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The greatest gift to our generation from the settlers at the Welk farm

Ibarra, John. "The greatest gift to our generation from the settlers at the Welk farm." Emmons County Record, 23 July 2013, 1.


A society is valued by its investment to preserve the culture, history and art of its past generations.

The homesteaders have made no demands for special recognition from those who have followed, yet this legacy is given in trust to our generation. We must hold and pass on the stories of the remarkable new American settlers who converted the North Dakota wilderness into one of the richest lands, and, in the process, they have setup an extraordinary rise in prosperity for this generation.

In this prosperous land how difficult would it be to set aside a small parcel of land to preserve the rich history of the new American settlers?

The Welk site is the only original homestead in existence in North Dakota where one can set foot on its soil and experience the flavor of a homestead with all its buildings and history. A gesture of appreciation is in store to the individuals who have made great investments to keeping the Welk site alive—hats off to this group.

The Welk homestead should remain. There is a potential to expand the site and to store and exhibit the many stories, photographs and artifacts that can provide us with a truly comprehensive rich history.

The Lawrence Welk brand cannot be allowed to die because his wholesome values he demonstrated in his professional and personal life are preferred by many of us, particularly in North Dakota.

Our generation and future generations must be made aware of the stories the settlers have left behind, a rich history of shaping the North Dakota land. It is a story of the heavy burdens they carried and the terrible price they paid. The whole family understood what was required of them, and they willingly performed their difficult and laborious work.

The power of vividly recounting the stories in detailed words, well executed photographs, clear graphics and valuable artifacts can have a sizable impact on the visitor. Well displayed exhibits and information will enrich our future generations.

The Welk site should be a destination—it merits sound promotion. This is the greatest gift to our generation.

Reprinted with Permission of Emmons County Record

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