There is something wonderful about aging, I have learned to live and cherish every day. Last year I began to retrace and reflect on my Mom’s life story. I began to think of her zest for life, her gifts and talents, and creativity. I inherited her love of life, which has kept me going and has been a great comfort for me. I began my search to retrace my Mom’s beginning years. Who was Hattie before she became my Mom?
Harriett Caroline Selvig was born January 24, 1890 in Wilmar MN. The only daughter of five children of Chris and Caroline Selvig, Her four brothers were very protective as she left her rural town and close nit family for the cities. Her talent for sewing and love for hats brought her to Strong and Warner Co. in the Mercantile District of St. Paul, where she became a hat maker and nicknamed Hattie. Hattie balanced her time hand stitching women designed hats as millinery, with selling them at the Golden Rule Department Store, individually tailoring each hat to the needs of a demanding public. In the early 1900’s, Fashion was thriving and tailored hats were the commodity. Everyone wore a hat.
Rustling between the two districts, she met a handsome Northern Pacific railroad engineer on her way to work at the Strong and Warner Co. Building, located next to the railway station. In 1912 they were married and in 1914, I was born.
I went back to the Golden Rule Building. I could picture her, so beautiful, selling her hand tailored hats in the parlor of the grand Golden Rule Department Store. There she was, recaptured again alive in my memory. At the age of 97, I have been thinking alot of my Mom and St. Paul. The Golden Rule Building stands as a beacon to our past.