Photo Gallery - Looking back on 1915

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Fair ExhibitsFirst National Bank of Baudette

DredgeNew Baudette High School Fatal Balloon AscensionLawn Social
4th of JulyCar Load of New Fords gun clubWalter Orr- First Graduate Weisenhaus homesteadMain Street of Williams

Five years following the devastating forest fire of 1910, the scars were beginning to fade and recovery was evident. Homes and businesses once again dotted the landscape. Much of the burned over timber had been harvested, land clearing continued and new roadways were beginning to connect the area with towns to the east and west.

In the years immediately following the fire that had wiped out the towns of Baudette and Spooner along with a number of smaller communities, many wood structure buildings sprang up to meet the needs of the people. As the resurgence continued, more substantial concrete and brick buildings took their place on the city landscapes of the twin villages.  The year 1915 signals the end of the major building reconstruction in Baudette with the addition of the First National Bank and a new $50,000 grade and high school.

Both towns professed optimism for the future declaring that nearly everything pre-fire had been replaced with better buildings and infrastructure. The area’s two large lumber mills, the International Lumber Company and the E. A. Engler Lumber Company continued to employ close to 1000 area men and the Canadian Northern Railway records showed that Baudette was both a large producer and recipient of freight on its line between Winnipeg and Thunder Bay.

The approval of the contract to build State Road No. 32 was heralded as the most important step in the development of northern Beltrami County. Construction of this highway running from Roosevelt through Baudette to International Falls was underway by mid-year. With additional sections underway between Roosevelt and Roseau, the area would soon have a first class highway from International Falls all the way to Crookston.

Telephone lines were also making connections between communities. Lines were extended from Pitt to Wabanica and Williams to Zippel making coverage west from Baudette to Wiliams and north to Zippel Bay.

More land was being cleared each year and there was a steady push toward agriculture. Farmers in the Pitt community formed the Farmer’s Club in 1915 to work for their mutual benefit. It was the beginning of the cooperative movement.

The last of the 1910 fire claims against the Canadian Northern Railway were paid and while it was only a percentage of the loss, it came at the end of a long hard fight and was seen as a profitable matter for the district with thousands and thousands of dollars having been paid to the fire sufferers. After half a decade, these final payments brought the closure needed for residents to put the disastrous fire behind them once and for all.


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