Sidetracked (Fireplace of States)

By Darla Sathre (from The Depot Express newsletter, Fall 2014) I love rocks. So no matter where I am or what I am doing, rocks can get me sidetracked. The nationally known Fireplace of States located in Bemidji’s Chamber of Commerce Tourist Information Center is made of over 900 rocks from all over the country. It all started in the early 1930s with an idea from Harry E. Roese, district manager of the Federal Reemployment Service, as well as president of the Civic and Commerce Association in Bemidji. His grand idea was of a fireplace containing rocks from every state in the union, from every Canadian province, from all 87 Minnesota counties, and from all the national parks. The building of the fireplace became one […]

Sidetracked (Drs. Larson & Larson)

By Darla Sathre (from The Depot Express newsletter, Summer 2014) Eyesight is something we tend to take for granted until we have a problem. I have worn glasses since childhood, but recently got a new prescription. I am now wearing trifocals with lines. They take a little getting used to, and the first time I wore them in the museum archive room my eyes felt a little dizzy. Nothing major, just some adjustment issues on my part involving moving my head up and down trying to focus on newspaper articles. So when I noticed a 1907 Bemidji Daily Pioneer article about a local optometrist office I got sidetracked. A picture of an eye halfway through an article is what really caught my attention. The article’s […]


By Darla Sathre (This story is part of the electronic portion of The Depot Express newsletter, Spring 2014, and did not appear in the print edition. It will be a regular part of future newsletters.) I am a new volunteer here at the Beltrami County Historical Society. I was born and raised in Bemidji, but moved to Brainerd 23 years ago. Do not worry – even while in Brainerd I remained loyal to the real Paul Bunyan on the shores of Lake Bemidji! The last five years there I worked at the Crow Wing CountY Historical Society & Museum, where I developed a fascination for local history tidbits. We recently moved back to Bemidji, and I am so pleased to be able to volunteer here […]