Classic connections: Early telephone operator brought community of Hines together

Bemidji Pioneer

The earliest telephone systems in Beltrami County connected people, eased some of the loneliness and isolation of homesteaders who lived far from other family members, provided alarms in times of...

Blanche O’Brien was the switchboard operator for Hines Telephone Association for 40 years. (Photo submitted by Lowell O'Brien)
The sign by Blanche O’Brien’s switchboard at the Blackduck Area History and Art Center. (Sue Bruns | Special to the Pioneer)
The switchboard that Blanche O’Brien operated for Hines Telephone Association. (Sue Bruns | Special to the Pioneer)
An early dial phone that’s held at the Beltrami County History Center. (Sue Bruns | Special to the Pioneer)

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