Dear Dave McFarlane,

I don’t know what you are celebrating down there in Florida. Maybe it’s farewell to winter residents. This could be Alexander Griggs Week in Grand Forks.

You see, way back in April of 1875, Griggs placed a plat of Grand Forks with the register of deeds. I mean – all nine acres.

Also in April 1875, Griggs was appointed a commission to complete organization of Grand Forks County.

When Dan Rylance wrote a history about him for the Herald long ago, he said of all the early “boomers” Griggs was the most deserving of the title – “Father of Grand Forks.”

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Some time ago I was visiting with Leah Byzewski. You know, the director at the Myra Museum. We got talking about the idea of holding an Alexander Griggs Day in Grand Forks. I figure it’s worth a whole week. This week.

You see, Griggs came here in 1870 to build a flatboat on the Red River. He was the proud captain.

He also entered a claim where downtown Grand Forks is today. You know, right on the corner where Kittson Avenue and Third Street are now.

On April 26, 1875, he placed a plat of the village of Grand Forks in the county office. In April of 1888, Griggs was elected the fifth mayor of Grand Forks.

In 1891, he was in ill health. He moved to the state of Washington where he died. In his obituary in 1903, the newspaper at Larimore eulogized Alexander Griggs as “the Father of Grand Forks.”

Otto, Abby and Griff

Well, Dave, I am not sure Alexander Griggs with all his foresight could ever have imagined the dogs in Grand Forks today. Some of the dogs in their own area at Lincoln Park on Saturday included Dargo, a Doberman, and another dog named Valentine. Then there was Iris, a golden doodle, and Polaris, a blue-eyed Husky. Otto, Abby and Griff – a huge St. Bernard – were all out there too, for exercise.

Dogs and their owners love their special areas in Lincoln Park. You know, there’s a space for the smaller dogs, as well as a place for the larger dogs. And along with the dogs and people at the park on Saturday, there was a bride and groom.

Yep, in these times of coronavirus, people appreciate their parks.

Well, the bravest and strongest among us have raked their yards. The rest of us feel a need to do it. I figure that's one thing you haven’t had to worry about since you moved to Florida for good.

So happy golfing, photographing and waving goodbye to the northerners who winter in Florida.

Your friend, Marilyn, in the land where the wind blows and winter has a hard time giving up.