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'East Grand Forks'

Dec 02

From Nashville to the Kensington Stone: A Look Back at EGF History by Andrea Lorenz

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on December 2, 2022 at 10:37 AM by Genesis Gaule

Did you know that East Grand Forks was originally known as Nashville? It was named this after William C. Nash, fur trader and government mail carrier between Abercrombie and Pembina, in 1874. Nash was born in Pennsylvania, but came to the area in 1863. He built the first house (of a White man) at the fork of the Red and Red Lake Rivers, waiting for the flood of settlers he was sure was coming to buy land.* 

Before this, the land was inhabited by the Ojibwe people, who freely ranged across the areas that would become Manitoba, Minnesota, and North Dakota. In October of 1863, they signed the Treaty of Old Crossing under duress, ceding 11 million acres of Ojibwe domain to the United States Government.

Drawn map of Red River Valley (Lisbon, ND to Roseau, MN) featuring Old Crossing Treaty boundaries

Before the Ojibwe were established, there’s disputed evidence that a group of Norsemen visited the area in 1362. Three miles from Kensington, MN, Farmer Olaf Ohman and his two young sons found a nearly 200 pound stone inscribed with what appeared to be runic characters stating:

“8 Goths and 22 Norwegians on a journey of discovery from Vinland westward. We had a camp by 2 rocky islets one day’s journey north from this stone. We were out fishing one day. When we returned home we found 10 men red with blood and dead. AVM save us from evil. Have 10 men by the sea to look after our vessel 14 days’ journey from this island. Year 1362.” 

A photograph of the Kensington Stone

Supposedly at the command of Magnus Erickson, ruler of Norway and Sweden, a band of Vikings traveled across Hudson’s Bay, up the Nelson River, across Lake Winnipeg and then entering the Red River of the North until navigation became impractical (around where East Grand Forks now sits). After a march overland, 10 of the party were killed; the survivors then carved the stone, buried it and moved on to parts unknown.**

* The name was officially changed to East Grand Forks in 1883.

** Modern scholars believe the Kensington Stone to be a forgery, likely carved by immigrant farmers with expertise in stone cutting and the runic alphabet – a hoax created for entertainment during the long Minnesota winters.

References:

Apr 28

Displaying the Community by Vanesa Gomez

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on April 28, 2022 at 4:05 PM by Genesis Gaule

You may have noticed when you first come into the library the large glass display case. Every month we have a new display to showcase the wonderful non-profit organizations and clubs in our community. 

girl scouts

By partnering with these organizations, we not only get to promote the services and events these groups have, but we also enjoy the unique posters, photographs, and props as we enter and exit the library! Some of these clubs include the beloved Grand Forks Lego Club, North Dakota Ballet Company, and Global Friends Coalition!

lego club

We typically book the case a year in advance, but if you run a non-profit group or club in the community and are interested in creating a display, shoot us an email or call us at the library. 

The next time you stop by the library, take a minute to stop and ask about the group on display that month. You might just find your next fun volunteer opportunity or resource!

Here are some links to non-profit organizations we have displayed recently:

Global Friends Coalition: This small nonprofit is dedicated to welcoming new Americans to the Grand Forks community. They pair volunteer mentors with refugees and other new Americans, as well as provide immigration legal services for those needing assistance.

Stable Days Youth Ranch: This non profit organization is a faith based mission that supports and encourages youth personal development. They facilitate one-on-one sessions, using agriculture, art, and nature to help mentor children.

Greater Grand Forks Community Theater: Help support your local community theater! The GGFCT is listed as one of the ten oldest community theaters in the nation, and there are many programs to join for all ages.