MARILYN HAGERTY'S THAT REMINDS ME: For sale in 1934: New homes for $3,000

Adolph Hitler was reported to be creating a "new Germany" 75 years ago. The Grand Forks Building and Loan Association was showing homes at a cost of $3,000 to $5,000. And there were dust storms all over this area...

Adolph Hitler was reported to be creating a "new Germany" 75 years ago. The Grand Forks Building and Loan Association was showing homes at a cost of $3,000 to $5,000. And there were dust storms all over this area

People were being encouraged to plant gardens by the Federal Emergency Relief Administration in May 1934. "Because it is possible for a half acre of ground to produce easily $150 worth of food, every farm should have a good vegetable garden," said Ole Grottodden, local supervisor.

"The garden is one place where a middleman is eliminated. Many families have made a living in recent depressed years by living off the fat of the land without store bills."

The relief plan allowed a 1/3 discount on seed purchases. And 20,000 seed coupons worth $40,000 were available for people on relief rolls.

In May, many gardens around the state were started with onions and spinach plantings.


On May 7, 1934, a glaring sun baked the Northwest, the Herald reported. The temperature hit 91 in Grand Forks and was much higher in other points in the Dakotas.

Drought along with blowing soil had become severe, and the wheat crop reached a critical stage in the swirling dust. A North Dakota Drought Relief Program was announced May 13.

And on May 14, there was a story about President Franklin Roosevelt mapping out the program. At the end of the month, a temperature of 99 set a record for May 27 as heat and wind damaged crops.

Water was a concern, but an estimated three month supply had accumulated behind the Red Lake River dam in East Grand Forks as a result of flash boards added to the top of the structure, the Herald reported.

Grand Forks and East Grand Forks were using an estimated

1ยฝ million gallons a day as a result of water storage in the two cities and a better water supply than in several years. The flow in summer was said to be more than the amount used here.

In spite of the dust and drought, life went on in Grand Forks in May 1934:

** Coaches C.A. West and G.L. Starbeck divided the UND Sioux football players into two teams for the spring game May 19.


** Nearly 5,000 Chinese pheasants were distributed around the state by the Game and Fish Commission. The Grand Forks County Sportsmen's League heard about the distribution of pheasants and Hungarian partridge at their annual meeting.

** The relative merits of fascism, communism and the New Deal was the topic of debate in the Commons at UND. The event was open to all townspeople.

** Grand Forks Mayor E.A. Fladland threw out the first ball, and East Grand Forks Mayor H.O. Giese, East Grand Forks, was the catcher for the opening of the Northern League season.

The Grand Forks Colts played Duluth White Sox for the opening game. Big Jake Baumgartner started as pitcher for the Colts. They beat the Sox 6-0 in the first game and 4-3 in the second game. A parade to the ball park was scheduled for the middle of May.

** Thirty schools were represented when the traditional high school festival was held at UND. Eight hundred young people competed in music, declamation, industrial arts, track and tennis.

** A shortage of money during the previous year caused the Grand Forks Library to close for 11 weeks for lack of help.

** Two hundred seniors received high school diplomas here in the largest class in history of Grand Forks. East Grand Forks had 69 high school graduates.

** University fraternities held a songfest on the banks of the English Coulee.


** Pioneer merchant Joe Mahowald, who started here in 1906, celebrated his 28th anniversary in a store that had developed into the largest hardware, harness and general supply center in the Northwest. His son, A.J. Mahowald, had taken over active management of the store on DeMers Avenue.

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