We should save history

Larry Haluska, Anamoose

I am grateful for Richard Reuer and Dan Caswell for expressing their views regarding the takeover conflict between the State Fair Board and Pioneer Village, as stated in the Feb. 9 paper. Their views parallel mine.

First, why does the State Fair Board want the property removed? They should provide a specific reason.

I love history. To me, history can be divided into two basic categories, i.e. (1) icons and (2) people. Icons, in a general sense, may be considered as churches, museums, religious objects, event sites, statues, etc. They are set up as a tribute to people who have made a contribution to the betterment of society. The people of history are the political leaders, religious leaders, educators, engineers, inventors, doctors, military leaders, etc. who have done something outstanding. In many cases, the icons follow suit.

Thus, we have an icon here called the Pioneer Village, dedicated to the brave people who first settled here. Their primary possessions were probably only a horse team, wagon, walking plow, small stove and hand tools. Imagine building a house by breaking up the sod and using sod layers for the walls of the house. Imagine digging a deep hole with a spade until you find water. Imagine cutting prairie grass with a scythe and bundling the grass for heat and cooking. Not many trees were found in the early days. These were the hardships they had to endure.

Let us not forget the visionaries like James Hill, who built the Great Northern westbound railway, and other railroad builders who provided a transportation advantage. Many small towns sprang up along the railroads. Let us not forget inventors like Robert Fulton whose steamboat provided north-south transportation advantages to settlers along the Mississippi, Red and Missouri rivers. Thus, as more and more earth tillers possessed their 160-acre parcels came the country one-room schools and country churches. I am pleased that the city of Fessenden has a one-room school for exhibition on the fairgrounds. I am proud to say that out of a family of seven, four of my siblings have taught in a one-room country school house during the ’30s and ’40s. Whenever I drive past a country church, I think of it as a country cathedral. One of these country churches stands northeast of Manfred.

Later towns, city schools, city churches, grocery stores, machinery dealers, lumberyards, doctors, dentists, blacksmiths, post offices, etc. came.

This generation, as we look back,needs to thank past generations for their vision, sacrifice, spirit, faith and hard work. That is why we have icons today called museums, such as the Bismarck Heritage Center, Mandan Fort Lincoln site, Fort Buford at Williston, Teddy Roosevelt National Park, Minot Railroad Museum plus many others including the Pioneer Village. We need to keep these icons as momentos to past generations who have done so much for us!