19th Century, Business, Economics, History, Logging, Minnesota, Native Americans, trade

Stillwater as Lumber Center 1844


Maine lumberman John McKusick forms the Stillwater Lumber Company. Other New Englanders follow, making Stillwater the early center of Minnesota lumbering.*

May I watch this moment in 1844 with You? Can I sit with You on the east bank of the St. Croix bluff and take in the whole valley? I can practically smell the forest, and feel the calming flow of the St. Croix river.
On this day I remember to You the Ojibwe and Dakota nations that shared this land with us. Will You remember their open-handedness? I thank You for all, past present and future, who are blessed by this kindness.

The forests of this valley, and its’ proximity to such a wide river must have been an amazing discovery to lumbermen like McKusick. Huge trees could be harvested, rolled downhill, and floated to the sawmill. What prime real estate for the woodsman?!

May I thank You for Mc Kusick and the utility of these vast stands of timber? May we ponder the needs those woods supplied for that generation? Thank You for the hard, but good work provided through logging in that era.

As with almost any endeavor, with success comes competition. I know too little about the specifics of the competitive nature of these loggers in Stillwater, but relate to them as human who knows what it’s like to protect something valuable. It is easy to over invest in one’s work, to have our nose so close to the grindstone that we can’t see beyond it.

Will You forgive their fears of losing face, of being lesser? Will You forgive their offenses to You and each other through over harvesting, stealing logs, ignoring boundaries? Will You bless those who practiced happy competition, and enjoyed the camaraderie of Your woods?

Last thought, You present us with an odd paradox in our behavior; we often love what we harvest. Who loves the soil more than the farmer? Who loves ducks like their hunters? Who loves the woods like the logger? Who loves words like the writer?

Thank You for whatever it is we harvest now, or our future generations! May we humbly acknowledge You, and our dependence on Your resources. You commanded the Hebrews to not harvest up to the edges of their fields, but leave some behind so the needy would have food. Will You bless us to do this now and always, whatever our field or forest looks like?

17th Century, Culture, History, Intercession, Minnesota, Native Americans

Ojibwe arrived in Minnesota 1650 to 1700


“Boy Chief” ca. 1835 George Catlin. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ojibwe

“The Ojibwe Indians, who have been moving westward for generations, reach the land we now call Minnesota. They encounter forest-dwelling Dakota people already here. The Ojibwe have gradually moved west from the region near the mouth of the St. Lawrence River, north of present-day Maine. By 1680, they have divided into three groups; the northern and southwestern groups have traveled west along the shores of Lake Superior. They have been involved in the fur trade for generations and possess guns. Like the Dakota, the Ojibwe are nature-based hunters, fishers, and horticulturalists.” *

Lord Jesus, thank You for using Minnesota as a meeting grounds for the Ojibwe and Dakota tribes! What good was in Your heart in this season for these tribes? Again, a migration of peoples from east to west, but this time Native Americans meeting Native Americans. Thank You for the potential released through the gift of new friendships.

I ask for the continuation and refreshment of this alliance begun in 1650 between these two tribes. If there were any bitter seeds planted then, will You kindly uproot them and release Your peace in its place? Will You retake any legal ground the Enemy may hold through this event, and specifically as it affects these tribal lands? Will You send your grace and truth into any contentious areas? May all Dakota and Ojibwe be blessed by You; Exalted Chief of the hunter, the fisherman, and the planter!

*Note – PrayThroughHistory uses the timeline located for several years at the Minnesota Historical Society Web site, at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm .  Currently the timeline seems to be unavailable. I am hopeful that it will be back up in the future, as it was a valuable, user-friendly tool for anyone wishing to explore Minnesota history.