News & Events

The Rooster Crows – August 11, 2017

“Every day that it doesn’t rain is one day closer to the day that it will,” the Old Timers used to say, and, by golly, they were right! Last week’s comments and complaints about the drought afflicting this area had scarcely been written when rain began falling on Rutland during the afternoon and evening of Wednesday, August 2.  Paul Anderson’s electronic precipitation measuring device at 309 Gay Street recorded .44 of an inch by Thursday morning; Mike Walstead reported .45 of an inch in his rain gauge on his farm 5 miles west of Rutland; Mike Anderson’s gauge 3½ miles east & 2½ miles north of town showed .35 of an inch; The gauge on the Harvey & Judy Bergstrom farm 6 miles east and 1 mile south of Rutland recorded .66 of an inch; and, Terry Dusek of the 1st National, Now Sargent County, Bank in Milnor, where every time it rains it rains pennies from Heaven, reported that his gauge showed .65 of an inch on Thursday morning. It’s not enough to declare the drought at an end, but it is enough to keep the growing season going for corn and soybean crops throughout the area.

Rutland native Anthony “Bud” Gast, now a resident of Security CO, near Colorado Springs CO, and his younger sister, Cecelia Gast of Fargo, accompanied their nephew, Ben Kessel, on a trip to visit their old home town on Wednesday, August 2. Bud grew up on the family farm east of Rutland, and was a member of RHS Class of ’60. Cecelia would have been in the Class of ’64, but the Gast family moved to Fargo in 1960, and she completed her high school education at Shanley High. Bud served in the U. S. Army for 21 years and retired at Colorado Springs in 1982. Following his Army service, he worked on construction for a year, and then worked for the Colorado Springs School System for another 21 years before retiring full time. He had flown up to Fargo last week to be with the family of his sister, Jeanne Kessel, who had passed away on July 25, and he was planning to go back to Colorado on Friday, August 4. Bud reports that his son just retired from the Army after 27 years of service, including 6 deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, and now makes his home in Colorado Springs, as well. Bud also has a daughter who lives in upstate New York. Bud states that he and his wife, June, have 17 great-grandchildren. He stated that he wanted to see the Rutland Veterans’ Memorial, on which his name appears, and he was impressed by the simple elegance of the monument. Although he was tempted, Bud said that he did refrain from leaving his footprints in the fresh cement in front of the Town Hall. He intends to make plans to come back to North Dakota to spend more time visiting old friends at sometime in the near future, and he extends greetings to all of his friends and classmates from the Rutland community.

Mark & Kathy Wyum returned home on the evening of Wednesday, August 2, at the conclusion of a 10 day trip out to the West that took them to Theodore Roosevelt National Park at Medora and a performance of the Medora Musical at the Burning Hills Ampitheater there; up to the “Highline,” U. S. Highway #2, in Montana, and a stop at Havre to see the sights, including a pre-historic “buffalo jump” where native Americans obtained their meat supplies in ages past; to Fort Benton, where early day fur traders helped open the West; to the grandeur of Glacier National Park and the former railroad, lumber & livestock hub of Whitefish, now a bustling, high class and high priced, tourist center; and then down the Swan Valley to the home of Rutland natives David & Patricia Kulzer; on to Helena for a visit with one of Mark’s Orthmeyer cousins, and then back to I-94 and the drive home. Mark reports that while he and Kathy were at the Kulzer residence, they also had the opportunity to visit with Glenn Kulzer of Dillon MT; Ross & Miranda Kulzer of Kalispell and their children, Lilah & Cohn; and, with James Brakke & Sydney Koch who now make their home in Stillwater MN, but were also vacationing in western Montana. Mark reports that the drought has severely damaged crops and depleted livestock pasture, hay & feed supplies throughout western North Dakota and eastern Montana.

Nordland Lutheran Church in Rutland and Trinity Lutheran Church in Havana held a combined farewell service for Pastor Nicholas Rohde at Nordland Lutheran Church at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, July 30. Pastor Rohde served the 2 congregations as an intern for the past year. Supervising Pastor Bob Ohnstad, who is also serving as the interim pastor at Trinity Lutheran in Forman, and Internship Committee Chairman Paul Anderson representing Nordland and Havana Trinity conducted a “Sending” ceremony at the conclusion of the service. Other guests included Pastor Rohde’s wife, Pastor Leslie Rohde of Wahpeton ND; his parents, Bruce & Nancy Rohde of Rochester MN; his brother, Pastor Will Rohde; his grandmother, Bettey Lou (Bakken) Rohde of Webster SD; and, his great aunt, Alice (Bakken) Simonson, age 99, also of Webster. A traditional pot-luck dinner followed the service in the Nordland Fellowship Hall. Pastor Rohde will be returning to Wartburg Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa, to complete his theological studies this Fall, and hopes to return to rural ministry after graduation from the seminary next Spring.

Larry Christensen, Commander of Bergman-Evenson Post #215 of The American Legion here, reports that he has been informed by Mr. Trent Nelson that TON construction has donated the materials and labor for the new sidewalk/ramp leading up to the legion hall. Commander Christensen and the other members of Post #215 extend their thanks to Trent and the employees of TON Construction for their public-spirited generosity. Post #215 also received a “thank you” from the Havana legion Post for the Rutland post’s participation in the ceremonial detail for the funeral of Arvin Enderson on Thursday, August 3. Ted Lee, Doug Olstad, Tom Manley, Andy Harris, and Larry Christensen were the participants from post 215. Mr. Enderson, a lifelong member of the Havana community and a veteran of the Korean War, had passed away on Monday, July 31, and at least 3 of Sargent County’s Legion Posts supplied members for the detail that rendered military honors to Mr. Enderson at the Havana Cemetery.

Jim & Deb Fust of Park City MT arrived in Rutland on the evening of Thursday, August 3. They took up residence in Lori McLaen’s “Bunkhouse” on Main Street during their stay here. A family gathering of the “Fust First Cousins” was held in Lidgerwood on Saturday, August 5. Jim reports that the 8 siblings who were in his father’s generation were the parents of 45 children, 36 of whom are still living. Twenty-five of those first cousins were present for the reunion. Jim reports that 2 of his sisters: Kathleen; and Linda; and, 2 of his brothers: Art; and, Earl; attended the reunion. His sister Rosemary, and his youngest brother, Norman Peter, were unable to attend.  During their time in Rutland the Fusts also visited with Deb’s father, Leif Sundlie, at the North Dakota Veterans’ Home in Lisbon. Deb reports that Leif is in good health and enjoys having visitors, particularly if they want to visit about baseball.

Lionel & Marvel Von Hagen of Kindred (pronounced “Kinerd” in Kindred) ND were Rutland visitors on the morning of Saturday, August 5. Marvel Von Hagen is the artist retained to restore the Altar Painting of “Christ Ascending” for Nordland Lutheran Church here. The picture was originally painted in 1916 and was behind the altar at Nordland until the late 60’s, when it was replaced by the Altar fixtures that had formerly been in use at Concordia Lutheran Church in Shuman Township. The painting was stored in the attic at Nordland until it was rediscovered about a year ago. The oil paint art work was in need of some preservation and restoration work, and that is Ms. Von Hagen’s specialty. The restoration work is nearly completed, and She and her husband were in Rutland on Saturday to pick up the frame for the painting. In a previous career, Ms. Von Hagen served as office manager for U. S. Senator Quentin Burdick’s Washington D. C. office. She has many stories of Senator Burdick’s work for North Dakota, as well of his well-deserved reputation for being a tightwad with his personal finances. Ms. Von Hagen is scheduled to have shoulder surgery in the near future, and wants to get the restoration of Nordland’s painting completed before that. Her husband, Lionel, is a native of southern Maryland and currently works for a commercial plumbing firm in Fargo that has its offices next door to Air Mechanical, a commercial heating & air conditioning firm owned by Rutland native Todd Sjothun. During their Rutland visit the Von Hagens stopped in at The Lariat Bar to look at the wall mural painted by the artist, Pletan, in the Original bar building back in 1955. The section of wall with the mural, a western ranch scene, was removed from the original building and installed in the new Lariat Bar building at the time it was built in 2009.

Rutland natives Bill & Mary Woytassek, now residents of Detroit Lakes MN, stayed in the Rutland RV Park on the evening of Friday, August 4, and stopped in at The Lariat for coffee and conversation on Saturday morning. The two were on their way out to Bismarck to spend some time with their daughters, Gina & Amy, and their husbands, Greg Nosel and Wade Mann. Greg is employed by Border States Electric, and Wade is an attorney with one of the large law firms headquartered in Bismarck. Bill states that he & Mary are now fully retired but are still “busy as heck,” although he’s not always sure with what. The 35th annual “We Fest” was being held at Detroit Lakes this weekend, Bill reported, and the area was jam packed with travel trailers, motor homes, campers, tents, automobiles and people. In his opinion it was a good weekend to get out of town and go visit the kids.

Another Rutland native, Ed Christensen, now a resident of Bismarck arrived in Rutland on Friday, August 4, for the annual Christensen Golf Classic that was held the following day at the Forman Golf Course. Carolyn Christensen provided the following report of the weekend’s events: “Here is a synopsis of Christensen Classic 2017. About 20 of us met for supper on Friday night at the Lariat. We kept the server hopping & had a great time visiting. The Christensen Golf Classic itself began at 9:00 on Saturday morning with a welcome from Larry Christensen and a prayer from Leo Christensen. Then, 31 golfers aged 9 to over 80 were shotgunned across the Forman Golf Course. To keep up the strength of the golfers, a cart loaded with water, sub sandwiches and a snack mix roamed the golf course throughout the morning. In the club house, non-golfers had coffee and rolls, visited, looked at old pictures and snuggled with Lincoln Mahrer, a great-great grandson of the late Fred & Laura Christensen. A picnic was held at Silver Lake at 1:30 with 54 in attendance. The states of North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Wyoming and Colorado were well represented. Jason and Shane Christensen were the grill masters with a few supervisors on hand to make sure there was quality control. The weather was cooperative, the food was awesome and we had a relaxing and fun day. Family records indicate that the first Christensen Golf Classic was held in 2001, making this the 17th annual family gathering. The Golf Classic grew out of a more informal gathering of the Charles, Fred & Larry Christensen families that first started getting together at the Wahpeton Golf Course back in 1997.” Thanks to Carolyn for the report, and congratulations to the Christensen family on another successful family event.

The Rutland City Council met at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, August 7, with Mayor Ron Narum; Auditor Deb Banish; and, Aldermen Delores Lysne and Bert Siemieniewski present.  Aldermen Rodney Erickson and Mike Mahrer were absent. Rutland resident Bill Anderson was also in attendance. Mr. Anderson complimented the Council on the new sidewalk on the half block of Gay Street from the alley west of the Town Hall to Bagley Street. The Council approved 2 building permits: #215-17 to Rob Wyum for the addition of two decks to his residence at 409 Anthony Street; and, #216-17 to Nathan and Shawna Bergh for a new storage building/playhouse at 115 Forest Street. Auditor Banish reported that the new sidewalk project cost was approximately $22,760, including the expense for gravel that was not included in the original bid. TON Construction’s work came in at $500 under the estimate. The Council approved the transfer of $10,000 from the 1994 Street account to the General Fund for the Gay Street sidewalk replacement project. Council member Siemieniewski stated that she thought the City should have obtained a low-interest infrastructure loan from the Bank of North Dakota and replaced all of the deteriorated sidewalks on Main Street at the same time, too. The Mayor, Auditor and Council members engaged in a Discussion of the City budget for Calendar Year 2018. A preliminary budget has to be approved at the September 11th Council meeting, and the final budget adopted on October 2nd. After the preliminary budget is approved, the total budget figure may be decreased, but cannot be increased, prior to the adoption of the Final Budget. The Council also discussed the City’s Zoning Board, and will consult with City Attorney LeeAnn Even about the procedure for amending the ordinance to replace the separate Zoning Board with the City Council. The Council reviewed financial reports which showed that all City funds are in the black. After checking the City’s bills and authorizing payment, the Council adjourned.  The next City Council Meeting is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. on Monday, September 4, at the Rutland Town Hall.

Dean Nundahl, former Mayor, Clerk, Village Board, Postmaster, lamplighter, street sweeper and janitor of Perry, now a citizen of Mankato MN, was a visitor in Rutland on the morning of Tuesday, August 8. Dean, an original member of The Assembled Wise Men, joined in the ongoing discussion that ranged from Gypsy Rose Lee to the old Perry Elevator. To the best of Dean’s recollection, Gypsy Rose Lee never visited Perry. He did recall, however, that the Perry Elevator, which had been owned by the Rutland Farmers Co-op Grain Co., was torn down after the new elevator in Rutland opened for business in 1946, and that most of the dimension lumber salvaged from the crib construction was either sold, or was used on building projects in Rutland. Some of the material was used to build the bleachers that were used for the big Rutland Celebration Horse Show & Rodeo in 1948 and for seating at Rutland Roosters baseball games. Some of the recycled lumber also became part of the Rutland Town Hall, and Dick Meyers recalled that his father-in-law, Martin Lock, used material from the Perry Elevator to build a hog house that still stands on the Lock farm in Rutland Township. Whatever was left over, he remembers, was pushed into the elevator pit, along with the brick engine house, and burned. Although the side track is long gone, the elevator pit is still there, he said, on the north side of the CP, formerly Soo Line, Railroad’s track. The elevator leg in the Perry Elevator was run with a diesel engine powered belt pulley, Dean recalled. The engine house was made of brick to lessen the possibility of fire. Most elevators back in the 40’s also sold coal, and the coal shed from the Perry Elevator was moved into Rutland and placed on the NE corner of Block 2 in Cooper’s Addition by Mr. Sorenson, the local blacksmith, where it was used as a blacksmith shop until it was acquired by Lowell Sjothun and Ronald Donaldson who used it as a warehouse for their heating, air-conditioning and plumbing businesses. That building, also, was torn down several years ago, and the site is now occupied by the mobile home owned by Phyllis Erickson. Dean also recalled the elevator from Ransom City, north of Cayuga, being moved to Forman in 1948. According to Dean, the elevator was moved on old Highway #11 that ran along the south side of the Soo Line tracks from Perry to Forman. When the Assembled wise men dispersed, Dean accompanied Mark Wyum on a farm tour to check out some CRP seeding. He intended to head back to Mankato later that afternoon.

Vold Auction & Realty of Britton SD has a large auction sale scheduled for Rutland on Saturday, August 12, when the buildings, fixtures, furniture, equipment and other assets of The Rutland General Store & Café are scheduled to be sold to the highest bidder. The business was closed by the owner, Ms. Gretchen Vann, at the end of 2015. Gay Street from First to Bagley will be the scene of the bidding action. The sale is slated to commence at 10:00 a.m. and to continue as long as items and bidders remain. Lunch will be available at the site.

The next big day in Rutland will be on Saturday, August 19. The following information about planned events was obtained from Ione Lunneborg: “Wow!! August 19th will be a great day to spend in Rutland! 8:00am-1:00pm-Coffee, rolls, sandwiches, salad and loaded nachos-Senior Citizens Building (Relay for Life fundraiser); At 10:00am-4:00pm: (3rd Annual Relay for Life Fundraiser Free Will Donation Entry Fee) Junk Fest–in Greg Donaldson’s Rutland Oil Co. building and lot south of building, Vendor Show–Erickson Building and SC Bank meeting room; Farmers Market—Gay Street between general store and bank; 10:00am til gone: Scalloped potato dinner and Rummage Sale at City Hall (Relay for Life Fundraiser); Noon to 4pm: Car, tractor, truck, motorcycle Show—in front of bank down to Old Parsonage-watch for signs, Trophies for Best in Show and People’s Choice; 4pm: Pie and ice cream social at Senior Citizens, Sponsored by Legion Auxiliary; 3pm til the cows come home, Rib Fest on Main Street; 1:00pm-12:00 Midnight, Live Music on main Street; 8:00am-4:00pm Citywide Garage Sales. For more info about being a Ribber call Mike at the Lariat at 724-3610. To reserve a space as a Junker or Farmer’s Market call Ione at 724-3612.” See you in Rutland on Saturday, August 19!

Uff-Da Day Chairperson Marcia Brakke reports that Lefse Lena and her crew produced 512 lefse in 2 sessions on Tuesday, August 8. According to Marcia, a total of just over 1,400 lefse have been made in the Rutland Town Hall kitchen in the past 2 weeks, and the target is to produce about 2,600 more. According to Mark Wyum, who helped package lefse on Tuesday evening, “the system is clicking along like a fine-tuned machine, if a fine tuned machine could laugh, tell stories and have a good time while making lefse.” Lefse making sessions are scheduled for 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. each Tuesday and Thursday for the remainder of August, according to Marcia, and everyone is welcome to come in to help out, learn new lefse making techniques and have a good time. For more information, give Marcia a call at 763-221-7862. Uff-Da Day XXXIII will be on Sunday, October 1, in Rutland ND, Pride Of The Prairie.

Meanwhile, on the national scene, retired Marine Corps gen. John Kelly has become the new White House Chief of Staff. If there is any hope at all of bringing order out of the chaos of the Trump White House, this is probably it. The Marines have a saying, “The difficult we do immediately. The impossible may take a little longer.” This is one Mission that Gen. Kelly may need a little extra time to accomplish. Fortunately for him, and for the rest of the country, there are now 29 weeks down and only 179 weeks to go until January 20, 2021.

Well, that’s the news from Rutland for this week. For additional information about what’s going on in the little city that can, check out the community’s internet web site at www.rutlandnd.com, and stop by the Uff-Da Day and Rutland Facebook pages while you’re out in cyberspace, too. Don’t forget to patronize your local Post Office, and remember to keep the pressure on the U. S. Postal Service and the North Dakota Congressional delegation to SAVE OUR POST OFFICE! Later.

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One Comment

  1. Neil Herman
    Posted August 13, 2017 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    The history of the Perry elevator was very interesting to me because I got to see Alphonse Kulzer and my dad Meredith Herman take it down one board at a time. They put a small bid on it and ended up getting it. I was 9 or 10 at the time and though I was helping. They lowered the cribbing down by rope and I untied the rope. They sold a little to cover their costs and used the rest. Alphonse built a cattle shed on his farm and dad built a granary and cattle barn. The granary is still being used on my dad’s old farm below the Million Dollar hill.

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