Photo Gallery - Looking back on 1913

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E T Johnson Building

Rose Ferguson

Fatal Balloon Ascension
Rex Hotel
4th of July
Shevlin Mill
gun club
Vote for Women

1913 - A Year of Innovations -

The Ford Motor Company introduced the first moving assembly line, the Panama Canal opened after years of construction and the first portable phonograph was manufactured. The 16th amendment was ratified and Federal income tax was signed into law, allowing the IRS to levy and collect income taxes for the first time.

In 1913, artists Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse were introduced to the American public, Charlie Chaplin began his film career, and the first ever crossword puzzle was published in the New York World.

Two future U.S.  Presidents, Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, were born as was the future civil rights activist Rosa Park.  Death came to author Harriet Tubman and financier J.P. Morgan.

On the local scene the area continued to recover from the devastating forest fire that swept through the region in 1910. In early spring preparations began for the construction of a new hotel where the Collin’s Hotel once stood. The establishment, built by the Rex Brewing Company of Duluth, would be called The Rex Hotel.  The building was completed and open for business by the end of the year.

The sale of the Shevlin-Mathieu Sawmill in Spooner and all other Shevlin interests in the area to the Backus and Brooks Company of International Falls made huge headlines that spring..  The deal included the Queen River Hotel and about forty residences in addition to the mill property, all lumber, standing timber and lands. Backus renamed the mill the International Lumber Company and promised to enlarge the capacity of the plant and develop a market for popular and other soft woods that grew in the area. He was also erecting a large paper mill upriver at Fort Francis, Ontario.

The Baudette Public Library opened its doors in June to the delight of local readers.  The board intended to enlarge the size of the reading rooms as quickly as possible.

Innovation continued as the Cloverleaf Creamery built their first building in Baudette and the Baudette Bottling Work, a soft drink factory, opened its doors. In Williams the Mothers and Daughters Club was organized and in nearby Graceton, Mrs. J.B. ( Rose) Ferguson had an article she had written entitled “The Revolt of the Farmer’s Wife” published in the nationally popular Harper’s Bazaar magazine.

By mid-summer an auto road was completed from Baudette to Clementson and telephone lines were being laid by the forestry service along the newly constructed Ditch 13. The line would be extended to connect the post offices at Hay Creek , Baldus, and Wayland with the line at Fairland. In August, the cornerstone of the Congregational Church at Birchdale was laid with Reverend Lesher of Minneapolis giving the address.

At year’s end, the town turned out for the opening of the new Rex Hotel , a three story brick building erected on Main Avenue in Baudette by the Duluth Malting and Brewing Company. The Rex, faced with Menomonie pressed brick and having all rooms fitted with individual bathrooms that supplied hot and cold running water, was a building in which the city could accommodate its guests with pride.

The first snow fell on December 26th and brought cheer to citizens who feared that a winter without snow would result in a shortage of timber products and fewer jobs in the spring.  As 1913 passed quietly into history, the settlers and townspeople continued their efforts to tame the wilderness and eke out a living in the northland.





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