Nearly 150 years of history will be outlined in a Pelican public library program March 28, 6:30 p.m. 

Former Pelican Rapids mayor and historian Wayne Runningen will present a program that he has presented a couple times over the past two years. 

Controlling and harnessing the river essentially gave birth to the city, explains Runningen. His historic perspective is especially timely–as Pelican city officials have been extensively discussing the future of the dam.

Ever since W.G. Tuttle built a primitive log and timber dam to power a primitive sawmill in 1870, the Pelican River’s rapids and falls have defined the city of Pelican Rapids. 

In 1879, R.L. Frazee brought the fledgling community into the industrial age with the construction of the Frazee Mill. Frazee is credited with, literally, messing with Mother Nature by changing the flow of the Pelican River. 

Frazee’s name is on what is believed to be the first residential plat for the city, in 1884; and he served as mayor from 1899 to 1901. He died in 1906.

Runningen’s program will explore not only the early history, but also to present day–including the dam reconstruction in 1987-88.