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My grandparents’ journey to Enumclaw | Centennial

My Danish grandparents, Chris and Helga Nelson, lived most of their married years in Enumclaw. They were married in 1911.

They spent a short time in Chester, S.D., where they lived on a large farm. My grandpa raised horses and wheat and I think some corn crops.

During Christmastime they would have deep snow, which was higher than the fence posts. My grandpa would hitch a pair of horses to a sleigh, put bells on their harnesses, a bale of straw in the sleigh and lap robes for added warmth. Then they would go cross-country and visit family and friends. The snow was deep and there was often a thick layer of ice on top of the snow. The snow and ice held up the horses and sleigh with no problem at all.

My grandma loved their farm in South Dakota and didn’t want to move to Enumclaw. When my grandpa got a good job offer from Bob Montgomery in Enumclaw to play trumpet in his band, the popular Montgomery Band, my grandparents sold the farm in South Dakota, packed up and headed to Enumclaw.

After my grandparents arrived, my grandpa found out the trumpet spot he was offered in the band was given to someone else.

Despite the disappointment, my grandparents decided to stay and build their family and life in Enumclaw.

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