20th Century, Culture, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, sports

Streetcar Double Headers

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.

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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.

1907 Spalding Guide - Hart - MPLS team

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;

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

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?

*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!

**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 Thornley. http://www.mnhs.org/mnhspress/books/st-paul-saints

 

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19th Century, History, Intercession, Jesus, Logging, Minnesota

Giant Logjam 1894

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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 where apropos? 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 remember and bless all the labor in the forest and on the river: whistle punks, chasers, high climbers, yarders, lumberjacks, lumberjills, woodcutters, shanty boys, woodhicks, river pigs, catty-men, river rats, and river hogs who dealt with this hazardous work? Will You forgive us this offense, and the judgements of those upriver, downriver, or in the middle of the jam?

*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!
**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, Jesus, Minnesota, State Government

Itasca State Park Established

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

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 judgments and counter-judgments 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? **

*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!

** 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, Jesus, Minnesota, Transportation

Stone Arch Bridge Opens

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Nov 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. The rails often made choices that yielded pain for the Midwestern farmer, manufacturer, or anyone who wasn’t in partnership with them. (They would have sweetheart deals for themselves and their allies, and charge exorbitant prices to the farmer whose harvest would spoil if they waited for a better deal. I do not abhor competition, but bristle when I sense oligarchic or monopolistic control.)
I find myself harboring bitterness towards them, and towards this spirit in man that is willing to use the law in SELF service. I confess my judgements and bitterness towards James Hill, and the way the railroads were constructed in this state and nation. Lord, quite honestly, I hate the heritage of price fixing and theft! I abhor the curse that these judgments 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!
Lord Jesus, it is You who taught the fish to swim, the rabbit to hop, the horse to run, the people to walk, the wind to blow, the moon to orbit, and sent us the sunshine we feel today from millions of light years’ away! You are the Master of All Transportation! Will You forgive the sins by James J. Hill against Minnesotans’? Will you forgive our collective counter judgements of him, his companies, and generations? 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 redeem its’ symbolism? Will You be the bridge and span this rift? 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!

**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, Agriculture, Business, History, Industry, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota

Washburn ‘A’ Mill Explodes May 2, 1878

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The mill explodes when flour dust in the air inside it ignites. The explosion kills 18 workers, destroys five other mills, and decimates the surrounding area. Debris lands in Saint Paul, and the shock is felt in Stillwater. The event brings instant notoriety to Minneapolis.

The tragic explosion leads to reforms in the milling industry. Ventilation systems and other precautionary devices will be devised in order to prevent further tragedy.*

Lord, this explosion truly impacted our state and city for decades. Will You forgive us our bitter root judgements of this event? Will You forgive any rash words and thoughts spoken by the rivals of the houses of Pillsbury and Washburn that may still be with us today? Will You cleanse the land, and the river from the bifurcations of this blast?
If the root sin of pride is an issue, (because of its largesse), will You forgive and release all the inheritors of this separation? We need You to provide our food! We welcome You to Minnesota, to the Falls of St. Anthony! Come and ‘be present at our table Lord!’

*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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19th Century, Business, government, History, Industry, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Natural Disaster, Politics, 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.
https://www.esci.umn.edu/courses/1001/1001_kirkby/SAFL/WEBSITEPAGES/5.html

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?

*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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19th Century, Culture, Exploration, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Native Americans, Politics, State Government

Beltrami County Formed

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Feb 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. http://mississippiheadwaters.org/History.asp

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.” Charles Brill (1992). Red Lake Nation: Portraits of Ojibway Life, University of Minnesota Press, p. 19. ISBN 0-8166-1906-9
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? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giacomo_Beltrami

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. http://www.sciencebuzz.org/blog/would-you-trust-your-life-red-umbrella

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!

*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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