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Duluth’s Homegrown Chicken Craze!

The first paragraph of the story below (from 109 years ago today — April 27, 1902, Duluth News Tribune) might as well be about the Homegrown Music Festival, which represents itself with the chicken logo at left.

It is said that when the chicken raising microbe once enters the human system there is no known remedy — the victim must succumb to the inevitable. With some it is a fad and with others it is both business and pleasure but those belonging to the latter class are by far the more numerous.

This article also connects to the subject of creating a locally harvested food system, which pops up often on Perfect Duluth Day (most recently with the post “Food from Scratch for the Zenith of the Unsalted Sea”) so I’ll present it in its entirety.

Since the old newspaper article is difficult to read in this format, PDD will give away a weeklong pass to Homegrown to the first person willing to typeset it with reasonable accuracy and paste the full text in a comment to this post.

And now … here’s the rest of the story …




13 Comments

Barrett Chase

about 3 years ago

I think we're going to need to take an informal poll here. Do you attend Homegrown: A. For the fun of the thing B. For what there is in it

Paul Lundgren

about 3 years ago

It's got to be the fun of the thing. What there is in it is gross.

Lithis

about 3 years ago

CHICKEN CRAZE HAS STRUCK ZENITH CITY Some Have Entered the Business For the Fun of the Thing and Others For What There is in it. It is said that when the chicken raising microbe once enters the human system there is no known remedy—the victim must succumb to the inevitable. With some it is a fad and with others it is both business and pleasure but those belonging to the latter class are by far the more numerous. The Duluth Poultry Association was organized in 1897. The members were H. C. Bellinger, Paul Kreitz, Louis Reliz, E. Eskelson, W. S. Storer, Jerry Congdon, E. Johnson and John Tischer. From this modest enrollment the association has grown until now it has 120 members. Its influence on the poultry industry in Duluth and vicinity has been marked, and the tendency has been, as a result of the annual exhibitions, to breed high grade fowls. [Photo: SOME BLOODED STOCK. Samples from the Lester Park Hennery.] Following are the officers of the Duluth Poultry association: President, Theodore Hollister; vice-president, G. Hood Thompson; secretary, J. B. Greenfield; treasurer, H. S. Patterson; superintendent, Geo. W. Smith. Executive committee—Benj. Wood, Max Clemens, Jos. Proff, John Green, C. W. Stewart, E. H. Holdren. It is reliably reported that A. M. Marshall has lately shown symptoms of exposure to the chicken raising microbe but he feels no alarm. It may be that some friendly hand has been stretched out to save him, and it is possible that he has resisted, or prefers to become a victim. At any rate it is said Mr. Marshall is deeply interested in the science. The development of the poultry industry has induced one of the local business houses to put in a line of incubators. Nine of them have been sold during the past few months. The humble hen is certainly beginning to make herself felt in Duluth and vicinity. Some years ago it was hard to get an egg that didn’t have that “rich brown” taste, but at present, if one has the price, and is particular about having a good article, eggs strictly home grown may be procured, and chickens from the wee peepers to the eight pound roasters may be had, that have been born, bred, and perfected at the head of the lakes. Much of this change is due to the energetic and faithful work of the Duluth Poultry association. Several years ago the poultry industry was given quite a little impetus by the united efforts of the Duluth and Superior fanciers. A fine prize cup was procured and competed for under an arrangement by which the winner had to win it three times to own it, but the cup being won by a scratch by a Superiorite was taken across the bay, and no sort of coaxing or other inducement has so far resulted in getting the Superior people into another contest—they are apparently willing to let good enough alone. Three years ago, however, the Duluth association made up its mind that it was strong enough to stand on its own legs, and while glad to welcome Superior fanciers, and willing to give them the best kind of treatment, whenever they come to Duluth, the Duluth poultry fanciers for the last three years have had an annual exhibition independent of Superior. There has been an increased number of fowls exhibited each year, and also an increased attendance at the exhibit, as shown by the entrance fees collected three years ago, $63.65, while the entrance fees at the last exhibition amounted to $187.00. A few years ago it was something unusual to find a fowl at the head of the lakes that was honestly entitled to a score of better than 90, while at the present time there are a number of birds in Duluth that get under the wire at 95, and some at 95½ points. The comparison of these figures with the score of birds at the Minnesota state show, and other big poultry shows in the country, will convince the most skeptical that Duluth is coming decidedly to the front in the matter of the production of first class fowls. There was considerable rivalry among the members of the association at the last exhibition, due to the offer by the association of several solid silver premium cups. The members were not restricted to anything more than ownership of the fowls at the time of the show, and this resulted in birds being imported from England, Canada, and a half a dozen states of the union, so that today there is not only an occasional good bird, but a large number of as fine birds in Duluth as can be found in the country. The number of exhibitors has gradually increased as well as the number of fowls shown, and each successive year seems to affect more people, quite a number of prominent citizens having purchased all the way from a trio to a couple of dozen nice birds since the last exhibition, and are already counting the chickens that they expect to exhibit at the next show. Among the prominent new members are A. R. Macfarlane, B. F. Howard, Dr. Catherall, Judge of Probate Bonham, W. L. Windom, R. Edmunds, J. Stewart and C. C. Salter, not to mention a large number of people who have heretofore kept a few “chickens” but who are this year looking for eggs from thoroughbred fowls, with the idea of improving their flock. About every kind of fowl known to the standard is now represented at the head of the lakes, including Golden Pheasants, peacocks, guinea hens, and carrier pigeons. Although there has been such an improvement along the above lines there is yet need of a greater number of fowls and more fanciers, the more the better, for Duluth still pays out thousands of dollars annually for eggs and fowls that might as well be raised at home. One of the Duluth fanciers only a few days ago sold five hundred pounds of Duluth raised chickens, at 13½c a pound alive. This lot of fowls had an average weight of upwards of seven pounds. Fresh eggs always command from twenty to thirty cents a dozen, and enough cannot be obtained at these figures. [Photo: A 93-POINTER. White Wyandotte Cockerel Owned by E. H. and S. L. Smith.] The last poultry exhibition at Duluth closed less than a week before the state exhibition at St. Paul opened, so did not give the Duluth fanciers an opportunity to get their birds in proper show condition to compete at St. Paul. A few of the members, however, sent some birds down, were treated nicely, by the officers of the association, and came back with a large number of first and second prizes. In fact for the number of birds exhibited Duluth did better than most other localities in the state. Next year the association expects to hold its exhibition a sufficient length of time before the St. Paul exhibition to get the Duluth birds in first class show condition, and to go after blue ribbons with a vengeance. [Photo: PRINCESS MAUD. Prize Winner Light Brahma Owned by T. E. Hollister.] In addition to the new fanciers a number of new fowls have been introduced into Duluth within the last year. John B. Greenfield having added to his first love, "“Barred Rocks,” Rhode Island Reds; A. R. Macfarlane has a nice lot of White Minoreas, something not seen every day; Theo. Hollister now has Blue Andalusians, and Golden Wyandottes; C. C. Salter has the Buff Orpingtons, a new breed admitted to the American Standard at the last meeting of the American Poultry association. Within the last year there have been sold quite a number of five and ten acre tracts of land to persons who contemplate going into the poultry business somewhat extensively. B. F. Howard contemplates building a number of buildings at what is known as the Howard Mill, running from one to two hundred feet in length, and with a capacity to accommodate two thousand birds. He now has hatched several hundred birds, and as many more are in process of incubation. He expects to make a specialty of White Leghorns. E. H. and S. L. Smith also have quite an extensive poultry plant on Lester river, and breed a find quality of White Wyandottes. Anyone who rides on the Lakeside car and notices carefully what the passengers carry will see by the way the packages are handled that they contain “eggs for hatching.” J. B. Greenfield, the veteran breeder of Barred Rocks says that the demand for eggs has never been so great as this year, and parties who want to get out chickens before the Fourth of July will have to get their orders in early. Attorney Theodore E. Hollister can occasionally be seen carrying a package that he handles with a great deal of discretion. He won’t admit the packages contain eggs, but the passengers draw their own conclusions. A few years ago incubators were a great curiosity and breeders equally so, but at present they are to be met with in the hands of nearly every fancier, as well as those who breed chickens simply for the money there is in it. One of the most successful of the latter class is Mrs. Hedgeson of Lakeside. She now has upwards of three hundred as fine lively Buff Rocks as can be found in even a warmer clime. They are full of vigor and growth, and in about ten weeks will be ready for market. If the pleasure to be derived from keeping a flock of thoroughbred poultry was fully appreciated there would be more fanciers, and if the profits that can be derived from the business was fully understood there would be more people in the business for the money there is in it, and Duluth and all the citizens thereof would be benefited. Local chicken raisers think the above mentioned growth of the business indicates that at no distant day Duluth will not have to import eggs and [poultry], but the money that is sent [away will] be earned by the residents of [Duluth] to their own benefit, and that [of their] neighbors.

Lithis

about 3 years ago

Highlights from the article:

A fine prize cup was procured and competed for under an arrangement by which the winner had to win it three times to own it, but the cup being won by a scratch by a Superiorite was taken across the bay, and no sort of coaxing or other inducement has so far resulted in getting the Superior people into another contest—they are apparently willing to let good enough alone.
and
Attorney Theodore E. Hollister can occasionally be seen carrying a package that he handles with a great deal of discretion. He won’t admit the packages contain eggs, but the passengers draw their own conclusions.
I’ve thought before that it would be cool to transcribe these old Duluth News Tribune articles similar to how Distributed Proofreaders and Wikisource do—by splitting them into small sections that anyone can transcribe and proofread.

cork1

about 3 years ago

Pidan eggs: Best/worst idea I've ever had.

Lithis

about 3 years ago

How do you get these old articles? Do you print them from microfilm at the library and scan the printouts?

Paul Lundgren

about 3 years ago

Thanks for the transcription, Lithis. A Homegrown pass is yours! These articles are often supplied to me by a mysterious character known as PDD's Fairy Research Spy, which is the case with this one. But I do, on occasion, find them at the library on microfilm, print them and scan the printout.

Barrett Chase

about 3 years ago

There's got to be an easier way. This for example.

udarnik

about 3 years ago

"For what there is in it." Classic.

Lithis

about 3 years ago

Distributed Proofreaders does OCR, and I think Wikisource does as well, as long as the source images are high-enough quality. But the resulting text still requires quite a bit of proofreading, and I imagine the multicolumn layout of newspapers with many articles together on a page would require special handling.

spy1

about 3 years ago

http://www.mnhs.org/collections/newspapers/

hbh1

about 3 years ago

Near as I can tell, the Howard Mill was located up above Park Hill Cemetery, along Amity Creek. Is that right? Or was it more up by Downer Park, across Vermilion? At any rate, I note the distinguished names associated with this article, which makes me chuckle. A.M. Marshall being the Albert Morley Marshall of Morley Heights, and Angus R. Macfarlane, who would have been raising his chicken on his hobby farm somewhere in Hunters Park (I know his main property was on the corner of Woodland and Arrowhead (which was at the time called Victoria). He and the Hunters named most of the streets in the area--the women's names being after members of his and their families. C.C. Salter was the guy who started the Bethel Mission, and his head looms over the other graves in the section of Forest Hill where many other of our early movers and shakers fertilize the soil. John Tischer of the early settler family that settled in E. Duluth, hence Tischer Creek... and Jerry Congdon... who the heck was he? I find no reference to a Jerry Congdon in the Chester Adgate family tree. Hmmm.

Paul Lundgren

about 8 months ago

A related piece from the Jan. 31, 1913 Duluth News Tribune. [img]http://www.perfectduluthday.com/wp-content/uploads/comments/chicken-fanciers.jpg[/img]

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