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Dr. Hvoslef put Lanesboro on the map


Fri, Aug 24th, 2001
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By Nancy OvercottMonday, August 27 2001

Johan C. Hvoslef, Lanesboro resident and physician from 1876 to 1920, was heart-broken when Agnes, his only child, died at the age of six. Following her death on June 2, 1898, he began a ritual of daily walks from his house in the south part of Lanesboro to the cemetery, which he euphemistically called "the hill," at the northern end of town, to visit his daughter's grave, which he always referred to as "the place." As part of the ritual, he entered daily accounts of his visits in his diary.

Dr. Hvoslef immigrated to this country from Norway in 1872, at the age of thirty-three. Following medical school in Chicago, he moved to Lanesboro and eventually married Lanesboro resident Karen Anderson. We know about Dr. Hvoslef today because of the meticulous records he kept of the birds he saw. In 1921, a year after his death, his wife presented his diaries to the Museum of Natural History at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Thomas S. Roberts, director of the museum, had this to say about the journals:

No part of these diaries has ever been published, but from them were taken the bird-migration records that Dr. Hvoslef sent to the United States Biological Survey at Washington over a series of years, and concerning which Mr. Wells W. Cooke, in one on the Survey bulletins, stated that the information from Lanesboro was the most complete and satisfactory that had been received from any source . . . In his classic work, "The Birds of Minnesota," University of Minnesota Press, 1932, Dr. Roberts drew heavily on Dr. Hvoslef's records and again acknowledged him: "All the many records from Lanesboro in this work are from Dr. Hvoslef's notes."

The diaries consist of 57 notebooks in which the doctor recorded his daily activities, observations of nature and information about the weather. His first entry was February 2, 1881 and the last on June 3, 1818. He wrote in Norwegian until his daughter's death and from then on, he wrote in English.

In reading the notebooks, one gets the impression that Dr. Hvoslef was a private and intense man, who was somewhat shy and certainly melancholy. His longing for Norway quickly becomes apparent. He seems to be happiest when out in the countryside observing nature. He sometimes describes the birds and the weather in a poetic manner. He freely expresses opinions and occasionally reports on local and world events. But, it is his methodical and painstaking recordi .....
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Foods Weekly Ads


Fri, Aug 24th, 2001
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Buffalo Bill Days Committee answers questions; receives city commendationBy John TorgrimsonMonday, August 27, 2001

“You know how word goes around in a small town,” Council member John Dollar told the Lanesboro City Council on Monday. “B ..... 
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Lanesboro City Council Report

Fri, Aug 24th, 2001
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“There is no parking problem”By John TorgrimsonMonday, August 27, 2001


The Lanesboro City Council voted unanimously on Monday, August 20, to postpone rehabilitation of the historic Coffee Street Bridge for another year. Built in 1893, th ..... 
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County asked to pay its share of library costs

Fri, Aug 24th, 2001
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Monday, August 20, 2001

It was library budget day at the County Board meeting last week as librarians from the county’s seven public libraries came before the commissioners to make their annual funding request.

The executive director o ..... 
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Fri, Aug 24th, 2001
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By Carol ThouinMonday, August 27, 2001

Wykoff is known as the gateway to Forestville State Park, but could just as easily be called the small town with a big amount of community pride. With a population that hovers ju ..... 
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NORSTAD CONSTRUCTION

Fri, Aug 24th, 2001
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New Homes • Remodeling • Additions
Poured Basement Walls • Driveways • Retaining Walls
Agriculture • Horse Barns • Riding Arenas


Fill, Sand, Black Dirt, Landscaping, Lite Excavation


We offer a plan service ..... 
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Our Gift Shop

Fri, Aug 24th, 2001
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Features:
Locally made Amish Quilts, Dolls, Baskets & Furniture
Amish Pantry Spices, Mustards, Bread Mixes & Soups
Beaumont Brothers Pottery
Fall Pumpkins, Apples & Scarecrows
Tapestry Wallhangings
Bell Pul ..... 
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Welcome to Bluff Country's Finest Family Campground

Fri, Aug 24th, 2001
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SUPERSAW VALLEY CAMPGROUND
Deep in the heart of picturesque Bluff Country, welcome to Supersaw Valley Campground, southeastern Minnesota’s scenic family camping area.

Come discover 185 acres of lush, bountifu ..... 
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Journal Profile #84

Fri, Aug 24th, 2001
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Name: Ellen Collett
Home: Preston, MN
Age: 54
Profession: Homemaker/Daycare
Family: Husband Dave, three daughters, two sons, and six grandchildren
Personal Hero: My mother
Hobbies: Se ..... 
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