Area News

Woonsocket’s Volunteer Fire Department conducted a parade to make sure everyone in the communities of Forestburg and Woonsocket were aware that they are available for help and watching out for everyone’s well-being.

In conjunction with what many fire departments were doing across the state, the Woonsocket Fire Department decided to have fire trucks and the ambulance crew form a parade around the towns of Woonsocket and Forestburg, which are both in their coverage area. They asked kids in the area to make signs to hold or put up in their windows and turn porch lights on so they could make sure everyone was ok. It was a fun way for everyone to keep their distance but still acknowledge that there is help if someone needs it. Most kids made signs about whom or what they miss because of the seclusion from their everyday life that they are used to. The parade took place on Wednesday, March 25, which had rather chilly weather, but that didn’t stop quite a few households from showing their support and thanking the guys for taking care of the communities.

…See additional photos in this week’s issue of the Sanborn Weekly Journal!

Judy Brisbine took part in the bear hunt and the fire department’s parade all with one window display. Brisbine was a second-grade teacher in Wessington Springs for many years, so she can understand how important these things are for children during a time like this.

Many readers may have noticed that there are stuffed bears, and other stuffed animals, in the windows of a number of homes in Woonsocket. The idea came from a children’s book entitled “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt” by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury. Children are encouraged to “go on a bear hunt” throughout town and look for the bears, among other types of animals in people’s windows or doors. The kids were instructed to keep their social distancing by riding their bikes or riding in the car while their parents drove them around for the hunt. There have been more and more of these types of activities that have been “popping up” on social media to keep the kids, and their parents, from going completely stir crazy during these many days/weeks of homeschooling. 

The idea for Woonsocket to take part in this was brought up on Mrs. Rebecca Potrament’s Facebook page. Potrament is a special education teacher in the Woonsocket School District. Everyone and anyone is welcome to join in the fun by either putting a stuffed animal in their window or going on a hunt themselves.

Schools and teachers in Sanborn County are doing everything they can to help kids stay entertained and educated during this unprecedented experience this school year.

On April 7, 1970, a fire, aided by 40- to 50-mile-an-hour winds, destroyed the Artesian business district. It was reported that the fire began just before 2:30 p.m. in the upper floor of Noell’s Department Store. The fire quickly spread, burning buildings and property on both sides of more than two blocks of main street. The fire made it to Highway 34, burned the service station, the two grain elevators and a large storage bin.

Fire departments from Artesian, Woonsocket, Letcher, Carthage, Howard and Mitchell worked together to fight the flames through the afternoon and the evening. A fire-watch was organized that included Artesian residents to monitor and prevent the fire from flaming up again.

The buildings destroyed or badly damaged included the former hardware building, theatre, recreation hall, bar, barbershop, café, American Legion building, launderette and an adjoining building. The homes of William Boocks and Ray Cunningham were also ruined by the fire. Buildings that were spared included the Livestock State Bank and the Artesian Improvement Co. building that housed the post office, the Northern States Power Co. offices and Milliken Funeral Chapel.

…Read on in this week’s issue of the Sanborn Weekly Journal!

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