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Maria Witham

  • The four main ingredients in beer are barley, water, hops, and yeast. North Dakota is not known for its hop production, but the United States is the leading producer in the world, with a large percentage grown in the Pacific Northwest.
  • The grandeur of the plains is more subtle than most landscapes. It appeases the need for simplicity, filled with absences. Quiet, modest, and if one is not accustomed, lonely. However, for a faithful lover of the prairies, it holds not loneliness, but peace. This peace appealed to a group of Franciscan Sisters who made their home in Hankinson, North Dakota, in 1928. On this date in 1926, the location for the Sister’s intended community was selected.
  • 12/22/2017: It was 1912, and the holiday season was under way in the community of Britton, North Dakota. Mr. R. Welch gave a well-attended and festive ‘dancing party’, and the first snow of the season had adorned the rolling countryside of Burleigh County, giving the opportunity for sleigh rides. While May and Elva Doan visited with neighbors, Jewell Doan, along with C.A. Anderson and Herman Olson, ventured out into the newly anointed hills to hunt rabbits. With Christmas dinner only a few evenings away, the hunting party bagged 32 rabbits.
  • 11/20/2017: On this date in 1912, 10-year-old Belle Goldschlager was preparing for a recital in Williston’s Library Auditorium. Belle was born in Chicago in 1902; but grew up on her grandparent’s farm, outside Williston. Belle showed a love for music, dance, and drawing, passions she would eventually pursue further by attending the Minneapolis School of Art, graduating in 1925. Although Belle continued to love music and dance, it was visual art that became her career.
  • 9/25/2017: On this date in 1639, the first printing press was set up in the American colonies. Brought to Cambridge, Massachusetts from England by the Rev. Joseph Glover, a Puritan Minister, the press was transported to the fledging colony to become a part of a new college that would soon be known as Harvard.
  • 7/24/2017: On this date in 1890, an article in the Jamestown Weekly Alert addressed the suffering and difficulties of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate. Drought on the Lake Traverse Reservation had resulted in failed crops, leaving the tribe with few resources, and close to starvation. Families sold valuable ponies and oxen, and the scarce timber was cut and sold.
  • 7/21/2017: One of the best ways to beat the heat on these long summer days is to find a little shade and open up a good book. For far-off adventures, no need to go any further than your local public library. However, for some North Dakotans in rural communities, access to libraries is challenging. Nonetheless, trustworthy and dedicated librarians have been finding ways to bring books and educational resources to these communities for over one hundred years.
  • 6/23/2017: The weather is a continual companion, with its whims and follies, highs and lows, bitterness and warmth. And for many of us, our daily routine begins with a check of the forecast. However, a good forecast was not always easy to come by.
  • 1/20/2014: It was on this day in 1938 that the Walcott Reporter printed a story about a particularly interesting oak tree. Surveyors in 1870 had used the oak as a landmark when measuring land near the Sheyenne River south of Kindred. The oak was not an unlikely choice for a landmark on the North Dakota prairies, where it was most likely the only tree for miles.
  • 3/10/2009: Spring is the season of love, and that can mean all kinds of trouble. This was true for Mrs. Sybil Kleity from North Dakota, who found love in a most unexpected place, public transportation.