Pequot Lakes Area Historical Society: Wrapping up one woman's view of her town


The final roundup of Mrs. Mabbot’s civic recollections is here in her summary of business and local government in the early days:

In the Pequot Enterprise for 1905, we find that Pequot is a thriving little community of 300 inhabitants. It boasted two churches, four church organizations and two lodges (the Northern Neighbors and the Modern Woodman). There were four general stores, two hotels, two hardware stores, three saloons, two blacksmith shops, two livery stables, a law office (Judge Holman), a land office (Mr. Tanzer) and one newspaper (Pequot Enterprise).

Lumber was handled by most stores as people exchanged lumber and cord wood for food products. About 1909, L Mathison started the first real lumber yard and in the same block there was a feed store (which was later moved) and a garage built and owned by Day and Goldsberry.

There were coal sheds added in later years, and a section house that housed the (railroad) section man's family. The first depot was a red shed, which was later used as a potato house. They then used a passenger coach and still later built the depot that was just moved out in the last two years. Now we only have freight trains going through while at one time we had two day trains and two night trains, two going south and two going north.

The village officers in the year 1905 were: mayor-JD Thurlow, councilmen-FR Whitney, AD Grant, Clayt Steel, CE Porter, treasurer-TE Butler, atty-AR Holman, marshall-CE Porter.


Also in 1905, the Enterprise was sold to ES Holman of Pine River and Olaf Olson of Pequot Lakes. They bought the share that DD Schrader owned but kept WH Byvank as editor. Other early editors were AR Holman, Mr. Eastman and Ben Wagner.

So there you go. Myrtle Mabbot’s notes have led us backward into Pequot Lakes history. We’ve gotten a preliminary and enticing peek into the beginnings - the people who decided this would be a good place to set up a town and see what happens.

When reading Myrtle’s notes, I see some familiar names, but a larger number of them are strangers to me. They lived lives full of promise, mistakes, poor judgment; moderate success, great happiness, regrets, as well as satisfaction. In other words, normal people living normal lives.

As I’ve gotten older and taken a broader view of things, I’ve realized how important these people were then and are now, whether I knew them or not. They contributed, in their small way, to the continuity of our story, and we in some small way have benefited.

Of course, if we don’t take the proper steps, we are doomed to be forgotten by the ones who come after us (the only ones who could possibly remember). We owe it to ourselves and everyone else to jot down a few facts and observations, identify a few soon-to-be-old photographs and put them all in a manila envelope, in a box, in a trunk, in the attic.

Someday, somebody will find them and be overjoyed.

Karen Bye is president of the Pequot Lakes Area Historical Society.

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