They were looking for a homesite and this they found above the lake on the shelf which would one day be known as Welcome Prairie. Savanna rather than true prairie, it lay encircled by the Big Woods of Minnesota Territory which stood dark and tall. Wild roses on the prairie in the springtime, gave way to crowding tiger lilies, butterfly weed, meadow rue, daisies and Queen Anne’s lace. (Quote from One Stayed at Welcome by Maud and Delos Lovelace)
In planning their first novel collaboration, Maud and Delos chose the period of the 1850s and 1860s, the early years of Minnesota statehood. Maud said that the location for the fictional village of Welcome is somewhere between Bloomington and Chaska, MN. She did all the research for the book, spending a great deal of time in the library of the Minnesota Historical Society gathering information about the history of the Hennepin County area. Delos did the plotting.
Many historical places and events are threads woven into the fictional story of One Stayed at Welcome. The Lovelaces didn’t change the real names of the historical figures and places in the book, but the character names are fictionalized.
The following is an excerpt from an article printed in The Minneapolis Journal, dated September 16, 1934:
In their new book, One Stayed at Welcome, the authors tell the story of this section of the state as it was in the more adventurous days of the ‘50s and early ‘60s. Those were the days when a little town called St. Paul was rivaling another village called St. Anthony and there was no Minneapolis.
From a background of careful research into the story of that period, the authors have written of names and places prominent in the development of Minnesota and Minneapolis.
Definitely, the locale of the new book is the prairie edging, a small Hennepin county lake near the Minnesota River. Lake and town were named Welcome by the two boys who staked out their claims and started the little settlement which has since been absorbed.
An engrossing romance, this new novel from the pens of two gifted former Minneapolitans teems with adventures of the pioneers who settled our northwest.
Its originality lies in its new approach to the frontier story. It gives us the thrills, the charm, the color, in lieu of the more commonplace tale of struggles and hardship.