Tri-County Alliance holds meeting in Hazelton

Seeklander, Verda. "Tri-County Alliance holds meeting in Hazelton." Emmons County Record.

Twenty people from various community, county and North Dakota government agencies attended the Tri-County (Emmons, Logan, McIntosh) Tourism Alliance meeting held March 16 at the Hazelton Coffee Shop.

Logan County Extension Agent and Alliance President Carmen Rath-Wald conducted the meeting.

The main goal of the non-profit Alliance is to promote the German-Russian heritage of central North Dakota through increased heritage tours within the three counties, special events and a special coffee table cookbook project. 

The Alliance has obtained a $5,000 grant from the North Dakota State Historical Society to help fund the Coffee Table Book project which is expected to be completed in time for the Ashley quasquicentennial to be held June 20 -23, 2013. The book will include interviews with first and second generation Germans from Russia who remember what life was like before electricity, refrigerators, television, milking machines... you get the picture. And those are also needed. Pictures of gardens, celebrations, Christmas and other holiday and special celebration dinners, pre-1980 events, butchering, canning, barnraisings, threshing, etc. 

Coordinator Sue Balcom says this is no ordinary cookbook project. Instead it will be a collection of stories and folklore about the food culture of the people who lived in McIntosh, Emmons and Logan Counties.

If you are interested in helping conduct interviews, submitting stories or want more information, contact Sue Balcom at 701-527-5169 or or Carmen Rath-Wald at 701-754-2504 or

Balcom said the State Historical Society is helping collect the information to archive it in one of the historical centers in the tri-county area or perhaps make a mobile display or collection that could go to each area to be displayed for a period of time before moving the collection to the next site.

Balcom said she is also available to share the information with homemakers clubs or other interested organizations.

“And I’ll tell you,” she said, “I’ve got stories galore about how people survived on the prairie with no grocery stores, no internet, no cell phone towers and things like that.” 

Although the first book is expected to be completed in 2013, collecting information will be an ongoing project because of its historical significance.

Alliance members sent a thank you to the Wishek quilters for their donation of a quilt which the Alliance plans to raffle to help fund some of its projects. They plan to display the quilt at various sites within the three counties. The Alliance would appreciate donations of other quilts to help promote tourism in the area. 

Seventh graders in Napoleon are asking for any type of apron donations—they can include welders’ aprons, carpenter aprons and aprons from other walks of life for a research project that will include stories about the aprons—their use, who wore them, when, etc. The aprons will then be donated to the Alliance to be displayed to the public. 

The logo designed for the Alliance by BSC students was approved. 

Preservation North Dakota, whose mission is to preserve historical buildings, is planning a conference in May which will bring approximately 150 - 200 people to the Wishek area. As part of the conference, they would like to learn more about historical barns, barns about 100 years old which could still be preserved as part of the history of our state, with possible trips to see some of these buildings. Please contact them or Carmen Rath-Wald if you are aware of older barns in your area. 

Day trips were also discussed with the possibility of a tour through Emmons County in July. All meetings are open to anyone interested in preserving North Dakota’s heritage. 

The next meeting will be held April 20 at 11 a.m. in Strasburg. Check out the Tri-County Alliance page on Facebook. 

Carmen Rath-Wald explained the goals of the Tri-County Alliance at the group’s March meeting.
The Tri-County Alliance logo designed by Bismarck State College students was approved at the Hazelton meeting.

Permission to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested by contacting Michael M. Miller