100 years ago
August 8, 1918
• Big Fire – Dr. Knudson loses beautiful home
Last Thursday afternoon at about four o’-clock the fire bell rang notifying the villagers that there was a fire somewhere in the village. People dropped their work and ran. The fire was found to be in Dr. J.F. Knudson’s barn in the north part of town and when help arrived at the scene, the barn was all ablaze. The barn, garage and wood shed were all connected and these were all afire in a few moments. The automobile was run out but that was all that could be saved.
The fire department, though much depleted in numbers now responded, but it took a longer time than it should have before it was ready for business. M.B. Myhre, the chief engineer, was out of town and this caused delay in getting the engine started. Then when it was finally taken to a place near the river, there was not power enough to throw a stream over a broomstick, so to speak. Men, women and children worked carrying water, but all proved of no avail and the fire soon reached the pump house, between the house and barn and then the house caught fire.
The wind was from the north and the flames from the barn blew directly over the house, but had it been possible to get a good stream of water the residence in all probability could have been saved. A large part of the household goods, clothing and bedding was carried out and saved, but much was lost in the flames. The winter’s supply of coal was in the basement and the wood shed was full of wood, all of which was destroyed.
Live cinders from the fire flew to other parts of the town and other fires were started, but these were put out before any headway was made and all began to feel a sense of security, but at about seven o’clock the fire bell rang again and then it was discovered that G.C. Backstrom’s combined ice house and barn was burning. This was practically destroyed, but the fire was checked and it spread no further.
The fire was caused by two little boys who were playing in the barn with matches. They were too young to realize what they were doing.
75 years ago
August 12, 1943
• Takes an Appeal
After a hearing in municipal court here yesterday, Fred D. Riley of Pelican Rapids was found guilty of a charge of driving while under the influence of liquor. He was sentenced to pay a fine of $75 and costs or serve 60 day in jail. Riley has taken an appeal to the district court. He claims he was not intoxicated. The charge was preferred following an accident near Crystal-Lida Beach on July 28, when Riley’s car and a truck belonging to Ingemar Peterson collided. The truck, containing a horse, went into the ditch and turned over.
50 years ago
August 8, 1968
• It’s Crazy Day, Barbecue Time
Pelican Rapids will be host to thousands this weekend at two of the biggest summer events land on the same weekend: Crazy Day and the annual Turkey Barbecue. Crazy Day is the big summer retail promotion sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce Retail Trade Committee. As in the past, merchants and their salespersons will don colorful costumes and move merchandise out to the sidewalks for the big sale. This year, prizes will be awarded to the best costumed man and woman, so the competition is expected to be keen. Members of the Pelican Rapids Rotary Club will be in charge of the annual Turkey Barbecue, an event that draws people from miles around. Some 3,000 pounds of turkey will be prepared by broiling over charcoal. Huge rotisseries, each of which will hold 48 big turkeys, will turn slowly throughout the day. The serving will be from 2-8 p.m. at the E.L. Peterson Memorial Park.
25 years ago
August 11, 1993
• Fair Day at Nursing Home
The front lawn of the Pelican Valley Health Center was a busy place last week when members of the Norwegian Grove 4-H club presented a “Fair” for residents of the Pelican Valley Nursing Home. Showing their horse, sheep and calves to the residents were Scott Holt, Jacob Johnson, Yusuke Sueishe,
Brent Tollerud, Rachel and Alex Thysell, Hideki Shima, Sierra Nordick, Joe and Jay Axness. The club members were preparing for the county fair to be held on August 25 in Fergus Falls.
• Driver rolls up 3 1/2 million accident free miles in 34 years
Over 3.6 million accident free miles of accident free driving have earned recognition for a local over the road truck driver. Erwin Leigh Field, who drives for MinnDak Transport of Pelican Rapids, was recently accepted into the Bill Mack Million Mile Club sponsored by WBAP Radio at Fort Worth, Texas. Leigh has been a professional driver for 35 years, the past nine years, with Minn-Dak Transport. Field has been a recipient of the annual safety award and also been named independent contractor of the year. When asked to what he believes has been the contributing factors in this long safety record, Field says, “Being alert, patient and never disputing the right of way.” Field has very few cargo claims which further attests to him being concerned and attentive to the duties of a professional driver.