20th Century, Awe, Environment, History, Intercession, Logging, Minnesota, railroad

Forest Fires

images.jpeg

October 12, 1918
A forest fire on the railroad line between Duluth and Hibbing kills 435 people and burns 38 communities. The blaze destroys Cloquet, Carlton, Moose Lake, and several other towns before reaching the outskirts of Duluth three days later.*

The ramifications from this tornado of fire were immense. About 250,000 acres were burned out or completely deforested. (391 sq. miles) The loss of property was valued at approx. $73 million in 1918 dollars, or about $1,160,000,000 in 2017 dollars. It was the worst natural disaster in Minnesota history in terms of damage done to life and property on a single day.***

“Even this tragic demonstration of the need for more funds for fire protection made little impression. However, one important law was passed, namely the burning permit law. Previous to its passage, anyone could start a fire wherever and whenever he felt so inclined.” (Forestry in Minnesota, St. Paul,MN. 1971)**

Lord, we mourn this loss of life today. We are saddened for the great diminution of public and private property. We are sorrowful for our contribution to the wasting of Your trees and wildlife! Have mercy!

Fire is one of Your greatest gifts to humanity, and to cold places like Minnesota. It’s truly one of our simplest joys whether sitting by a campfire or reading a great book next to fireplace on a winter night. We love fire at the proper distance, and within boundaries.

Disasters like this remind us of our limitations. We are self-determining humanists in theory, but live in a reality beyond our control. Have mercy on both our vanity and frailty when we are powerless!

Will You forgive the blame passed out in this event? The judgment of rail interests to the forest interests to the farmer to the State to the Federal Government to You? We offer You our pain and excuses from this event; will You take them up, out, and onto the Cross of Christ?

Will You give wisdom to burn with permission, and minimize foolish use of fire? Will You cause us to be a merciful people in times of natural disaster? Will You make a rescuing people to those trapped in the blaze? You are our help in times of trouble!

We hear Your words spoken through Isaiah today:
“See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this. How can I let myself be defamed? I will not yield my glory to another.” Isaiah 47:10-11 NIV

* P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org, is fantastic! Check it out! Images are from https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl; again, an amazing resource!
** https://www.leg.state.mn.us/docs/2015/other/155128.pdf
***https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloquet_fire

Advertisements
Standard
20th Century, Environment, History, Intercession, Minnesota, Natural Disaster

Tornado Kills 36 in Tyler

tyler_minn_tornado_8-21-1918_tn

Aug 21, 1918
A storm took thirty-six lives and destroyed the Tyler business district.*

The following copy is directly from a local newspaper the day after the storm.
“TORNADO KILLS 35, INJURIES OVER 100
Tyler, Minnesota, Torn to Pieces; Property Loss a Million
Brave Nurse Loses Her Life Attempting to Save Patient
TYLER, Minn., Aug. 22.—-Between thirty and thirty-five persons were killed and more than 100 were injured by the tornado which struck Tyler about 10 o’clock last night and tore the town to pieces in a twinkling. Twenty-seven bodies have been identified.
The tornado tore through the heart of the town, sparing only one building, a motion picture theatre, in which 200 persons were sheltered. The greatest loss of life was in a restaurant. Eighteen persons’ were in the place when the brick walls collapsed. Sixteen were killed, and the other two were seriously injured.
Persons engaged in rescue work said that 125 injured victims was a conservative estimate. In addition to the business places, forty residences, the hospital, electric light plant and other buildings were destroyed. The storm raged until 11:25 P.M. and dozens of victims were pinned under debris for two or three hours, before rescued.
The tornado roared into the city from the east. Roofs were ripped from stores and houses, crashing glass whistled through the streets and falling walls re-echoed to thunder crashes before many residents realized what happened.
Destruction of the electric plant with the first shock of the storm plunged the city into darkness. It was not until early this morning that citizens were able to notify adjoining towns of the devastation.
Three of five patients in the Tyler hospital were killed when the building was destroyed. Miss Rose Nelson, head nurse, made an effort to save one of the patients and lost her life. There were eight persons in the building; only two escaped injury.
Home guardsmen from Pipestone arrived here this morning and assisted in the rescue work. Many of the injured were removed to hospitals in neighboring cities. Physicians said they feared a number of the victims would not survive.
Reports that the tornado destroyed the Northwestern Station and a passenger train later proved untrue. The storm, however, wrecked the roundhouse nearby.
It was estimated the property loss would be one million dollars at least.
Tyler is a town of 1100 inhabitants in the southwestern part of Minnesota.
Governor Sends Aid”**

This story reminds me of the era of the prophet Nahum, and the kindness and sternness of G-d in the captivity of the Northern Kingdom of Israel ca. (722-721BC) Those that oppose His people in separation and tyranny will ultimately fall. He alone is Sovereign.

“The Lord is a jealous and avenging G-d; the Lord takes vengeance and is filled with wrath. The Lord takes vengeance on his foes and maintains his wrath against his enemies. The Lord is slow to anger and great in power;the Lord will not leave the guilt unpunished. His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of his feet.” Nahum 1:2-3

Lord, we may fail to see Your purposes in such a devastating storm, but we acknowledge that You alone are Sovereign and Just. Will You forgive those of our State who judged You for this tornado? Will You forgive our present imbalanced judgements of You? We think of You as loving and miss Your justice, or we think of You as just and miss Your kindness. May we turn to You first in times of great natural disaster. May we trust that You are for us, and not against us. Amen.

* P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org, is fantastic! Check it out! Images are from https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl; again, an amazing resource!

** http://www.gendisasters.com/minnesota/3395/tyler,-mn-tornado,-aug-1918?page=0,0

 

Standard
20th Century, Awe, Environment, History, Intercession, Israel, Jesus, Jews, Minnesota, Natural Science, Science

Hottest Temperature

Unknown

Mount Zion Jerusalem

Hottest Temperature
Jul 29, 1917
The state records its highest temperature of 114 degrees Fahrenheit. The record-holder is the town of Beardsley, winning on July 29. (Moorhead will tie this record on July 16, 1936.)*

Master, we remember You today for this record heat on July 29, 1917. We acknowledge, honor, and trust Your Providence over the weather conditions of Minnesota. We thank You for using: our atmospheric conditions, stars, moons, planets, and the natural world as a sign to us. May we look to You, and perceive both your blessing and rebuke, encouragement and exhortation through our environment now and always!

As Your children, we pray these confessions and assurances of Psalm 121 over Minnesota’s past, present, and future.***

“I lift up my eyes to the hills-where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip-he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you-the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm-he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” Psalm 121:1-8 NIV
Amen.

*P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org, is fantastic! Check it out! Images are from https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl; again, an amazing resource!
**View more fascinating records in the North Star state? http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/climate/summaries_and_publications/extremes.html
***Psalm 121: 1-8 http://biblehub.com/psalms/121-1.htm

Standard
19th Century, 20th Century, Business, Environment, History, Intercession, Minnesota, Shipping, Transportation

Split Rock Lighthouse Opens

Unknown

Jul 31, 1910
Shipwrecks from a mighty 1905 November gale prompted this rugged landmark’s construction. The construction was an engineering feat in such a remote location. The lighthouse was completed by the U.S. Lighthouse Service in 1910.*

Why is it that pain elicits an active response that “normal” life doesn’t? Why is it that we do not neglect action after a certain level of loss? Why do we wait to become creative problem solvers?

Will You guide this writing to elucidate the reader to the level of shipwrecks in this era of iron ore, grain, lumber, and fish shipments across Lake Superior and the Great Lakes? In a single season of November 1905, there were 78 fatalities and 29 disabled or destroyed ships.** When one adds in the frigid water, rocky coastline, and tendency of these shippers to overload their vessels it is easy to empathize with the concerns of sailors.

In response, United States Steel Corporation lobbied Congress to build a lighthouse with a foghorn. This effort was executed by engineer Ralph Russell Tinkham of the U.S. Lighthouse Establishment. All building materials had to be hoisted up the 110 foot cliff from lakeside either by steam-powered derick, or
railed up on a freight tram. Workers spent 13 months living and working on the cliff in tents with a brief respite during the coldest months of winter.

This day we remember the names of these lost vessels and their unnamed crews to You, Lord of All Seas: the A.C. Adams, Alice Vivian, Amboy, Bob Anderson, Lotta Bernard, A. Booth, E.T. Carrington, Charley, City of Winnipeg, Comet, Belle P. Cross, F.L. Danforth, Donna Marie, Duluth, Elgin, Samuel P. Ely, U.S.S. Essex, Fayling, E.P.Ferry, Fiorgyn, Thomas Friant, F.W. Gillet, R.F.Goodman, Criss Grover, Harriet B, George Herbert, Hesper, B.B. Inman, Isle Royale, John H. Jeffrey Jr., J.C. Keyes, Lafayette, Lewie, Liberty, Madeline, Madeira, Mary Martini, May Flower, Mentor, Niagara, Benjamin Noble, Oden, Onoko, Osprey, G. Pfister, Rebel, George Spencer, Ella G. Stone, Stillman Witt, Stranger, Robert Wallace, Thomas Wilson, and the Six Dredge Scows.

Will You forgive any judgments of these lost seamen, their wives, families and friends, and employers towards each other and towards You? Will You cleanse Superior and the Great Lakes of its vast depths of unforgivenness? Will You especially release the pain caused by the urgency of the timber, iron mining, and taconite industries to expedite these shipments to world markets? Will You forgive us our industriousness that broke with Your Sabbath? We have missed Your wisdom when we work too much.

We remember also the efforts of Ralph Russell Tinkham and his construction workers. We thank You for their superhuman efforts to build Split Rock Lighthouse. Will You bless them, their progeny, and those who follow in their footsteps? Will You give us strength and acceptance when we face storms beyond our control? Will You make us beacon and horn today to lead our peers away from the rocks and towards safe harbor?

*P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org, is fantastic! Check it out! Images are from https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl; again, an amazing resource!

**http://www.mnhs.org/splitrock/learn/shipwrecks

***http://www.mnhs.org/places/nationalregister/shipwrecks/list.php

Standard
20th Century, Boys, Catholic, Christian, Civics, Culture, Environment, Exploration, Faith, Gender, Girls, History, Intercession, Jesus, Jews, Men, Minnesota

Minnesota Boy Scouts Organization Forms

journal_1913boyscouts

1910
A growing fear of “boys in trouble” leads to the founding of Minnesota’s first Boy Scout troop, only eight months after the organization arrives in the United States from England.*

What can I say about the Scouts? For openers, thanks that its’ founders sought a way to connect boys with each other. Each Scout is an important part of his troop. For many, this is a first affirmation of their maleness. He learns that he can do his part and become worthy of trust.

Even in failure, like forgetting key food items for a camping trip, the troop may rib him, but ultimately close ranks and support him. That Scout learns, “ I can make do if I’m in need, and overcome temporary discomfort.” What an important lifelong lesson!

Next, the Boy Scouts will get a child or teen out of his home environment. A city kid will see places that are truly wild and untamed. He will get to know nature, and learn a proper respect for living things. He may explore the deserts, make camp in the snow, or learn wilderness survival. The Scouts exist to both invite and instill a sense of adventure in young men.

Finally, a Scout becomes aware that he can learn expertise. A simple item, like a rope, becomes the means to teach him knots and lashings, but also symbolically recognizes his work by earning a merit badge. Why do the Scouts collect merit badges? Maybe, because its a symbol of honor given by significant males, and told “Well done!”

Lord, thanks for this important event in 1910. Thanks for, thereby, giving thousands of boys a place to belong, share adventures, learn life skills, and to receive honor. Will You help them thrive in helping Minnesota boys become men?

Further, will You forgive us our failures and rejections of of our youth? We simply fail to relate. We simply fail to intersect, spend time, and show interest in their dreams. We stumble because we do not know how a simple kind word, demonstration, or listening can pivot a kid’s life path.

For example, when I was a boy, my dad was very handy and could build just about anything. He wanted me to watch him work, but he never let hold the tools. It was a perfect day for this 9 year old Cub Scout when the leader gave me a box of nails, a wood block, and a hammer. He just let us pound a design of our choice into the block, and give the results to our mothers. I’m sure it wasn’t a perfect flour de lis, but it was a symbol of the day adults trusted me with real tools.

Will You give us inspiration as a society to create more pathways, like the Scouts, that call our boys and girls out of complacency and into a life of purpose, expertise, relationship, and adventure? Will You help us get out of the way and not rescue them right away? Will You help us put tools in their hands and let them try? May they “Be prepared” for life!

*P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org, is fantastic! Check it out! Images are from https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl; again, an amazing resource!

**More on the character traits taught by the Scouts. http://www.boyscouttrail.com/content/content/scout_law-1760.asp

 

 

Standard
20th Century, Environment, History, Intercession, Jesus, law, Minnesota, Native Americans

Superior National Forest

fsm91_047141

February 13, 1909

President Theodore Roosevelt establishes Superior National Forest. Exploitative practices are restricted in these areas, thereby preserving the beauty of lakes and trees for future generations. Six weeks later, Ontario’s government responds in kind by creating the adjacent Quetico Provincial Forest Reserve.*

Again, how fitting it is to be awed by such natural beauty as I watch this event with you: the creation of Superior National Forest. My first thought, dear Lord, is to acknowledge that our eyes are bigger than our stomachs. I’ve seen the North Shore, explored the Gunflint Trail, and the Boundary Waters many times, but cannot imagine how much greater the awe of those who saw it at the end of the 19th century. How humbling it must have been to walk as a grasshopper among the pine, fir and spruce forests!
I can smell the crisp scent of Your evergreen forest Lord, even as I write this. Will You forgive us for over-harvesting your forests in Minnesota? This we have done, this I acknowledge to you.
Next, I thank You for moving the heart of President Roosevelt to preserve such areas, and to be mindful of future generations. That said, I also acknowledge that sometimes self-interest drives our attempts to be nature’s caretaker. It is good to be your steward of nature! I just want to remember to You that we are also subject to impure motives even when doing good.
So I ask You, did Roosevelt establish this forest with a pure heart? Was he looking to enhance his legacy? Were there commercial interests that he was motivated to favor or disfavor? Perhaps he was motivated to increase Federal authority over state lands? If so, how did he gain the legal rights if they were not implicitly stated in the Constitution?
His actions allude to his belief that our state’s authority had failed this parcel of land. Did Minnesota trust the logging or mining industries too much? Did the President trust our state’s rights too little? Only You know the heart Lord.
In your mercy, hear my prayer. Will You forgive us our impure motives even while we do good whether past, present, or future? Will You forgive our prideful hearts? We honestly act, at times, as if we will save Your lands. We act as if we will improve Your creation, but often, at our best, we simply do no harm.
Our government established Federal authority to protect and preserve this land. Did we also seek Your celestial authority to protect and preserve it, or were we too busy making commerce? We often rule the land. We stake our claims declaring ourselves it’s savior, but in the end, we simply rule over other men. Will You forgive how we have fought over the title to Your land? Will You grant us humility of heart in Your state known as Minnesota? Will You give us the necessary self-control in land issues that we remain in balance with nature and each other? Will You preserve our hearts from the greed of over-harvesting, or the fear that locks the same lands up subjecting them to the ravages of under-harvesting?
Will You forgive our short memories? We forget that Natives managed Your forests here long before the Department of Natural Resources, or a Bureau of Land Management. They did so well that the first European explorers and settlers were dazzled by its bounty. Remember these tribal stewards Lord Jesus!**
As a final thought, dear Father, I do not suggest we as humans necessarily err in our “doing good”. After all, we are made in Your image, therefore capable of brilliance, ingenuity, and true greatness. I simply want to bow to You, to record and remember, that such brilliance, ingenuity, and greatness often builds a monument to our name. Will You make us a people humble and realistic in our land management successes?

*P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org, is fantastic! Check it out! Images are from https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl; again, an amazing resource!

** Read the relationship of American Indians to the land, and the differing views of historians on the subject. This excellent article by William Cronin and Richard White for the American Heritage Society shows the breadth of variety of Native American responses to environmental change and conservation of land and species. http://www.americanheritage.com/content/indians-land

Standard
20th Century, Architecture, Environment, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Natural Disaster, Transportation, Weather

High Bridge Blown Down

Unknown

Aug 20, 1904
A tornado traveling through Waconia, Minneapolis, Saint Paul, and Stillwater leaves fourteen people dead and causes property losses of $1.5 million. The same storm blows down the High Bridge in Saint Paul, where winds reach 110 miles per hour, the fastest recorded wind speed in the metropolitan area at the time. The storm also has the lowest measured barometric pressure (23 inches) of any tornado, according to Snowden Dwight Flora, author of Tornadoes of the United States.*

Every decision has a consequence. As the ancient prophet Hosea once said, ‘those who sow the wind shall reap the whirlwind’. But how did regular citizens of these cities ‘sow the wind’? Did they, or was this storm just a normal occurrence that is necessary to the health of the atmosphere and environment?
This I know of human nature, when tragedy strikes, many will attempt to deflect the awfulness of the event through blame. We don’t have the inner mechanisms to deal with great pain, and so we often try to externalize it. Psychologists call this process transference.

Unknown-1

Lord, what were the objects of transference in this event? Let me start with how we blame You, after all, this is an ‘act of God’. Will You forgive any residents of Waconia, St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Stillwater who placed the blame for this event on You? Will You forgive any judgments made on Your character? Will You forgive those who viewed this storm as an offense against them in person and property, and in turn held a grudge against you?
Lord, we blame others! For example, “The High Bridge wouldn’t fall if it was designed better? The engineers and architects are to blame!” For the folks of these cities that fall into this category; will You forgive them those judgments of others?
Will You forgive our bifurcated motives? On one hand we love technology. We love what is new, innovative, and ground-breaking. Simultaneously, we cling to the familiar, and many of us have deep-rooted skepticism of new ideas. Will You forgive the judgments made of those who offer us new ideas? Will You forgive the wrath felt by those who dreamt, designed, labored, and finished this High Bridge?
Will You forgive those who blamed themselves for this hardship? We place ourselves on trial in the courts of minds and give harsh sentences for imperfections. Will You forgive those who blamed themselves for lost crops, fallen barns, loss of horses and animals, and loss of human life?
Lord, You are just. You are truly the only right judge because You know our heart, our history, our thoughts, our motives, and our actions. Yet, You are merciful to us, and often reveal the fragility of our inner life and its immaturity in the most gentle and gracious way possible.
You are a good dad. We do not criticize our toddlers when they make a bridge with blocks and it crashes. We praise them, and encourage their imaginations. Will You make us a people that loves valiant failures and Pyrrhic victories as much as you do?

*P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org, is fantastic! Check it out! Images are from https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl; again, an amazing resource!

Standard