A Landing a Day

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Kennedy, Lake Bronson, Hallock and Halma, Minnesota

Posted by graywacke on May 1, 2010

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (now pretty much an every-other-day blog), I have my computer select a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”  I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location.  To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

Dan –  I’ve settled into quite the pattern – my last nine landings go like this:  OSer, USer, OSer, USer, OSer, USer, OSer, USer, and today’s (of course), an OSer . . . MN; 68/52; 4/10; 1; 151.2.   As for my Score – this is getting old.  Statistically speaking, I know I’m going to break through 150 into the 140s one of these days, but gee whiz . . .

Here’s my landing map, showing my proximity to a bunch of little towns, including Kennedy, Hallock, Lake Bronson and Halma.  You can also see that I landed near the Red River (the border between MN & ND):

Here’s a broader view:

My GE shot shows that I landed in (surprise!) an agricultural area:

Here’s a Street View, looking west towards my landing which is about a mile and a half in the distance:

For the second time, I landed in the S Br of the Two Rivers watershed; on to the Middle  Br of Two Rivers (also 2nd hit); to Two Rivers (also 2nd hit); to the Red River of the North (40th hit) to the Nelson (57th hit); to Hudson’s Bay.

Peculiar about the name of the river being Two Rivers.  Here’s a landing map (rivers only) that shows the layout of the watershed:

It looks like it could have been called Three Rivers.  But anyway,  “Two Rivers” is really an overall watershed name, not the name of a particular river.  Down near the Red, where there’s clearly one river, should it be called the Two Rivers River?

Anyway, it looks like I’m going to have a hard time finding much of general interest in any of these little towns.  Yes, Kennedy announces its presence with this highway sign:

And with this railroad sign:

And here’s a little history about Lake Bronson (from Wiki):

Kittson County has no natural lakes, which is unusual for Minnesota. In the early 1930s, during the Great Depression, Kittson County was going through a drought. Local officials decided to build a reservoir on the South Branch of Two Rivers near the city of Bronson. Construction of the reservoir started in April 1936 with crews from the Works Progress Administration.

There was no stable bedrock foundation for the dam, and the dam site was underlain by unstable “quicksand.”  Pumps were used to pull water from the quicksand (stabilizing the sand formation) while the dam was built.

Since the sand would get wet and unstable again after the dam was completed and the pumps turned off, a permanent way of dewatering the sand had to be found (i.e., something simpler and more dependable than continuous pumping).   Therefore, the dam was designed with ten seepage pipes.  These are perforated pipes in the sand upstream and beneath the dam that would serve to drain the water out of the sand, discharging the water downstream.

[Wow.  What a technical discussion for Wiki.  OK, I’ll admit I edited it a little to (hopefully) make it more understandable).]

The dam, completed in June 1937, created a 325-acre reservoir and was well-received by local residents.

The land surrounding the new reservoir was designated a state park, and several fieldstone structures were built. The most prominent of these was a 45-foot (14 m) hexagonal stone water tower:

Other structures, such as an office, a garage, a picnic shelter, and bathing facilities followed. In 1939, the city of Bronson renamed itself “Lake Bronson” to commemorate the new reservoir.

Moving on to Hallock – the town was named after Charles Hallock.  From Wiki:

Charles Hallock (1834 – 1917) was an American author born in New York City. He was educated at Yale, 1850-51, and Amherst College.  He was founder and proprietor of Forest and Stream, 1873-80, now Field & Stream.  He experimented in Sunflower culture, using the seed for oil; in sheep raising on Indian reservations; in establishing a reservation for sportsmen in Minnesota; and in the development of Alaska and Florida.  He originated the code of uniform game laws and incorporated with Fayette S. Giles and others the first great American game preserve at Blooming Grove, Pike County, Pennsylvania.

Hallock, Minnesota was named after him.  He wrote numerous books including:

–  Recluse of the Oconee 1854

–  Life of Stonewall Jackson 1863

–  The Fishing Tourist 1873

–  Camp Life in Florida 1875

–  The Sportsman’s Gazetteer 1877

–  Vacation Rambles in Michigan 1877

–  Our New Alaska 1886

–  The Salmon Fisher 1890

–  Origin of the American indigenes 1902

–  Luminous Bodies Here and Hereafter 1906

–  An Angler’s Reminiscences. A Record of Sport, Travel and Adventure.  1913

Wow –  what an interesting guy.  Books about fishing, Florida, Alaska, Civil War history.

This is from his book The Fishing Tourist, which is a serious coast-to-coast guide to fishing (inspite of the frivolity of this picture):

This is from the Sportman’s Gazetteer:

I love that it contains “COPIOUS INSTRUCTIONS.”  And then, after his illustrious career mostly writing about the great outdoors, he decided to pen “Luminous bodies Here and Hereafter.”  Hmmm.  Interesting title.  Here’s the cover page:

I guess ol’ Charlie figured that he had gained some life wisdom and wanted to share it.  By the way, many of his books are available as e-books (that’s where I got the above graphics).  These books are very cool.  A picture of an open book is presented; when you click on a page, it appears as though the page is being turned.  If you want to check them out, Google Charles Hallock, go to Wiki, and scroll down to the list of books.  There are links to the e-books.

Here are a couple of historic pictures of Hallock.  First, from the MN Historical Society, this of the 1894 Fourth of July parade (note the folks standing on the horses):

And this, a rather bleak look at the town in 1906:

Here’s a shot in Halma by Kirby B. Johnson (his caption beneath).  Click here to see his Minnesota photojournal.

A scene that is part of many rural landscapes throughout our country that may conjure romantic fantasies of a distant history. These roadside relics, in my view, need to be remembered. The work and the memories produced in these dignified structures are deserving of respect – – even if it is bestowed while driving by at 60 mph.

I’ll close with this lovely shot of Lake Bronson:

That’ll do it. . .



© 2010 A Landing A Day

2 Responses to “Kennedy, Lake Bronson, Hallock and Halma, Minnesota”

  1. Nice to see my old home stomping grounds featured in a blog entry. I write a local history blog about that same area. Nice article…

  2. dani said

    Beautiful picture of Lake Bronson! I’m proud to call “Bronson” my home!

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