Hiddenwood Picnic

Wanting to create a township on their nineteen acres of land, north of Roseglen, McLean County, North Dakota, Mr. Wright and Mr. Williams opened a store and post office, and decided to have a picnic, as a way of getting to know their neighbors.

On June 20, 1903, they held the first Hiddenwood Picnic, and although they were not successful in creating a new township, the Hiddenwood Picnic continues as an annual event today.

For that first picnic, people came on foot, by horse and wagon, and by oxen.

In 1917, they quit the store business, selling the building to Fred Van Hook. The 1st National Bank took over the land, but later transferred ownership to the Hiddenwood Old Settlers Association.

Notifed by Chris Hill, the County Auditor, that three years taxes were owed on the land, which would have to be paid to avoid the county taking it. Art Landon paid up the taxes, and Chris Hill made arrangements with the State Land Department to have it set aside as a public picnic grounds, non-taxable according to the laws of the state. The Hiddenwood Picnic Association was formed in 1909.

The annual Hiddenwood Picnic has continued through the years. The hall blew down in 1928 but, in 1935, a large floor was laid, and a bowery dance was held, with music from Hazel Johnson’s Orchestra.

The Hiddenwood Picnic is held on June 20th each year at the picnic grounds, with a dance following, either at Roseglen or Makoti.

The Hiddenwood Picnic is mentioned in a children’s story about the Depression years, written by Doris Hermundstad Liffrig, entitled, Growing Up Rich in a Poor Family.