20th Century, Environment, History, Intercession, Minnesota, Uncategorized, Weather

Tornado Kills 11 in Mankato

M.17.F.3.A Packet 113

August 15, 1946
A tornado kills eleven and injures sixty individuals in Mankato and North Mankato, and a second tornado injures 200 people in Wells an hour later.*

A little know fact about the United States is its distinction of the greatest volume of tornadoes on the planet, and also the most severe. June and August, historically, are the worst months for the Midwest and Southern Canada. During this season, the animus for these storms are humid warm fronts from the Gulf of Mexico mingling with colder and drier ones from the Rockies. Minnesota is situated on the northern edge of this region infamously known as Tornado Alley. ***

The twister that struck Mankato, North Mankato, and Wells on this day apparently only lasted for a “couple minutes”. Most trees were leveled, and those left standing were stripped bare like telephone poles. Cars parked in the town were blown roughly 50 yards into the ravine of the railway. Even a 27 ton grader blew into this gorge, and the whole tangled mess stopped rail traffic. ****

An anomaly of any tornadic system is the randomness of its damage, and this storm in 1946 was no different. For example, a prominent structure downtown, the Oran building, was totaled, but those attending a birthday party there, remarkably, all escaped injury. Conversely, the Melvin family turkey farm lost 4,000 birds. The body of a Mr. Wirig of Mankato was found over a half mile from where the storm hit his resort cabin. ****

According to the testimony of first responder Donald Wold, he hadn’t seen “anything like this since I fought the Germans in France”, and “people were lying everywhere”. Scrambling to accommodate the injured, a bread truck driver used its racks to haul 7 people to the hospital in Mankato. Two alert utility workmen shut the power grid down, and were later credited with saving many structures from electrical fires.*****

Those involved in the clean-up demonstrated resolve and resourcefulness typical of Minnesotan’s. Area small towns sent anyone who could help out. Local farmers used their tractors to “push and pull” as needed. The cities of Faribault and Blue Earth sent their street departments and highway construction departments to clear debris and begin the rebuild.******

Lord, we thank You for the light and dark of this event. You are Master of our Environment. You ordain and use weather according to Your purposes and the survival of the planet. You are Master of the soothing summer breeze in Honiara, the Arabian sirocco, the Scottish snell, the icy gales of Everest, and this Midwestern tornado of Mankato. Will You give us insight, Dear One, we struggle to comprehend the good You intend?

Forgive the judgments made against You in the aftermath of this storm. Will You specifically release those from Mankato, North Mankato, and Wells whose responses may have offended You? Will You forgive those who may have clung to their pain unable to look up? We can’t see Your purpose when a human body is flown a half mile in the wind. We fail to grasp the utility of the uneven attack of this storm; why does one family lose its’ flocks while another cheats death?

This prayer moves us to ponder the cries of the qoheleth, most likely written by King Solomon who was reputed to be the wisest man who ever lived.
“Meaningless! Meaningless! says the Teacher. Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless. What does a man gain from all his labor at which he toils under the sun?” Ecclesiastes 1:2,3 NIV *******
Later, Solomon adds an insight into the relationship we have with our planet.
“Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever.” Ecclesiastes 1:4 NIV *******
He described the limits of human understanding nine times in his book as a “chasing after the wind”.

At first glance, this may seem one of the most hopeless books ever written. It is even darker because of the amazing learning and success of Solomon. “If the man who has it all can’t be happy”, one wonders, “who can”?

Yet he leads us to a clue in his phrases. Everything under the sun is meaningless, and a chasing after the wind. But what exists above the sun? What is unlimited by the laws of nature and the universe, but its Creator?

So we invite You into this tragedy past. Bring Your meaning. Bring Your life. We did not yet understand You on August 15, 1946, nor do we grasp the depth of Your purpose now. Come and bless Minnesota with Your Presence; may we sense that which is beyond our senses, and accept that there is more than than right now. May we stop “chasing after the wind”, look up, and find Eternal Wisdom after the storm!

* 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!
** “Aftermath of the August 17, 1946 tornado in Mankato, Minnesota.”
http://collections.mnhs.org/cms/largerimage.php?irn=10291189&catirn=11126964
*** https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/climate/summaries_and_publications/tornadoes.html
**** Beitler, Stu. “The Evening Tribune”. Albert Lea, Minnesota. 1946-08-19 pg1 http://www.gendisasters.com/minnesota/18697/mankato-wells-mn-tornado-aug-1946?page=0%2C3
***** Beitler, Stu. “The La Crosse Tribune” Wisconsin. 1946-08-18 pg1 http://www.gendisasters.com/minnesota/18697/mankato-wells-mn-tornado-aug-1946
****** Beitler, Stu. “The Evening Tribune”. Albert Lea, Minnesota. 1946-08-19 pg3 http://www.gendisasters.com/minnesota/18697/mankato-wells-mn-tornado-aug-1946?page=0%2C3
******* https://biblehub.com/ecclesiastes/1-2.htm

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20th Century, Awe, Emergency, Environment, Fires, History, Intercession, Judgment & Counter-Judgment Cycle, Logging, Minnesota, omnipresent history, railroad

Minnesota Forest Fires 1918

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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

* http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm

** https://www.leg.state.mn.us/docs/2015/other/155128.pdf

***https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloquet_fire

 

 

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20th Century, Climate, Environment, History, Intercession, Judgment & Counter-Judgment Cycle, Minnesota, Natural Disaster, omnipresent history, tornado

Tornado Kills 36 in Tyler, MN. 1918

tyler_minn_tornado_8-21-1918_tn

August 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.

* http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm

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

 

 

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20th Century, Climate, Environment, History, Intercession, Israel, Minnesota

Hottest Temperature

Unknown

Mount Zion Jerusalem

July 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.

* http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm

**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

 

 

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20th Century, Culture, Environment, Faith, Great Lakes, History, Humor, Labor, Logging, Minnesota, outdoors

Paul Bunyan is “born” 1914

3675aa754daaa63dc4c0e9a41c453187--paul-bunyan-white-pines

1914
Paul Bunyan, the mythical lumberjacking giant who logged off most of North America, is created as an advertising gimmick by the Red River Lumber Company in Minneapolis.*

There’s something that makes me smile just reading the name, “Paul Bunyan”. His name is synonymous with the North Woods of Minnesota. For the past 100 years, most midwestern kids have heard about him at camp, at a summer cabin, or sitting around the campfire.

I won’t bore you with the breadth and depth of research as to the origins of his legend, but report a few quick facts. His stories came from the oral tradition of logging camps. They were most commonly credited to William B. Laughead writing promotional material for the Red River Lumber Company. Some researchers think his legend started with the French Canadian folk tales of Paul Bon Jean or Tit Jean. Bunyan phonetically is similar to the Quebec expression for surprise; “bon yenne”.**

So here begins my prayer, Lord, thanks for the legend of Paul Bunyan! Help me reflect on his folktales, and find their blessing.

Christ, I thank You for Your masterful parables. You chose to allow those who were looking for meaning to catch it, and for those listeners who were not, to breeze over its intent for their heart and remain relationally open to You. Stories seem to have a magic to get past our trip wires, and speak deeply and gently to us.

I thank You for the good these tales did for the loggers. They entertained, distracted from boredom, aches and pains, and maybe even planted seeds of inspiration. Who wouldn’t want to be the ultimate mans’ man in those rough work conditions? Paul laughed at fear and the elements, did an impossible workload each day, ate mountains of food, and maybe even created some mountain ranges playfully wrestling his giant blue ox. (Wink wink!)

So today, Creator of the Forests, I thank You for the gifts of hyperbole, folklore and camp stories. I thank You for the relationships born of telling and listening to “tall tales” like Paul Bunyan in Minnesota. I thank You for an example, though fictional, of a huge, happy man loving his hard work in Your outdoors!

May You enable this State to take to heart and to practice the rule of Saint Benedict to pray and work; “Ora et Labora”.**** May You bless us to practice contentment in our work until You come. May we forever return to You the free, yet costly gift of doing our best!

 

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” Colossians 3:23 ESV

 

*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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Bunyan
***https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pray_and_work
****http://biblehub.com/colossians/3-23.htm

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19th Century, 20th Century, Business, Environment, Great Lakes, History, Intercession, Judgment & Counter-Judgment Cycle, Lake Superior, Minnesota, omnipresent history, Shipping, Transportation

Split Rock Lighthouse Opens 1910

Unknown

July 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’ we made of these lost seamen, their wives, families and friends, and employers towards each other and towards You in their aeon? 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?

* http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm

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

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

 

 

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20th Century, Boys, Environment, Exploration, Faith, History, Intercession, Judgment & Counter-Judgment Cycle, Leadership, Men, Minnesota, omnipresent history, outdoors

Minnesota Boy Scouts Organization Forms 1910

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 and pray about the Scouts, Lord? For openers, thanks that it’s 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 value as a human being and in his 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, stop fearing the outdoors, 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 tangible symbol of honor given by significant males, and then reinforcing the message in a ceremony that says“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 give and receive honor. Will You help them thrive in helping Minnesota boys become men? Will You give us inspiration as a society to create more pathways, like the Scouts, that call our boys out of complacency and into a life of purpose, expertise, relationship, and adventure? 

* http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm

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

 

 

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20th Century, Environment, History, Intercession, Judgment & Counter-Judgment Cycle, Minnesota, National Parks, Native Americans, State Parks

Superior National Forest Established 1909

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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 states 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. 

* http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm

** 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

 

 

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20th Century, Conservation, Environment, Exploration, History, Intercession, Judgment & Counter-Judgment Cycle, Logging, Minnesota, Natural Science, omnipresent history

Minnesota Forest Reserve 1902

living-legacy

Surveyor Josiah A. King and crew.****

1902

“Conservationists win a long fight to establish a 225,000-acre forest reserve where logging will be supervised by the U.S. Bureau of Forestry. In 1928 the reserve’s name is changed to the Chippewa National Forest. 

One of the treasures of Northern Minnesota is an area of Chippewa National forest known as “the Lost Forty’. Actually, it is an area of 144 acres that were somehow missed by surveyor Josiah A. King in 1882. His three man crew faced chilling weather, slogged through swamps, and it is not unlikely they were missed in exhaustion.” *

“In 1882, a land surveyor by the name of Josiah A. King, and his three-man crew, traveled 40 miles from the nearest white settlement called “the Grand Rapids of the Mississippi.” For a month, canvas tents were their homes, and flour, pork, beans, and dried apples their rations. Josiah and his crew were finishing the last of three contracted townships in one of the first land surveys of Minnesota’s north woods.

As the November winds blew around the crew, they surveyed a six square mile area between Moose and Coddington Lakes. Perhaps it was the chilling weather, or all of the desolate swamps around them, but the crew became confused, and they ended up plotting Coddington Lake about a half mile further northwest than it was actually located. Josiah’s crew’s error is Minnesota’s great fortune.

As a result, these towering pines were mapped as a body of water, and the virgin pine in this area was overlooked by the hungry logging companies. Afterall, what logging company would want to pay for swamp land. This parcel of land became known as “The Lost Forty” and went untouched by loggers. It is now managed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources under their Scientific & Natural Areas Program.”**

Father, You have encouraged us to have places of rest, and even have commanded that the land should be given rest. Parts of the Pentateuch that are despised as being outdated, finicky, and overly legalistic by some are the same verses that declare a Sabbath for the land and animals. Scientists in the 20th century were able to confirm the wisdom of these books of “myth”. Elements and minerals in the soil are depleted by overuse; giving the land a rest actually increases yields in the long run. Again, You already made us this promise in antiquity, and science finally has caught up. 

Lord, I see the Chippewa Forest as a reflection of this heart of rest. Within this forest, the Lost Forty, are like a time capsule giving testimony to what existed in Your natural balance. Thank You for holy, set-aside places like these! Thank You that the error of the surveyors may well have been Your providence and plan to show off Your handiwork to their progeny.

We see what the forest could continue to yield if harvested within Your boundaries. Will You forgive the impatience demonstrated in the harvesting of these northern forests of Minnesota? Will You give wisdom and balance to those who have an interest in these forests, whether political, environmental, economical, or spiritual? Will You give us this day a reserve of energy, of time, of thought to relax with our Creator? Will You forgive us where we are resistant to solitude, to quietness, to contemplation of our lives in the state of Minnesota? Will You help us hear Your voice calling from antiquity, ‘Your harvest’s aftergrowth you shall not reap, and your grapes of untrimmed vines you shall not gather; the land shall have a sabbatical year.” NASB Leviticus 25:5 ***

* http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm

**http://www.minnesotafunfacts.com/minnesota-geography/the-lost-40-a-minnesota-forest-legacy/

***http://biblehub.com/leviticus/25-5.htm

 

 

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19th Century, Environment, Fires, History, Intercession, Judgment & Counter-Judgment Cycle, Logging, Minnesota, Natural Disaster, omnipresent history, Uncategorized

Fire Destroys Hinckley and Sandstone 1894

Unknown-2

September 1, 1894

“Extremely dry conditions, high winds, and acres of tender-dry “slash” left over from timber cutting, combine to create a horrific fire with walls of flame 200 feet high reaching temperatures of 1,600 degrees Fahrenheit. Four hundred thirty six persons were known to have died and both towns were completely destroyed. Only the heroic actions of a number of railway employees, who evacuated several hundred residents, kept the death toll from being much higher. This was among the worst disasters in Minnesota history.” *

Why is it that You allow adversity, tragedy, and disasters such as this fire, Lord? If this people were dependent on logging and wood products for their livelihood, why would You let it be taken away? Why would You allow this inferno to compound their grief by such a dramatic loss of life? 

We often respond to catastrophe with a short-term perspective. Our senses are overloaded, and it is all we can do is observe the wreckage. It is not natural to stop and think, “What good can possibly come from this horror?”

Another typical response is to a painful event of this magnitude is to dissociate ourselves from it. We seek relief usually by one of two routes: responsibility or blame. The first is to rationalize what happened, and escape emotionally by seeking causes and responsibility, all the while remaining a ‘brave’ composure. The second response is to attach to our hearts, but close our minds by assessing ‘guilty’ parties of the blame due them.

I don’t know the hearts of my fellow Minnesotans this day, nor will I attempt to be their psychologist gazing back in judgment from the future. I do trust in Your omnipresent nature, and that this fire, the loss of these lands, people, and property 100-odd years ago remains in Your eternal ‘now’. Will You guide me to intercede Jesus?

Will You forgive those of us who offended You by choosing the pathway of blame? Will you forgive those of us who kept cool heads, were responsible, but never allowed the grief of this day to exit our hearts and consciousness? Will You break the pain that was passed forward into future generations by our lack of forgiveness and resolution?

Will You help us release the idol of control? We often hate what we cannot control. We cannot accept that we cannot control or manipulate our environment to our liking or desired outcome. 

According to the city of Hinckley, and its’ Fire Museum, we have a primary source to read about this disaster.

“Because of the dryness of the summer, fires were common in the woods, along railroad tracks and in logging camps where loggers would set fire to their slash to clean up the area before moving on. Some loggers, of course left their debris behind, giving any fire more fuel on which to grow. Saturday, September 1st, 1894 began as another oppressively hot day with fires surrounding the towns and two major fires that were burning about five miles (8 km) to the south. To add to the problem, the temperature inversion that day added to the heat, smoke and gases being held down by the huge layer of cool air above. The two fires managed to join together to make one large fire with flames that licked through the inversion finding the cool air above. That air came rushing down into the fires to create a vortex or tornado of flames which then began to move quickly and grew larger and larger turning into a fierce firestorm. The fire first destroyed the towns of Mission Creek and Brook Park before coming into the town of Hinckley. When it was over the Firestorm had completely destroyed six towns, and over 400 square miles (1,000 km2) lay black and smoldering. The firestorm was so devastating that it lasted only four hours but destroyed everything in its path.” **

Will You forgive us as Minnesotans’ for vainly attempting to control our forests? Will You turn this tragic day into a blessing for present and future generations? Will you show us the good fruits of September 1, 1894? Will You kindly help us to manage our inner environments as we manage our external ones?

* http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm

** http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Hinckley_Fire

 

Sep 1, 1894
Extremely dry conditions, high winds, and acres of tender-dry “slash” left over from timber cutting, combine to create a horrific fire with walls of flame 200 feet high reaching temperatures of 1,600 degrees Fahrenheit. Four hundred thirty six persons were known to have died and both towns were completely destroyed. Only the heroic actions of a number of railway employees, who evacuated several hundred residents, kept the death toll from being much higher. This was among the worst disasters in Minnesota history.*

Why is it that You allow adversity, tragedy, and disasters such as this fire, Lord? If this people were dependent on logging and wood products for their livelihood, why would You let it be taken away? Why would You allow this inferno to compound their grief by such a dramatic loss of life?

We often respond to catastrophe with a short-term perspective. Our senses are overloaded, and it is all we can do is observe the wreckage. It is not natural to stop and think, “What good can possibly come from this horror?”

Another typical response is to a painful event of this magnitude is to dissociate ourselves from it. We seek relief usually by one of two routes: responsibility or blame. The first is to rationalize what happened, and escape emotionally by seeking causes and responsibility, all the while remaining a ‘brave’ composure. The second response is to attach to our hearts, but close our minds by assessing ‘guilty’ parties of the blame due them.

I don’t know the hearts of my fellow Minnesotans this day, nor will I attempt to be their psychologist gazing back in judgment from the future. I do trust in Your omnipresent nature, and that this fire, the loss of these lands, people, and property 100-odd years ago remains in Your eternal ‘now’. Will You guide me to intercede Jesus?

Will You forgive those of us who offended You by choosing the pathway of blame? Will you forgive those of us who kept cool heads, were responsible, but never allowed the grief of this day to exit our hearts and consciousness? Will You break the pain that was passed forward into future generations by our lack of forgiveness and resolution?

Will You help us release the idol of control? We often hate what we cannot control. We cannot accept that we cannot control or manipulate our environment to our liking or desired outcome.

According to the Hinckley Fire Museum:
“Because of the dryness of the summer, fires were common in the woods, along railroad tracks and in logging camps where loggers would set fire to their slash to clean up the area before moving on. Some loggers, of course left their debris behind, giving any fire more fuel on which to grow. Saturday, September 1st, 1894 began as another oppressively hot day with fires surrounding the towns and two major fires that were burning about five miles (8 km) to the south. To add to the problem, the temperature inversion that day added to the heat, smoke and gases being held down by the huge layer of cool air above. The two fires managed to join together to make one large fire with flames that licked through the inversion finding the cool air above. That air came rushing down into the fires to create a vortex or tornado of flames which then began to move quickly and grew larger and larger turning into a fierce firestorm. The fire first destroyed the towns of Mission Creek and Brook Park before coming into the town of Hinckley. When it was over the Firestorm had completely destroyed six towns, and over 400 square miles (1,000 km2) lay black and smoldering. The firestorm was so devastating that it lasted only four hours but destroyed everything in its path.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Hinckley_Fire

Will You forgive us as Minnesotans’ for vainly attempting to control our forests? Will You turn this tragic day into a blessing for present and future generations? Will you show us the good fruits of September 1, 1894? Will You kindly help us to manage our inner environments as we manage our external ones?

Unknown-1

PS Lord, Will You honor the everyday heroes like Tommy Dunn?

“One of the many heros of this tragedy was the telegrapher stationed at the St. Paul and Duluth Depot in Hinckley. Tommy Dunn remained loyal to his post and waited for orders. Eventually the very tracks the trains traveled on burned and no orders came. The young telegrapher perished in the fire. He had been determined to save the people of this area. His last know message that he tapped out on his key to the agent in Barnum was “I think I’ve stayed too long” Tommy Dunn had waited until it was too later for his own escape.”

http://www.hinckley.govoffice2.com/index.asp?Type=B_BASIC&SEC=%7BFD8DC19D-5036-4403-8C87-061FFE2E781A%7D

 

*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!

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