Friday, February 25, 2011
These Boy Scouts take a breather.
- THE NEIGHBORHOOD FILES
- Emily Weeks
Friday, February 25, 2011
The Boy Scouts of America was founded in 1910, based on British scouting programs and quickly absorbed other scouting organizations, such as the Boy Scouts of the Unites States, the National Scouts of America, and the Highway Patrol Association Scouts. The organization quickly grew under the leadership of James West, forming a governing structure and better communications. The original handbook for scouts was originally based on the British handbook, but was quickly revised to be more relevant for American boys. The organization is notable for many reasons, one of which was its acceptance of boys of any race from its founding. The Boy Scouts of America’s highest membership came in the 1960s with the coming of age of the baby boomers. …
Thursday, February 3, 2011
The State Oddfellows home was built in 1899. This photograph shows the residents in 1905.
The Minnesota State Odd Fellows Home was built in 1899 and is now known as the Three Links Care Center. Shown here is the original building with its residents circa 1905. The building was razed in 1974 because it could no longer meet safety codes. The cornerstone for the building was laid on June 16, 1899, and the building was finished a year later, opening on June 15, 1900. Northfield beat Winona, Minneapolis, Montevideo and Owatonna to be the site of the new Odd Fellows Hall. The Independent Order of Odd Fellows is the American branch of the Oddfellows, an organization that was founded in England by laborers to provide help for the families of the members. The first Lodge in Minnesota was established in Stillwater in 1849. In 1881, …
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
A 1977 football game played between Carleton and St. Olaf colleges was the only American-sanctioned game played with with the metric system.
This picture looks like an average college football game, but it is not. It is actually a photo of the only NCAA-sanctioned metric football game ever played. On September 19, 1977, St. Olaf College and Carleton College played each other in the first and only "Liter Bowl." During the 1970s there was a push in the United States to change the measuring system to metric because the U.S. was one of only five countries still on the English system. At the time, sports like swimming and track were switching over to metric measurements, so Jerry Mohrig, a chemistry professor at Carleton, thought football should give it a try as well. The field was 100 meters long—109.36 yds—by 50 meters wide—54.68 yds—with 10 meter—10.94 yds—endzones. Play was only…
Monday, January 3, 2011
This 1965 photograph shows someone testing a flameproof shield.
Shown here is a man testing a fire proof face shield for the G.T. Schjeldahl Company, circa 1965. The company began in Northfield as a specializing in making plastic bags and quickly grew to be a widely diversified company. The company later changed its name to Sheldahl Inc. and had close ties to NASA. Sheldahl built Echo I, America's response to Sputnik. It was a sphere and larger than a 10-story building, which could bounce radio and television signals back to earth, allowing TV signals to be transferred coast to coast. Sheldahl's work can be found in the Apollo missions as well. All of the thermal control material on the command module, the lunar lander, and the space suits were manufactured by the company. More recently, Sheldahl …
Sunday, December 26, 2010
This 1898 photograph shows volunteers heading off to the Spanish-American War.
On Feb. 15, 1898, the battle ship USS Maine exploded in Havana Harbor, Cuba. The board of inquiry formed afterwards determined that the ship had been blown up by a mine but did not mention who might have placed the mine. In recent years, this finding has been debated but no satisfactory explanation for the explosion has been found. The incident gave the United States an opportunity to release the tension that had been growing between the U.S. and Spain, formally declaring war on Spain on April 25, 1898. President William McKinley called for 125,000 men to volunteer for the war. Once news reached Northfield, 23 men signed up and were incorporated into Faribault's Company B at Camp Ramey at Fort Snelling. Shown here is the send off for those…
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Upon arriving in Northfield, William H. Taft, campaigning for president, was greeted by an elephant.
Pictured here is President William H. Taft's campaign visit to Northfield in 1908. The local club borrowed an elephant from the street carnival that happened to be in town. Miss Mildred Ware was dressed as Columbia and placed atop the elephant that was covered in flags. The elephant, along with a crowd of 4,000, met Taft at the train station. Perhaps with a little bias, Mayor W. A. Hunt wrote to Miss Beulah Hulbert that "Northfield gave the president the best reception of any place from Mankato to Minneapolis." Taft was the 27th president of the United States. His term was drastically different than that of his predecessor, Theodore Roosevelt. Taft focused on administration rather than activism. Although he appeared to be far less dynamic…