By Kristin Matzke, BECHS Volunteer
In 1854, Basil Moreland rounded a bend in the Blue Earth River and staked a claim on the land at the top of the east bank. Aware that the land was part of the Winnebago Indian Reservation, but recognizing the potential water power available at the falls, Moreland built a house. However, others, and Moreland, were soon evicted by the government and settlers were barred from settling in the area until 1863, when the government removed the Winnebago Indians from the area, and opened the area for settling.
By Hilda Parks, BECHS Volunteer
Wondering what to buy your loved ones this Christmas? How about a cracker jar or a gold fountain pen. Those are gifts advertised in The Free Press in 1900. A Victorla or a Hoover were suggested gifts in the 1920’s.
Studying the newspaper for Christmas gifts in 1860 would have given you no ideas. But you would learn you could purchase Bragg’s Arctic Liniment [sic] or Wright’s India Vegetable Pills for your mid-winter aches and pains.
Because of the timber and waterways, Cambria is known as one of the most picturesque townships in Blue Earth County. Cambria Township began as a part of Butternut Valley Township, but more settlers came to the area because of the timber, water, and drainage that Cambria became its own township in 1867.
Ceresco became a township on July 8, 1857. Its name was a mistake; one of its residents, Isaac Slocum, had moved to the present town of Lincoln and suggested the name Ceresco for it after his old town of Ceresco, WI. Meanwhile, John and Miles Porter suggested Fox Lake for the township’s new name after Fox Lake, WI, where they had lived before. The County Board decided the townships’ names on April 6, 1858, but there was a mix-up and two names were switched. Nothing was ever done to correct the mistake, so Ceresco stayed Ceresco ever since.
Because of its lack of timber and rivers, Butternut Valley was somewhat avoided by settlers in the early 1800’s. Andrew Strom, of Norway, settled his family in Butternut in 1857. About the same time, Evan Peterson and his family settled in another section of Butternut, and George W. Smith staked claims as well. While it is hard to determine who the real first settler is, Strom is generally given credit. Not many more settlers came until 1863. At this time, about two dozen more people came to the township.
The new Research Center is now open. The glass door has been installed and new microfilm readers/printers will be installed soon. There is a new copier is the room which allows us to make color copies for researchers. Our files of newspaper and information clippings now have their own room and table, located just off the main room. Researchers already love this new space.
R. D. HUBBARD HOUSE ASSISTANT
The R. D. Hubbard House Assistant is a part-time, seasonal position that exists for the operation of the Blue Earth County Historical Society (BECHS) R. D. Hubbard House and will work with the BECHS staff and volunteers to meet the needs of visitors to the house. Specific duties include, but are not limited to: