Monday, February 10, 2020

August 13, 1883 - First Trip to Park Rapids

 The following was sent to us to share with you:

I just discovered your "history" section on the Long Lake site. The story "The Bridge Over the Lake" by Nancy Tague was of interest to me. My husband's (John Thompson) great grandparents, Asher and Mary Blunt, homesteaded our farm east of Long Lake (Section 34-Twp-140 Range-034 Henrietta Township) in October of 1882. Their granddaughter, (John's mother) Almeda Thompson, wrote about their first trip to Park Rapids on August 13, 1883, going across the bridge on Long Lake. She wrote about it after hearing stories about it from her grandmother, Mary, years later.

Kathy Thompson



"The First Trip to Park Rapids:  August 13, 1883"
By Almeda Thompson

Asher pushed back from the table after a hearty breakfast and surprised Mary.
“Let’s go to Park Rapids today,” he said.
Mary’s brown eyes sparkled with pleasure and quickly clouded over. She should wash white clothes today – but few opportunities for a change like this came her way.
“I’ll hurry and be ready soon. It looks like a lovely day,” she answered.
“I’ll go get Ambrose to stay here while we are gone. Be ready when I get back.”
Mary nodded. Her mind was in dreamland as she cleared the table and did the other necessary work. She put on her new blue calico dress. Frank had given her the cloth for her birthday, purchased at four cents a yard, and she had made the dress and kept it for special occasions. She came out of the bedroom with bonnet in hand as Ambrose came in the kitchen door.
“So, you’re going stepping today!” he teased.
Mary stood in front of the mirror adjusting her bonnet. “I probably shouldn’t go, but I’ve never been to Park Rapids so it should be fun.”
Asher helped her climb into the wagon. She sat down on the plank seat and adjusted her long full skirt to help keep it free from wrinkles. Asher climbed up beside her. “Giddup,” he said, and the oxen started their slow lumbering motion. They followed a winding wagon trail down to the east shore of Long Lake. The bridge across the lake was only partly completed.
“People ford the lake right here,” said a workman. “You can get across without any trouble.”
Timid Mary began to feel her heart flutter. The distance across the lake was much greater than the width of the Shell River they had forded. The water slushed against the bodies of the oxen and poured over the bottom of the wagon as the high wheels disappeared under its depth. The oxen stopped, trembling and frightened.
“Giddup,” said Asher sternly. But still they didn’t move. Mary crawled out cautiously onto the loose board of the bridge. Fighting a giddy dizziness as she looked at the sea of deep blue water all around them, she walked around to the oxen’s heads and coaxed tenderly and kindly.
“Come on, Buck, we’ll make it all right. Come, Bright, let’s get started.”
Slowly they began to move forward again. Mary continued to walk on the bridge planks talking in her gentle and reassuring words to the frightened animals.
The water grew less deep. The sturdy oxen regained their calm methodic sense of security. Steadily they moved forward and finally shook the water from their bodies as their feet once again stood on dry ground.
Mary climbed back into the wagon and tried to calm her ruffled feelings as they drove on to Park Rapids.
They had a pleasant day of shopping and sightseeing, then drove north making many extra miles on their homeward journey to avoid fording the lake again. They never again traveled that way until the bridge was completed.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Long Lake is now a Winter Wonderland!

November blew into December with a significant snow storm.  Hubbard County area missed the first storm, but last night we were blanketed with about 11 to 12 inches of snow.  It is amazing to see all the snow and to still have waves on an open lake. The wind was blowing most of the night and as I checked the shore this afternoon, I found many beautiful ice sculptures along the shore.  Pictures in the video below.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Message from our LLAA President: Carolynne C. White

This is the first of a series of posts from our Fall LLAA Newsletter.. if you did not get an email copy of this newsletter and would like one, please let us know.   
click here for full autumn newsletter

I realize that many of you know me as my family has lived on Long Lake since 1929.  To a few  people who remember the 1950’s, I’m the little girl who rode along with the guys that delivered ice to the cabins along Pine Haven Beach.  My grandparents ran a 4 cabin resort with a small store.  We mainly sold eggs, milk, bread, pop, candy, worms, minnows and gas. Grandpa cut  ice blocks from the lake in the winter, and stored the ice all summer in a sawdust covered “ice house”.  Then my dad and a helper delivered it to the residents all summer.  (The electric lines didn’t come down along Pine Haven Beach until about 1955.)  I have a lot of fond memories of the store, fishing, swimming, water skiing, and the many families who have maintained their friendships and ties to Long Lake over the years. 

My grandparents and my father all attended the original lake association that I believe started in the 1940s.  That organization met twice a year; first for a picnic/potluck at the Pine Haven Church Camp and then a second winter meeting in Des Moines for an ice cream social.  Their main focus was lake quality, especially related to fishing, and the amount of property taxes. When I retired from teaching in 2010, I could not wait to move home to lake.  I started to help the LLAA by working on the website with my long time friend, Linda Kooyer Johnson.  I eventually joined the board as a representative from Neighborhood 5.  This year I am pleased to be taking my turn as President of LLAA and the Foundation.

Since 2010, I have been learning so much about:
  • the identification and spread of AIS
  • tracking the water quality and clarity
  • ways for all of us to improve our shoreline
  • and how many people it takes to protect our beautiful and unique Long Lake.
 Recently I was in a meeting where we learned about a new initiative that will  focus on “Living Lake Friendly.”  I really liked this idea as it covers all the things each one of us can do to help.  My grandparents and parents left me this wonderful legacy and I want to do all I can to leave Long Lake in good condition for the next generations.  I hope that all of you will commit to help in every way you can to do the same.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Plan for Replanting at South Access

The construction company has finished their work on the south access for this year. Some of the grasses have been planted.  Several plants and trees were in the way of the construction plan, but with help of volunteers from the Lake Association the plant life will return.

Special thanks to Sam Erickson who owns the tree farm toward the southeast end of Long Lake on County 20.  Sam graciously allowed the Long Lake Area Association to transplant some of his trees (free of charge) to the south access.  Fifteen Red Pines and three Spruce trees were dug and moved this autumn.  When these hardy little trees awake from dormancy next spring in their new location, they should do just fine! 

In May 2020, when a donated tree/shrub "Restore the Shore" order arrives, volunteers will add additional plants at the south access.  Red Oaks will be sprinkled in with the Red Pines and Spruce trees.  Juneberry shrubs will also be added to help screen the picnic area from the parking lot.

We would appreciate it if you would make some time this May to help with the planting project.  Many hands make the work easier.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

South Access Now Open


Good News! 
Sharon Natzel has talked with Jerry Brosdahl, Hubbard Township Supervisor, at their meeting and the South Access is now officially open.  There is additional work that is yet to be completed.  For example, there will be more paint striping done and the mat for the berm between the road and the access is currently on order and will be installed when more of it is received.  The electric company will soon hook up the light and there is still work planned for the toilet facility and potentially cement on the south ramp between the water and tar.  Planting will mostly take place next spring to give the plants the best chance of survival.