History of Lamberton
In the beginning there were the four foot tall,
blue stem prairie grasses that trembled and bent in the strong winds.
The winds subsided, they straightened and held fast in rich soil of southwestern
Minnesota. Clusters of Native Americans lived and laughed, raised
their children hunted for buffalo and deer, fished and trapped on the banks
of the Cottonwood River. There were the traders, solitary men, who
traveled through this vast, empty land, searched its silent horizons and
made money form trading trinkets and fire water to the Native Americans
for pelts and furs to supply an eager Eastern market. They came on
horseback leading their pack animals, sizing up this land and its future,
early years were years of change – dramatic change. Under the Homestead
Act of 1862, any household head 21 years of age of older could file for
a claim on 160 acres in the public domain. That is, land not designated
for a special purpose, by residing on the land six months and then paying
$1.25 per acre for it, or by residing on the land and improving it for
five years. Servicemen could deduct their years of service from the
five years and hold their claim. Prices of land at this time averaged
about $5.00 per acre.
During the 1870’s, horses and oxen were used to
bring the homesteaders, to plow the fields and to measure our streets!
Old – timers said the width of Lamberton’s streets were measured by how
much room it took two span of oxen and covered wagons to turn around.
The original business district was on Front, or First Street, parallel
to the railroad tracks, and the street was usually muddy or dusty.
Oxen did the first heavy work of turning prairie sod with the pioneers’
plows because two oxen were stronger than two (a team of horses) horses.
They also survived the bitter winters better and ate less, but they were
slower, and so in the late 1880’s most of them had been replaced by horses.
Time passed and a community emerged, a home for
hundreds sits on the southwestern corner of Minnesota.
The images below capture an earlier era when times were simple
and life was sweet.
VIRTUAL TIME MACHINE
Welcome to Lamberton
this is the first scene you would have had in 1908, via the RR
Some people never made it, because railroading
was dangerous in the early years [early Lamberton
It wasn't easy getting here in those days. This flood
east of Lamberton in 1908 closed the road.
Some people came by horse and buggy for many of the local celebrations,
like the Corn
They were popular events in these small rural communities and the streets
Corn was popular but judging by this photo of the huge crowds pig
day was even better!
As you can see there was a celebration for every event like this harvest
day celebration in 1910.
With all this activity and new residents progress demanded new
and better schools.
and modern building finally brought modern education to Lamberton.
It wasn't the last and in the years to follow there would be others.
Like this one with the old
school still hanging on!
There were other things to do like go to church.
If you were a business man maybe you would go to the bank.
There were a couple
back then too!
One such business was the Lamberton
cement block and tile factory, but mostly farmers.
Time and calamity
[like a fire which is what these kids are getting ready for] has taken
some of our buildings.
Our town has changed. Some buildings never survived, but the city
blacksmith shop is still there they way it was
back in the 1800's, so come and visit us and make sure you go back
in time and stop by the blacksmith shop!
THANK YOU FOR THE VISIT
TRY THE REAL [NEW] LAMBERTON