Historical & Cultural Society of Clay County - Where Every Artifact Has A Story!


December 4, 2013

Close Encounters of the Fargo Kind: True Stories from a Kind, Happy Little Planet in America

In Close Encounters of the Fargo Kind: True Stories from a Kind, Happy Little Planet in America,

Marc de Celle says the Fargo-Moorhead area is “A different planet from the one I grew up on.” Close Encounters is the follow-up to How Fargo of You, de Celle’s light-hearted memoir about his family’s first five years in North Dakota, which quickly became the best-selling non-fiction book about North Dakota of the 21st century after its publication three years ago. De Celle will do his first public reading from Close Encounters of the Fargo Kind at 6:30 on Wednesday, December 10, in the theater of the Hjemkomst Center of the Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County in Moorhead.  The event is free to the public.

In his new book, de Celle has collected over eighty stories from our region, most of them told in first person by local people, illustrating many of the same themes from How Fargo of You.  Once again, he centers on the kindness of people in the Northern Prairie, calling our region an “opposite world” from Arizona and California, where the author spent his first fifty years before moving to the Fargo area with his family in 2005.

Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker is a fan.  “All these stories from all these people add a lot of credibility to what Marc said about our region in his first book,” Walaker said at the book’s official release event on November 23 in Fargo, adding, “I really enjoyed it.  It’s another great book that helps us really appreciate what we tend to take for granted around here.”
“After ‘How Fargo of You’ came out,” de Celle says, “people started telling and sending me their ‘Fargo stories.’ At the same time, people were always asking me when my next book would be out. I finally decided to turn some of the great stories I’d collected into this new book.”

How Fargo of You, which was published in November of 2010, was de Celle’s first book. It has since had six printings, and there are now 22,000 copies in print, more than 18,000 of which were sold in the Fargo-Moorhead area.  The last non-fiction book about North Dakota to sell more copies was , the 1997 book published by the Grand Forks Herald about the great flood and fire of that year, which publisher Mike Jacobs says has sold more than 50,000 copies in the sixteen years since its release.

How Fargo of You is currently only available as an ebook from independent booksellers through Amazon who charge as much as $100 for a new copy.  When asked why he let his first book go out of print, de Celle says, “I wanted to put everything into printing as many copies of ‘Close Encounters of the Fargo Kind’ as I could, so maybe it won’t sell out before Christmas! That’s what ‘How Fargo of You’ did the first two years it was out.”

City of Moorhead,Clay County

November 22, 2013

50th Anniversary of JFK Assasination

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Fifty years ago today Clay County residents, like the rest of the nation, mourned the loss of President John F. Kennedy. Authorities encouraged Americans to memorialize the slain leader as a healthy way to share our collective grief. The morning after the shooting Moorhead Postmaster Basil Walker enlisted the volunteer help of several letter carriers and installed a memorial in the front window of Moorhead’s new Post Office. They placed a framed photo of the president in the center, bought some flowers and arranged them around it. Curious passersby stopped to observe and comment. Within minutes trucks from floral shops began delivering arrangements sent by local folks to add to the display. According to an article in the January 1964 national postal employees’ magazine, The Postal Record, “Hastily, the men set about placing the additional flowers and then sent out word to the florists thanking the donors for their gifts, but asking the donors to heed the request of the President’s family and give the gift to charity instead of buying a bouquet of flowers. Before the stream of floral tributes had been stopped, however, about 25 tributes had been received, making an impressive show of the town’s regrets over the tragedy.” Local TV, radio and newspapers featured the display that weekend. The Associated Press circulated this photo of the memorial to media around the country, attracting a good deal of national attention. The Postal Recordconcluded “The overflow of flowers was sent to Moorhead’s hospital that the patients might benefit; but the memory of that spontaneous gesture of a sorrowing public stands as one community’s unique way to indicate its sense of grief and loss over the action of one treacherous individual in a nation of loyal subjects.”


October 23, 2013

D-Atmosphere Returning to Pangea.

D-Atmosphere stands for Divine Atmosphere. What makes D-Atmosphere so unique is their blend of backgrounds from different cultures. Their music is a mixture of languages from the Eastern, Western and Southern parts of Africa. The exhilarating fusion of African and Contemporary styles of worshipping God along with livelihood music always excites the audience.

Their goal is to create an atmosphere for the manifestation of God’s presence through praise and worship. The group mission statement explains: “Emanating organically from a passion for more of His presence in our lives, we pursued and encouraged fellowship with the Lord through Friday night vigils, worship sessions and groves of praise.”

D-Atmosphere’s participation in the community over the years receives many positive responses. In 2009 and 2010, the group performed at Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM) as a part of African Night. They are also the crowd favorite at Pangea-Cultivate Our Cultures over the years and will be returning to perform on November 9.


October 18, 2013

Dakota Goodhouse to Perform at Pangea

            Dakota Wind Goodhouse is originally from Fort Yates, ND and enrolled in the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. He is known to deliver beautiful music with his flute. Mr. Goodhouse learned to play the flute about eighteen years ago under Kevin Locke. He believes music is a good way to recite stories. Therefore, the music he plays all carry a story behind them.

Furthermore, Dakota Goodhouse is an educator and advocate for Native American voices. He delivered numerous public speeches about historical evidence of Native American history around the Bismarck, ND region. Mr. Goodhouse’s popular presentation about Lakota winter counts contains stunning paintings along with captivating stories about the history of the Lakota people.

A Winter Count is a pictorial history record of a tribe. There are hundreds of copies of Winter Counts but most are replica. These images represent series of events that occurred over the years, with one picture for each year. Each tribe dedicates one Keeper as the historian. The Keeper’s responsibilities are to gather, record and consult with elders about these important events. When he presents to Fargo school kids on November 8, Dakota Goodhouse will share stories about conflict, the arrival of the horse and natural occurrences that appear on the Lakota’s Winter Count. These memorable events are closely related to his tribe and the people on the Great Plains.

Currently, he is the program office for the North Dakota Humanities Council to coordinate Smithsonian traveling exhibits through out the state of North Dakota. He assists docent training for various Museums On Main Street (MoMS) programs and assess grant programs provided by the ND Humanities Council.

On November 8, 2013, Dakota Goodhouse will perform at three Fargo Public Schools throughout the day and the Spirit Room Gallery at 6pm. The evening event at Spirit Room Gallery (111 Broadway) is free and open to the public (donations welcomed). On Saturday, he will be the opening the Pangea-Cultivate Our Cultures festival at the Hjemkomst Center at 10am, performing about 30 minutes. Dakota Goodhouse’s presentations are sponsored of North Dakota Humanities Council, FPS/WFPS Indian Education and the Spirit Room Gallery.


September 17, 2013

Local German Restaurant Review

by Sam Wai

Authentic German food can be prepared at home with reasonable success.  Going out is easier of course.  There are a few German restaurants in our region. Nearest to Fargo/Moorhead on the Minnesota side are The Brauhaus German Restaurant  in Akeley and the Schwarzwald Inn in Park Rapids.

The Brauhaus offers a combination of American and German dishes and desserts.  Annually, the Brauhaus also comes to the German Folk Festival held at the Rheault Farm in Fargo in July.  It is owned by a lady originally from Germany with her husband.  They have served the area since the 1980’s.  German wine and beer are available.  The Brauhaus is close from late October through April so call first.

The Schwarzwald Inn in Park Rapids also offers a combination of American and German food.  The ambiance is a cross between an American diner and a German Alpine lodge with a model train going around the entire restaurant on a ledge close to the ceiling.  The very well done and large mural of German theme covers a large part of one wall.  Both restaurants are about a couple of hours by car from Fargo/Moorhead.  In the most unexpected place on Highway 10 in St. Cloud, Minnesota is Michael’s Restaurant.  At Michael’s, owner Heinrich Wurdak from Vienna offers a mix of Continental, American and Austrian menu items.  The food is excellent and reasonably priced.  Heinrich is super friendly and always willing to chat about his childhood food experiences in his homeland.  The schnitzel is especially good.  They are also very accommodating about menu variations.


In the Twin Cities area, there are several German restaurants.  First is the Gasthof zur Gemütlichkeit just north of downtown Minneapolis.  The ambiance is very German with music nightly.  Bavarian snuff, a sniffing tobacco, is administered to willing guests.  The Black Forest Inn in south Minneapolis offers an all-German menu with German beers and wines.  The Black Forest also has one of the best patios in Minneapolis for summer dining.  The ambiance is that if an intimate German inn.

In St. Paul is the Glockenspiel on 7th Street just west of downtown.  The dining room is behind the bar area.  It is very popular during World Cup soccer.  There is also The Winzer Stube in Hudson just across into Wisconsin from the Minnesota state line.  This basement restaurant located in downtown Hudson offers a complete German menu.  The food is consistently good and portions are large.  The best way to enjoy German food in Moorhead this month will be at the Hjemkomst on September 28 during the day from 10am to 4pm and even better at the dinner that evening at 6pm.  Tickets are available until September 21 by calling 218.299.5511 ext 6737 or online at www.hcscconline.org


Michael’s in St. Cloud, MN and the Gasthof zur Gemütlichkeit in Minneapolis, MN




From left to right are:  The Black Forest Inn in Minneapolis, MN; the Glockenspiel in St. Paul, MN and the Winzer Stube in Hundson, WI


September 10, 2013

Beer 101: Video Library

File:Altbier.jpgGerman Culture Day is just around the corner and we are here to help you get the most out of your experience by giving you a crash course on German food, wine, and beer. We have touched upon food and wine, but we can’t forget beer. For years, wine has been the drink of choice for alcohol tastings. Wine had the reputation of being refined, while beer was viewed as the common man’s drink. Well, not any more. Beer tastings are becoming more popular in America with the craft beer movement and so has its status in the world of connoisseur. So we have compiled a series of videos in this post that will get you started on becoming a beer connoisseur or maybe just something to impress your friends while tasting the beers at German Culture Day.

There is more to drinking beer than just cracking a can. With over 20,000 types in the world, the various types of glassware and how it is poured is important to enhancing the flavor, aroma and the overall experience of the beer. German beers need to be served in a taller glass so it can have a proper head without loss of beer. British style pub glasses are not the best suited for German style beer even though that is what you find in most pubs in America. For more information, check out the German Beer Institutes Beer Primer.


Proper Pouring

German ales and lagers are more effervescent than other beers such as English ales. The higher amount of grain protein found in German beer give it its richer body and prominent foam or head.  The best way to get that full flavor is to properly pour German beer to give it at least a. The pouring process brings out the proteins in the carbonation causing it to form a head at the top. The correct shaped glass also enhances the forming of the head and proper breathing of the beer. Without the head, the beer will not have the aroma and will cause your stomach to bloat. You will get a full, uncomfortable feeling after drinking a pint. If you see your bartender not pouring correctly, send it back. Why spend money on a poor tasting beer that will make you bloated. Below are some clips on how to properly pour a beer to impress all of your friends at your next party.

Here is a great clip on the variety of beers (not just German) and how to pour with the various types of glasses. Some are pretty impressive!

So enjoy and the next time you lift a glass, make sure you don’t loose your head. ;)


Stay Tuned. Next week we will go over what makes German Beers different from other beers around the world.


September 6, 2013

For Better or For Wust: German Sausages

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http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-RXUWZN3ET5Q/T4_keFdR9-I/AAAAAAAAjA8/gUT-a5J-Ynk/s640/wurst.JPGDid you know that there are over 1,500 different kinds of wurst in Germany? Some well-recognized wurst are available in America include bratwurst and salami. The Germans actually use the word wurst to describe both cold cuts (aufschnitt) and sausages.  Wurst is consumed at every meal and at holiday tables. Breakfast and dinner are lighter meals; therefore sausages are accompanied by butter, rolls and cheese. Lunch, or the mid-day meal, is the heartiest meal and usually is joined by a side of sauerkraut, potato salad, horseradish, etc.

So then, what is wurst? German wurst is made up of various types of meat: pork, beef, chicken, liver, blood, tongue, and the list go on. To enhance its favors and aroma, other ingredients such as peppers, eggs, and milk may be added. There are four categories of wurst based on the cooking preparation.

The first one is fresh or raw wurst called rohwurst. It comes in both sliceable and spreadable textures. Both types of sausages start with seasoned ground meat and then cased into artificial or natural skin. Natural skin casing uses intestines as a holding and shaping membrane. The texture changes depend on the ripening period. Firmer sausages have a much longer ripening time.

The second category of wurst is kochwurst, or cooked wurst.  All the ingredients are cooked or smoked. Unlike robwurst, the cooked meat mixture is combined with gelatin, blood, grits, and bread. The sausages then go through the second cooking process. The third category of wurst is boiled and scalded, or as known as bruhwurst. The scalding process cooks the meat mixture and makes it crispy. Lastly, the most famous type of wurst is bratwurst. It comes in both raw and scalded. Many American families enjoy bratwurst by grilling it. Each version of bratwurst is unique based on the different regions of Germany.

On Christmas Eve, a traditional meal is served with sausages and potato salad. During Oktoberfest, the celebration cannot be completed without wurst, beer and delicious desserts. Even though there might be different ways of preparing these sausages, there is only one way to consume them: at a big family table along with some authentic German beer.

To try some great authentic sausages, come to German Culture Day at the Hjemkomst Center, September 28 from 10 am – 4pm. The event is free and open to the public. Check out our website for more information. www.hcscconline.org.


“Wurst”. German Food Guide, 2013.

“Wurst Categories”. German Food Guide, 2013.

“German Wurs”. German Food Guide, 2013.

“Oktoberfest”. German Food Guide, 2013.


August 26, 2013

How to properly pronounce German wines

Have you ever had that moment when you are in a restaurant and you want to order the wine but end up butchering the name on the label?  Well have no fear. The German Wine Institute has created a video that gives you a crash course in how to pronounce a variety of wines in German.


Now you can impress all of your friends at the Rhineland Dinner at the Hjemkomst Center, September 28 at 6pm. You will be able to savor the delicacies of Germany, drink some wonderful wine and practice your German.  For more information on the dinner check out our website. www.hcscconline.org


August 19, 2013

Deutschland Wines Part 3: Pairing with Food

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In celebration of our first annual German Culture Day and Rhineland Dinner, the Historical and Cultural Society will be blogging about German culture, food, wine, beers, music and more. Kicking off our German series is a three-part blog about German wine. Sam Wai, a local wine expert, shares his vast knowledge of the various wines produced in Germany; a country often over looked for a source of great wine.

Best German Wines with Non-German Dishes

by Sam Wai

Shrimp at the Mandarin Kitchen, Minneapolis, MN

Without a doubt, the best occasion to drink wine is with food.  Of course, German food with German wine is the obvious pairing.  Most of us do not eat German food on a daily basis.  However, German wines are versatile for drinking with a great variety of cuisines.  Majority of the German wines widely available in the U. S. are off-dry whites and many of them are made of the Riesling grape.  This style of wine is excellent to drink with the many Asian cuisines like Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese and Thai.  These cuisines have a few things in common.  They are highly seasoned with soy based flavors.  Seasoning if often keyed up and some dishes are spicy hot.

Chutney Chicken Salad at The VIP Room, Fargo

The lighter body of a white German wine and the refreshing quality both work well to balance the strong flavors of these cuisines.  A little sweetness in the wine offers a cooling contrast against the salt and spices.  The refreshing acidity of a wine grown in a northern climate also balances the sweetness sometime found in Asian food.  The lower alcohol content of most German wines also allows for a bit more quaffing.


At the Indian Palace in Fargo

Another classic pairing is an off-dry Riesling with India and curried dishes.  The complex spices work so well with the tropical notes of a Riesling.  It is almost like a spoonful of chutney with your curry.  A great summer lunch is a chilled curried chicken salad on a bed of crisp lettuce enjoyed with a cold glass of German Riesling.  Above are pictures of dishes that will go well with a German Riesling. Next time you are dining out, try German wines and let us know what you think. Enjoy!





August 13, 2013

Deutschland Wines Part 2: Red Wines

In celebration of our first annual German Culture Day and Rhineland Dinner, the Historical and Cultural Society will be blogging about German culture, food, wine, beers, music and more. Kicking off our German series is a three-part blog about German wine. Sam Wai, a local wine expert, shares his vast knowledge of the various wines produced in Germany; a country often over looked for a source of great wine.

 Pinot Noir of Germany

By Sam Wai

The vineyards of Germany are primarily located in the southwestern part of the country.  These are some of the most northerly vineyards in the world.  The cooler climate of Germany accounts for Riesling being the variety of importance.  Riesling does well in a cooler climate.  Overly hot weather bakes the acidity out the grapes resulting flabby and bulky wines, not at all attractive attributes for Riesling or any white wine.  Generally, white wine grapes are more likely to suit cool climate viticulture than black/blue grapes used for red wine.

Despite historic dominance of white wine in Germany, there has been a shift to planting red varieties to meet the changing taste of German wine consumers.  Red wine production now accounts for a third of Germany’s wine production, up from 10% only three decades ago.  Warmer climate of the last two decades has also help the quality of German red wine.  Pinot Noir, called Spätburgunder in Germany, is the dominant red wine variety with 28,000 acres planted today (11% of Germany’s total wine acreage).  Pinot Noir is one major red varietal that does well in cooler conditions.

Germans consume a lot of Germany’s red wines so only a relatively small fraction is exported.  German reds are just beginning to be noticed in the international marketplace.  Prices for a very good German Pinot Noir can be high.  The better examples resemble a good Oregon Pinot Noir or a Pinot Noir from the Burgundy region of France.  Low-end German Pinot Noirs tend to be lighter.  The second widely planted German red wine grape is Dornfelder.  Dornfelder generally makes a darker and fuller bodied wine than Pinot Noir, although its overall character tends to be more neutral and less interesting.  Much less common are the St. Laurent and the Pinot Meunier grapes that produce very fine red wines in Germany.  Both of these varieties are genetically related to Pinot Noir.  For the dinner at German Cultural Day to be held at the Hjemkomst Heritage Center on September 28, we will feature a delicious Pinot Meunier grown by the Darting family in the Pfalz region.  This is one of the top German reds I have ever tasted. 

Please join me for the Rhineland Dinner and taste this very attractive wine on September 28.  I think you will be impressed.

The Rhineland Dinner is a four-course contemporary German meal on September 28 at the Hjemkomst Heritage Center starts at 6 pm. Tickets are $50 per person with beer and wine available for purchase. Reservations are required. Purchase tickets HERE or call 218-299-5511 ext. 6737.  All proceeds benefit the Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County.