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Farm auction highlights Red River Valley’s pioneer history

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Christine, ND (WDAY TV) - The pick-up trucks lined the gravel roads near Christine, North Dakota Tuesday.

As an auctioneer chanted and sold a piece of rich Red River Valley history, 77-year old Daniel Anderson watched more than a century of family belongings go on the auction block, and the haywagons were full of stories.

It would be easy to stand back and consider this just another auction: A fast-talker, curious bidders, collectors and neighbors of Daniel Anderson who sat in a golf cart.

Daniel Anderson- Owner Of Farm: “I got a pretty good memory to remember all this old stuff.”

…and watched a magnificent piece of his family and rural farm history up for sale.

Anderson: “They saved everything in my grandparents’ day and I wasn't any better. I would not throw nothing away.”

It was Daniel's grandfather who came from Scandinavia to rural Christine and settled here in 1897. The family never left. Generations would follow. All would farm here.

Anderson: “Getting up in the morning, my mom would be up at 4:30 frying pancakes for the threshers, kerosene lamps.”

And so today, there were rare collector steam engines, tractors, relics from farm fields, often forgotten.

A family member played Amazing Grace Tuesday on this family heirloom, an organ that came by train from Fargo, Christmas of 1902.

Rhoda Ueland- Family Member: “Great aunt Mary's organ. They bought it for Mary. I play organ, so guess who is going to bid on this.”

And this spinning wheel from the old country…

And then there is the story of Uncle Joe and his 1916 overland. It seems Joe was having some trouble keeping the car on the road, so the family took some drastic actions.

Ueland: “He kept going in the ditch, so Carl decided we will take the wheels off, so he did.”

Even the Amish came to this sale. Our trip down memory lane was their Fleet Farm extravaganza. Turn of the century machinery and supplies… A piece of our past. 

Ueland: “It is a part of history, a big part of history, yeah.”

Daniel lived in the house until recently, he got electricity in the late 60's Never had running water.

But what a great run? Neighbors came to say goodbye to this much loved farmstead Tuesday, and dozens will go home with a piece of immigrant life.

The owner of the farm you met, Daniel Anderson, now lives in assisted living in Fargo. 

Kevin Wallevand

Kevin Wallevand has been a Reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia and the Middle East. He is an Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award recipient.

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