The small town of Sand Creek will be hosting a 150 year celebration of its existence this weekend.
According to information from The Messenger in the July 10, 1941 issue, the first settlers in the Sand Creek area to take up a homestead were Ole K. Myran, Sr. and Sven Toycen who arrived on July 3, 1866.
They had made their way with their families by covered wagon over treacherous trails from Winnebago County in central Wisconsin. They traveled through Eau Claire and Menomonie, following the Red Cedar River and camped on what was the Carl Hanson farm.
Ole, Jr. was one of seven children from the Myran family who made the trip at age 11 and told the story of early beginnings for the families in the 1941 addition when the town celebrated their 75th year of existence.
Their first home was made of hewn logs and was 14 by 24 feet. Times were hard and Indians were plentiful, as there were nearly 20 wigwams along the river near their farm. They would bring in blueberries in exchange for flour and bread, but flour cost $9.00 per 100 pounds and the only way to get it was to carry 100 pound bags on your back from Eau Claire which took 18 hours. Eventually the land was broken by a team of oxen and they had a little wheat that was threshed and ground by hand. More settlers moved into the area including the Peter Gregerson family, Sam Hoveland with a family of eight, Gregor Gregerson with two children, Halvor Knutson, Gilbert Knutson, Ole Klevan and Iver Oleson. When other families began to find their way to the new town, the Indians gathered their belongings, canoe on their heads, spear in one hand and oar in the other and disappeared to the north, never to be seen in that area again.
New people to the town were Marshall Brewer who became the schoolteacher in the town school and Martin Syverson who was a logger before starting up his own farm. In 1878 there were stores run by Mr. Noer and Mr. Mossen and at that time it began to look like a little progressive village. More families moved to the area including Matthias and Marie Hansen and Mr. and Mrs. Thorstein Anderson and the town continued to grow.
Sand Creek entertained an estimated crowd of 3,500 people at the mammoth 4th of July celebration in 1941, marking the 75th anniversary of the first white settler in that community. The entire community worked together to stage what was the finest program ever put on in Sand Creek. A large parade took place in the morning to start the day off with columns of marching musicians and beautiful floats. In the afternoon, a concert was given by the Colfax high school band under the direction of Mr. Arnold Lehman. In the evening, a large fireworks display took place along with awards and more musical entertainment. The oldest resident at the celebration was Betsy Myren, age 90.
The village also celebrated their 100 year anniversary for two days over the 4th of July in 1965. Entertainment included a Kiddie parade and a Grand parade, a horse pulling contest, crowning of a Centennial queen, an ice cream social, a show by the Eau Claire Sky Diving Club, a joint church service, a concert with local talent, a beard growing contest, and again a large fireworks display.
This year’s celebration will be a four day event starting on Thursday and ending Sunday. (A full list of events can be found elsewhere in this paper).
“This is not just a celebration for people from Sand Creek,” Carol Anderson, one of the organizers of the event said. “This is a celebration of all small towns and what they mean to the state. It is important to keep the memories alive and for everyone to understand how these towns began and the significance they have in our history. We invite everyone to come out and enjoy the festivities since we have something for everyone, she added.