The railway mail service was... The state’s first international RPO, the St. Vincent & Winnipeg, initiated service from that Kittson County town to Canada in August 1881. My great uncle, Charlie Fitzpatrick, and later his brother, Dick Fitzpatrick, ...
The railway mail service was... The state’s first international RPO, the St. Vincent & Winnipeg, initiated service from that Kittson County town to Canada in August 1881.
My great uncle, Charlie Fitzpatrick, and later his brother, Dick Fitzpatrick, both worked at the St. Vincent depot, and one of their daily responsibilities would be to switch out the mailbags, both incoming and outgoing. Some of the sorting for the various towns on the particular RPO was done on the trains, separating for each town they were responsible for. Once delivered to St. Vincent, for example, then the town's postmaster would do the final sort for each postal customer.
A historic postcard touts Pembina's attractions. [Photo Credit: State Historical Society of North Dakota/Digital Horizons]
Pembina, N.D., has accumulated a cast of characters and logged a number of firsts that belie its current existence as a town of 600 people.
By: Mike Jacobs (Grand Forks Herald Publisher Emeritus) |
PEMBINA, N.D. – History is the attraction in Pembina and there is a lot of it – more than 200 years of it.
A look at the map of North America shows why this is so.
Pembina is close to the center of the continent, and a direct line drawn from northeast to southwest would pass between two of the continent’s great watersheds, one feeding Hudson’s Bay and the other the Great Lakes and the Atlantic. Plus, it’s near the source of the continent’s greatest river, the Mississippi, flowing southward to the Gulf of Mexico.
Draw an international boundary across this expanse and history – dramatic, sweeping history – becomes inevitable in Pembina.
A Role in ND
Pembina’s role in the development of North Dakota is pretty well understood. Elwyn Robinson devoted a lot of space to it in his “History of North Dakota.” Its role in the history of Manitoba and Canada’s Northwest is equally large and perhaps even more dramatic. The town played a part in world history, too.
In the process Pembina has accumulated a cast of characters and logged a number of firsts that belie its current existence as a town of 600 people.
Yet history runs deep in Pembina, and along the same currents that developed here a quarter of a millennium ago – trade, border policies, transportation, military defense.
Location is always important in a town’s development. Pembina is at the confluence of the Pembina and Red rivers, so it was always accessible by water. That led to opportunity for traders. The first known to have been at Pembina was Charles Chaboillez, an agent of the Northwest Fur Company, who spent the winter of 1797 in Pembina – leaving in April 1798, when the rivers flooded.
Flooding has had a very large role in Pembina’s history.
Although Chaboillez is the first person known to have settled at Pembina, others of European heritage may have arrived earlier. Certainly, the spot was important to indigenous people who moved freely across the center of the continent. Chaboillez left a permanent record, in the form of a journal. His establishment was on the south bank of the Pembina River, in an angle formed by the stream’s approach to the larger Red River. It’s a park today.
Within a decade, the location had become a kind of entrepôt, gathering goods from the center of the continent and shipping them south and east, to St. Paul, New York, Montreal and London.
The Hudson Bay Company was at Pembina by 1803, on the opposite bank of the Pembina River, where downtown Pembina is now. In 1812, the Earl of Selkirk launched a colony at a place he called Fort Daer, on the same site that Chaboillez had used. The name is now used as a park and boat landing.
Six years later, Catholic priests arrived to establish a church just north of the Selkirk colony. A stone cairn marks the spot, just south of the international boundary. In the 1990s, a concerted effort was made to locate and mark the graves there. Today, there’s a grassy area with crosses – though the orientation is different. The Church of the Assumption faced the river; the historic site faces the interstate highway.
Transportation is another of the themes of Pembina’s history. The Red River ox cart was developed there, and became the means of moving goods from the interior of the continent to St. Paul. Today’s interstate highway serves the same purpose; the Port of Pembina is among the busiest ports of entry along the U.S./Canadian border.
East of the church site – now called after one of its priests, Severe Dumoulin – is a deteriorating paved road that leads from Pembina north toward the long-abandoned site of Huron City. This is the northern end of U.S. Highway 81, once called “The Meridian Highway,” and later a part of the Pan-American Highway.
Steamboats played a role at Pembina, too, and so did the railroad, but unique circumstances have made Pembina a major player in the manufacture of passenger buses. Motor Coach Industries is a Canadian company, now a subsidiary of New Flyer. Bus frames are manufactured in Winnipeg and shipped to Pembina, where wheels, motors and seats are added – meeting the requirement that buses subsidized by the American government are “made in America.”
Regulations like this have had an outsized influence on Pembina’s history, both because some people took advantage of them and some tried to avoid them. Pembina has produced both types.
At one time, the town was a smuggler’s haven, as trappers sought to avoid the Hudson Bay Company’s monopoly – a desire abetted by the company’s habit of doing business in English when many of its customers did business in French or indigenous languages.
George Anthony Belcourt came west from Quebec to serve the mission at Pembina. He was a Metis partisan who recorded the annual buffalo hunts that spread out across North Dakota from Pembina.
In American history, the most celebrated of these figures is Joe Rolette, called “Jolly Joe,” who arrived in Pembina in 1841. He imagined the ox carts, and became a delegate to the legislature that organized the state of Minnesota. He’s remembered for “pigeonholing” the bill that would have moved the state capitol away from St. Paul – a development that would have been a blow to his business interests in Pembina.
Norman Kittson was involved in developing the carts as well. He took advantage of a new provision in British law that allowed goods to be shipped under bond across U.S. territory – a move that destroyed the Hudson Bay Company’s earlier monopoly.
Kittson’s career as a transportation entrepreneur flourished. He was instrumental in the steamboat trade and helped James J. Hill develop the Great Northern Railway.
All of this occurred after the U.S. military determined definitively that Pembina was south of the 49th parallel and therefore in U.S. territory. Maj. Stephen H. Long’s expedition of 1823 marked the boundary, the most important achievement of the expedition politically. His mission was much broader however; a kind of who’s who of American scientists accompanied the expedition recording new species of birds, insects and clams as well as details of geography, such as the course of the rivers and the high land that would be free of flooding.
Pembina played a part in the so-called Sioux War of 1863, as well – the one that led to the largest mass execution in U.S. history. An army unit that’s become known as Hatch’s Battalion, after its commander, bivouacked at Pembina in 1863, managing to burn down the mission church and to lose 27 soldiers without a single combat death. One of them is buried in the Pembina city park, under a stone marked “Unknown Soldier.”
Hatch’s Battalion also took into custody two Indian leaders, Medicine Bottle and Little Six, also known as Shakopee. Tradition holds that they were betrayed; history records that they were hanged for their part in the Sioux War.
From 1870 to 1895, the Army maintained a fort at Pembina. When it was decommissioned, buildings were dispersed across northeastern North Dakota.
Perhaps the most curious episode in Pembina’s military history occurred in 1941. Aircraft manufactured in California were flown to Pembina, then towed across the international border by teams of horses. This skirted provision of the Neutrality Act, which prohibited American arms sales to belligerents. When the U.S. entered World War II, that trade ended.
Pembina was chosen because it had an airport capable of handling large aircraft. Northwest Airlines had built it as a port of entry for its international flights, which included hops from Minneapolis to Winnipeg with stops at Fargo, Grand Forks and Pembina.
Broadcasters took advantage of Pembina’s location, too, establishing a television station to broadcast into Canada – competing with that country’s publicly owned system.
These episodes hint at the opportunity that Pembina offered entrepreneurs.
North Dakota firsts
A number of firsts for North Dakota occurred in the town: the first public school, the first practicing physician, the first land claim, the first homestead.
Pembina acquired a diverse population; the Metis people were most numerous through much of the town’s history. The Selkirk colonists were Scots. Icelanders arrived in 1885. They built St. John’s Lutheran Church, near where Chaboillez had his trading post. It’s the second oldest Icelandic structure in North America.
But the Icelanders, like others before them, moved away from the river. In 1937, their church became the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of St. John. The Fort Pembina Historical Society is working to have it listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Remodeled to include the onion dome characteristic of orthodox churches, St. John’s is filled with religious icons. Services are still held here once each year.
Even the county government deserted Pembina for higher ground. Pembina had been the seat of government for a huge area, stretching as far west as the White Earth River, about 40 miles east of today’s Montana border. The county shrank over the years. In 1910, voters moved the county seat to Cavalier, which is named for Pembina’s first postmaster.
Today much of Pembina’s history is accessible at the Pembina State Historical Museum, which has exhibit space and a gift shop. There’s an observation tower seven floors above the exhibit space. On a clear day you can see not quite forever, but the rim of the Red River Valley, the small towns of southern Manitoba and the border station, the river, the highway – all of the arteries of Pembina’s history.
Characters from the town’s history are remembered in other ways: Four North Dakota counties and several cities are named for people who are part of Pembina’s past. Minnesota has a county named for Kittson. A street in Grand Forks is named for him, as well. Father Belcourt is recalled in the city of Belcourt, headquarters of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, many of them descendants of the Metis people of Pembina. Riel’s legacy is marked in with statues and place names in Winnipeg.
One of the characters that Pembina has accumulated agreed to be our guide on a recent trip to Pembina. Hetty Walker was mayor for 10 years and now serves on the county commission. She showed us the historic sites and shared her lore about Pembina.
She lives in one of Pembina’s oldest surviving buildings, a house once owned by Joe Rolette. Walker doesn’t know if he built the house or if he ever lived in it.
“He may have won it in a poker game,” she said.
The house later became the home of the first medical doctor to practice in North Dakota. He was the grandfather of Walker’s husband, Charles. Today. The home contains an innovation that wouldn’t have occurred to Joe Rolette. A glass plate, lit from behind, advertises “Night office,” indicating that the sick were welcomed there after the doctor’s regular office hours.
Walker was Pembina’s mayor during the 1997 flood. Later she was elected to the Pembina County Commission, where her husband had served. Last year, Gov. Doug Burgum named her to an international task force seeking ways to reduce flooding on the Pembina River.
Walker is coy about her age – but she remembers fleeing her childhood home in the Netherlands as World War II began.
A visit to Pembina makes a pleasant day trip from Grand Forks. It’s straight up Interstate 29. The drive takes a bit more than an hour.
Watch for shiny new buses in the southbound lanes. That’s how MCI delivers its products to cities across the United States. Three quarters of America’s municipal transit buses are manufactured there. Buses coming off the assembly line on the day we visited were heading for Austin, Texas.
The state museum is the place to start a visit to Pembina. Staff there can direct travelers to other historic sites.
Other noteworthy places are Fort Daer Park, which has a number of historic markers. St. John’s Church is nearby. So is the city golf course, named for Judson LaMoure, another of Pembina’s characters. The club house is open to the public and offers lunch.
Fort Daer is still a lively place more than two centuries after Charles Chaboillez opened his trading post there. Citizens of Pembina celebrated the Fourth of July with fireworks launched from the river dikes.
PHOTO INFO: A stereoview showing the railroad track along the eastern bank of the Red River in St. Vincent. This track is the continuation of the one coming in from the east into town from the "Y". This was laid down early on in anticipation of the main line going through town and over the river, but a rail bridge was never built.
Swan Anderson would get fan mail from people far and wide that had once lived in St. Vincent and the surrounding area, generated from his newspaper columns for the Enterprise, and even from his toll-free phone number into his home. Swan kept sharing history even when he was in the nursing home. And thank goodness he did.
Speaking of fan mail, let me share with you a letter Swan received from the LeMasuriers of Ontario, California; as many reading this may remember, the LeMasurier family lived in St. Vincent at one time. This letter shares some more history about St. Vincent and the railroads. Please note that the story told in the letter is second-hand, being told to the LeMasurier family by George (aka "Shorty") and Bessie Cowan. That does not make it any less true, but I wanted to be sure everyone knows the chain of how the story came to us.
Before the turn of the century and when the railroad from Winnipeg east wasn't finished, St. Vincent was a booming railroad town. The round house was out by Lake Stellaand had a turntable to turn the engines around. The long depot in St. Vincent housed the Customs and Immigration offices. There was also a Signal House. In 1901 William LeMasurier bought itand moved it to his farm north of St. Vincent.He and his bride, the former Maggie Easter, started housekeeping there in 1902. The land north of St. Vincent and west of the Emerson road was all railroad land. Phillip LeMasurier bought some and later sold it to his sons, William and Arthur. John and George Cowan bought some, also Mose Parenteau and Austin Griffith. The railroad reserved a right-of-way along the top of the river bank. Bessie Cowan told me at one time the railroad had planned to build a bridge across the Red River on Shorty's land.
The land that the railroad bridge would have crossed into/from is located on this plat map in the northwest corner of Section 35, labeled George Cowan . . .
The Great Northern Hotel was a three-story building with a ballroom on the third floor. Bessie Cowan gave us a picture of it and we left it with the Pembina Museum when we left St. Vincent. When the hotel was torn down, the attached section that was the kitchen was bought by the Russells and made into their home. Later, Harold Easton bought it and finally Milton Gregoire bought it and tore it down, and built what is now known as the Nellie Blair house.
There was a strip of land from the Red River to the Emerson road, 137 acres in the Village of St. Vincent on its north side. Austin Griffith bought the 36 acres next to the Emerson road and Charlie LeMasurier bought the rest from Peter Monro. Harris remembers when Charlie had a lot cleared along the river. The man doing the work used oxen. Mrs. Morrow, who lived in St. Vincent, used to pick roots and would give Harris fifty cents to haul a load to town for her.
Recently, I came across an online post by someone who mentioned that his grandfather had worked on the St. Vincent Extension line. While the original line was finished in 1878, there were modifications to, as well as major maintenance of, thereafter. It was a few years later, that his grandfather worked in our area. I asked him if he had any stories or photographs of that time period, and he shared this with me...
This is my paternal grandparent's family -- Charles & Mary [Hendrickson] Torrin, Hilma the oldest, My father, Oscar in the back, with Maybelle behind Mary. The little girl in front, Luella, helps us date the picture; she was born in Roseau County, on the newly purchased farm, in 1901. She died of diphtheria in 1908, just weeks after her little sister was born. Charles was functionally blind from railroad work accidents, and was about 46 when he moved north and purchased the farm near Fox, between Badger and Roseau MN.
St. Paul Daily Globe, November 29, 1893
My grandfather, Charles Torrin, was a line foreman laying track. In 1891, a sliver of steel flew up into his eye. A year later, he was back at work, and a similar event pierced his other eye, leaving him functionally blind. The family returned to Alexandria to recover. The event was noted in a St Paul paper at the time.
The story only just begins here. After several years in Douglas county, at the age of 46 and blind, he bought a farm in Roseau Co, in 1901, and raised his family there until his death in 1929.
His father, Oscar Torrin was born in St. Vincent in 1891 while his grandfather was working on the St. Vincent Extension.
[Note — General Manager McDougal of the Pershing Way [Association], who was for a short time Publicity Commissioner of the Jefferson Highway, admits that he appropriated from the Jefferson many of the successful methods he is using on the Pershing. He also admits they are pretty good.
We likewise are going to appropriate the story of his trip to Winnipeg, and in doing so likewise admit it is pretty good. That Manager [Herbert F.] McDougal has a microscopic eye, a retentive memory and a happy way of telling it is evidenced by what he saw and tells of his trip.
Judging from his experience at the "Line", he should have borrowed the Jefferson's Rabbit Foot.
Mr. McDougal's story will be read, with interest by the J. H. family, especially those who "made the trip" last July. The following is an excerpt about the final leg of the run...]
AT Hallock the P. W. runs onto the Jefferson Highway marks and continues with them the rest of the way, going through Northcote, Humboldt, St. Vincent and Noyes to the International Boundary.
The Jefferson Highway touring group paused their sociability run in Emerson for "short" speeches and this group photograph...
Pro-lemonaders made another hit when Bronson was reached, where "most excellent lemonade was served" by the ladies. Decorations were mainly American and Canadian flags. Mayors Hodgson and Behrman spoke. The hotel menu at Hallock, a noon control, was a novelty, and uniquely distinctive over any other during the entire trip. Part of it was in French, and embraced dishes served especially in New Orleans. Banners and flags formed the principal decorative feature. Luncheon was served at the hotel and restaurants in the city. The Custom Houses of Noyes and Emerson were soon passed, owing to arrangements having been made beforehand. Short speeches were made by Governor Pleasant and Mayor Hodgson at Emerson.1
We had been sweeping along across the prairie, much of the time with no fences along the road, and came to a turn to the east along what, as memory recalls it, looked like the back side of a farm yard with perhaps an orchard bordered with forest trees in a sort of a scrubby growth. Straight ahead and eighty rods beyond was a dingy railroad station, and just before we reached it a turn to the right and north.
Before us loomed a signboard, high on stilts, announcing the "International Boundary," and there was a moment of bewilderment as we saw in one direction a road turning off to the station and in the other a pair of ruts curving around as entering the farm yard.
The original routing of the Jefferson Highway entered Canada directly from Noyes,
Minnesota into Emerson, Manitoba, Canada. This is the approximate route the JH
followed. [Source: Two Lane Traveler] NOTE: The red line leading off 171 going
north was the 'Emerson Road' (dirt when I was growing up, now plowed under...)
Over this seeming by-road was the remains of an arch1, placed there last July to welcome the Jefferson Highway tourists on their great sociability run, and the presence of the arch gave rise to the theory that this must be the entrance to the Dominion. Pursuing the tracks a bit further we were convinced that we really were on the highway into the neighboring nation, for at the side of the road was a glorified Keep Off the Grass Sign, bearing a solemn warning against going across the line without proper formalities.
The road took another turn and crossed a railroad track, which itself had crossed another track just previously. The one was the Soo, which ran along the margin of Canada, and the other was the Canadian Pacific, both heading for Winnipeg. All our pictures of an imposing entrance into Canada were dashed, as almost any country cross road is as pretentious. But still there was something picturesque about it and something that impressed itself upon the memory.
There are two railroad stations — one on the American side and one across in Canada, and at each immigration and customs officials, representing the two governments, are on guard. It looked as if it was a pretty simple thing, after all, getting into a foreign country, but it took just about an hour to do it, for a becapped official, swinging down the track to reach the switch tower and climb its dizzy steps to the bird-like house above, said that there was nothing to do but to report to the officials at the Emerson station, which took time and proved not to be the right thing, for we were first to go a mile or such a matter up town and be interviewed by the immigration official and get a card and then go across the street to where the Union Jack flew over the government building, and make our clearance at the customs office.
THE customs officials were polite, but inquisitive. They wanted to know how many in the party, what make of car, how many cylinders, its license number and factory number, whether it was equipped with windshield, top, speedometer and clock, and how much it cost, what baggage we carried and whether we had any camping equipment and how long we expected to tarry in Winnipeg.
Then a very nice old gentleman came down and rummaged through our suit cases in a formal and perfunctory way, withal rather thorough. But first there had come up the serious question as to the very typewriter on which this is being written. It is one of the folding sort and a constant companion. The G. M. would be lost without it, and the work of the organization would be hampered. It was rather important that it, too, make the trip into Winnipeg, for there would be the matter of correspondence and perhaps some magazine stuff.
But the officials were stern about it. They said that the wee machine was dutiable and that we had better put it in hock, so to speak, at the customs office to be picked up on our return, and to borrow a machine in Winnipeg. It looked as if the typewriter was to part company with the official car.
But the missus, waiting all this time down in the auto, said it didn't sound reasonable to her that a car and all that luggage could go in and a mere typewriter barred.
So we went back and argued that the typewriter was a tool of the trade and analogous to a monkey wrench in the tool box.
But these English are a fixed folk. They all had a look at the proposition, and turned it down; it wasn't regular. Then we offered to put up a cash bond, and finally succeeded in parting with $13 to that end, the money being in good American currency. Seeing the brand of money on deposit, a kind gentleman in the office suggested that we would be entitled to that sort back, as it was at a premium in Canada. So, on our return, we got $13.40 in Canadian currency, taking it across to the bank to be exchanged for American money. The rate of exchange had fluctuated during the walk across the street, however, and the bank demanded 50 cents instead of the 40 we had been paid.
And even at that we afterward discovered that we had a few Canadian bills in our script and had to give a discount on them.
BUT our troubles were not over yet. We discovered that our Canadian immigration permit, nor our clearance papers from the customs were sufficient; the becapped gentleman had deceived us. We had to go all the way back to the American side, to that little station of Noyes, to see a blue-eyed Irishman named Fahey in order to get a formidable document showing that Uncle Sam was willing to relinquish us for a few days.
That document had to be turned in to the Canadian customs officials, and then we were ready to go — all excepting the changing of a flat tire that had grown discouraged and depressed during all this formality. If we had known about the rest of that night that tire would have worried us.
But let us move on.
Over a bridge, combined wagon and railroad, under a viaduct we turned and then we were on the road to Winnipeg, sure enough. A little further and we were as good as in France, for, turning into a little village that proved to be Letellier, we grew uncertain of the way and stopped at a house to make inquiries if this were truly the way to Winnipeg.
The answer was "Oui, oui," which the doughboys all will recognize at once.
Turning just at the edge of that little village, which was mostly edge, we were at once in the old Hudson Bay Company's trail, a road 132 feet wide that goes in windings along the Red River of the North right into Winnipeg and becomes Main street, remaining 132 feet wide. That and Portage avenue, at right angles and of the same width, are boasted the widest streets in the world.
The boundary is sixty-eight miles from Winnipeg, and all the tedious details at Emerson, had taken time. It was 5 o'clock when we left Emerson, and that was Canadian time, the Canadians not having turned their watches ahead as the States had.
So we rather stepped forward a little on the gas, for there was a certain strangeness about the country that urged us to get along before dark covered the unknown roads. The trail at places was little more than sections of a fenced pasture, with ruts winding about between an endless row of telephone and telegraph poles. Winnipeg is paving out for miles and someday will have a concrete road to the border, no doubt, but nature still holds sway largely as yet there.
Jefferson Highway Sociability Run, NOLA to Winnipeg
L'Observateur (Reserve, Louisiana) · 28 Jun 1919
And we came into St. Jean Baptiste, a French town of 500 with only two English families in it. We sought to replenish our gas supply and pulled up at a garage and said "Five gallons." The tank filled up as we filled with astonishment. The answer was that we were getting British Imperial gallons, 277.274 cubic inches to the gallon, instead of our own United States gallons of 231 cubic inches. Five of our British cousin's gallons made six of our own, but we paid 40 cents for each and every gallon.
They said in Winnipeg that American watches can be bought cheaper there than in the states, the protective tariff making it thus, but there was nothing like that about the gasoline, even Imperial gallons.
Hunger was gnawing and we decided to have a bite to eat, much as we hated to waste daylight. So we asked for the eating place and were directed to a little wooden building that plainly was labeled "Public Hotel."
Entering we found a dingy office that was a combination of a barber shop and bar. Prohibition had put the bar out of business, age had done for the barber chair, and the prospect was discouraging. But that was where appearances were deceptive, for, after a brief delay, we were led into a neat little dining room and |served with a supper as only the French served food. Bright-eyed French girls were jabbering French in the kitchen, and one of them went to the telephone and assaulted it with a flow of language that was beyond us.
Then a husky chap went up to the instrument and bawled out a question. "What's the score?" he demanded. It seemed that Cincinnati had won. We felt quite at home for a minute.
WE had been inquiring anxiously about the road conditions, and the official car had attracted considerable attention, so supper done, we stepped out of the dining room into the midst of a curious crowd that wanted to talk. The men all agreed that the best road lay across the Red River, and they grinned as they said that the largest city along the way was Winnipeg. Afterward we came to realize the point of the remark. Only one village intervened in all that fifty miles. The rest of the trip lay through a country where a house was a surprise and bachelor shanties were the rule. Mile after mile was along a fence-less road that ran at will and at angles, but it was a good road, except lonesome. In the distance we could see straw stacks burning in various places, and occasionally we passed an automobile, but mostly there were solid banks of second growth white birches.
If we had ever needed a bit of gas or some air pressure we'd have had quite a walk for it. And there was that flat spare on the rack!
It sounds a bit dreary, just to tell about it. but it really was a wonderful drive, with the air balmy and the night pleasant. Occasionally we would wonder whether we were on the right road, and would stop at a house to make inquiries. Always we were, although sometimes the children had to be called up to translate, the parents being French.
The engine worked to perfection, the tires held out and we had had a good supper, so on we sped, over bridges, through woods, out in the open. Finally we came to that sole village, passed it, got out into the wilds again and wondered. Then there appeared one of the blessed concrete roads that Winnipeg has built out for nine miles, and we felt as if we were nearing the goal.
But the lights of Winnipeg didn't settle all of our troubles. There was the matter of a hotel. A motorman, waiting to catch his car, offered advice. It wasn't any good, for every hotel he mentioned was full for the night. Finally, after we had tried one after the other, we were forced to put up at one that always will haunt our memories and make as firm in favor of strict hotel inspection laws.
The next morning we found room in a comfortable one...
1 - "A very artistic arch-way had been erected at the border, but we had already been made to feel that we would be just as much at home in Canada as in Louisiana." [The Story of the Run, The Modern Highway, Vol 4, No. 7, August 1919, Pub. by the Jefferson Highway Association]