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a history

Founded by economic and religious pilgrims in the early seventeenth century, Northica has fulfilled its early promise and blossomed into an amazing combination: great home, exciting workplace, and finest vacation spot in the world.

The first explorers to the region sailed southward from Northica’s colonial capital in the spring of 1627, stopping to found a temporary settlement at the mouth of the Winciwin River. Mistakenly believing that the the muddy flow which clogged the river resulted from volcanic ash, they named the settlement Caldera Town. Many expected to find the great collapsed cone of a volcano further inland; this mistake led them to avoid the Winciwin and sail further south the next year, where they settled within the great harbor.

A second, larger group of explorers rounded the southern point and discovered easy inland access along the Wajo River. Past the initial rocky shores, steep forests, and barren plain, excellent farmland was found and a third settlement begun. By 1635, the colonial government granted official incorporation to the settlements as the town of Calder.

Two distinct shore communities quickly developed: one on the harbor, one on the river. Distance and differences led the coastal settlers to petition and win rights to their own township, and East Calder became a separate town in 1642.

The region’s largest though unofficial business became rum-running: molasses brought from the West Indies was processed and sold locally and overseas. This business brought the towns into contact with pirates and buccaneers, beginning an ambivalent relationship that would last over a century and a half.

As evidence of the area’s vitality, the colonial government established Calder College in 1651 to “educate the morals and raise the skills of the local inhabitants.”

The sea, the sea.

Life over the next two hundred years was driven by events on the sea. Whaling and shipping exploded the economy and ballooned Calder’s population; in search of new space, settlers pushed up the Winciwin and Wajo rivers. Eventually the same pressures that created East Calder were felt upriver; Tinwald petitioned and separated from Calder in 1729 and Selkirk in 1754.

In early 1811, Admiral Quingle defeated British naval forces off Knockennis Island, ending European rule in Northican territory. Quingle had earned his admiralty when he disrupted the questionable dealings between pirates and coastal merchants. Until Quingle’s intervention, pirates had been “captured” and then quietly released, or openly permitted to come to port with goods as any legitimate merchant ship. On Captain Nagrom’s death in 1806 in the Narrows, the dubious practice of "deliver and disappear" ceased.

Had Quingle not acted, independence and economic forces would have finished trade with pirates. Calder was poised to become a manufacturing center, with the final key put in place by one man: Andrzej Wersoski, a former Colonel in the American Continental Army under Count Pulaski. Wersoski lost faith in the American cause when General Washington failed to appreciate Pulaski’s Polish military experience (less than a century earlier, a Polish cavalry corps defeated a Turkish army greater than all British and American forces combined). He resigned his commission after his brother was killed by a patriot rifleman who fired in confusion over the foreign uniform and accented English.

Wersoski came to East Calder and built the Great Docks at the south end of Caldera Harbor in the early 1790s. Over the next thirty years he traveled Europe and North Africa, always returning to East Calder, until in 1822 he built a new home in Calder and began his best known project: the Calder Canals. Providing water power and transportation, Wersoski transformed Calder into a manufacturing mecca of red brick ramparts. He constructed the first mills and designed more than two-thirds of the surrounding structures before dying in a riding accident at the age of 82. By 1836 twenty textile mills were producing fifty million yards of cloth a year, and in the following year Calder incorporated as a city.

Roads to success.

Fifty million yards of cloth impressed George Lantine and his investors. Seeking an alternative to the Wajo River and a direct route to the capital, Lantine gained a charter for the first railroad and established the Eastern Northica Railroad in 1835. The Eastern’s route closely followed the colonial Robinsdale Turnpike, the major trade passage between the Calders and the capital. Straddling the “pike,” Calder’s textile industry continued to flourish, but despite early success the railroad went bankrupt fourteen years later; purchased by Walter Llewellyn, the Eastern struggled to remain solvent until George Lantine’s sons William and Calder Lantine bought it back in 1866. The brothers ended the fiscal irresponsibility that plagued the line and grew the Eastern into the region’s dominant transportation system and single most prosperous corporation.

Under the financial sponsorship of the Lantine family and the mid-century leadership of Professor Gerhardt Heldenmuth, Calder College developed into a world-class teaching institution, becoming the University of Northica in 1877. Graduates fed the burgeoning local industries’ need for highly trained talent. After industry, the political life attracted many students, and since 1881 more than half of all elected officials had earned a University of Northica degree.

Not all that went on at the University was studious. Celebrating the electrification of downtown East Calder for September Fires in 1888, a Nast-style cartoon appeared in the school paper that is credited with creating the legend of Matthew Calder, proclaimed as a Calder College graduate and the original inventor of the light bulb in 1875. The story evolved into the modern urban legend that the Calders were named after a famous inventor.

Modern borders.

The last change in town borders occurred in 1890 when the ward of Applecross split from Tinwald with the Winciwin River forming the new boundary. Applecross had been the settlement’s original name, but without explanation the settlement was incorporated as Tinwald. The ward of St Andrews also voted on separation in 1893, but voters rejected the referendum and remained part of East Calder.

Taking to the air, flying on earth.

Flight found a home in eastern Northica in the twentieth century when Estin Eldredge founded the first airport south of the Calder Canals on rocky flatlands known as the Bedagi Ki. Nicknamed the Dead Fields because the soil was so unforgivably poor, the clear level field proved ideal for launching and landing the new biplanes. With Joseph Kittery and Roald Montaghue, Eldredge established Ekim Aerodrome in 1921 and formed Sky Northica Air Express to deliver air mail. Although hardworking and decent civil engineers without fear of the air, not one of the three men was a good businessman: both Ekim and Sky Northica threatened to fail. To remain in business they sold a parcel from their airfield on the southwestern border to Riverside Cemetery in 1927, but by 1929 they were broke. Larch Co. Intl. (which purchased the Eastern Northica Railroad in 1894 and expanded from rail to lumber, shipping, and furniture manufacturing) bought them out in 1930 and moved hangars and service buildings three and a half miles next to the rail lines, where Larch built an interchange station. Ekim Airport was rededicated and Sky Northica Airways revenues tripled the first six months despite the growing global depression.

The next greatest change to transportation in the region came with the movement in the 1970s for a high-speed train between the Calders and the capital. In 1982 the first Spiritliner soared down state-of-the-art tracks installed between the north and south lanes of Highway 47, leaving the original tracks to slower excursion trains for tourist runs and local trips. Profitable from its first year of operation, Spiritliners carry both passengers and freight (including perishables and electronics) and a roundtrip ranks as one of the most popular day outings.

Past is present.

In the early 1900s restoration was begun on the homes along the southern and eastern streets bordering Quingle Park to return the structures to their original eighteenth century appearance, preserving the best of the region’s unique architecture, landscapes, cultural heritage, and social history. Other houses in danger of demolition were later moved into this area and restored. The historic district was established in 1921 with the founding of the Preservation Society of East Calder and thrives today, encompassing Victorian and Craftsman homes, carriage houses, and commercial buildings; members welcome guests every autumn with an annual candlelight tour.

The future: the sky is no limit.

Nanotechnology and microfabrication have replaced the millwheel along the Calder Canals. Home to the most advanced satellite in orbit over Northica, Calder remains the favorite employment destination for the best University of Northica graduates, while Ekim International Airport welcomes the finest scientists and researchers from around the world as they arrive to join startups and large multinationals.

Dynamic and entrepreneurial, local firms pursue the most exciting fields on earth. While continuing the textiles tradition with ultra-tech fabrics, companies now deliver products once beyond dreams: from next-generation hybrid, hydrogen, electric, and maglev vehicles to microwave-based weapons, unmanned air and orbital vehicles, and scientific payloads to Mars, Venus, and the outer planets of our solar system, Northica is ready for a challenging tomorrow. Join us for a fantastic journey to the future.

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The official website for the Northican Convention, Travel, and Visitor’s Bureau, sponsored by the Robinsdale County Chamber of Commerce.

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