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'Tea at the Station, a Petticoat Junction Function'

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the historic Pine River Depot, and in cooperation with Heritage Group North, four local women with strong historical family ties to the area will hostess “Tea at the Station, A Petticoat Junction Function” on Friday, Sept. 6 from 2-4 p.m. The event will take place at the Depot.

Colleen Cromett Moser’s great-grandfather, C.W. (Billy) Cromett. was “probably the most colorful founding father of Pine River who came west from Maine in 1880 with the logging industry.”

Lynda Weiss’ great-grandparents, Ole Hoplin (born 1850) and Ellen (Halbastad) Hoplin (born 1868), arrived in the Pine River area in 1901. Ole worked on the railroad and built the first two-story house in Pine River, later homesteading 80 acres in Walden Township. Lynda’s grandparents, Lambert and Augustina Weiss, arrived from Bayport in 1916 and farmed in Bungo Township.

Pat Johnson’s in-laws (Arvid and Opal (Houg) Johnson) were early settlers to the area. Arvid was 9 years old when his parents moved to Pine River from Mora in 1914, making the one-week trip in a covered wagon. Opal arrived in 1915 at age 6 with her parents from Ringstead. All of their possessions arrived by boxcar at the Pine River Depot, then took the 4-mile trip to their farmstead by wagon. Opal, a former one-room school teacher, is now 103 years old and resides at the Good Samaritan Home.

Alison Amy Stephens' grandmother, Alice (Clark) Amy, a widow, arrived from Canistota, S.D., with her two sons, Clark and Chester Amy, in 1931 and established their 80-acre Heart’s Desire Farm on what is now State Highway 84. Her mother, Amanda (Tufteland-Cronk), arrived from Sioux Falls, S.D., also in 1931. Clark and Amanda married in 1948 and went on to become owners and publishers of the Pine River Journal. In 1962, the Amys purchased the Forbes House, built in 1902-04 at the end of Barclay Avenue. Alison now owns the home.

With all of this history, the “Tea at the Station” will be reminiscent of the 1913 period; a three-course high tea will be served.

The program will feature comments by local historian and archaeologist Douglas Birk.

Vintage prizes will be given and stories shared representing women who played a part in the early history of the area. Ladies are to bring their own teacup and saucer and share its story. Hats and gloves are welcomed and optional.

The tea will be the kickoff event to Heritage Days. Seating is limited and tickets need to be purchased by Aug. 20. Mail checks made out to Heritage Group North for $25 (a tax-deductible donation) to: Alison Stephens, P.O. Box 520, Pine River, MN 56474. For more information, contact Alison at 218-587-2583 or

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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