Pancakes, music fundraiser this weekend benefits Isanti County Historical Society

Kathleen J. McCully,
Executive Director
Isanti County Historical Society

Just as the leaves are falling and life is slowing down, so it feels at the Isanti County Historical Society as week 14 after the fire is upon us. This week we are fundraising with pancakes and jam. Who doesn’t like pancakes on a crisp fall morning, made on the griddle, steaming hot on the plate so the butter melts as it hits the top and drizzles down the side? If butter isn’t your thing, perhaps applesauce, or just maple syrup—and don’t forget the sausage links, juice and coffee.

I can just see all the loggers in early Isanti County gathered at the log tables in the log cabin amid the huge pines. Daniel Stanchfield wrote to his friends back in the northeastern US that “there is so much lumber here that you could log for 70 years and not cut it all down.” No doubt he had pancakes, sausage and maple syrup for breakfast before “hitting the woods” for the day. I bet there was plenty of flannel shirts and stocking caps enjoying that breakfast back then, just as we do now. Some things never change, and we wear flannel shirts and stocking hats now too. Join us on Saturday, Oct. 22 from 8 a.m. to noon for our Pancake Benefit Breakfast at the Cambridge Armed Forces & Community Center during the Chamber Business Expo. Adults $7; Children 10 and under $4.

Then there is all the jam, jelly and apple butter that is the impetus for our Heritage Jam. Early loggers, settlers, farmers, and families up to this day have all lived off the land at one time or another. One of the very best products of this hard work is the preserves that have been, and still are being made from local berries and fruits. Remember chokecherry, wild strawberry, grape or raspberry jam? Or plum jelly and apple butter? Whether on toast, bread, or pancakes, they were all lip-smacking good then, and still are today. Grandma, mom and daughters spent much time, then and now, gathering enough fruit or berries to make a batch, and spent the better part of a day preparing the fruit, jars, and actually doing the preserving. Surely this is a skill that is still being passed from one generation to the next.

The Heritage Jam features four musical groups, two local and two not, with music of all types. My Cousin Dallas, Old’s Getting New, Galactic Cowboy Orchestra, and Michael Monroe are all donating their talents to benefit ICHS and provide the community with wonderful entertainment at the CIHS Hardy Performing Arts Center, Sunday, Oct. 23 from 3 to 6 p.m. Cost is $15 per person, 6 and under free.

Not only will you be able to pick up homemade jams and jellies to stock your pantry for the winter, you may even be a lucky winner of one of the many donated door or raffle prizes. Good music, good company and great fun—what more could Isanti County want?

Again, if you can’t attend either function and want to support ICHS, donations are greatly appreciated and can be made by mail, at our website, or directly at Cambridge State Bank. For all other inquiries, visit, call us at 763-689-4229, email at [email protected] or drop us a letter at 1700 E. Rum River Drive S., Suite K, Cambridge, MN 55008. We are open by appointment only at this time.