Remember the Ford Pinto? Unveiling of new model was big deal at Pelican auto dealer in 1970

By Brenda Brand, Columnist

100 years ago September 9, 1920

• Bad Auto Smashup

Two automobiles were badly smashed up Sunday night north of town near the Lingwall farm. The drivers of the cars who were reported to be sons of C.O. Sundby, of Norwegian Grove, were coming to town and the night was foggy. When they came to the turn in the road on the hill on this side of Lingwall’s place the cars forgot to turn and struck the high bank, jumping over and skidding along for quite a distance. Both cars were badly damaged but the occupants escaped injury. Perhaps too fast driving was responsible for the accidents as well as the heavy fog.

Another car was upset Saturday night near the Lake View Cemetery, but this accident was caused by a broken spindle. No one was hurt in this accident.

75 years ago September 6, 1945

• Lightning Strikes, Barn Burns

During the electric and rain storm last Thursday evening, the barn on the Paul Jehs farm northwest of town was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. The livestock was removed, however, but there was considerable hay in the loft.

The local fire department was called, and while they could do nothing to save the barn, they were on hand in case some of the other farm buildings were in danger of catching fire.

• Richard Lyden had Narrow Escape

Last Thursday while Richard, son of Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Lyden, was helping thresh grain, his left arm got caught in a separator belt and was badly burned and otherwise injured. It could easily have been fatal. He was able to start high school on Tuesday.

50 years ago September 10, 1970

• Village Problems

1. A scorched “No Burning Sign” and a cloud of smoke bear mute testimony to the fact that burning continues at the village dump despite pollution control regulations governing the disposal of solid wastes. Efforts to cover the area with fill are continuing this week. Turkey feathers from the turkey plant were ignited by the smoldering fire, and the stench was carried into the village by winds. Feathers had to be dumped at the site for a few days when a rendering company was out of operation because of a fire.

2. The village council took action Tuesday night to halt dumping of sewage at the village dump ground. A private contractor emptying waste materials from a holding tank at the West Central Turkey seasonal-workers dormitory was seen dumping the sewage by a member of the village council. A motion was approved calling for prosecution upon any further violations.

• Free Pinto at Ford Garage

“Any youngster who can write, can register” according to Dewey Estlick, in announcing that Pelican Valley Motors will give away a Pinto Pony in connection with the showing of Ford’s new Pinto automobiles here Friday.

Estlick said that both Pintos, the pony and the car, will be on display Friday at the garage. Free coffee and doughnuts will be served, and registration for the pony will continue through the day.

Estlick has issued a special invitation to kids to come in and register for the pony

25 years ago September 6, 1995

• Sandvig still working on his dream boat

Len Sandvig credits his Norwegian ancestry for his love of boats and water. But Sandvig’s love of watercraft goes a little deeper than most; he built his own steamboat from scratch!

The 78 year old retired construction foreman, cabinet maker and carpenter says he had a mental picture of what he wanted, but never made a detailed blueprint for his project.

The boat is modeled after an 1880’s steamship, says Sandvig. He christened her the Mar-Len after his wife Marie and himself.

Starting the project in 1961 when he lived in St. Paul Park, he took the boat out on the Mississippi for its maiden voyage in 1962, but hasn’t had it in the water lately.

The hull is fashioned from long lasting white oak lumber, which he bent with steam and attached to the frame. For the interior he used northern white pine. In the cabin area, Sandvig fashioned a small table and storage cabinets. Benches along the sides fold out to make beds.

Up front in the wheel house a beautiful handmade wheel rests on a stand which he also built.

Weighing in at five tons with its trailer, the ship is 36 feet long and 10 feet wide. It’ll weigh about seven tons in the water with ballast added to handle the waves. He plans to put it in lakes for boat parades and to have fun. He may even put it by Gunderson Lake in Rollag for the Steam Threshers Reunion.