From the April 2017 Edition
The calendar is telling us it is almost Spring, but my snow-blower is
telling me it is still Winter. This is the second year in 47 years that we
have been in Dickinson that I had to use a rake. Oh that is not a garden or
leaf rake it is a SNOW-RAKE. After the first two snows in late December we
had over a foot of snow on the roof that I had to remove, but that wasnít
bad as some of the people had over 18 inches. Iím planning ahead and will be
ready next winter to do some gardening. I will start with planting Snow
The 2017 convention is at Minot, June 9th,10th & 11th, 2017, if you have
any questions contact President Gail Yuly the convention chair or me the V-P
& Historian. Our contact information is on the web at http://www.ndpcs.org
or on the last page of the newsletters.
Friday eve after dining you have the opportunity to show your trophy
cache from your hunting & fishing expeditions for show, tell & possibly
trade. We should see some interesting items and learn the history of your
cache. But please hold down the camp fire hunting & fishing stories.
On Saturday morning there will be NDPCS trivia, that has questions about
the Society and pottery to look up and answer from the NDPCS scrap books.
Also the Olsonís are giving a presentation on the artists and pottery at the
Assumption Abbey at Richardton and the Annunciation Priory at Bismarck.
At the banquet the Bakkens will be giving a presentation on the Buffalo
Museum at Jamestown.
See you at Minot
Arley Olson VP & Historian
Click here for
information on the 2017 CONVENTION
Erling Rolfsrud Collection
By Arley Olson
The above collection was used by the North Dakota author Erling Rolfsrud
for education seminars.
Erling Nicolai Rolfsrud was born September 3, 1912, near Keene, North
Dakota on the farm of his parents Nils and Rebecca (Heide) Rolfsrud. He
attended Watford City High School and graduated from there in 1930. He
attended Minot State College in North Dakota and also Concordia College at
Moorhead, Minnesota where he received a Bachelorís degree in 1936.
Mr. Rolfsrud taught at Concordia College and headed the Department of
Business Education. Later he taught at Alexandria High School in Minnesota.
He was a freelance writer and became a prolific writer who wrote articles
and short stories, as well as newspaper columns for several North Dakota and
Minnesota newspapers. He was an author who published 31 books from
1949-1993, many of which are about North Dakota and have North Dakota
settings. He is best known for his books on North Dakota, some of the better
known are Lanterns Over the Prairies, Gopher Tails for Papa, White Angakok,
Story of the Red River Land and Flickertail Stories. But the members of the
NDPCS will be more familiar with his book "Extraordinary North Dakotans".
In addition to his writing, Mr. Rolfsrud traveled the state of North
Dakota giving speeches and lec-tures on his writing and the stateís history.
In 1952 he was a lyceum lecturer for one year in North Dakota schools and
spoke about North Dakota history and Extraordinary North Dakotans. Mr.
Rolfsrud was selected as one of the 75 "Heroes" in North Dakotaís history,
and in 1989 he was inducted into North Dakotaís Scandinavian-American Hall
He acquired a collection of Rosemeade and Messer pottery that he would
set out at his lecturers. Janice Hanson, purchased the collection from him
some years ago. At the 2015 NDPCS Bismarck convention, Bonnie had the
opportunity to purchase it for my Fathers Day gift.
Notice the Boston Terrier with the mold, the elephant is a bank and the
13th set of dog heads (cocker spaniel).
Scarce UND Dish Found at 2016 NDPCS Auction
By Arley Olson
Earle Jay Babcock was Professor of Industrial Chemistry, Metallurgy and
Mining, Director of the School of Mines and the North Dakota Mining
Experiment Station, and then Dean of the College of Mining Engineering
from 1898. During the summers Babcock took trips through the state
gathering mineral examples for later analysis. He sought to determine
purpose and products for which they might best be used. After years of
investigation and analysis of clay resources Babcock made a study of
these clays, first in the field as a geologist, and later in the
laboratories and testing rooms, as dean of the School of Mines.
After successful experimentation with the clays Babcockís next step was
publicizing on a national stage the ceramic viability of North Dakota clay.
An opportunity arose with the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis,
Missouri, in 1904. Babcock envision a display of North Dakota clays and
finished products made from them, such as sewer pipe, paving brick, enameled
brick, roofing brick, roofing tile, drain tile, ornamental building brick,
hollow terra cotta lumber and also tableware and decorative pottery. In 1903
and 1904 Babcock wrote to Beaver Falls Art Tile Co. and Mayer Pottery Co.,
in Pennsylvania; Edwin Bennettís Tile Works, in Baltimore; National China
Co. and Homer Laughlin China Co., in East Liverpool, Ohio; Brockman Pottery
Co., in Cincinnati; Cook Pottery Co. and Trenton Potteries Co., in New
Jersey; S. A. Weller, the Ohio Pottery Co., the Roseville Pottery Co. and
the J. B. Owens Pottery Co., in Zanesville, Ohio; and the Art Institute of
Chicago asking if supplied with North Dakota clay if they would make some
samples of art pottery.
Many of the companies approached were sent quantities of clay to test and
use. Several of them were unable or unwilling to comply to his request but
some of the companies were able to comply and made items with good results,
three of them were the Mayer Pottery Co., Roseville Pottery Co., and Owens
Pottery Co. At the end of May 1904 Babcock sent Roseville and Owens
instructions for delivery of Utopian Art Vases, Venetian Art Ware,
jardiniŤres and special pieces made from North Dakota clay to the Mine and
Metallurgy Building, North Dakota Booth, Worldís Fair Grounds, St. Louis,
Missouri. The Mayer Pottery Co. provided tableware that consisted of 40
pieces of Purple Flowered Ware and 45 pieces of Pink Flowered Ware. The
tableware was marked with an incised "ND".
Governorís Residence Display
"End Of An Era"
By Arley Olson
In 2011 Betsy Dalrymple, The First Lady heard about the North Dakota
Pottery Collectorís Society and contacted Tara Holt to see if there was a
way to find past North Dakota pottery to display in the Residence during the
Dalrymple Administration. In November of 2011, Bob Barr and Tara Holt filled
a large glass case with UND Pottery. The display was rotated five times and
removed December 14, 2016 marking the end of Dalrympleís administration and
the NDPCS display. Various North Dakota pottery companies along with other
North Dakota artisans were featured. Items for the display were loaned by
the following NDPCS members: Bob Barr, Tara Holt & Doug Prchal, Pat Grantier,
Audrey & Darrell Spencer, Beth Hill, Todd Hanson, former Governor Ed Schafer,
and Bonnie & Arley Olson.
Dec. 14, 2016 NDPCS members Tara Holt & Doug Prchal, Bob Barr, Pat
Grantier, Audrey & Darrell Spencer, and Bonnie & Arley Olson were at the
Governorís residence to remove the NDPCS Pottery Display.
The State of North Dakota is in the process of building a new Governors
Residence north of the existing residence. Upon the completion of the new
residence the old one will be demolished.
We the displayers want to thank The First Lady Betsy Dalrymple for the
opportunity to display North Dakota pottery and other North Dakota historic
collectables. Also a thank you to Steve Sharkey for his assistance with the
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