100 years ago, November 30, 1922

• Double Drowning in Lake Franklin

One of the most tragic accidents which have ever taken place in this community occurred Monday at about noon when Robert Johnson and son, Bert, of Dunn township, drowned while fishing in Lake Franklin. So far as the Press has been able to learn the facts, no one knows how the accident happened as no one witnessed the tragedy, but the circumstances appear to be about as follows:

Mr. Johnson and his son, who was nineteen years old, were out on the lake in a small wooden boat netting fish. It is thought they were either placing the nets or were removing some fish from the nets when the boat capsized. The water being cold and the men heavily clothed were unable to save themselves, and there was no one near to come to their assistance. When they did not come home to dinner, some members of the family went to the lake to see what had become of them. The boat was found floating upside down on the water. Help was summoned, and the neighbors and people from town searched all night for the bodies, but they were not found until Tuesday forenoon. They were only about fifteen feet from shore in about six feet of water, but the bottom of the lake there was very muddy. The bodies were taken to town and prepared for burial.

He leaves his wife and a family of ten children. The bereaved wife and children have the sympathy of the community in their double portion of sorrow.

75 years ago, November 27, 1947

• Bad Train Wreck At Vergas Monday

A very bad train wreck took place at Vergas Monday at 2:30 a. m. when a southbound passenger locomotive struck the rear end of a freight train headed north.

It is understood the freight train had pulled off on a side track, but the rear end had not cleared the main track and was hit by the passenger engine. The engine left the track and tipped over, and nine freight and baggage cars were burned. Six persons were injured, one critically. The mail car was also burned.

• Comstock Wins Both Games Tuesday Night

In the first game of Pelican’s scheduled basketball games, Comstock’s A and B squads defeated the Vikings in games Tuesday night at the auditorium. The first game played by the second stringers of both schools, ended 19 to 17 for Comstock, and the main event resulted in a 46 to 25 victory for the visitors.

Wearing their new uniforms, purchased from the proceeds of the game played last week, the Vikings made a fine showing but were unable to keep pace with a speedy Comstock squad.

50 years ago, November 30, 1972

• Routes Chosen for Snowmobiles

New snowmobile routes through the village have been mapped in an attempt to avoid difficulties for snowmobilers that occurred last winter.

Through the cooperation of the Pelican Rapids Sportsmen’s Club and the Village Council, routes have been established that keep snowmobilers off of restricted streets (state highways) and onto streets designated for snowmobiles.

The routes were made necessary because of the limited number of river crossings available for the snow machines. Last year, police arrested several snowmobilers who used Broadway (State Highway 59) to cross the river. Other groups, however, stopped and asked for directions and were guided through the village by police.

This year, the Sportsmen’s Club will erect signs on the four principal routes into town directing snowmobilers to the approved routes. The two routes for north-south snowmobile traffic will be First Street NW and Great Northern Road on the west side of Broadway and First Street SE and NE to the east of Broadway. The east route uses a footbridge across the Mill Pond dam, recently widened to accommodate snowmobiles.

25 years ago, December 3, 1997

• Tobacco Retailers to Face Annual “Sting” Operations

Tobacco retailers will have to be even more wary of selling products to minors: the “shoppers” could be hired by the city to test the availability of cigarettes and other tobacco items.

The so-called “sting” operation is required by the state and is part of a tobacco ordinance now being developed by the city attorney and city council.

Under terms of the ordinance approved last week, the city’s police department must conduct a “sting” at least once a year, but more often if thought necessary.

In a “sting,” the police department is authorized to hire minors to pose as shoppers. They would be sent into stores selling tobacco products and attempt to make a purchase. If successful, the business owner and the employee selling tobacco to minors are both subject to fines.

Violation of the ordinance is punishable by a fine of up to $75 for each employer and employee for a first offense. The fines increase to $200 each on a second offense and $250 and license suspension on a third offense.

City council members, meeting last Wednesday, approved the proposed ordinance with the sign and fee increase provisions added.