Skip to main content

It’s heartwarming to see that Phelps Mill in central Otter Tail County has almost universal support of county residents when it comes to repairs and maintenance of the historic mill, now 133 years old.

If you're interested in submitting a Letter to the Editor, click here.

On Saturday afternoon, May 14, we took a double-decker historic bus tour of Fergus Falls during the 150th anniversary of our community. The bus was on loan from the community of Wahpeton.

Fergus Falls was known as a dry town between 1913 and 1959. If you wanted to purchase a bottle of whiskey or a bottle of another alcoholic beverage, you needed to drive out of town.

It’s always rewarding to look back on the days at Washington Junior High School which stood until the spring 1967 on Cavour Avenue just north of downtown Fergus Falls.

A few days ago I shared with area newspaper representatives that, from my perspective, it’s refreshing to cover county government.

Tom Glorvigen, a 1960 graduate of Fergus Falls High School (FFHS), has lived a life filled with adventure, challenges and personal success.

Former Fergus Falls Otter football player Tom Glorvigen, teammate TomGreenagel, long-time fan LeRoy Quernemoen and others never forgot the famous hook and ladder play that won the game for Fergus Falls in the fall of 1957 in Thief River Falls.

Many graduates of Fergus Falls High School (FFHS) attribute success in later life, at least in part, to instructors during their early adult lives. Another contributor to success is support from FFHS classmates who became lifelong friends.

Eldon Kratzke’s pride and joy, his 1959 Edsel, was displayed near the south entrance to First Lutheran Church, Fergus Falls, when people arrived on June 28 to attend Eldon’s funeral.

Fergus Falls High School graduate Bruce Ritchey, home for a class reunion earlier this month, recalled his senior year in 1965-66 when the junior college (now M State) was located in the south wing of the old high school.

Third base is where the hot corner is located. Any spot on the baseball field can be littered with hard-hit baseballs off the bat, but third base is where those baseballs end up the fastest.

Many Fergus Falls area fans remember the first year of the Minnesota Twins, in 1961. The franchise was previously located in Washington, D.C.

Centenarian Harley Oyloe recalls the many players who came to Fergus Falls from around the United States to play for the town team Red Sox in the late 1940s and early 1950s. They not only were great athletes, but also were gifted individuals who had fulfilling careers.

Minnesota DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen perhaps summed it up best when describing the Governor’s Fishing Opener this weekend in Otter Tail County.

Fergus Falls YMCA director Cliff Maxwell and assistant Wayne Geary, in 1978, were hoping they could find someone with soccer expertise to lead a fledgling program.

The other day a quote from the late John F. Kennedy came to mind, “Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate.”

Gert Larson, who still lives in her own home on the southeast side of Lake Alice, turned 105 on Easter Sunday. 

Dan Sternberg and Kevin Pearson, both teachers in the Fergus Falls Public School system at Kennedy Secondary School, recall a classic basketball rivalry. They point to the 1989-90 season when, as starters, they played for the Otters twice against Staples-Motley.

Temperatures were minus 20 degrees and even lower on Feb. 21, 1965, when the Fergus Falls Otter boys basketball team bus departed for Bemidji. Awaiting the Otters were the perennial powerhouse Lumberjacks who seldom lost at home.

Those in Texas who signed on as wholesale buyers of electricity, prior to the recent winter blast, opted to do so when sales pitches promised lower bills. That held true for many of them, until Mother Nature hit hard at the Lone Star State.

In January Fergus Falls Otters boys’ basketball head coach Matt Johnson emphasized to his players that it’s an honor to participate in Otter athletics. And with that honor comes responsibility.

The Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners has a reputation of working in a bipartisan manner to address a problem and find a solution for the betterment of county residents.

Back in the mid-1950s, when kids in Fergus Falls played sandlot baseball, the Milwaukee Braves were considered “our team” as far as major league baseball was concerned.

Election vote tabulations in Otter Tail County (OTC) in November 2020 were secure and free of irregularities, says OTC Auditor-Treasurer Wayne Stein. That’s good news for county residents.

Aircraft hijacking incidents between the United States and Cuba were at their height between 1968 and 1972. These incidents were attributed to extortion, flight for political asylum and mental illness.

The passing of “Jeopardy” game show host Alex Trebek on Nov. 8, 2020, was like losing a member of one’s own family.

Budd Andrews of Pelican Rapids, who turned 100 on Dec. 22, over the years had a long list of hobbies that won him the admiration of relatives and friends.

On Dec. 23, 1966, the night before Christmas Eve, Fergus Falls Otter boys basketball fans packed the old high school gym next to Roosevelt Park. Fergus Falls was the heavy underdog against Moorhead which eventually advanced to the state boys basketball tournament.

Many longtime residents of Fergus Falls recall the days in the 1950s and 1960s, when they were kids, of being dropped off at 940 W. Cavour Ave., to take piano lessons from the legendary Hazel Van Dyk.

  • Updated

Minnesotans, and people all across the nation are politically divided. The reasons are many, and not the least of these are divisions between metro and rural areas.

Many older residents of Fergus Falls, while experiencing the challenges with COVID-19, recall the early 1950s when the polio outbreak also was a scary time.

  • Updated

Fergus Falls retiree Steve Johnson, FFHS Class of 1972, played in six different bands between 1966 and 1989, and then ran a mobile disc jockey service called Steve’s Audio Plus for 22 years, until 2012.

Roger Bjorklund, a 1966 graduate of Fergus Falls High School who played baseball in this community, enjoyed attending college baseball games as a resident of Southern California.

Guy Snoeckx, an exchange student from Belgium to Fergus Falls High School in 1964-65, now finds himself locked down in his home country due to COVID-19.

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.”

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.

  • Updated

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.

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


Top Stories