100 years ago, January 5, 1922

• A Good Game

Wednesday evening, Dec. 21, the Pelican Rapids Independents and High School basketball teams clashed in their annual game at the local gymnasium, the Independents winning by a score of 7-18. The defeat of the High School team came as a surprise to many of the fans as they did not think the Independents had practiced enough to cope with the fast-playing High School team.

The three-man defense used by the Independents and played well out toward the middle of the floor was too much for the High School boys, and they failed to get any good chances to ring a basket. The usually strong defense of the High School team was easily broken by the heavier and huskier Independents, who failed, however, to connect with the basket as often as they should have. The game was clean and fast throughout except for the latter part of the first half when neither team displayed any speed or pep. Coach Mason refereed satisfactorily to both teams.

• “The Cow, The Hog, and The Hen”

The above should be the slogan for Otter Tail County farmers for this year and continue to be until conditions make a radical change from the present, which may be many years hence.

Of the three industries above mentioned, dairying is the most important in this community, and if anything will put the country on its feet, it is the dairy cow. The hog industry is a valuable adjunct to dairying and is very important in that it fits in as a part of the dairy industry. The hen, or more broadly speaking, the poultry industry, is of considerable more importance than most people think. Thousands of dollars worth of eggs and poultry have been marketed here the past year, and as of yet, it is only a sideline. If it were made a part of the farming business, it is possible to make it an industry second only to dairying.

75 years ago, January 2, 1947

• Fire Department Called Out Sunday Night

Sunday night at about 11 o’clock, a fire was discovered in the residence formerly owned by Peter Peterson in the southeast part of town.

The fire evidently started from a stovepipe which went through a partition, as the blaze was in the floor above and had gotten quite a start but was soon subdued.

The household goods were mostly moved out, but the water did considerable damage.

50 years ago, January 6, 1972

• 48-Year-Old Horses Ready For Another Season

It’s been a long, tedious job, but Earl Rogers can point with pride to the twenty freshly painted horses that will attract thousands of youngsters to the Rogers Bros. Shows merry-go-round during the 1972 season.

For Rogers, it was the first time that he had attempted the intricate work of repainting the multi-colored horses. During his 33 years partnership with his brother Donald (Bud) Rogers, it was always Bud’s job to create the fancy designs and bright colors. Last July, however, Bud died.

“I didn’t know I could do it,” Earl said of his painting, “but when given no alternative, I had to.” The horses hadn’t been repainted for seven years and were in need of repair.

It wasn’t the first time for repairs, though. The horses date back to 1924, when the merry-go-round was built. The Flink Brothers, who operated a carnival out of Pelican Rapids years ago, bought the merry-go-round in 1925. Charlie Rogers, Earl’s father, ran the unit for Flinks. The Rogers Bros. bought it in 1939.

Earl estimates that the hand-carved horses cost about $225 each back in 1924 and would cost many times that amount if they could be purchased today. Modern merry-go-rounds use cast aluminum or fiberglass horses

Although built in 1924, the merry-go-round is a well engineered piece of equipment. The unit can be set up in about two hours by three men, and all pieces slip together without bolts. As it is assembled, the piece being attached locks in the previously attached part. During its 48-year history, the merry-go-round has been assembled and dismantled several thousand times.

One year, the truck carrying the merry-go-round overturned, and the horses were badly damaged.

“Out of 80 legs, 76 were broken,” Earl recalls, “We had to hand carve pieces to fill in spots as we put them back together,” Besides the legs, heads, and tails on many of the horses had to be glued back together and re-shaped,

In the repainting job nearing completion, Rogers applied eleven colors on each of the horses. He used photographs as guides in retracing the intricate designs on each horse, starting with a base coat of white paint and finishing with blacks & buckskins, with multi-colored saddles, saddle blankets, harness, etc. On average, each horse took slightly more than a day to complete.

“When we’re finished, it will still be as attractive as the new merry-go-rounds despite its 48 years age,” Rogers said.

The proof will come in mid-June when once again, youngsters will be pulling at their parents for a ride on the horses, while parents, and even grandparents, will stand by recalling when they, too, begged for a ride on the very same merry-go-round.

25 years ago, January 8, 1997

• After the Storm, the Clean-up Process Begins

The clean-up began in earnest Monday following a weekend storm that dumped at least a foot of heavy snow, accompanied by high winds and blizzard conditions.

Several buildings collapsed under the weight of the snow, plowing crews had to abandon their efforts, and the entire area came to a standstill during the height of the storm.

The official assessment of snowfall was an even twelve inches, but wind Sunday piled it into drifts several feet deep, some of it on buildings which collapsed under the weight.

The foot of new snow brought the total for this winter to 48 inches, about twice as much as had been received during the same period last winter.