BURNETT CO. WIGENWEB PROJECT - Histories of Burnett Co.  
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Trade River History

(as recorded by Freda Peterson)

Donated by Gary Peterson



Trade River village in the Township of Anderson began with flour and feed mill run by a man named Fandeen. The year is not definite. In the summer of 1886 C.E. Peterson of St. Paul bought the mill from Fandeen and in Oct. of that year moved with his family to Trade River. He operated the mill 10 years on water power until the river was too low when he moved it up on the hill by his residence. He then added a saw mill and planer using steam power to run the mill. With the help of his sons and extra hired men they sawed up to 500,000 feet of lumber a year.  He operated the mill until 1910 when he retired and his son-in-law Wm. Lindgren took over.  The Peterson Brothers ran P-B electric company as well, running lines to serve Trade Lake, Cushing, Trade River and Atlas.

There were two churches in the area, one a mile east of Trade River by Holmes Lake where the Indians worshipped. George Holmes having charge. The Trade River Free Church was built in 1890, when the people of the community felt the need of a place of worship; they donated lumber and labor to build a sanctuary which is still today. Several additions have been added, the last one in 1964. (In 2000 a new church was built on top of the hill looking over Trade River.)

Trade River Store

In 1891 a general merchandise store was built by Chas Anderson at Trade River. He built an addition later. He had his sister Helma for a clerk and later Ellen Ryss and Maymie his daughter. Trade River had a post office in the store until Rural Free Delivery came in. Mr. Anderson was Postmaster. When he retired his son Russell bought the store. Later his son Virgil took over. John Graves bought the store and ran it until he sold out in 1964. Another store was built on the hill south of Trade River in 1898 by J.F. Johnson. Which continued for a few years?

In 1902 a furniture factory was built by Chas Thompson and Aug. Anderson. They manufactured beds, dressers, writing desks bookcases and many other pieces of furniture. The distance to the shipping point made it unprofitable.

In 1897 the farmers of Trade River built a Co-op Creamery as there was no hand operated cream separators for the farmers to buy. They brought the milk to the creamery and brought the skim milk home to feed the calves and hogs. Butter was made and sold. In 1904 Frank Norling the butter maker bought the creamery, by that time farmers had their own separators. The creamery burned.

The first school was a log building built one and a half miles northwest of Trade River , it continued until 1907 when a new  frame building was built, later moving it to  the corner of 87 and county Rd. Z.

In 1880 a blacksmith and woodwork shop was built. Andrew Floodman and sons owned it, where they made everything from boy’s ice skates, farm wagons, spinning wheels, and coffins, anything the people needed. They also did repair work. They made Charcoal from pine trees for blacksmitting.

In 1940 Lindgren Bros. built a garage and filling station on the north side of Trade River. 

(Freda Peterson lived in Trade River from 1908-1982)

Photos associated with Trade River

Trade River
Trade River July 4th Celebration
J F Johnson home, 1910
Romlin, Eric & his 'Harley'?
Trade River Church at Christmas
Trade River Furniture Factory & Mill Wheel
View from the Holmes Lake Catholic Church
Trade River School before 1907
Trade River School after 1907

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