Memories of olden day businesses shared

J.G. Thurlow's original store after it was first built at the turn of the century.

Myrtle Mabbot was a longtime resident of Pequot Lakes and she enjoyed a lengthy involvement in community work. She was the daughter of Ludwig Mathison, who operated his sawmill near the north end of Sibley Lake, where the public access is located today.

In Les Tweed’s "Boyhood Memories of Pequot," he referred to Mabbot as “a spoke in the wheel that started the Lake Country Tourist Business.” He said she was very dedicated in the promotion of Pequot Lakes and the community, and was a walking historian on the area.

Mabbott’s recollections of early days in Pequot Lakes continue here as she writes about some of the original businesses in town:

James Thurlow started a hardware business around 1900. He had his store in the present location of the Thurlow Hardware and it is still run (when Myrtle wrote this) by the Thurlow family.

The first building in town was put up by Jim Richmond on the present site of the Mobil Station. This building burned down in 1912, along with three other houses.


Ed Johnson had a cement block building built where the present IGA Store is located. He had a grocery store and also a room where he did photography work and you could go have your family picture taken. The building was put up by Gus Colmer, who built fireplaces, rock steps and retaining walls.

Sorry to say, Mabbott didn’t go into depth on this subject. Brief paragraphs such as these merely scratch the surface of a few businesses that have come and gone in Pequot Lakes over the years.

But the hints do get your imagination working. You find yourself looking for other sources to fill in the blanks as you ask out loud, “What Mobil Station? What IGA? What fire?” Suddenly, you’re involved and the search for clues becomes habit forming and before long a fully rounded history of your town comes to life.

Karen Bye is president of the Pequot Lakes Area Historical Society

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