Reviews of Sister Lumberjack

Thank you, Kay and Jack Kraywinkle, for your review of Sister Lumberjack. You made my day.   Both my wife and I recently read Candice Simar’s latest book, Sister Lumberjack, and we both enjoyed it immensely. It was a facinating read and it’s apparent that as a piece of historical fiction she has done her research […]

The Grasshopper Chapel in Cold Spring, MN

The Grasshopper Chapel in Cold Spring, MN

One of the most dramatic aspects of the Rocky Mountain Locust Plagues of the 1870s was Governor Pillsbury’s call for a day of prayer on April 26, 1877. Minnesota was in a bad way. Flour mills had closed because there was no wheat. Railroads lost traction because of the slippery grasshoppers on the tracks. Farmers […]

Cold Spring Historical Society and Library Event

Cold Spring Historical Society and Library Event

On March 8, 2023, I presented a program at Cold Spring, Minnesota, sponsored by the Cold Spring Library and Historical Society. My topic? The Rocky Mountain Locust Plagues of the 1870s. I stumbled upon this most interesting chapter of history while researching ABERCROMBIE TRAIL and POMME DE TERRE. It felt natural to continue this series […]

Guest Blogger Charlie Johnson Reviews Shelterbelts

BOOK REVIEW of SHELTBERBELTS By Charlie Johnson: SHELTERBELTS By Candace Simar 267 pages Published by North Star Press My taste in reading favors people; real people. I’m not much for murder mysteries or romances. Give me ordinary folks who live ordinary lives but yet have their own stories to tell. You can’t get much more ordinary […]

Shelterbelts by Candace Simar, a book review by Mary Algaard

Shelterbelts Book Cover

Posted by Mary Aalgaard on Jul 23, 2015 in Play off the Page | 2 comments Quote of the Day: Above the tree line, beyond the Hanson farm, the steeple of Tolga Lutheran poked into the clouds. The steeple showed from every corner of their farm. Tia looked toward the church many times a day while […]

Roots and Relatives

        A Facebook connection brought a distant relative into my life.  I’m still not sure but I think this Wisconsin woman is the granddaughter of my grandfather’s half brother.  She graciously shares this photo of the original Sonmor farm near Tolga, Norway (not far from Lillehammer, famous for the Winter Olympics a while back).   Evan […]

First Stage to Fort Abercrombie

My great grandfather, as a young, Norwegian immigrant,drove the stagecoach to Fort Abercrombie, Dakota Territory . This was back in the 1860s. This bit of family genealogy resulted in my historical novel, Abercrombie Trail. This picture is an actual painting entitled, “First Stage to Fort Abercrombie.”  Although the original painting is no longer around, someone wisely […]

Cold Spring Grasshopper Chapel

Grasshopper Chapel

This chapel in Cold Spring, Minnesota, stands testimony to a miracle that happened in 1877.  Crop failures due to Rocky Mountain Locust infestations  occurred in 1873, 1874, 1875, and 1876. Each year the  hoppers ate everything in sight, laid their eggs, and flew away to torment another place.  When the eggs hatched, the hatchlings could […]

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