Myrtle Mabbot’s written memories are a helpful summary of the things that happened in her world over the years. It is not a complete history of PequotLakes; you know, with the facts documented, the T’s crossed, etc. Her written memories fit in with those of others who have been gracious in sharing stories with the Pequot Lakes Area Historical Society.
This time around, Myrtle hits on a variety of topics, giving sort of an overview of people and the businesses they operated.
Jim Thurlow owned the first horseless carriage in Pequot (a Ford). Even as late as 1910 the purchase of a car was front page news in our local paper. Our first car was an EMF Studebaker and I was so proud of the fact that we had a car. But Ben Anderson and his brother, Ray, who had the Ford Agency beside their livery barn, called it the Every Morning Fix.
My father, Ludwig Mathison, started the first lumber yard in Pequot and had his own planing mill and saw mill on Sibley Lake. Otto and Anton Lund, my uncles, were with him in the early days. Then he sold the lumber yard to James Ingram. Then it was sold to a Mr. Broker and then to the Standard Lumber Company. Otto Lund was the manager of this yard up to his retirement.
The early hotel owners were the Kellys, the Klattes, Tanzers, William Strassburg, Walter Musolf, the Tracys, the Krugers - there were also some others in the later years.
(Note from 2020: Does that not seem like a large number of hotels in a tiny town? Granted, they did not exist simultaneously, but in those days before paved roads and resorts, where was everyone going?)
The first streets in Pequot were laid out by Jim Richmond and Nels Anderson. (Note: a small bit of investigation might reveal the plans, the dates and cost, the methods. It would be interesting to see photos of these men at work.)
In 1902, there were saloons owned by Mr. Hemple, Bob Nash, Anderson and Porter, and Louie Benedix. Saloons are a given at any stage of the community progress game (no fingers pointed). Four or five saloons is not a huge number, but according to Mrs. Mabbot’s notes, all of these establishments were here in 1902.
So if this is a fact, the number of saloons, in addition to the number of hotels, might be a big total for such a small town. Or maybe not. Where does a person start looking for reasons? Permits were not required, or were very easy to come by? Demand was great? Who knows?
It’s an interesting side road and a distraction, of course, but the type of thing that keeps the past alive in our minds and keeps us curious about where we came from.
Karen Bye is president of the Pequot Lakes Area Historical Society.