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Dr. Steve Hoffbeck

Contributor, Dakota Datebook
  • The heart of durum wheat country in the state has been in a 90-mile radius around Devils Lake, which annually produced about 90% of the U.S. total. From durum wheat kernels comes macaroni, egg noodles and spaghetti. Back in 1955, Devils Lake celebrated ‘all things macaroni’ at its Macaroni Festival, and June 13 was the final day of the event.
  • History is all around us, if only we open our eyes to see it, and sometimes get off the main highways and find it. One such historical gem is in McVille, in Nelson County. It’s the McVille Auditorium, a reminder of the 1930s Great Depression-era.
  • There was a writer from Mayville who captured the essence of her town by opening her eyes to the simple beauty around her. Her name was Mary Merilla Hilstad (1889-1973), and her descriptions of her Mayville surroundings are both simple and profound. On this date in 1936, the Traill County Tribune published Mary Hilstad’s impressions of colors in her everyday-life.
  • Home schooling is accepted in North Dakota today, but there was a time when home-schooling was illegal. Compulsory school attendance laws required that children aged 7 to 16 be educated, with public-schools the main providers. However, Catholic schools and other parochial schools had become available as alternatives.
  • It’s a long way from Norway to Kindred, ND, yet deep connections between the two locations still remain. The key link involved the Hertsgaard family.
  • North Dakota farmers always had plenty of problems to worry about, like wind, drought, hail, debt, floods, infestations, and blight. Another small enemy lurking near farmer’s fields were the varmints – including ground-squirrels, prairie dogs, and pocket gophers.
  • Some people live in North Dakota for a short time before moving on, leaving only a scattering of information. Today we consider the example of Civil War veteran Charles Bolyard. His tombstone is in the Union Cemetery in Egeland, North Dakota. It’s one of the few traces of his time here. Engraved on his marker is the inscription “Charles Bolyard,” a private in the 123rd Ohio Infantry; born Feb. 3, 1840, and died Jan. 20, 1941.
  • We don’t know everything about the life of Dr. William D. Wolverton (1834-1922), yet we do know that Dr. Wolverton made several lasting contributions to regional history.
  • The problem of providing help for poor people has plagued local governments since ancient times. Assistance has oftentimes been provided in the context of religious duty or as a preventative to social disorder.
  • What do you first think about when you think about bib overalls? If you grew up in the 1980s and 1990s, you might picture yourself wearing toddler-sized Oshkosh B’gosh overalls in colorful shades of red, blue, or in stripes.