July 18, 1918 – Rinda and Raymond Jay on the move

I’m visiting New Rockford, North Dakota today where on this date, 100 years ago, my grandmother arrived with my dad, then 2 years old. She had landed a job as a cook, housekeeper and nanny on a local ranch.

I spent yesterday afternoon going through local newspapers from 1918 to see if she was mentioned (she wasn’t) but more, to see what life was like so far from the rest of the world. I was amazed to see the amount of war coverage the newspaper carried.

There’s something very serendipitous about finding the Eddy County Museum where I write this from. My father always said that Rinda worked at a ranch near New Rockford. But that ranch was much closer to the town of Brantford. So on this date in 1918 she would have actually arrived at the train station in that town, not New Rockford.

In 1969 the Brantford station was closed and in 1973, the depot was moved here to New Rockford to house the Eddy County Museum. That means I’m truly at the station where she and my dad arrived on this date in 1918 though it’s now in a different town 15 miles away.

Took some work but I also found the farm, now abandoned, where she worked and lived with my dad. I don’t think the buildings there are from 1918 but it’s the land where she worked and my dad played.

Special thanks to Amy Wobbema, publisher of the New Rockford Transcript for all the help and special access to the museum.

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