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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Visit to Frazee, Minnesota

Well, not really. I am actually sitting at the Minnesota Historical Society in St. Paul where I typically spend my Tuesday afternoons. I am doing research for a book on the history of the Polish community near Sturgeon Lake, Minnesota. This has gradually turned into a book about the nearby Moose Lake area.

The publisher of the Moose Lake Star during my period of interest was one P C Peterson. He left Moose Lake in 1904 and set up a newspaper in the town of Frazee, MN. He published there for at least a dozen years before moving on to the west coast. As I look for Peterson's departure from the Frazee paper in the Historical Society records, I am struck by this story from February 27, 1914.
A man, giving his name as Tom Rogers, hove into town Monday evening and requested the priviledge from Marshal Glander to sleep in the town hall that night. This request was granted and at about eight o'clock he became thirsty and espying the large carboy in which the suphuric acid is kept he tried to quench his thirst from that. He succeeded in tipping the carboy so far as to get some of the acid in his mouth, but fortunately the greater part went on the outside, burning his chin and clothers on the front of his body.

His left hand was also badly burned and he evidently got some of the acid in his mouth and throat as the interior was all white when examined by the phusician. He was taken to the county infrimary on Tuesday. When leaving, the marshal informed him that as soon as he was able to he must pay for the acid that he spilled so it is safe to say the fellow will never return to Frazee.
What a different time it was. No concern about a lawsuit against the town! The visitor must pay for the loss.

And so many questions. What is a carboy? Easily answered. Why would a town hall keep a carboy of sulphuric acid within easy reach? Was it customary to stop at a town and ask for permission to sleep in the town hall?

1 comment:

Jerry Askeroth said...

Mr. Sawyer,

I'm an "in and out blogger." I just now noticed your comment on my post of last June.

Re: Hurley's Hanging Gardens: Yes, I loved Steve Cannon. My wife called him to find the location because we wanted a night out. Steve told her that it was all in his mind.

You and I almost met. I worked in Information Systems at Pillsbury from 1957 - 1960 and 1965 - 1968. Maybe you took my office. Did you know Jim Rude, my boss?

It was an honor to read your comment. I've have two blogs now and have written a book - NO LIBERTY, NO PEACE - which takes time to promote.

My wife an I want to write travel articles. We want to be like you.

Please write when you have time. And good fortune to you!

Jerry Askeroth