With winter coming up in a few weeks, R. Tracy Myers, Fargo, appropriately sends in a picture of how the mail was delivered in the winter about 80 years ago in Cathay, N.D., northwest of Carrington, N.D.

The picture was taken by Tracy’s mother. It’s of the Model A Ford that delivered the rural mail at Cathay about 1937-38.

The “Snow Bird,” as it was called, was owned by Clinton Colony.

Cathay’s postmaster at the time was Otto Burbeck.

“Nearly all roads were impassable during the winters back then,” Tracy says, “but in reality it didn’t matter because so few people had cars.

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“Mail was hauled to Cathay by the Soo Line Railroad. There were two trains a day. One was a local that stopped at Cathay and the other was the ‘Flyer’ that went through Cathay at about 60 miles an hour.

This "Snow Bird" delivered mail in the winter in the late 1930s in Cathay, N.D. Special to The Forum
This "Snow Bird" delivered mail in the winter in the late 1930s in Cathay, N.D. Special to The Forum

“Clinton had frost shields on the windows of the car,” Tracy says, “as defrosters were unheard of at that time. Also note the drive wheels had chains attached to the tires.”

As further evidence this picture was taken prior to 1941, Tracy points out, there is no gas rationing label on the windshield.

Tracy, who grew up in Cathay, also mentions Robert’s Cafe there, saying he remembers the cafe’s owner, Ma Roberts, as she was known. “She was a single buxom woman with a sailor’s tongue,” he says.

Thanks to Tracy for another look back at the “good old days.”

If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107, fax it to 701-241-5487 or email blind@forumcomm.com.