Cross country Highway 2 is a road warriors dream. The road is good, much less traveled and not full of chain restaurants and mind numbing miles on a noisy, truck laden interstate. Yesterday’s stretch of it had nothing more interesting than the calming green fields, barns, and, trees. I managed to catch a crop duster looking like a plane crashing into the woods, through the window of the motor home while driving.
It was hot and we moved the motor home near a VFW within walking distance of the old part of town. This 1905 building is on the historic registry along with 46 others in this area.
Devils Lake’s Historic Federal Building is now a Post Office Museum, but only one floor was post office. The upper floor held a Federal Court, a single cell jail and administration offices.
The museum was full of stuff, really full, but almost everything was under glass and hard to photograph. Tribes of Lakota inhabited the area and Dakota I suspect is a Native American name. The docent said they have Indian Pow Wows every September and Native Americans are very active locally. The beaded dress above, for instance, was hand beaded with porcupine quills. Quite a skill. The beads are so small you can’t see them.
Pictures of Sitting Bull and some of the more famous Apaches you can find easily. But Tiyowaste was an important Lakota Chief. There are others in the museum but photographing them under plastic covers gives poor results, but, the museum is worth a visit. Spirit Lake was interpreted by Europeans as a negative and thus was named Devils Lake.
Rather late in the century, someone decided to photograph piles of buffalo bones from the mass slaughter of these magnificent beasts designed to starve the Natives into oblivion.
The museum has a skull, a vertebrae and a third bone (left of skull) that I could not identify. The museum recently hired a professional curator to sort some of the information out.
The docent told us the Federal Courtroom we saw was so new looking because they didn’t have many Federal Lawbreakers. In 1934 it was big news when the first man from North Dakota went to a Federal Prison.
Devils Lake floods often, but over the last two years the lake has grown to thirty times bigger than its original size. Flooded farmers are losing their shirts and they don’t know if they will ever get their farms back. Downstream areas don’t want the silty lake drained into their watershed. N.Dakota legislation is attempting to solve the problem. One tongue-in-cheek organization is trying to get extreme storms named after climate deniers, as in Hurricane Mark Rubio pounded the shores of…or Tornado Michele Bachman destroyed … Of course, that wouldn’t help the farmers but it might wake up some of these anti-scientific mind sets.
I found two items I’d never seen before, this cod liver oil bulk container with a pump. Arrgh! We had to swallow a teaspoon of that stuff in grammar school in Escanaba. Some kids puked and couldn’t take it. You were instantly given a piece of hard candy afterwards to help.
And, this wooden paddled batter mixer. Wouldn’t do you a bit of good for bread making or cookies.
I didn’t know they had a big ski jump here, but the docent told us it is still used and we could drive over to see it, some distance from town, if we wanted to. I guess in a state where winter weather is 20 degree below every year, skiing and winter sports are big. Brrr! I’m glad I’m now a Californian.
It was hot and I wasn’t up to walking all over town to find those historic buildings. Just what was in my line of site between the museum and the motor home. I don’t know if the building qualified,but the old sign did.
In a store window was this clever picture. These kids used this picture on an announcement. After I returned to the motor home, we moved to the Elks Club for the night. The building owner, a neat lady, allowed us to plug in. Thank you Night Owl Lounge.