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Former mayor Ray Melander, left, thanked Gary Halvorson for his family's contribution to Nevis. Melander noted the city's parks are due to family gifts to the city. (Jean Ruzicka / Enterprise)

Halvorson Beach officially dedicated Saturday in Nevis

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It's official. The Nevis city park on Lake Belle Taine has been designated Halvorson Beach - honoring Nevis pioneers Justin and Daisy Halvorson and Oliver and Mary Halvorson.

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The beach was dedicated Saturday morning during Muskie Days, Gary Halvorson, 66, arriving for the christening.

"You couldn't ask for a better place to grow up," he recalled of fly fishing and swimming on Lake Belle Taine as a youth.

The impetus to rename the park came at the request of Oliver's granddaughter Loyce (Halvorson) Fulton who also holds fond memories of growing up on Lake Belle Taine.

"I moved to California in 1963 but my roots are still in Nevis," the 1956 Nevis alumna wrote in a letter to the council in late 2008. "Nevis is an important place to me because not only was it such a great place to grow up, but because my grandfather and his brother helped get Nevis started back in the early 1900s."

According to Hubbard County records, the two Halvorson families recorded nine plats in Nevis in the early 1900s.

In 1915, the Halvorsons donated the city beach property to Nevis Township.

The Halvorsons had also opened State Bank on the corner of Main and Paul Bunyan Trails.

James "Orrin" Halvorson was Fulton's father, who ran a fuel oil delivery service. The family resided in a house on the northeast tip of the lake.

The Halvorsons lost most of their property on Belle Taine during the Depression, however, many family members moving on.

Gary Halvorson said Justin Halvorson moved to California, where he rebuilt his fortune as a contractor. He remembered him joking, "You can build a house on the same property four times," he said of the state's propensity for mudslides.

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