Story Collection

  • July 4th

    July 4, 1900...a mental picture...Main Street...Parade...Riding in the first wagon was blacksmith Tony Nord, banging on his anvil; Julius Spreeman with the horn; and a drummer. Gummerson, a Civil War vet and shoemaker, and Long John, the Wolf Saloon keeper, were along for the ride. There was a horse cart race, which Hank Siebold always won because he had the fastest horse. There was a ball game in the cow pasture north of the depot (now Windmill Marina). Tony Hedstrom pitched and Tony Nord caught a 6-7 game against St. Paul Park. Then families returned to picnic in Village Park.

  • Clamming on the St Croix River

    Two men in row boat, a tug boat (the Marion), and a barge heaped with clams on the shore of the St. Croix River at Afton, Minnesota. In the drought year of 1911, the river channel was often, in places, no more than twenty feet wide. That was the year towns people reaped a harvest of clams. They did not eat the clams; they searched them for pearls. A gem quality pearl, pink, white, blue, or purple, the size of a pea, brought $100 or more. The imperfect pearls were called slugs.

  • Bissell Mounds

    The mounds, located in Afton Township, east of Mound Prairie Cemetery on Highway 18 (old Highway 95) are composed of bedrock. Bedrock is any solid rock mass, either at the surface of underlying such surface deposits, as glacial drift. Originally they were laid down by epicontinental seas covering North America in the Lower Ordivician, Lower Paleozoic Era, millions of years ago. They are composed of marine sediments in pre-glacial era; few fossils would be located there. The hills are capped with limestone that is resistant to erosion.