Friday, September 30, 2016

my last Hope

My last Sunday at Hope Lutheran was all about the fellowship.  Oh, the service was wonderful, of course, but along with the worship comes the fellowship.  And what goes hand in hand with fellowship?  Food.  Sweet food.          amen

patterns on the wall

These are dress patterns.  They are on display at Fairlawn mansion in Superior, Wisconsin.  Before pre-packaged tissue patterns were mass produced and sold in stores, this what dressmakers used to measure and shape the fabric needed to construct a garment.  They are adjustable and can be used to accommodate many body shapes.  Since fashion styles didn't really change much over the years in the late 1800's, the patterns were useable for a long time.  The basic shape of the patterns and garments allowed the dressmaker to personalize the finished garment with creative detailing and other decoration.  The fact that they are adjustable is fascinating to me.  Get out the tape measure and let's sew!

Thursday, September 22, 2016


On my way through Superior, Wisconsin I passed by a very beautiful Victorian house facing the inlet on Lake Superior.  I recently had the opportunity to go back and visit the house known as Fairlawn.  It was built by a forestry and mining baron named Martin Pattison in 1891.

The first floor was decorated with furnishings from that era.  The most outstanding feature was the grand staircase with the beautifully draped velvet curtains.  The oak stairwell was hand carved.  The public rooms were in the front of the building and the "help" worked and lived in the back of the house complete with a back stairway used exclusively by the workers.

Martin Pattison was a rather interesting man who came from Canada, lived, worked and had a family in Michigan as Simeon Martin Thayer (his birth name) and "disappeared" one day, reinventing himself as Martin Pattison (his mother's maiden last name) in Minnesota.  He married and had six children.  He was well liked and became very wealthy (somewhat unscrupulously) and served in public office.  Ultimately he was "found out" and eventually he made things right with those he had "done wrong" including his first wife and two children.  All was forgiven and he died a respected citizen of the Duluth-Superior area.    the end

Monday, September 19, 2016

Hope again

I returned to Hope Lutheran Church for services yesterday.  Another wonderful service in a very lovely church.  Looking back at the main hallway entry is a beautiful stain glass window mounted on a clear glass window with small pine trees planted in front.  Take a moment to look up and reflect upon this inspiring setting.  The outdoors and the indoors blend together.  Quite nice indeed.

Friday, September 16, 2016

R. W. Lindholm Service Station

Opened in 1958, the Lindholm service station in Cloquet, Minnesota was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.  The architect saw no reason that a simple gas station couldn't also be a thing of beauty.  The copper canopy extends thirty two feet over the gas pumps and there is a 180 degree glass-walled observation lounge  above the office.  The idea was that a gas station was also a gathering place.  The observation deck is accessible via an outside stairway.  The three service bays are outfitted with skylights to assist the mechanics while working.  The original idea was to eliminate standing gas pumps and run the fuel lines through the roof.  Fire code standards nixed this design element.

The Lindholm service station was placed on the National Historic Registry in 1984.  The detail work and the craftsmanship is so distinctive of Wright's work.  If you are in Cloquet, please stop by and see for yourself.  There's a seat in the lounge just waiting for you!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Hope Lutheran

I worshipped in this church last Sunday.  It's a beautiful church located in Moose Lake, MN.  The sanctuary has recently been remodeled.  The walls in the front of the sanctuary were painted in such a way as to resemble birch bark.  The textured walls were skillfully handcrafted.  The worship service was traditional and I am so very happy I was in attendance.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016


It's closed for the season now but before it closed on Sunday we went to Gordy's Hi-Hat for burgers and raspberry shakes.  YUM!!  If you are ever in Cloquet, MN (during the season, of course!) please stop by.  The food is delicious and Gordy is working the kitchen.  That's worth another YUM! (p.s. This place is featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.) (Just so you know)

Monday, September 12, 2016

the great fire

I attended college at the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota.  This campus was home to the agriculture, forestry and home economics students.  During our first freshmen quarter we took an orientation class which covered the history of land grant institutions and Minnesota history.  One of the ongoing discussions concerned the great Hinckley fire of 1894.  This was, of course, very interesting to the forestry students and all of us who like history.

Fires had been burning in the area over the hot, dry summer.  Logging companies at that time stripped the branches from the trees onsite before removing them.  This caused a buildup of a dense layer of dried brush.  A heat dome had settled over the area and the weather remained very hot that summer.  At some point several small fires joined together and broke through the heat dome.  When the cooler upper air rushed downward a tornado effect occurred.  This firestorm blasted through the area and overran anything in its way including six towns.  

Heroic efforts were made to rescue people from the town of Hinckley.  Two trains hooked together and loaded as many people as possible into the cars and backed up several miles on the track out of the path of the fire.  Nonetheless many lives were lost that day.  The results of this fire were twofold.  Logging companies changed their clearing methods and no longer left the forest floor littered with debris.  Also, the devastating fire cleared a wide swath of area and opened up the land to farming.

There is a monument in Hinckley commemorating the families lost and those that survived the great fire.  In the cemetery there is a granite pillar dedicated to the firemen lost that day.  The town was quickly rebuilt with the train station going up within two months.  Small cabins were quickly built for those residents that chose to return.  The museum is in the train station.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Sand Lake sunset

I am spending some time on Sand Lake in Minnesota.  It is located  just south of the Duluth area.  It is so relaxing here.  There are boats out on the lake and at night I hear the call of the loons.  The weather has turned fall-ish.  The temperature is dropping.  It is jacket weather.  Paradise.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

church without walls

I attended church at St. Mark's ELCA last Sunday with my friend Linda but the building wasn't there ...just the congregation.  After all, that's what a church is anyway.  A fellowship of worshippers.  They are "downsizing" a bit and have decided to sell their building and worship together in a meeting room .  No walls...but a wonderful spirit.  And, that's what it's all about.