Comments on the Journal and Letters

This has been a year-long labor of love for our four-generation family team. We would love to hear from you with any comments, suggestions, or connections you may have with the Linsleys, Formans, Quargnali-Linsleys, or any of the neighbor families from Park Rapids or Nevis, Minnesota. We encourage you to read them all, or jump right to the form to leave yours.

Comments (35)

John Linsley
John Linsley in the year 2002 came and stayed at my home for a couple of weeks, a couple of times a year. Usually, between travels in Europe, Sicily and Russia. He definitely loved music. More to say, but I'm busy teaching right now. Best to you all and thank you for all of your efforts.
#35 - Teschon Linsley of Ely, MN - 12/18/2009 - 14:41
My Dear Friend Ruth Linsley Forman
Ruth was a very dear friend of mine for many years! We first met under a tree in a park in Toledo, Ohio where Ruth was a teacher. She was reading a book to several children,her students. My 4 year old son walked over to her and sat down with her and the other children and listened to her read the story. When she finished the book and introduced herself to me, we became instant friends. I told her my son would be starting kindergarten in the fall, one thing led to another and I gave her my phone number and she called me in the fall and I became her helper at school and her friend. Over the years I heard about all the things in the farm letters, tasted the recipes and became part of her wonderful family and she of mine. Miles separated us in later years, but we still shared letters and phone calls and I still miss her every day. She was my dearest friend!
#34 - Dean Douglas of Lucasville, Ohio - 08/26/2009 - 18:44
Wonderful!
I heard you on PR radio and my ears really perked up! First when I heard the name Avenson, and then listened to the story. I am enjoying reading all the finished chapters, and am looking forward to the rest when they get finished. I spend alot of time up in the Dorset/Nevis/Park Rapids area as that is where my folks grew up. I also live a block away from what was Standish Elementary school, as I grew up in South Minneapolis. So I am hoping you include some stories of your South Minneapolis life also!
Thanks so much for your wonderful writings! Teresa Avenson Conway
#33 - Teresa Avenson Conway of Minneapolis, MN - 06/30/2009 - 11:00
Katie
My parents live in Nevis, MN now, on Spider Lake. They would love to read this. Any talks with a publisher or can we buy this in paper form from anyone?
#32 - Katie Jendro of Marshall, MN - 06/11/2009 - 11:18
Inspirational
I have only briefly skimmed the website but have found the entire collection and the love shown to preserve it to be an over-flowing love of the human condition. Thanks so much for sharing.
BTW, would you consider adding a way to send the link of your page to others on your site? In the meantime I'll simply cut nd paste, but I know some folks security software rips it right out.
Good luck finishing this wonderful story.
#31 - Brian Fountaine of Simi Valley, CA - 04/10/2009 - 03:19
RICH
THE LANGUAGE FROM THE EXCERPTS AND SYNOPSIS IS RICH, RICH, RICH....THE SENSE IS FROM A VIBRANT INNER LIFE AS WELL AS AN EVENT FILLED OUTER LIFE...THE LOVE AND INTELLIGENCE OF THE PARENTS AND CHILDREN SHOWS. THANKS FOR SHARING AND THIS IS A WONDERFULLY DONE SITE. DO YOU HAVE A BOOK PUBLISHED?
#30 - LOUISE of EDMONTON, ALBERTA, CANADA - 03/30/2009 - 01:34
History comes alive
How beautiful that a family can be connected for generations through the faithful writing and sharing of thoughts of people who love each other. Our rushed society could learn a lot from this family venture.
Thank you!
#29 - Marilyn Reardon of Yelm, WA - 03/16/2009 - 14:03
Bread Pudding
Yesterday i made my Grandmother Martha's recipe for bread pudding-Wow. Of course I used Grandma's white bread recipe in it. Being me I did "tinker" with it a bit (my Grandmother would be the first to like the results). I put 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon in it, used currants, and 1 cup of whipping crean.Also I used only brown sugar.
Making these recipes I know where I got my love of cooking from.
#28 - Joanna Linsley-Poe of Beaverton, OR - 02/19/2009 - 11:50
SW 1/4 section 5 Crow Wing Lakes Township
Hi, Our family had the pleasure of owning the exact farm that is the setting in this story. My father-in-law purchased it around 1960 but had rented it for years prior to that. In 1971, we cleared trees and put in a center-pivot irrigation system and the farm has produced amazing crops ever since. Somehow, I feel that the dreams of the '30s to farm and produce abundant crops was realized and I think it's a sort-of memorial to these folks and the hard work they started. In March 2008, we sold that farm and the farming legacy will continue.
#27 - JEAN & MERLE AVENSON of PARK RAPIDS, MN - 02/19/2009 - 08:49
Dear Daddy,
Dear Lucy Jeanne,

We were almost neighbors to your Mother; only time separated us - about nine years and a mile. In 1943 my family bought a farm just north of where the Linsleys cabin home was near Nevis. My name is Vern Struck, I am now 76 years old, but like your Mother I was 9 when my family moved the farm. From Linsleys place, our farm was past Jensens, then straight on up, what we called the Big Hill; and then about another half mile. There were eight of us, Mom, Dad, four boys and two girls. Like theirs, our place had no electricity and we also burnt wood for heat.

Mom raised a big garden (she had lots of weeder helpers) and we supplemented many meals with wild meat. I also attended 5th, 6th and 7th grades at the old Vokes school (Dist.13). I ice skated many times on the swamp that your Mom walked across to get to school. My Dad also wanted to farm from the day he was born, too bad both your Grandfather and my Father didn't have a better opportunity. We lived there from 1943 to 1952, then moved to Oregon. Yes, I can really relate to your writings. Memories, memories - your Dear Daddy series brought back many, like the stinging in your nose at 20 below and the bright northern lights. Thank You.

P.S. I knew many of the people you've written about and some you haven't mentioned, but the Linsleys most likely knew them, too. If you would like names and more of my memories E-mail me.
#26 - Vern Struck of Medford, Oregon - 02/18/2009 - 19:17
Kathy Wood Ford
My parents bought the resort on 4th Crow Wing Lake in 1946 when I was 9 months old. Growing up, my cousins and I would take walks and go by your little house, about a half mile away. It was still standing but not in very good shape, and could hardly be seen from the road. We often wondered about it and now that I am reading your letters I am amazed and am enjoying them very much. I remember many of the family names. I loved growing up in this area and now have retired and moved back. I will be reading everything. Thank you!
#25 - Kathy Wood Ford of Nevis, Mn - 02/17/2009 - 23:27
A wonderful website
Your website has special meaning to me as I grew up a short distance from the area described in your website. I am also very interested in history and I have been on the board of directors for the Hubbard County Historical Society for many year.

What a valuable contribution you are making to preserve a very interesting history.

Steve Bolton
Nevis, Minnesota
#24 - Steven Bolton of Park Rapids, MN 56470 - 02/11/2009 - 21:52
A True Family History

Hi Dear Daddy, I am fasinated and enjoy the history your family shares, I am from a farming family, and country life provides so many adventures and is always evolving in technology, It is also a very healthy life style, Many Thanks for sharing,
Love Seaira Louise,
#23 - Seaira Louise of PortLudlow WA. - 02/06/2009 - 19:44
Old Friend from Oshkosh
My compliments to all of you. This is an exceptional publication of one family history. This is a great use of actual family artifacts. It is very gracious of you to share them with the world.

Growing up I only heard verbal accounts of the family history from parents, grandparents, great grandparents and so on. Family artifacts were not kept and passed on.

I think you'll agree our growing up in Oshkosh, Wisconsin was a lot better than we ever knew. It is still cold there like it was when we were teenagers. I was there a couple weeks ago.

I really enjoy your web site.

Thanks for sharing
#22 - George Yungwirth of Denver, Co - 02/05/2009 - 20:05
Personal Connection
I wish to thank you for putting this story to paper and, most especially, for making it available to others.
I was born and raised in northern Minnesota, and own a piece of property outside of current day Nevis. My familiarity with the area of your story, and my strong love of history and genealogy, made your story compelling reading. I will anxiously await further chapters! Thank you again.
#21 - Sandy Fairchild of Denver, CO - 02/05/2009 - 15:46
This is truly amazing!
The story of the 140-year-old brass spinning top has all of the elements of an epic tale. In this day and age of instant gratification it is difficult to imagine a family tradition dating back 14 decades.
#20 - Pam Scott of Spokane, WA - 02/05/2009 - 13:17
Preparation Essential for a Wolf Encounter
A toasty, crackling fireplace, steaming Cambric tea and frosted ginger cookies make The Moonlight Wolf Caper all the more enjoyable. Try it!
#19 - j.magnusen of Lakeland, FL - 02/05/2009 - 08:36
Recipes-Mmmm
Yesterday I printed a recipe for Jule Kage. I am really looking forward to trying it, especially since I know Lucy is a great cook and I hope to be able to duplicate a recipe into great tastiness. Thank you so much for sharing all that you have posted. I'm enjoying the stories.
#18 - Teasha Coots of Spokane, WA - 02/04/2009 - 21:08
Jule Kage
That looks outstanding. I have two Danish friends who were recently bemoaning the fact that nobody from Denmark sent them a jule kage (let alone 3 or 6 of them). I sent them the URL and got a note back saying they're going to try it out this weekend.

Plus the rest of the site is pretty cool too.

Thank you. Annie
#17 - A.N. Mousse of Los Angeles, CA - 02/04/2009 - 19:47
Enjoy
Love the Quotes section! What a wonderful writer Ruth was! Plan on trying a few recipes too!
#16 - Jill Thornburg Johnson of St Paul, MN - 02/04/2009 - 18:33
old goat
Love the site. Reminds me a lot of what I grew up with in Washington State.
#15 - Eugene Humbert of Strasburg Co. - 02/04/2009 - 18:32
So touching and timely!
I have loved the thought behind this site since first viewing the Christmas Top video! Today, I had to force myself to stop reading in order to get more work done in the office! This is great material and couldn't be published at a better time in history. May we all take a look at a closer look at our lives, cherish what we have, preserve and create family traditions and memories, and come to realize that the most valuable possession we own, could be a "Top". Many thanks to your family for saving and sharing these wonderful memories! I look forward to reading more!
#14 - Angeline Ames of Maple Valley, WA - 02/04/2009 - 18:25
A great way to record history
This a great site - I love the letters it's a great way to learn about the past - the recipes are good very simple, I'm going to try that baked pork ...thanks
#13 - Elana Findlow of Jakarta - Indonesia - 02/04/2009 - 18:04
A Wonderful Legacy
I remember when my Grandmother (Martha Linsley) would bring bread with her, or on occasion baking bread when she and my Grandfather would visit us in Oshkosh. These recipes take me back to that time. They are a wonderful reminder of all of the heritage we sometimes forget. Every one of them is soul satisfying, and we need that in these times. When I'm complimented the next time on my bread or any other recipe I make - I'll know it started with my Grandmother - what could be better.
#12 - Joanna Linsley-Poe of Beaverton, Oregon - 02/04/2009 - 16:54
Such an interesting site!
I've spent such a long while reading the stories and bookmarking the recipes (will be making Ruth's Rice Pudding this weekend for sure!) that I almost forgot to leave a message - thank you for sharing such wonderful stories, I'll be back for more!
#11 - Daisy Morgan of Hampshire, England - 02/04/2009 - 16:37
What a Gift
Thank you so much for sharing your family's history with us. What a treasure!
#10 - Becky Walpole of Park Rapids Minnesota - 02/04/2009 - 15:35
Great work
Thank you for sharing this wonderful story with the world. We look forward to the chapters ahead!
#9 - jean ruzicka of Park Rapids, MN - 02/04/2009 - 15:09
Already a Favorite
I have only just begun reading the story of this family, and it is already a favorite place of retreat for the clear picture of how things were in that place and those times. The character of this wonderful family comes through in every word. I can connect in lots of small ways - old enough to remember the depression years myself, living in primitive conditions on a ranch during my youth, and a daughter who lives in northern Minnesota now. Love it!
#8 - Linda Wheeler of Alpine, California - 02/04/2009 - 14:21
Love the Photos and the Recipes
So neat to see all the old photos ... we had roller skates like that to play with when I was growing up in small town Minnesota. I have also enjoyed browsing the recipes and adding them to my collection. Thanks for a great read along with lots of interesting extras!
#7 - Lori Ann Clark of Cannon Falls, MN - 02/04/2009 - 13:52
So interesting
Having listened to my grandmother's stories many years ago about what her family did during the depression era (she and her brothers got split up for awhile), I find this site is a wonderful reminder of that time I spent with her. Plus the story told by the letters themselves is so powerful. Thanks for taking the time to put it together.
#6 - Violet Bliss Dietz of Trumbull, CT - 02/04/2009 - 13:09
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