20th Century, baseball, Culture, History, Intercession, Judgment & Counter-Judgment Cycle, Minnesota, omnipresent history, sports

Saints vs. Millers: Streetcar Double Headers 1907

 

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1907 Spalding Guide - Hart - MPLS team

April 1907

“A heated sibling rivalry develops between the Twin Cities’ two pro baseball teams, the Saints and Millers. Streetcar doubleheaders are scheduled on Decoration Day, July 4, and Labor Day, with a game in each city.” * 

A bit of background is in order to help those who may not know much about the Twin Cities. There is definitely much in common between these two places, but it’s the distinctions that give each it’s flavor. They may not be thought of as ‘strong’ flavors by those who consider Minnesota ‘flyover country’, but that is a matter of taste.

St. Paul is the older brother of Minneapolis. According to local legend, first two structures in St. Paul were a log trading post that doubled as a pub, and a log Catholic church. There are very strong communities derived from nations with a Roman Catholic heritage: Irish, French, Polish, Italian, and Mexican. This city leans blue-collar, tends to move slower, and with more respect for tradition.

Minneapolis is the kid brother that just kept growing. It historically has been more Protestant, with residents mostly from Western and Northern European descent. It leans more white collar and entrepreneurial, with more nightlife to spend new money.

Holy Umpire, thanks for the heritage of baseball in Minnesota! What an awesome combination of sport with times for team play, and individual achievement! Baseball truly is a mirror of the best attributes of our culture.

Unfortunately, Saints and Millers reflect the darker sides of our nature too. Sometimes we, as fans attempted to “help” our home team. Check out this example of ‘sportsmanship from 100 years ago;

“The newspapers joined the struggle, firing their artillery at enemy camps across the Mississippi River. In the 1890s, when both cities were represented in the Western League, the Minneapolis Tribune leveled a charge of “dirty ball” against its neighbors to the east, the Saints, who were owned and managed at that time by Charles Comiskey. “Manager Comiskey,” reported the Tribune, “will be served with a formal notice that the Minneapolis club will not play today’s game unless guaranteed that there will be no spiking of Minneapolis players, no interference on the part of the crowd, no throwing of rocks, no throwing of dust and dirt in the eyes of the Minneapolis players, and a few other tricks which the game yesterday was featurized by.” ** 

God, thanks that You gave a home team to enjoy and be proud of. Will You forgive us for when we have gone overboard and over identify ourselves with a baseball team? Will You forgive harsh words that were sowed then between Minneapolis and St. Paul that still smart today? 

Today I want to acknowledge specific sports offenses to You. We have loved winning more than losing, but doesn’t losing build character? We have loved showboat personalities more than the team at times, but innately we know that a single player can’t win the game. We  can behave like spoiled brats at games, then lecture our kids about the importance of sportsmanship. God help our ERA and our era!  Have mercy on our inconsistent batting average with beloved rivals of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Thanks that these hostilities birthed a solution; the Minnesota Twins! Will You help us find creative ways to find common ground with our rivals today?

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

** Thornley, Stew. On to Nicollet: The Glory and Fame of the Minneapolis Millers.

*** Peruse this wonderful link to the complete article by Stew Thornley. http://www.stewthornley.net/millers_paydays.html

**** Dig into a book on the Saint Paul Saints, again, by Stew Thronley. http://www.mnhs.org/mnhspress/books/st-paul-saints

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19th Century, History, Intercession, Judgment & Counter-Judgment Cycle, Logging, Minnesota, Mississippi River

Giant Logjam 1894

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1894

“Logs bound for sawmills choke the Mississippi River at Little Falls. It takes six months to break up the six-mile-long woodpile. For the past 50 years, rivers have been the highways that carry logs to the mills. Lumberjacks keep the logs moving and break up jams. Now, small trunk railway lines are also heading deep into the forests to haul out the logs.” * 

What an apropos metaphor for work! We work hard to improve out lot in life. We take risks and make investments, but our timing can be off, and our productivity grinds to a halt. Forces beyond our control stop our progress, and sometimes years of our efforts are undone?! 

Why is this, One Who Orders the Universe? Why do we kill ourselves for a future payoff that may or may not come? Why are we dissatisfied with ’enough’, and push for ‘a little bit more’? Why do others we depend on slack and coast in their work? 

Again, thanks that You are a good dad! You gave this land a blessing of trees that were the perfect building material for this climate. You gave this land a blessing of a mighty river to move those trees to others. Thanks that You provide good things for us to use for ourselves and share with others! 

Will You forgive us our gluttony for lumber? Whether it was the loggers, the mills, or the lumber barons it does not matter. You know how each party contributed to this problem. Will You forgive us this offense, and the judgements of those upriver, downriver, or in the office?

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

**Learn more details about this giant logjam and the community of Little Falls, MN? http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn89064525/

***How did logging in this era impact the environment? 

https://www.ncrs.fs.fed.us/gla/reports/history.htm

 

 

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19th Century, Exploration, History, Intercession, Judgment & Counter-Judgment Cycle, Minnesota, omnipresent history, State Government

Itasca State Park Established 1891

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1891

“Conservationists win a bitter fight against lumber interests to establish Itasca, Minnesota’s first state park, at the headwaters of the Mississippi River.” * 

“Even after Schoolcraft’s discovery, a few other explorers claimed they had found the source in various tributaries of Lake Itasca. The controversy continued until 1889 when Jacob V. Brower studied the topography of the Itasca basin. He concluded that several creeks do contribute to Lake Itasca, but only at the lake’s outlet is a river formed. To learn more about his great North American River, stop at the interpretive center next to the parking lot before leaving. A souvenir shop is located in the same complex.

Brower struggled for years to preserve Itasca. In 1891, the legislature established Itasca State Park. It is Minnesota’s first state park, and one of the oldest in the country. But Brower, appointed the first park commissioner, received no pay and no funds or support to make the park a reality. Logging companies muscled their way into the park and began to clear-cut the timber. It wasn’t until 1919 that the major logging operations were completed. Today, however, there are still stands of virgin red and white pine in the park with some of the oldest and largest pine trees in Minnesota.”**

Help me with this, Lord of the Forests! I’m neither a man of the woods or of the city, but have empathies with both. What shall I pray?

First, let me say thanks for the discovery or rediscovery of the source of the Mississippi. May You bless this river, and keep, and make Your face shine on it! Thanks for the creation that it has blessed and upheld! Thanks for this pathway across our nation! 

I thank You that You are not offended by our science! I thank You that You do not bristle at our questions! I thank You that, though You may hide the truth for a time, You bless those that earnestly seek it. 

With this in mind, will You bless Schoolcraft, Brower, and any other unnamed or unrecorded explorer for the source of the Mississippi? Will You bless their heritage of family, friends, and any who would follow in their path to study and discover new aspects of this Creation?

Also, I ask Your blessing on those who sought to gather a harvest from this land. Every human on the face of this planet uses its resources on a daily basis. Thankou for those who worked the logging camps, fished, hunted, mined, or sought a better life in this region. Will You also bless their heritage of people who gather resources or repurpose those resources?

And here comes the guardian lie, that the motives of the former are superior to the latter, or that the actions of the latter are superior to the former, etc. You have made some to explore, some to study, some to harvest, some to gather, some to refine what is gathered, but NONE can claim superiority! We are all independently dependent on the Author of Life! We are necessary parts of the same body, but we have failed to recognize this, acknowledge this point of separation, or seek forgiveness, or give honor where it is due. 

Will You forgive us of our zealous judgements and counter-judgements regarding the land use of Itasca? Will you forgive our arrogance towards our neighbor for whom Christ rose and highly esteems? Will You remove the curses that have bound this land, this state, and this river? Will You help us remember the wisdom that You already have given regarding land? ***

** http://mntrails.com/trail-log/itasca-state-park-log

*** See “The Year of Jubilee Leviticus 25 http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0325.htm

 

 

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19th Century, Architecture, History, Intercession, Minnesota, Mississippi River, omnipresent history, railroad, Transportation

Stone Arch Bridge Opens 1883

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November 23, 1883

“The Stone Arch Bridge spans the Mississippi below St. Anthony Falls. Once called “Jim Hill’s Folly,” the bridge provides a crossing for trains and becomes a Minneapolis landmark.”

First, I need to confess my bias against the railroad barons based on my reading in college to You. Will You forgive my assumption that Hill was a “Robber Baron” like many of his peers; captains of industry synonymous with trains? The rails in this era often made choices that yielded pain for the Midwestern farmer, manufacturer, or anyone who wasn’t in partnership with them. (They gained sweetheart deals for themselves and their allies, and charged exorbitant prices to the farmer whose harvest would spoil if they waited for better. I do not abhor competition, but bristle when I sense oligarchic or monopolistic control.) 

Digging into my assumptions, I found that I had wrongly placed all capitalists of this epoch in the same camp, but this is inaccurate. May I elaborate? Market capitalism is based on building a better product, and selling it at a voluntarily determined price. State capitalism twists the arm of government to sell an inferior product at an involuntary price. 

Clearly, Hill belonged more to the former camp than the latter according to Loyola economics professor Thomas J. DiLorenzo. Here lies evidence of Hill’s opposition to the state capitalism of the “Robber Barons”.

“Hill’s rates fell steadily, and when farmers began complaining about the lack of grain storage space, he instructed his company managers to build larger storage facilities near his rail depots. He refused to join in attempts at cartel price fixing and in fact “gloried in the role of rate-slasher and disrupter of [price-fixing] pooling agreements,” writes historian Burton Folsom. After all, he knew that monopolistic pricing would have been an act of killing the goose that lays the golden egg.” **

Additionally, the following quote of Professor DiLorenzo hints at why Hill’s competitors mocked the Stone Arch Bridge as “folly”, and his own internal motives.

 “In building his transcontinental railroad, from 1886 to 1893, Hill applied the same strategy that he had in building the St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Manitoba: careful building of the road combined with the economic cultivation of the nearby communities. He always built for durability and efficiency, not scenery, as was sometimes the case with the government-subsidized railroads. He did not skimp on building materials, having witnessed what harsh Midwest winters could do to his facilities and how foolish it was for the NP (Northern Pacific Railroad – his competitor) to have ignored this lesson. The solid granite arch bridge that Hill built across the Mississippi River was a Minneapolis landmark for many years.” ***

G-d, did I have it all wrong! I find myself humbled to discover that Hill is a good man, who built a better railroad. Will You honor those like him, who love their work, and offer it back to You and society as an act of worship?!

Will You free those of us harboring bitterness towards the state capitalists, and towards this spirit in man that is willing to use the law in self service? Will You free us from the admonition “Good enough for government work”? Will You lift this spirit of the slacker: up, out, and onto the Cross of Christ?

Lord, quite honestly, I hate the heritage of price fixing and theft! I abhor the curse that these judgment’s have put on our state, its’ people, our freedom of travel, and all lands that were granted, bought or stolen by the railroad lines. I  despise how the rails withheld the good that they could have chosen to perform for their fellow man, and still yielded a generous profit!

Yet, I am a man of mixed motives just like them. I withhold from doing the good I know I can do, and sin against my brother in my heart. I judge them. I think evil of them in my thoughts. I harbor resentment. Lord Jesus, King of the Universe, have mercy on me a sinner for my judgments!

Will You bring blessing to every rail, every piece of land, every train, every rail employee, and all the cargo that enters or exits this state of Minnesota? Will You profoundly bless the Stone Arch bridge, and esteem its’ symbolism? Will You be the bridge and span this rift between free-market entrepreneurs and fixed-market magnates? Amen!

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

** DiLorenzo, Thomas J. “The Truth About the “Robber Barons”” excerpt of Chapter 7 “How Capitalism Saved America”. Internet. MIses Institute. 11/01/2017. https://mises.org/library/truth-about-robber-barons

*** DiLorenzo citing Burton W. Folsom Jr., “Entrepreneurs vs. the State: A New Look at the Rise of Big Business in America”, 1840 — 1920 (Herndon, VA: Young America’s Foundation, 1987

**** Read more about these lovely arches? https://www.minneapolisparks.org/parks__destinations/historical_sites/stone_arch_bridge/#group_2_150339

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19th Century, Business, Geology, History, Industry, Intercession, Minnesota, omnipresent history, State Government

Falling Falls

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1866 to 1880
“Construction begins on a wooden apron to protect St. Anthony Falls. Mills depend on the falls for industrial power, and their owners hope the apron will stop its erosion and collapse. Floodwaters destroy this first attempt the following year. Collapses follow. It’s 1880 before a useful apron is completed.” *

The Eastman Tunnel once ran below the St. Anthony Falls, connecting Nicollet island with Hennepin Island. It’s collapse almost destroyed the utility of the falls for the milling industry. Congress gave the Army Corps of Engineers $50,000 to fix the falls by basically filling in the tunnel with concrete, and making a wooden apron. This attempt failed also, and it wouldn’t be until 1874 when a lasting apron would be built.**

Jesus, our life is a series of attempts, successes, and failures. Help us view failures as You do; teachable moments. Thanks that this failure to build an apron eventually led to a successful preservation of the utility of St. Anthony Falls and the milling industry, but at the cost of destroying its’ natural beauty.

Will You bless us again through the Falls and the Mississippi? Will You gift us to persevere today when our work is totally destroyed by forces beyond our control? Will You help us work in harmony with beauty and nature?
http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
** https://www.esci.umn.edu/courses/1001/1001_kirkby/SAFL/WEBSITEPAGES/5.html

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19th Century, Chippewa, Exploration, History, Intercession, Minnesota, Native Americans, Ojibwe, State Government

Beltrami County Formed

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February 28, 1866
“Beltrami County was formed.” *

A seemingly simple note in history. A county is born, but what makes this place unique, Lord? Why is it special in the history of my state? It’s the headwaters of the great Mississippi, supplies drinking water for a quarter of Minnesota, supports hundreds of species of animals, and gives witness to approx. 10,000 years of human history.**

Some of the land Beltrami County sits upon was originally Ojibwe (Chippewa) land. “Home to the federally recognized Red Lake Band of Chippewa, it is unique as the only “closed reservation” in Minnesota. In a closed reservation, all land is held in common by the tribe and there is no private property.” *** Will You direct my thoughts and prayers today for this peoples’ influence on this event?

 

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This county is named after the Italian count Giacomo Beltrami. He explored the area ca. 1825 and claimed to have discovered the headwaters of the Mississippi. After more years of adventures and travels he wrote his memoirs, but could not get them published by the Church-led government of Italy. What, if any, prayer points does this bring to the fore? ****

First, I will give thanks for the gift of this river; the Mississippi. What would Minnesota be without it? It has given so much to so many: a 2300+ mile waterway, massive hunting and fishing grounds, thousands of years of drinking water, and immense beauty! May we forever remember this blessing from You, and be honorable stewards of it!

Next, I commend the Ojibwe-Chippewa Nation to You. I remember their choice to live in common, a huge commitment to trusting relationships most moderns will not dare undertake.You entrusted them with the gift of the Mississippi, and they did not withhold this treasure from Beltrami. *****

Lastly, I observe this lesson from this snippet of Minnesota history; the debt of gratitude is like a great river. Minnesota owes a debt of thanks to Italy, who owes a debt of gratitude to Giacomo Beltrami who owes a debt to the Ojibwe, who owe a debt to their forebearers, yet we all owe a perpetual debt of honor to the King of the Universe. As long as there is time, may this river of remembrance and honor never cease to flow and refresh! Amen!
http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
** http://mississippiheadwaters.org/History.asp
*** Charles Brill (1992). Red Lake Nation: Portraits of Ojibway Life, University of Minnesota Press, p. 19.
**** https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giacomo_Beltrami
***** http://www.sciencebuzz.org/blog/would-you-trust-your-life-red-umbrella

 

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19th Century, abolition, African American, Black History, Christian, Civil War, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota

Pilgrims up the River

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1863
“Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation frees all slaves, but the North and South are still at war. In Missouri, Robert Hickman leads 200 slaves in an escape up the Mississippi River to St. Paul. They call themselves “the pilgrims” and form Pilgrim Baptist Church, Minnesota’s first black congregation.”*

Thanks, Holy Spirit, that You gave these Pilgrims boldness to escape their life of slavery. They made a conscious choice to follow Your provision for their freedom! They acted boldly, not fearing for their own lives.

Will You bless Robert Hickman, his generations, dwellings, and property in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ? Will You remember this act of leadership, and continue to bring folks of such character to St. Paul?

Bless Pilgrim Baptist Church! May they lead the way for future generations of Minnesotans to follow Your way of freedom, even though it’s risky, costly, and dangerous! I bless You, Pilgrim Baptist, your generations, lands, and property by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ!

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

 

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