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

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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, Faith, Governors, History, Minnesota, omnipresent history, Politics, Republican, State Government

Eberhart Becomes Governor 1909

Unknown

September 21, 1909

“Adolph Olson Eberhart takes office as the state’s 17th governor upon the death of Governor John A. Johnson. Eberhart was subsequently elected twice on his own merits.” *

It’s a timeless challenge to any society, during any period in human history, to change their leaders and maintain a continuity of authority. When a sibling stands in for mom or dad, they usually aren’t received with the same respect. The same goes for an anonymous lieutenant governor, Eberhart, suddenly thrust into prominence.

Events like these seem to underscore the importance of relationship and authority. We give our allegiance more easily to those whom we know. It seems a logical and reasonable unwritten precept of our survival instincts. We gain trust through consistent and positive relational knowledge of our neighbor.

I thank You that Governor Eberhart was up to the task. I don’t know the details of how he won the populace of Minnesota over, but it is recorded that he did. And he repeated his success twice.** Perhaps it was his consistent work ethic and and stalwart service to his constituents.

Author of authority, thank You for Eberhart’s continuity. Will You bless those who stand in a gap such as him? Will You bless those leaders who are challenged at every step, but simply follow the plan? Thank You for leaders who are not subject to reward, recognition, or favor-seeking. Bless those who lead because it is their nature!

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

**https://www.nga.org/cms/home/governors/past-governors-bios/page_minnesota/col2-content/main-content-list/title_eberhart_adolph.html

 

 

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20th Century, Democrat, Governors, Health, History, Intercession, Judgment & Counter-Judgment Cycle, Medicine, Minnesota, Politics, State Government

Governor Johnson Dies in Office 1909

1909-09-21postcardGovJohnsonFuneralTrainRochesterMN

September 21, 1909

“John A. Johnson was the state’s first governor to die in office, following surgery.” *

My first question to You is; “Why do we exalt our political leaders?” Does a governor’s death hold more weight and import than one his constituents? Perhaps our Johnson’s death connotes the identification Minnesotans had with him; he was one of us.

Lord, thank You that Minnesotans did indeed relate with Governor Johnson! Thanks for the gift of empathy one feels for a fellow countryman. Thank You that we were created with a longing and value of our sense of place. Our geography imprints on our soul whether: city streets, a warehouse, open roads, or open fields.

We seem to own what our eyes often take in. A street we frequent becomes our ‘stomping grounds’. Hunter’s tend to know their woods “like the back of their hand”. May our leaders continue Johnson’s legacy of being “one of us”.

Good Governor of All, will You remember us when we lose a head of state, or maybe even a hero? Will You help us deal with losing a key leader or mentor in our lives? Will You honor the memory of Governor Johnson? Will You keep us from the extremes of guilt through creating a cult of personality around politicians, or neglecting to groom and constantly call forth the headship of the next generation?

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

 

 

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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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