Friday, January 22, 2016


 Below are the Dedication notes of Lion's President at the time Jim Guck for the COVERED BRIDGE PRESENTATION FOR MAY 18, 2008.
1) INTRODUCTION:
GOOD AFTERNOON, Thank you for attending our ceremonies today.
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Jim Guck and am
Currently President of the Holdingford Lions Club
First of all, I would like to introduce our special guests:
Lieutenant Colonel-------------John Herman 367th Engineering Battalion
Command Sergeant Major---Robert Stanek 367th Engineering Battalion
Captain---------------------------John Zacharias 492nd Engineering Co.
First Sergeant-------------------William Klairs 492nd Engineering Co.
Additional key people that have worked with us on this project:
O.I.C Lieutenant --------------------Douglas Hayes
Staff Sergeant-------------------------Mike Cuthbertson
N.C.O.I.C. Staff Sergeant----------Chuck Claude
N.C.O.I.C. Staff Sergeant----------Arvid Dietrichs
N.C.O.I.C. Sergeant 1st Class----- Steven Tyler
Civilian, Battalions Operations-- Jerry Noll
Other Special Guests:
County Commissioner----------------------Dewayne Merick
County Commissioner----------------------Vince Schaefer
Holdingford Mayor--------------------------Ernie Schmitt
Lake Wobegon Trail Association --------Cliff Borgerding
Trails Association---------------------------?

2) I would like to give everyone a little background as to how this project got started.
Covering the old Soo line railroad bridge over two rivers river began in 1999 with an idea by past Mayor, Rosemary Scepaniak. At that time, the railroad was being converted into the Lake Wobegon Regional Trail. Rosemary made a suggestion that maybe it would be a great idea to build a cover over the railroad bridge in the city of Holdingford. So, in 2000 the city applied for a grant, but was not successful. At a Holding in Partnership meeting a brief comment was made to Lion’s club member Joe Christensen, who in turn, mentioned this to the Holdingford Lions Club as a possible project. Lion Bob Pederson was retiring from the army and had worked on construction projects while in the service and thought that there could be a possibility that the army might consider taking on a project like this as an exercise and provide us the labor to put the structure together. So in 2005, the project began to take shape. The Lions Club agreed to tackle this project and formed a committee with Lion Rod Harren & Lion Al Leinen as co-chairs. In 2006, things started to happen. Old plans and grant papers were found and evaluated. Lion’s members Tim Berscheid & Al Leinen traveled to Madison County in Iowa to look at some covered bridges and get some ideas for the design of our bridge. An architect was hired and discussions began with the Army Reserves. In February of 2007, the Stearns County Board of Commissioners, and in March 2007 the U.S. Army Reserves approved the project. During the remainder of that year, plans and design specifications were finalized. In 2008, materials were delivered to Mankato for the 492nd Engineering Company to begin assembling the major structural components that make up the main frame of the structure. On May 2nd the 492nd arrived in Holdingford to start the project, which brings us to today, with a dream by Mayor Rosemary Scepaniak in 1999, to becoming a reality.
3) Now, I would like to introduce Mayor Ernie to say a few words.
(Ernie’s speech, thank you, etc.)
Ernie’s introduction of Lieutenant Colonel John Herman
4) A few words from Cliff Borgerding from the Wobegon Trail
5) My presentation of the plaque that will be attached to the bridge
recognizing the 492nd Engineering Company for their efforts in
the construction of the project.
6) The Lions, and the City of Holdingford want to give thanks to all of the people and businesses that have made generous contributions to this project.
7) Businesses: (As listed on funding sheet)
Northwestern Mutual
Polar Tank & Trailer
The Initiative Foundation
Stearns Bank of Holdingford
Central Minnesota Credit Union
Bernick’s Pepsi
Fastenal Company
Bremer Bank
Avon Bank
Grand Casinos
Plus many others
Organizations: (As listed on the funding sheet)
Holdingford Lions
Holdingford Legion club
Holdingford Sportsmen Club
Holdingford Commercial Club
Holdingford Women of Today
Wobegon Trail Committee
Albany Lions Club
St.Stephen’s Lions Club
Rice Lions Club
Plus many others
Individuals:
Ron Schmitt
Tim & Sharon Berscheid
Al & Philys Leinen
Rod & Linda Harren
Rosemary Scepaniak
Mel Muryes
Ralph Voss
Don Kolb
Vic & Betty Hayes
And to many others not mentioned that have made monetary and personal
time contributions to this project.
A huge thank you to everyone.
8) I would like to share with everyone today a few facts about the bridge: The actual length is 186’-1 ½”_feet long. That makes it the longest covered bridge in the state of Minnesota. And the 3rd longest covered recreational use bridge in the U.S. It ranks in the top 75 of the longest covered bridges in the U.S. as listed On the national covered bridge list to date. Hours dedicated to the success of this project? Too many to count.
9) Closing statements:
That concludes our ceremony for today. Again, thank you all for attending We will be serving a picnic lunch with roast pig, all are welcome Please allow the soldiers to eat first, they have a long drive home.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Last fall, Thanks to the Holdingford Lion's Club who donated the funds to install a nice window replacing a old garage door that was no longer needed.

President Herman Ebnet with the help of Al Leinen from the Lion's Club did all the work!!




The Holdingford Area Historical Museum building has had a varied history itself.
Before it’s present use as museum starting in 2014 it was the
city’s Maintenance garage, before that
Holdingford school’s Ag shop and school bus repair shop. 1965 to 1975
Many people knew it as the Welna Produce Store, for a number of years starting in 1944.
Originally built in 1915 as a car dealership for Ford and Dodge cars, by Ben Schwieters.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Did you know that the largest piece of petrified wood ever seen or heard of by Carrie Jennings from the University of Minnesota Geological Society, is located in Holdingford?

The following statement was given to us by John Ebnet, Petryfikowane Drzewo
means Petrified Wood in German and Polish
Spellings furnished by John Bieniek, St. Hedwig's Parish


Many people have wondered since 1949, "'What is that rock on St. Mary's Church grounds?" it just sits there
and doesn't say anything. Lawn caretakers have been driving around it for over 50 years to mow the lawn. John Ebnet
found out where it came from, when it was brought io this location, and who brought it here with Herbert Vos' help.
John's grandfather, Rienhard Vos, was the original owner of the land. he homesteaded land of about 500 acres two
miles west and 1/2 mile south of Holdingford The farm land was later divided into two farms the George Vos farm and
the Tom Vos farm. The Zeis Brothers later bought the farm from Tom Vos. Mark Leukam now farms this land where
the rock was found, he is a St. Mary's parishioner.

The rock was found in a ravine on the southwestern edge of the land. It was brought to the area of the farm
buildings, then was brought to the present location on the St. Mary's Church grounds, by Dad Frank Ebnet, and Uncle
George Vos- They used a hand crank wrecker borrowed from Raymond "Whitey" Paggen, and a pickup from Paul
Mager Agency to get the rock to the present location Father Rosenthal was pastor at this time in 1949.
They knew the who and the where, but were not sure about what it was. John Ebnet called a Professor of
Geology at St. John's University, Dr- Larry, Davis, and asked him to look at the rock Professor Davis came on June 16,
2004, and verified that the rock was indeed a piece of Petrified Wood-

The following was provided by Dr. Davis about the piece of Petrified Wood:

. The large section of Petrified wood on display at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Holdingford MN, likely formed
during the last ice age more than 12,000 years ago. 99.99% of all living trees eventually decay, burn or are
eaten and leave no record of their existence. Bur if the conditions are right wood car be converted to stone
while still preserving the original structure and appearance of the wood- In order to be petrified wood must be
buried under anaerobic conditions (no air and bacteria) in silt mud, or volcanic ash, before it can be preserved-
Water with dissolved minerals, usually silica (the sane material which forms the famous Minnesota agates)
must slowly - "soak into the wood where the silica precipitates and fills the pore spaces of the wood in a process
geologists call per mineralization (This same process occurs as minerals precipitate from water in the shower
producing the scaly deposits on the shower stall. In many cases the original cellular structure of the wood can
be seen and used to identify the original wood as oak maple etc- In order to see this pattern in the St .Mary's
specimen a slab would have to be cut by a rock saw and then polished-
This specimen was likely buried in glacial muds near the leading edge of the great ice sheet that once covered the
northern 2/3's of Minnesota The ancient deposits of this period of glaciation can be seen throughout Stearms
County. In spite of the fact *rat less than Lo,6 of all living trees eventuaily undergo per mineralization, petrified
wood can be found in every state of the union. The most famous examples of petrified, wood can be seen in the
Petrified Forest National Park in north Arizona-

This petrified wood specimen is the largest that anyone at the Stearns County Historical Society-v has heard of in
the central Minnesota area. Also, Carrie Jennings of the University-v of Minnesota Geological Survey said this was the
largest piece of petrified wood that she has ever heard of or seen in Minnesota. She is anxious to see it for herself.
John went to the Mark Leukam farrn to see if there were any other specimens in the area where the original piece
of petrified wood was found. No other pieces of petrified wood were found, but a piece of Hematite, about the size of a
football was found This. piece of Hematite weighs about 50 pounds. According to Webster's Dictionary, hematite is an
important Iron Ore. The piece of Hematite is purple in color and is-about a billion years old According to Dr. Davis it
was brought here by the glaciers 12,000 years ago. He also said that it was from the Tower - Soudan area- The piece of
Hematite can be seen at the John Ebnet house if anyone is interested.

The large piece of Petrified Wood can be seen on the east side of the church property.

By the way, Professor Davis' usual consulting fee is $5,000, but he enjoyed his trip to Holdingford so much that
there wiil be no charge.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Check out our Facebook Page

Check  out the HAHS Facebook Page it has the latest updates.

Even period recipes :)

Sunday, December 07, 2014

As the year closes, we have received an anonymous donation of $1,000 to help with the restoration of the museum.  We thank this individual very much for their support and generosity!

We are in the final stages of completion of installing a heating and air conditioning system in the museum.




Friday, September 19, 2014


Cool new addition to the Holdingford museum. A 1954 Rock-ola Jute Box model #1438

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Historical Society had a very pleasant surprise several weeks ago.

The City minutes from 1897 to 1930 which had been missing by best guess for about 80 years were

returned in very good condition.

We are in the process of digitizing them, for future research.


Through the efforts of many of the Historical society members.

The Museum made a giant step forward, creating displays so we were able to be open for

Holdingford Daze July 11 -12.  We had many people visit the museum.

At present the Museum is open by special arrangement

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Film crew will be in Holdingford filming for the ‘MINNESOTA 13’ documentary

Elaine Davis, author of the book ‘MINNESOTA 13’  and her film crew will be in Holdingford filming for the ‘MINNESOTA 13’ documentary during Holdingford Daze on Saturday July 12th.

She is also donating a case of 50 books worth $800 to the Holdingford Area Historical Society, with all proceeds going to the HAHS.  Thanks Elaine!

When you come to Holdingford Daze on Saturday the 12th, be sure to visit the Museum.

The HistoricalSociety has a number of souvenirs available for purchase.


Follow the filmmaking on Facebook.