads awaited the dray man when he slid open the freight house door. When the freight had been delivered there would be coal to haul. It was hard work, but good horses and a strong back would see the job through. 1924 was the height of the railroad age, but it still took men and horses to move the goods to and from the rails.

The dray line was a business separate from the railroad. The dray line operator, called the drayman, contracted with local businesses to haul their freight to and from the depot for a fee. Otto Anderson, who had come to Rutland from Norway in 1901, operated the dray line during the early years of the century. Later, Irving Preble and his brother owned the business. Oscar Hoflen recalls that his brother, George, purchased the dray business in Rutland from Lars Holen shortly after World War I. George operated a line for a while and hired Oscar to assist him. In 1924 George purchased the Rutland Meat Market and sold the dray line to Oscar. For $1,800.00 Oscar purchased three wagons, three teams, three teams sets of harness and one Model “T” truck.

In those days the freight trains came through Rutland at night. The Westbound freight arrived about 10PM and the eastbound freight arrived about 2AM. Goods destined for Rutland would be transferred from the boxcars to freight wagons and pulled into the freight house where they would await the drayman. The drayman would begin delivering by 5 or 6 AM so the freight could be at the business places by opening time. Everything from whiskey to watermelons and panties to pianos came in on the train so there was a lot of freight to move. The businesses paid the drayman every week based on the weight of the freight which he had hauled for them.

Another job of the drayman was to deliver coal. Most homes were heated by coal then. Coal was handled by both the lumberyard and the elevator. The elevator sold most. The delivery charge for coal was $1.00 per ton.

The Old Parsonage Newsletter – September 2015

The Old Parsonage at Rutland ND will be open Friday September 11, from 4-7, Saturday, September 12, from 10-4 and Sunday, September 13, from 12-4 .

Lots of Halloween items available now.  Just think how quickly the summer has gone.  And Uffda Day will be here in another 3 weeks!  We are looking forward to the lefse and goodies that go along with it.

My friend, Beverly Kulzer, has made these wonderful cookies over the years.  Thought you would enjoy the recipe:


1 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup shortening
1 tsp soda
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup sugar 5 cups flour (start at 4½)
2 beaten eggs

This is an old recipe so there are no instructions.  Just put it together!

Years ago women were expected to make 3 meals and 2 lunches each day.  Especially during harvest, when it would be taken to the field to the workers.  My grandma didn’t drive but she would go out and wave her towel and yell.  Grandpa would come and get the goodies for lunch.  Most of the time the men came in for the main meals.  It gave the horses a rest and the men, too.  Just think how much cooking and baking this was.  And besides that she milked the cows and took care of the chickens!  And somehow she managed to sit a few times during the day and crochet or knit.

Hope to see you the second weekend in September!  Or you can call me any time and I will open.   Kathy

The Old Parsonage Newsletter – May 2015

The Old Parsonage at Rutland ND will be open Friday, May 8, from 4-7, Sat., May 9, from 10-4 and May 10, from 12-4. On Friday, May 8, we have a guest on our porch! “Donna’s Bloomers” will be there selling her flowers and plants. We hope the weather stays good so we can enjoy the afternoon.

It’s finally getting a little warmer, but we need rain! Guess there’s nothing we can do about it! I remember how exciting it was to see rain. My brothers and I got to run outside and get soaked. We ran from our house to Grandma’s. She would always have cookies or cake for us. Then back out into the rain and head home. In other words, we messed up two places!

I’m looking forward to getting the Parsonage porch decorated. We have some new ideas if the weather gives us a few days. It’s always fun to try something different. Hope we have it ready by May 8.

We have been fortunate to get a lot of different things in this month. We are very happy that you think of us. We wouldn’t last long if we didn’t have the help. Thank you so much for dropping things off.

My grandmother did a lot of cooking and I was lucky enough to get some of her recipes. This one is Oven Pancakes:
1 1/4 cups milk
2 eggs
3/4 cup flour
Beat well. Add butter & salt to taste. Pour in greased pan size 10X10 and put in oven at 350% until done. Serve with whipped cream and lingon berries or cranberries.

Hope to see you the second weekend in May! Kathy

The Old Parsonage Newsletter

The Old Parsonage at Rutland ND will be open Friday, April 10 from 4-7, Sat., April 11, from 10-4 and April 12, from 12-4.

This is a great time of the year!   By May we will have our planters out to sell and we can dream of flowers.  I grew up on the same farm as my grandparents lived.  My grandma was constantly working and flowers were very special to her.  I got to help her plant and that was fun.  Her garden had a tall fence around it as the animals thought the flowers were a treat for them!  She also had a large vegetable garden close to a slough.  It was easier to haul the water there.  My brothers and I got into trouble many a time when we sneaked through the alfalfa and got into the vegetable garden. Fresh veggies are such a tasty item!

Our primitive rooms continue to grow.  The look is so special and lets us know what our ancestors had to use.  Most of the items are still usable and it’s fun to show the kids what Grandma and Great-grandma did. Cast iron and enamel pieces are still popular and really do work, besides being healthy for you.

The oldtime recipe for the month:

Grandma Lydia’s Soft Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
1 cup raisins
1 cup flour
1 1/3 cup water
1 tsp soda
1 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup shortening
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 eggs
Pinch of salt
2 cups rolled oats (not quick cooking)
2/3 cup raisin juice

Boil raisins 5 min. Drain and reserve water.  Cream shortening and sugar; add eggs and beat all.  Combine flour, soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt; add alternately with raisin juice to creamed mixture. Add oats and raisins last.  Drop by rounded teaspoons on greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 375 for 11-15 min.

Hope to see you the second weekend in April!!     Kathy

The Old Parsonage Newsletter – July 2014

The Old Parsonage at Rutland ND will be open Friday, July 11, from 4-7, Sat. July 12, from 10-4, and Sun, July 13, from 12-4.

The skunk is gone!  After many days of eating the yummy cat food the trap finally worked. At least Paul didn’t get sprayed.

There are lots of different items in this month.  Summer brings out some great deals with a lot of people cleaning out sheds and garages.  You never know what you’re going to find! Treasures for sure! Bill and Kathy are moving to a smaller house so there will be desks, a davenport, some chairs, etc.   Check it out!

We  have some different give-away items.  A computer screen that is new; paint; and who knows what else will turn up before Friday.

Recipe for the month of July:

Slice 5 red potatoes about ¼ inch thick and place in a medium size bowl.  Pour 4 T of melted butter over the potatoes and coat evenly. Place potatoes in a single layer on a cookie sheet.

Bake in preheated oven 375* for 30-40 minutes until lightly browned on both sides, turning once.

When potatoes are done, remove from oven and top with bacon, cheese and onion. You can overlap the potatoes before adding the toppings.  Continue baking until the cheese has melted.

Hope to see you the second weekend in July!

The Old Parsonage Newsletter – June

The Old Parsonage in Rutland ND will be open Friday, June 13, from 4-7, Sat. June 14, from 10-4, and Sun, June 15, from 12-4.

There is an array of different planters – and some of them will have flowers in them!  We waited so long for the warm weather and all of a sudden it was hot. The rain helped and the trees and gardens look lush.  It’s fun to see what items can be used for a different planter to make a change in the look of our yards.

Some of the other items in now are: more dishes; school desks; books; hats; pictures; frames; sewing machine cabinet; chairs; primitives; and lots more. It changes frequently and that’s what makes it fun to look at.  There are also some give-away items: A computer screen that is new; old gulf clubs; some small wooden table legs; and more!  Check it out and see if it’s something you can use.

There was a surprise guest staying under the back porch this month.  A skunk decided it looked like a good place to make a home.  So far only the back shed smelled some.  Paul has the job of trying to catch him with the aid of a trap from Dale.  So far the skunk has enjoyed several meals of cat food.  But Paul is determined to finish the job so we will report on what happens!

Recipe for the month:
Pecan Sweet Potato Pie Continue reading “The Old Parsonage Newsletter – June”