The Cokato Museum & Historical Society invites the public to its 14th annual New Year’s open house from 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014, in the Centennial Room of the Cokato Public Library.
As a part of this open house, a demonstration of the Finnish custom of “melting tin” will be held. Small pieces of tin are melted in an iron lathe then cast into a pail of cold water, where the tin forms unique shapes. Tradition holds that these shapes will foretell the upcoming year. Area residents familiar with this custom are especially encouraged to attend.
This event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.
For more information, please contact the museum at (320) 286-2427, on the web at www.cokato.mn.us, or check out their Facebook page.
The Cokato Museum is a cooperative effort of the city of Cokato and the Cokato Historical Society.
Major Highlights for the Week
Wednesday, Dec. 23, 1863
Fighting broke out at Jacksonport, Ark.; Culpeper Courthouse, Va.; Corinth, Miss.; along with Mulberry Village and Powder Springs Gap, Tenn. Confederate President Jefferson Davis hoped that General Joseph E. Johnston and the Department of Tennessee would be able to “commence active operations against the enemy” soon.
Thursday, Dec. 24, 1863
While the major fronts in Virginia and north Georgia remained quiet, skirmishing flared near Germantown and in Lee County, Va.; Rodney, Miss.; at Estenaula, Jack’s Creek, Peck’s House near New Market, Mossy Creek Station, and at Hays’s Ferry near Dandridge, Tenn.
Reprinted from the Tri-County News May 3, 2001.
In 1886, the Soo Line Railroad decided to bypass Maine Prairie in favor of Kimball Prairie, five miles to the south. With the arrival of the railroad, Kimball became a regular passenger and freight stop for the shipping of farm products, buildingh materials and merchandise. The railroad also created local jobs, and Kimball continued to grow. That is what brought Addie Dalton Lutgen to Kimball in 1962, when her late husband Donald Dalton became the Soo Line Depot Agent at Kimball. She has graciously shared here some wonderful photos and memories from those years. She still resides in Kimball, with husband Ben Lutgen.
“When a depot was available for a new agent, they were assigned according to their seniority. A main line assignment was choice (Minneapolis to Winnipeg was a main line with branches off from it). My husband was several years older than me, and at one time I remember he had the most seniority of any agents on the Soo Line.
“The depot agent and his family could live in the depot building free as part of his wages. There was no running water in the Kimball depot. It had two bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen, a small pantry off the kitchen, and a small cellar under the pantry. Other depots we lived in had the living quarters upstairs and were larger than the one in Kimball. The depot itself had an office, waiting room, and a large freight house. On Saturdays (before laundromats) I would wash clothes in the waiting room and put up lines so the clothes could be hung there to dry.
Major Highlights for the Week
Wednesday, Dec. 16, 1863
The Confederate government announced several major command changes. General Joseph E. Johnston was named to command the Army of Tennessee, succeeding Lieutenant General William J. Hardee, who had temporarily taken over for General Braxton Bragg. Lieutenant General Leonidas Polk was left in command of the Army of Mississippi at Brandon, Miss., replacing Johnston, who headed to his new command at Dalton, Ga.
Federal Brigadier General John Buford was promoted to the rank of major general just a few hours before his death in Washington of typhoid fever. Upon the recommendation of Major General George Stoneman, President Lincoln assented to the promotion and wrote, “I am informed that General Buford will not survive the day. It suggests itself to me that he will be made Major General for distinguished and meritorious service at the Battle of Gettysburg.” When informed of the promotion, Buford asked, “Does he mean it?” When told that it was a genuine promotion, Buford replied, “It is too late, now I wish I could live.” He passed away at 2 p.m.
Who doesn’t have fond memories of the Holidays when they were a child?
And as the years pass, those memories become stronger.
Old timers in Watkins remember a Christmas tree being placed in the middle of the downtown during the Holiday season to brighten everyone’s spirit.
Bill May, the proprietor of May Theatre, would make sure that the children always had a bag of candy and a Christmas movie to watch. And, for outdoor fun, a parking lot would be flooded and iced over to provide for figure skating and ice hockey fun.
Bill May’s generosity in Watkins is legendary.
“We believed that he financed many of the activities and gratuities available to young people,” remembered the late Eugene McCarthy, who grew up in Watkins and would later become a U.S. Senator and presidential candidate. “He was a Santa Claus to the town of Watkins.”