Grim's Tales: What does tomorrow look like?

Things have changed, sure, but the future may be brighter than you realize

Photo illustration /

In the 10 years I've been with the paper a lot has changed, even more if I look back on the two summer internships with the Journal.

Inside and outside the paper, it's like I grew up in a different world than we live in today. It's pretty hard not to focus on the negatives.

It feels like a lot of things have been lost in my 37 years, but I've learned a lot since starting with the paper. It's often the case that we are more aware when people have problems with our paper than we are when people appreciate our paper, so that makes the negative more visible.

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It's the same in life. The negative can often outshine the positive, even if it isn't necessarily more abundant.

Look at Pine River, for example. I doubt there has been this much potential in Pine River in decades. This is not to discredit the amazing past business owners. They did a fantastic job, but they were heavily taxed of their time and energy through their generous contributions, and you can't ask for that kind of energy forever without things cooling a bit.


There is new blood and new potential almost everywhere! Henry and Ariel Krecklau are one young couple that now runs 218 Fitness in the space once held by John and Jackie Wetrosky and Silbaugh's before them.

Emmalee and Sam Hedberg are, likewise, young new owners of Servpro where Pine River Carpet once stood. Just down the street is the new AC Hair Company under Sheri Lillich, a third generation business owner related to Roger Hoplin.

The new Norway Brook Dam was constantly bustling with visitors over the last summer and work there is still continuing! In addition to the beautiful new dam and playground equipment there will be a new park space on the other side of the dam, new bathrooms, a cooking space and a picnic space.

Of course, everyone is used to the new, advanced Essentia Health Clinic by now, but the space it and the next door pharmacy vacated with the move to the other end of Barclay didn't stay empty either! The clinic became home to an experienced dermatologist and the old pharmacy building will soon become the Damsite Supper Club under owner Robert Walton.

Speaking of pharmacies, Guidepoint Pharmacy under Lisa and Cy Struss continues to thrive!

That's only the beginning! Christina and Marion Linn have recently taken over at the Pine River DMV. The old Napa building is recently a new apparel shop called Closet at the Cabin. New owners have also bought the Cozy Cottage Cafe and the town is abuzz with questions about the commercial property south of the Historic Railway Depot.

There's even a new chamber director, John Carlson, who puts in overtime to bring our chamber into the new age so we can give back to our members!

These are just the newest business owners, but in recent memory Pine River's bowling alley has gotten new owners, the city gained a tattoo artist, chiropractors, massage therapists, florists, an alpaca product store and yet another hairstylist! There are so many newer shops I can't remember them all and I'm sorry if I missed you!


Good, bad or neutral, there is no way I could have predicted how the area would change when I was a kid. That's still true. There is no way to tell what's coming, but the last time this happened with the Gardiners, Andersons, Bueckers, Silbaughs, Rohrs, Amys, Shamps, Houstons and others, something great was born.

Sure, I came along toward the tail end of that boom, but it was still a great time to live in this area. So buckle up, there could be some crazy, amazing times ahead.

Travis Grimler - Grim's Tales.jpg
Travis Grimler, PineandLakes Echo Journal Writer

Travis Grimler is a staff writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal weekly newspaper in Pequot Lakes/Pine River. He may be reached at 218-855-5853 or

Travis Grimler began work at the Echo Journal Jan. 2 of 2013 while the publication was still split in two as the Pine River Journal and Lake Country Echo. He is a full time reporter/photographer/videographer for the paper and operates primarily out of the northern stretch of the coverage area (Hackensack to Jenkins).
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