Bitter Fruits of Labor
Morrison County, Minnesota, circa 1920
This is a picture of the old homestead on my Maternal Grandfather’s side. From the look of the slightly overgrown vegetation, it appears to have been taken sometime in the late summer.
I’m not sure of all the identities although I suspect that the man second from left is my grandfather and the man on the porch resembles his brother Oscar. Oscar was a dynamiter by trade; in the 1930s he worked on Mount Rushmore in South Dakota and on the Ford Dam (Lock and Dam No. 1) between Minneapolis and Saint Paul. He was also an amateur photographer, this image is from a collection of about thirty glass plates that he left behind. The women are probably their sisters. The other man may be my great-grandfather. The genealogy of this side of my family is muddy.
This homestead was the cause of some bad blood between the siblings after it had been left to decay. My Grandfather had been away working in various parts of the state and then he returned and fixed it up. His siblings thought they should profit from his labors and the rift caused by that misunderstanding fractured the family. This branch of my family tree was not much discussed with the younger generation.
I visited the homestead once in the late 1960s and it was again in ruins.