A View Of The Lake

This article submitted by Linda Lorentzen on 8/26/97.

Gazing out across the glistening waters of Lake Koronis, it is hard to imagine that anything bad could happen on the lake. In the early part of the century Lake Koronis was the site of several accidents.

Fire was the cause of property loss in August 1903. The Bennett residence at Lake Koronis was destroyed. Fortunately, Mr. Bennett and his children had just left the cottage. When the fire was discovered the cottage and its contents were lost. No one ever discovered the origin of the fire.

In January 1919, Mr. Kopperdahl from Georgeville tried to travel across the frozen Koronis on the way to Paynesville. He had been renting a farm southeast of the lake and needed to make his way to town with a heavy loaded wagon. On his way across the thin ice gave way and the wagon, two horses, two steers, a lumber wagon, and a set of harnesses went through the ice into the water. Mr. Kopperdahl was able to jump from the wagon and save his life. ďThe loss was great, but all are glad that he escaped from a watery grave. This ought to be a lesson for those who are in the habit of crossing the lake.Ē

That same month ďLee Bennett lost a horse in Lake Koronis Monday last by drowning.Ē Mr. Bennett was on the way to town with a load of wood. Somewhere between Hortonís Point (now Stone Gate Lodge) and the inlet, the ice broke and the horses, wagon, and wood went into the lake. ďOne horse drowned and the other saved only after the rescued horse had climbed upon the back of the other and was thus pulled to safety.Ē Mr. Bennett reported that as he crossed the lake one of the runners of the sled went into a crack in the ice. He was unable to remove the runner and soon the ice gave way. He estimated that the depth of the water to be about seven or eight feet and the ice to be about eight inches thick. Mild weather had evidently weakened the ice. ďThe loss to Mr. Bennett is a bad one as it leaves him with only one horse and a large amount of wood yet to haul. The lake at present is not safe for heavy loads as Mr. Bennettís accident proved.Ē

Not all accidents reported had an unhappy ending. In July 1913 a group of boys were swimming in Lake Koronis. They had a boat with them and in the boat was eight-year-old Leeberta Trimble, daughter of one of the Trimble Brothers, commission merchants of Omaha, Nebraska. As the boys were swimming around the boat, the little girl jumped into the water. Not knowing how to swim, she quickly sank into the five or six feet deep water. All of the boys, except one, panicked. Ten-year-old Frank Hayard, nephew of Frank Brown, the proprietor of the Far View Hotel (Lake Koronis), went after the girl and brought her into the shore. ďHe had a hard time of it as she grabbed him around the neck, and almost pulled him under before he could get her to shallow water.Ē

Even though accidents will always be a part of life, hopefully, any that occur in the future on Lake Koronis will be minimal. When only material things are lost, a sigh of relief will be resonated from all involved in a view from the lake.

Information for this column was taken from the following issues of The Paynesville Press: August 7, 1903; July 13, 1913; January 16, 1919; January 23, 1919.

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