Friday, April 25, 2014

Finding History in Niagara

After the 9AM worship service and Power point slide show at St Andrew Lutheran Church for the 120 th anniversary of the church,  all were invited and many chose to take a brisk walk to the South West part of Niagara for a tour of the Historical 
Log Cabin and the old restored and refurbished Pioneer school house. The old Niagara elevator is just to the left of where we are walking and if you look just left of the tall pine, you will get a glimpse of the old log cabin and the school is directly in back of the tall pine tree.  The Niagara Elevator is the tallest thing in Niagara and built about 1965

 This is the old log cabin that was moved into Niagara from North of town by the Historical society.  Pastor Dennis Neels is part of the society and he along with help from others, including my Nephew Jamie Hanssen have spent many hours repairing and replacing windows and logs, all this to preserve a bit of long ago history.  Many families lived in this little log home when first arriving at Niagara area until they could build their own home.  

 The inside of the Log home is furnished with old authentic furnishings that more then likely would have been used in that era.  Most of the items have been donated.

Below you can see the small wood stove.  Yes, there was a fire in that stove to make the log home warm and comfy as it would have been in those long cold ND winters.

Many people crowded into the Log home as Pastor Neels described the home and items inside.

Below you can see Dr Rev Herbert Mueller and to the right, my cousin pastor Paul Krueger intently listening to the information given by Pastor Neels.  Just being in this little one room Log home makes one very thankful for the many blessing bestowed on our nation in the past 100 years.

As we left the Log Home, just to the West stands the old Niagara Jail.  I surly wouldn't want to be locked up in there for very long.  I sure it was a big deterrent to any crime or misdemeanors in that small community.    

On to visit the old pioneer school house.  It certainly is a beauty,
 and many reminisced as they went through the doors. 
The children found it hard to believe that there was no technology, running water or bathroom.  
As you look at the pictures, you can see how the children enjoyed sitting in the old wood desks with the ink well and bench seat.   

On to look at the old school house museum.

 Pastor Neels encouraged much conversation by asking interesting questions like,  why did the stove pipe turn and go along the ceiling before venting out?    Well, of course it was to produce more heat on those cold -30 degree winter days.  

Good friends and cousins sharing memories.

A couple young boys take advantage of the heat produced by the old wood stove.  Notice the handle on the stove has been replaced by a old automobile door handle, whatever works! 

My husband Jeff, towards left, back view,  My Nephew Jamie with the big smile. 

I loved the old pictures in the school house.  All black and white and each told a story of history for the area.
I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. 

Anyone remember these old pull down world maps? They were hung neatly in a wood box on the wall and rolled up much like a window shade. 

Rev Herbert C Mueller Jr. looking through one of the old county books that was on display. I am sure he did not remember much of the Niagara area since he was only 2 when he and his parents moved away to pastor another church..

Old wood baby buggy. 

A pull down globe and below, big picture of our first US President , an old flag and of course the green letters to teach cursive writing.  I remember those same letters in the big square brick Niagara school that I attended for first 8 years of school. It was located just to the South of where St Andrew church is now.

I look at these old double wood desks and I always remember a story told me by my parents.  They went to the same county school and even shared a double desk like these.  One day my father, then a little boy, probably 8 or 9 yr old,  put his pocket knife under my mothers side of the desk leg causing it to be off balance.   My mother remembers laying on her stomach on the long bench looking down to see what was wrong and got in trouble by the teacher.   I guess they already liked each other way back then and that was my dad's unique way of teasing my mom.  

An old organ, not sure if this was one of the original furnishings or just on display in the school museum. 
Here is the teachers desk with the bell that would be rung for lunch or recess time. and also when school was to begin.  Old record books, readers and other books were on display.  
It was a great day to learn of the Niagara History and imagine myself in years gone by.  What fun. Thank You Niagara Historical society for preserving all this history for the generations to come. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

120th Anniversary of St Andrew Lutheran Church

What a special day,  PALM SUNDAY,  April 13th, 2014, the 120 years of God's Blessings to St Andrew Lutheran Church, Niagara ND.   What a special celebration at the home church where not only I  and my brother but both my parents were Baptized and confirmed.  This is also the church where I was married almost 42 years ago.
Our guest speaker for both the morning 9 AM worship service and 2 pm Anniversary worship service, 
 was the First Vice President of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, Rev. Dr. Herbert C. Mueller Jr.
He is the son of Pastor Herbert Mueller who baptized me and many others from St Andrew Lutheran.  
His father was pastor at St Andrew Lutheran Church Niagara
 from 1943 until 1955. 
 Our guest speaker was only 2 yr old when they left.  

It was a great message, one I hope to get a tape or CD of one day. 
The music was also fantastic with so many charming voices about lifting the rafters in praise.   There were duets, choir and the grown cherub choir, organ, piano and instrument accompaniment.     
We truly celebrate God's love and faithfulness
 through the generations!! 

I just had to include a picture of My husband and myself with my mother of 92+ years. We were very happy that  she was able to come for the morning part of the celebration. The full day would have been too tiring for her.    
I thought it very sweet when this little guy picked up two big palms and started waving them.  Made me think of Palm Sunday, Mark 11: 1 - 11 Christians celebrate the triumphal entry of
 Jesus Christ into Jerusalem, the week before his death and resurrection.

  The crowds welcomed him by waving palm branches in the air and shouting "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!

 Hosanna in the highest!

The noon meal was delicious and so organized to serve over 200 people.    Here you can see just a few of the hard working St Andrew women members serving the meal and making sure everything was perfect. Coffee, Tea, Lemon Aid or water.  The tables were decorated to reflect Palm Sunday with 2 long palms laying long ways with 3 small candles on each lace covered table.

My Aunt Vera with her granddaughter Sheyenne. 

They had everything very organized and planned out with a back N E corner used as a Museum area.  You can see several items on display.  The old Baptismal font, even in those days it had 8 sides.  The shovel used on June 16, 1963 for groundbreaking of the new church. 
Next to that is the Hymn board from our old church, where every Sunday, early before church the ushers would slip the correct numbers in the board to let the congregation know which Hymns would be sung.   

This big record book is of membership and births.  Above you can find my dad's name on line 195, Gregor Edwin Hanssen, father Seede Hanssen born 20, Sept 1918 at Niagara ND.

Below in the same big book,  page 20, line 210, Loretta  born to John Behm. I am not real sure why it has no date but the Register is only as good as the person that enters the information.

This is the Confirmation Register that was on hand for anyone to look at.  On this page you can see both my brother #30 on the page, Dale Lee hanssen, May 27, 1962 His conf verse was Rom 1:16.  Then not far beneath him, a year later, May 12, 1963, line 35 is me, Diane Kay Hanssen, conf verse Nehum 1:7.  It was certainly fun to glance through these books.  I wish I had had more time though.   

Here is a picture of me, my second cousin Donna and first cousin Lillian.  We were always close friends as children and in our teens so it was great to spend some time visiting. 
This was the Pulpit from our old church.  The cloth covering and the paraments were made by my Grandmother Behm.  This is the pulpit that always stood at the right hand side of the church, the side that all the young girls would sit in the front row during church.  Normally you would be about 12 or so but I got to sit up front earlier due to my older cousins pleading for me and telling my mom that they would watch me and make sure i was good.   Those were also the days when the Men would wit on the left side facing the front and the women sat on the right side.  Then in 1964 with the new church in town, Niagara, the families always sat together, just like that, one side or the other.


This is an old altar-pulpit built by my Grandmaother Hanssens father and brother.   The German lettering is the last part of a Bible verse form John 17 verse 17.   Your Word is Truth.

By the way,  anyone know how many books of Bible actually have a 17th chapter with 17th verse?

Last year I wrote them all out for our oldest grandsons golden birthday, he was 17 yr on the 17th of Feb.
I was surprised to find exactly 17 books of Bible with a 17th chapter and verse 17.   Check it out if you don't believe me.

This exact to scale replica of the old church was skilfully made by Bert Krueger. what a nice remembrance of our old church. 1968  Picture of original old church is below.
Many times in years past our church ladies would each create a quilt block from fabrics they had at their home. I would assume that this 1938 quilt was made in that fashion with each lady embroidering their name on the block.   If you look carefully, you might find a relative or someone you might know from the Niagara area.
I find all the different print fabrics interesting and wander how many were flour sacks and if they had been dresses, aprons, baby blankets etc.  if only each piece could tell a story.  My mother would have been 17 years old when this quilt was created,
 I would bet she wore something from one of the fabrics in my grandmothers block.  

My grandmother must have made this square block for this old 1938 quilt, ELLA BEHM, my mothers mom.

This is my Aunt Vivian in the wheel chair.  She has been recovering from a broken hip from a fall in late winter.  It was a hard winter for ND with 2 of my Aunts breaking a hip. It was a very nice spring day and so happy her son Lynn at left and grandson Matt could bring her for the special celebration.  
There were many photos of the original people who helped to start the St Andrew Lutheran Church 120 years ago.    Above is a picture of my great Grandma and Great Grandpa John M Behm.  Next to them is Johns brother Henry.

A lot of work went into the planning for the special celebration.  Everything was great from the worship services, the power point slide show, the museum area, to the food, decorations and dessert. My cousin in the purple helped serve the dessert.  There were so very many delicious choices it was almost overwhelming.  It was a good day.

Below are some of my cousins as they watch the slide power point presentation.  

 These are just a few of the many many confirmation pictures on display in a binder.  Above in the Black and white picture is my brother, Dale Hanssen , second from the left, 1962 confirmation picture.  The color picture is Me at the right,  the last class to be confirmed ion the old church, 1963. There were only 2 of us, Gary Bornson and me.  I sewed my own white dress, I loved to sew and even sewed dresses for my Grandmother Behm.   I always remember my childhood sitting in church and looking at the big Altar picture as if it should move to reflect the rest of the Bible reading of Jesus helping Peter as he had stepped out of the boat to walk on the water to Jesus but then started to sink with doubt.

 My mothers confirmation picture taken out side of the church about 1935 0r 1936.  It was just her, Loretta Behm and Marvin Krueger.  Her dress was white and I would guess it was sewn by one of her older sisters.  Below is my Aunt Doris confirmation picture.
  About 1932 or 1933  My Aunt Doris is the shortest girl on the left.  i love how all their dresses look so similar.  In years past, there were no confirmation robes but all the girls wore white and the boys wore new suits.  It was such a special occasion.

 Notice all the old cars.  We used to have a Mission festival once a year when the afternoon service was held outdoors in the parking lot.  Oh for the excitement!  There was always a special mission pastor to speak about telling the Gospel to those who have not heard.   I was intrigued.  I think I was about 5 yr old when I came to realize there actually are people who have not heard about Jesus love.  I remember being so thankful that i was born in America and to Christian parents who taught me the True word and I thought what if i had been born in another unchristian nation and who would have told me about Jesus?  
Some old pictures of old church just for the fun of it.  

St Andrew: An Anthem

Upon this plain in days gone by
Our fathers tilled the soil. 
In bitter winters, darkest night
They struggled toward their goal
Yet through it all, despairing not,
A legacy complete:
"Their Hod, Our Father, blessed their hands
Through Christ, the Prophet, Priest."

The Church was built, and then re-placed
St.Andrew yet remained;
A strong committed Christian band
Subduing God's great plain,
And constantly, with fervor great, 
They serve their Lord and King
With Joy and hope and peace and love
Amid some suffering.

The stones stand bare, some mounds of earth
Mark saints who've gone before.
A plot of ground, the entrance way
To God's eternal shore;
Where laid to rest in Jesus' hands,
By pastors young and old,
Our fathers passed unto their sons
The gift of life extolled.

So may we as our heritage
Of Lutherans strong and free
Give thanks to God, the Father, Son
And Holy Spirit, three.
We ask our God to keep us sure,
Forever in His Word,
Give each the strength to joy in Christ
Who died and rose for thee.