Friday the 13th during World War I

If you think that Friday the 13th is an unlucky date, you are not alone. 99 years ago, Northfield resident Homer Mason agreed with you in principle, but his experiences during World War I made him begin to think that perhaps Friday the 13th was not such a bad thing, after all. Homer served in the Signal Corps in Tours, France, south of Paris during the fall of 1918. As a radio operator, he was well aware of news from the front as well as from home. In two of his letters, he makes reference to the unluckiness of Friday the 13th, but considering...

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St. Olaf College and World War I

Highlights of the World War I digitization project, part 3 Today I am continuing to share with you some of the great resources I have been able to digitize as a part of this World War I project. Another uniquely Northfield experience during World War I that I have been exploring was the Student Army Training Corps. The War Department created units of these corps at both St. Olaf and Carleton Colleges. The idea behind these units was to create a group of student-soldiers who continued in their academic pursuits but also received military...

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Homer Mason in the Signal Corps

Highlights of the World War I digitization project, part 2 Today I am continuing to share with you some of the great resources I have been able to digitize as a part of this World War I project. I have been able to scan and share more details of individual soldier experiences through the letters and photographs of Northfield resident Homer Mason. Through Homer’s letters, we can learn from his experiences at training camp, traveling to Europe, and serving in the Signal Corps of the U.S. Army. Homer Mason, a 1918 graduate of St. Olaf...

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The St. Olaf Victory Viking Yearbook

In the spring of 1919, St. Olaf College published an annual yearbook commemorating the classes of 1919, 1920, 1921, and the Freshmen. It was a special year for St. Olaf students, since many of them in these classes had participated in World War I service at home, on military bases, and in Europe. For this reason, the yearbook was dedicated to those who served in the cause of world freedom. They called it the Victory Viking. Hints of war service appear on many of the pages within this yearbook. Illustrations of tanks and ships appear below...

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Fun Finds in the NHC: The Boys (and Girls!) of Summer

It’s that time of year again, when the Boys of Summer take the field. Since 1887, the people of Northfield have enjoyed playing and watching the game of baseball. And – luckily for us – taking photographs of baseball, too! The NHC has preserved a number of historical images of baseball games and players over the years. Here is a selection of the best ones from the collections of Carleton College, St. Olaf College, and the Northfield Historical Society. To see more early baseball photos, follow the links below! Or enter “baseball”...

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Fun Finds in the NHC: Haugen Ski Slide

As a newcomer to the Northfield History Collaborative, I have spent the last few months exploring the wealth of resources available on a variety of Northfield-area stories. It has been fun uncovering stories few people outside Northfield may be aware of. Over the next few months, I’ll be highlighting a few of these finds, starting with St. Olaf College’s Haugen Ski Slide. More than 100 years ago, St. Olaf College became one of the first U.S. colleges to offer competitive ski jumping with the erection of a 25-foot wooden ski jump in 1911....

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