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What’s in a Name? (Solway, MN & Lammers Township)

Lammers Avenue, Solway, MN

by Sue Bruns (from The Depot Express newsletter, Winter 2013)

Tremendous stands of timber brought early settlers to the area that is now Solway, Minnesota.

According to the Solway: 60th Anniversary publication, “Beltrami County was estimated to have four and one half billion feet of standing white pine” in addition to ash, birch, elm, spruce, popple, and basswood.”

When railroads reached the area in 1898, logging operations accelerated rapidly, bringing workers, settlers, and suppliers to the area.

Solway, incorporated February 7, 1899, is the only village in Lammers Township (named for George A. Lammers, co-owner with his brother Albert of the Lammers Brothers Logging Company).

By 1900, the community boasted its first school, a Great Northern Railway station, and “seven saloons, two hotels, two livery barns, several restaurants and stores, a weekly newspaper, a blacksmith, a feed store, a jail, a sawmill, and a hall.”

The Solway: 60th Anniversary publication attributes the naming of the village to a Scottish engineer on one of the first trains to Solway. He reportedly spoke of “the ‘Solway Firth,’ an arm of the Irish Sea, forming part of the boundary between England and Scotland. He suggested they name this place Solway because there were so many saloons and it was so wet.”

By 1907, the major logging operations had finished work in the area and many of the original buildings were destroyed in fires between 1905 and 1910.

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