Saturday, October 14, 2006

Letters from the Past

Have you ever seen the tv show ' If Walls Could Talk'
it's about people who buy houses and find things left by previous
owners. I received a phone call the other day. About meeting some
people about a former Holdingford businessman at the turn of the 19th
century. It turns out a gentleman by the name of Thomas Betz and his
wife were in town and they had a wonderful story to tell.
A friend of theirs had bought a house in Detroit Lakes,
Mn. After buying it, they were in the process of reroofing the
house. They came across a compartment apparently not assessable from
the house. A box that had over 200 letters in it.
Mr. Betz was given these letters. Being a person who cares
about preserving the past carefully, opened, flattened them placing
them under archival folders.
Now it gets really interesting. The letters were from a
Halvor Langslet to his fiancee. Written over a period of several
years. from about 1908 to 1912. Halvor had come to town working on
the railroad and opened up a general merchandise store with another
gentleman by the name of Vincent Klisch. I so far have just been
able to do a quick survey of them so far. They tell about the time.
Mr. Betz is graciously going to get us copies of the letters with a
little horsetrading of photos on our part. A real wonderful resource.
I am waiting anxiously to read them all.

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