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Prepping for Winter


Preparing for the often long, often hard, and often snowy winters in North Dakota often means changing to snow tires, buying sweaters and keeping food, water and blankets in the car. But for those living in rural areas in the 1930s, it was a greater ordeal … finishing the harvest, canning and even cutting roadside weeds. That’s right … weeds. On this date in 1930, the post office at Sharon, in Steele County sent out his reminder that appeared in The Sharon Reporter, the weekly newspaper:

“Patrons of Sharon rural routes are again reminded of their duty to the rural mail carriers and to take first steps to see that the roads are passable for mail delivery this winter by mowing all weeds along the route. A little work on the part of the patrons now will do a great deal to lessen the amount of snow along the roads and all highways where carriers travel should have all the weeds and obstructions removed before the time that the snow comes.”

What’s more, with a reported early fall season, there was expected to be a “large amount” of fall plowing done that year, and it was suspected that the snow would be more likely than ever to accumulate in drifts along the roads, a problem compounded by the weeds.

And although it’s nice to think that the common, albeit unofficial creed holds true, that “neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night” will keep the postal service from their duties, the village of Sharon was reminded: “The postal department does not require its carriers to serve routes where no attempt is made to keep them open for winter travel… but both postmaster and carriers are reluctant to take such drastic action, and hope for cooperation on the part of those who benefit by the daily mail delivery. “

Dakota Datebook written by Sarah Walker


The Sharon Reporter, Sept. 26, 1930