Sid Hartman, several years before his passing, finally came around in his support of women’s athletics. For many years the Minneapolis Star-Tribune columnist operated in the old boys club, almost adhering to the saying of “no girls allowed.”

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One of the lasting legacies of President Dwight “Ike” Eisenhower, who left office in 1961, was construction of the interstate highway system.

I grew up on the 900 block of West Cavour Avenue. John Runningen, currently a resident of Atlanta, Georgia, grew up on the 1000 block of West Summit Avenue, the street just north of Cavour Avenue.

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Many people, while driving across the bridge just north of the roundabout on the west side of Fergus Falls, witness construction at the nearby Pisgah Dam.

The first TV presidential debate took place 60 years ago, on Sept. 26, 1960. Participating were the Democratic candidate, Sen. John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts, and Vice President Richard Nixon, a California native.

Sixty years ago the Fergus Falls Red Sox town baseball team had to wait more than a week to play in the state Class B title game. That’s because rain fell day after day, after Labor Day, at the state tournament baseball field in Springfield, west of Mankato.

Longtime football fans of the Fergus Falls Otters and Pelican Rapids Vikings recall the Labor Day classics between the Otters and Vikings in the years following World War II, from the late 1940s to the early 1960s.

Many baby boomers have good memories of Paul Revere and the Raiders and the Byrds, widely acclaimed pop rock bands who performed in the mid-1960s, at the Balmoral Pavilion on the southeast side of Otter Tail Lake.

Over the years many Wheaton natives have found their way to live in Fergus Falls, and the same holds true for Fergus natives ending up in Wheaton.



Tourism is a big part of the North Shore economy, all the way from Duluth to Grand Marais near Lake Superior in northeast Minnesota.

Many people who grew up in Fergus Falls, when heading north over the Union Avenue bridge, remember the old Lincoln School that was situated a short distance north of the bridge, on the west side of the street.

The passing of 1963 Fergus Falls High School graduate Chuck Beck on May 23 in Bend, Oregon, has led to several accolades from his classmates and relatives.

Downtown businessman Bob Allison, in May 1950, was president of the board of directors for the Fergus Falls Red Sox town baseball team. He was highly optimistic at the start of the season. 

Some long-time residents of rural Henning and Ottertail city recall the days in the summer of 1970 when former New York Yankee player and former Minnesota Twins manager Billy Martin stayed with his wife and son at Leaders Resort at Leaf Lakes.

Sixty years ago, on April 12, 1960, Minneapolis Lakers’ star Elgin Baylor and his teammates came to Fergus Falls to play a group of local all-stars in a benefit basketball game sponsored by the Fergus Falls Jaycees.

I have covered meetings of the Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners as a columnist and part-time newspaper reporter for the past eight years.

Jim Bohannon, a Vietnam veteran and conservative late-night radio talk show host, admonishes both Republicans and Democrats for a federal deficit that now exceeds $1 trillion on an annual basis.

Sixty-three years have past since the 1957 Otter boys basketball team bus went off the road near Carlisle and hit the ditch during a snowstorm. Fortunately nobody was injured enroute to Region 6 tournament action in Moorhead, prior to the days of the interstate highway system.

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Four years ago Donald Trump garnered many votes in rural Minnesota, including widespread support from farmers. He came within one percentage point of taking all of the state’s electoral votes in the 2016 presidential election.

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Will Robertson, who was newsroom editor at The Daily Journal for half a century, never deviated from his support of Republican presidential candidates from 1912 to 1962.

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Lloyd Omdahl, a retired University of North Dakota political science instructor, proposes a suspension of political intolerance during the Thanksgiving-Christmas holiday season.

In each of the past three years I’ve partaken of lutefisk on four occasions, usually from late fall through the Christmas season. This year will be no exception.

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Right in the thick of things with presidential politics in Iowa is former Daily Journal reporter Amie Rivers. She now works as a journalist with the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier.

Closing out the year 2019 is, in a sense, also closing out the year 1919 which was relived in light of the Fergus Falls cyclone a century ago. Most important is to never forget those who lost their lives.

Fergus Falls had close to 25 neighborhood grocery stores during the 1950s and 1960s. West End Grocery at the corner of West Cavour Avenue and Buse Street, also known as Gerhardson’s Grocery, was a three-generation enterprise. Otto Gerhardson started West End Grocery with his wife, Hilma, after their marriage in 1907. They lived down the hill, […]

This fall the World Series returns to Washington, D.C., for the first time since 1933. That’s 86 years ago. Franklin D. Roosevelt was in his first year as president of the United States. The 1933 World Series took place 28 years before the Washington Senators moved to the Twin Cities, in 1961, to become the […]

George Aas, a 1966 graduate of Fergus Falls High School, fondly recalls his father, Ernie Aas, as a custodian at the Washington Junior High in the 1960s. Ernie’s father and George’s grandfather, Anton Aas, had worked as a custodian at McKinley School, starting in 1936 Ernie’s brother, Art, who was the uncle of George Aas, […]

Taxpayers want to see that their dollars are put to good use. Here’s an example of just that, with a partnership between Otter Tail County and the state of Minnesota. County Human Services Director Deb Sjostrom, at the Oct. 1 county board of commissioners meeting, outlined Otter Tail County’s coordination with a state program to […]

Rural Clitherall resident and successful businessman Milt Paulson, who died Sept. 16, not only gave back to society. He also had a reassuring presence when the going got tough. He did a lot in his 79 years, examples include volunteer service with the Otter Tail County Historical Society, United Way, Habitat for Humanity, school board, […]

With the postseason major league baseball playoffs right upon us, many older fans recall Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series. During a recent vacation, I read the book, “Perfect,” authored by Lew Paper. On Oct. 8, 1956, New York Yankees pitcher Don Larsen took the mound at Yankee Stadium for Game 5 […]

Labor Day evening in 1964 proved to be another rugged football game between the home team Pelican Rapids Vikings and Fergus Falls Otters. Those two teams played each other on Labor Day from the late 1940s, into the 1960s. “We played Pelican in 1964 more or less without a quarterback, because starter Dave Olson and […]

This year three county commissioners from Otter Tail County accepted an invitation from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in the nation’s capital. They met on Aug. 20 with Vice President Mike Pence at the White House with fellow commissioners and mayors from Minnesota, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. Topics with federal officials in Washington, D.C., included economic development […]

Close to 20 years ago the late Gary Cranston of Fergus Falls and his family introduced Scotch eggs to the state fair in St. Paul. This year I again stopped at the Scotch eggs food stand, operated by Joe Cranston, Gary’s son, near the coliseum and horse barn southeast of the midway. “It’s always fun […]

While on vacation in late August I took along my copy of the book, “Lake Wobegon Days,” written by Garrison Keillor, first published in 1985. It was a joy as I reread the entire book. Older people remember that Keillor’s book is an account, often with humor, of fictitious Lake Wobegon, Minnesota, a small and […]

Six miles west of Ottertail city is a peninsula between Otter Tail Lake and Walker Lake. That’s where outdoor worship during the summer months at Camp Nidaros near Walker Lake has been a tradition for 110 years. This tradition has its roots in the purchase of property back in 1909 by the original founders of […]

The year 1971 was the last year of passenger train service through Fergus Falls. This coincided with the opening of the interstate highway system that made it easier for people driving vehicles between Fargo and the Twin Cities. Previously, the Red River train traveled from Grand Forks to the Twin Cities and the Western Star […]

Many longtime residents of Fergus Falls and other areas of Otter Tail County remember the old fairgrounds which stood until 1967 at the site now occupied by Kennedy Secondary School. Back then the West Otter Tail County Fair was held in August. A main attraction was the wildlife building. The Fergus Falls Fish and Game […]

Close to a half century has passed since 1957 Fergus Falls High School graduate Joe Edlund finished his last of nine summers working as a lifeguard at Pebble Lake, 2 miles south of Fergus Falls. The year was 1972. “I had two tours of duty at Pebble Lake,” Edlund said. “The first one was from […]

Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt arrived by train in the Badlands of Dakota Territory on Sept. 8, 1883, six years before the official establishment of the state of North Dakota, in 1889. He arrived from the East Coast one month prior to his 25th birthday. Roosevelt fell in love with the badlands west of Bismarck, near Medora […]

Cindy Harthun was a Fergus Falls High School senior in 1974 when the Otter girls basketball team played so well that attendance at the gymnasium next to Roosevelt Park increased by leaps and bounds. Coincidentally is the fact that 1974 was the first year of a girls state basketball tournament in Minnesota. Twelve years later, […]

Mention the word marathon in Fergus Falls and the name Eric Loeffler quickly comes to mind. The 1995 Fergus Falls High School graduate, who starred in cross country and track for the Otters and was an all-conference performer in those same sports at NDSU in Fargo, will be inducted into the Fergus Falls Area Chamber […]

A pleasant surprise when visiting Itasca State Park on Sunday, June 30, was seeing lady slippers in full bloom. The opportunity to see our official state flower in its majestic growing stage was due to the late spring in 2019. After an afternoon of hiking, boating, swimming, and visiting the headwaters the grand finale was […]