By Paul Gubrud, Columnist

100 years ago, April 21, 1921

• Serious Accident

Last Thursday afternoon, a rather serious accident occurred on the street near the school house. Mr. Schonteich of the Motor Inn garage was riding a motorcycle for the purpose of adjusting it, when in some way the machine hit Esther Busness, a third grade pupil, knocking her down and injuring her quite badly. She was unconscious when picked up and was taken to Dr. Satersmoen’s hospital where her injuries were attended to. Her injuries were not as serious as at first supposed and she is out again.

• Bold Holdup 

Saturday morning at about 2:30, Vernie Jacobson, the boy who has charge of the power plant, was held up at the plant station by two masked men, so he says. They were outside when he first discovered them, and he tried to shut the door to keep them out, but they forced their way in and proceeded to go through Vernie’s pockets. They found no money, but took his watch, a gold case Waltham. He says they did not say a word, and had masks over their faces.

(Author’s note: Before Otter Tail Power brought electricity to Pelican Rapids, the village operated a steam power plant located in the building that is today’s La Mariposa Mexican Market next to the Historic City Hall.) 

75 years ago, April 25, 1946

• Start of Pelican Rapids Historic Monument

The prospects for the proposed historical site just north of Pelican Rapids planned in 1942 and delayed by the war is now to be carried through.

The triangle just north of the village – were one road goes north to Scambler and the other swings off northeast toward Dunvilla and Detroit Lakes – belongs to the State Highway department which is arranging to beautify it and make it one of the finest historical sites in the state. The work will be done by the highway department in cooperation with the Otter Tail County Historical Society and the neighboring townships. Funds were raised in 1942.

The grounds will be beautified with trees – grouped evergreens and a scattering of shade trees – which will make a really beautiful spot.

• Little Fladmark Girl has Sad Experience with Laxative Tablets

Sandra Jean, the 2½ year old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Evar Fladmark had a narrow escape from death Saturday. She and two other children were playing in the neighborhood and picked up a bottle of chocolate coated Casara tablets (laxatives) from a refuse pile. Presumably taking them for candy, Sandra ate several of them. She came home very ill and began vomiting and was rushed to a hospital where her stomach was pumped. Quick action no doubt saved her life, but it was a close call.

• Park Theatre Installs New Lenses

The Park Theatre last week installed new lenses in their projection machines. The new lenses are known as “coated lenses” and were developed during the war. They show a much sharper and clearer picture on the screen and are easier on the eyes of the audience. Color pictures show up particularly well with these lenses.

Since very few theaters in the country, and practically no other theater in this area, have been able to get these lenses, the Park Theatre is now showing a better picture for local patrons than can be seen in other communities.

50 years ago, April 22, 1971

• Science, Ecology Fair this Week

About 200 exhibits are expected in the Elementary School Science and Ecology Fair.

The fair is set for Friday, April 23, with exhibits on display from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the elementary school gym. An awards ceremony will be presented at 8:30, with students showing the top exhibits receiving science metals.

25 years ago, April 17, 1996

• Water, Sewer, Street Bid is Below Estimate

The low bid on utility extensions to serve a new Lake Region Electric Cooperative was more than 30 percent under engineers’ estimates.

Feldt Plumbing and Heating was awarded the contract for extending water and sewer lines, plus street surfacing and curbs on a bid of $129,990.

The project involves the installation of water and sewer mains along the east side of Highway 59 south from the Dairy Queen to the south and of a newly annexed site chosen by Lake Region Electric Cooperative for a new $7 million headquarters.

• State Officials Investigating Apparent Food Poisoning of Kids

The Minnesota Department of Health is investigating the apparent case of food poisoning involving over 50 seventh graders and chaperones from Pelican Rapids High School on a field trip last week.

About 90 seventh-grade students and seven chaperones attended a two-day science retreat on April 9 and 10 at the Deep Portage Environmental Camp at Hackensack, located south of Walker in Cass County. Buddy Ferguson, information officer for the department, said the case is still being investigated, but it is presumed the source of the illness was a foodborne agent of some kind.

Supt. Keith Klein said health department officials closed the retreat center and are working hard to identify the cause of the illness.