Longtime Pelican teacher Cleo Bohne retired in 1998

100 years ago, May 10, 1923

• Local Creamery to Manufacture Navy Butter

The local creamery was advised this week that they had been selected to manufacture one hundred thousand pounds of sweet cream butter for the United States Navy.

The American Stores Co. of Philadelphia, who has the contract to supply the navy with butter, advised Mr. Sorensen, manager of the creamery, that the local creamery was one of six factories in the state of Minnesota selected to fill the navy order.

This is indeed an honor and one of which the Pelican Rapids Creamery, its patrons and officers, and the surrounding community may well feel proud, and is the direct result of wonderful work on the part of the patrons supplying the creamery with the raw material necessary for its success and the true co-operative spirit existing between the patrons and the local management.

It means a great deal to this community as the price paid for this butter is considerably in excess of the usual market price and will net the patrons supplying the cream several thousand dollars more money than the average price by the creameries for butterfat.

50 years ago, May 17, 1973

• Area Landmark Sold After 65 Years in Business

Dunn’s Resort, owned and operated by Roy E. Dunn for the past 65 years, was sold last month to Mr. and Mrs. Robert Rife of Forest Lake, Minnesota. One of the earliest resorts in the area, Dunn’s was opened in 1908 when the first meals were served in a small log cabin located on the shore of Lake Lizzie. The only other building was a square structure built as a town hall by Dunn’s father and uncle, William and George Dunn, who helped organize the township. The first resort guests were put up in the Dunn family’s large home.

The elder Dunns arrived in the 1870s from Wisconsin. George Dunn settled here first, building a farmstead now occupied by Hilbert Isaacsons. A year later, the William Dunn family arrived and purchased a 160-acre farm which included the Lake Lizzie shoreland, where the resort was later built. The Dunn’s original log cabin, where Roy Dunn was born, still stands across the highway from the lodge.

After that first small start in the fall of 1908, the work of building the resort began. As the number of cabins increased, it became necessary to have a dining hall. This was built and could seat 200 guests. The resort operated on the American plan, with cabin residents eating their meals in the dining hall. The American plan was discontinued in about 1950.

Another unusual feature of the resort was the waterwheel in the river between the lodge and the lake. Designed at the University of Minnesota, it is a rare ‘undershot’ wheel, turned by the flow of water under it instead of by water falling over it. It turned a generator furnishing all electrical power used at the resort from 1920 to 1928. At that time, the river level dropped, so it could no longer be used, and diesel-powered generators were installed. These were used until the late 1930s when REA power became available.

The drop in the water level also affected the lake. To counter this, Dunn built an island connected to the shore by a rustic bridge. A bathhouse was built on the island, and visitors could even rent bathing suits if they wanted to go swimming. Later the bridge was removed and replaced by a causeway. By the 1940s, the island was no longer needed, and it was dredged out.

While the resort was a popular meeting place for area residents who enjoyed the picnic and swimming facilities, the increased number of guests made it necessary to limit the grounds to guests only.

While this year marks Dunn’s retirement from business, his retirement from politics in 1966 brought more of a change to his life. That marked the end of 40 years of service in the state legislature. He won election to the House in 1924 and served until 1966, missing only one session when he made a bid for a Senate seat and fell short by 500 votes. He also, during that period, served for 16 years as Republican National Committeeman from Minnesota.

He now plans to divide his time between Pelican Rapids and St. Paul, where he and his wife keep an apartment. The family home, built in 1904, was destroyed when Highway 59 was rebuilt a few years ago, so he purchased a mobile home which is situated to provide a good view of the resort. While not active in its operation, you can bet he will be there keeping an eye on the business to which he devoted 65 years of his life.

25 years ago, May 20, 1998

• After 33 Years of Fourth Graders, Cleo Bohne Retiring From Teaching

“This is my niche,” says Cleo Bohne, sitting in her fourth-grade classroom during a break Monday. Bohne’s niche is teaching fourth graders, something she’s done for 33 years, the last 32 in Pelican Rapids.

“It’s nice to find my niche and be happy,” she commented.

“They can work independently, and they want to please you,” she explained.

Bohne grew up in rural Perham, attending a country school where she had just one classmate for the first five years!

Bohne’s first year of teaching in Pelican Rapids found her in charge of a class of 37 or 38, as the district was growing in 1966-67 because of the consolidation of country schools.

Despite the large class sizes, she says she doesn’t remember there being many problems.

“Most were farm kids,” she explained. “They got busy in class; they had chores at home after school.”

Bohne’s classroom has become more diverse over the years, as well. This year her room includes two Bosnian youngsters who don’t speak English very well, as well as three Hispanic children who speak English as a second language.

Bohne’s tenure in Pelican Rapids has included a daily commute from her home on Dead Lake south of Dent. The 25-mile trip is “a beautiful ride,” she says, but the drive on Hwy. 108 has been treacherous at times.

After nearly 1,000 children, like any mother, she doesn’t want to name any favorites.