A View From The Lake 6/26/96

This article submitted by Linda Lorentzen on 6/26/96.

Several accidents around Lake Koronis took place in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Fortunately, the ones I will report on today usually ended in slight or no injuries.

A serious accident happened at the lake on a Saturday evening in June, 1895. Mr. and Mrs. A. H. Boylan, Mrs. E. R. Phipps, Mrs. J. H. Boylan and two little girls were driving along the lake bank in a heavy farm wagon pulled by a team of horses. As they reached a high hill near some cottages Art Carpenter, who was driving a wagon full of household goods, met them. Their team became unmanageable and came too close to the edge of the bank. The wagon, its occupants, and the horses tumbled down the embankment, 30 to 35 feet to the bottom. Fortunately, only three of the occupants suffered minor bruises on their arms, shoulders, head and face.

In August 1900 another accident, which could have had serious results, ended in "a good deal of sport." John Ingvorson, an employee at Sevay's foundry, decided to take Dr. Pilon's sailboat, "Idlehours" for a cruise. When he was about one-half mile from shore, John tried to turn back, but he misjudged the wind and made a mistake with the sail, and the boat overturned. Many people were watching from shore and were dismayed to only be able to see John's head among the wreckage. From several points on shore, row boats went to the rescue. Fortunately, the air chambers in the boat kept it from sinking and allowed John to occupy a safe place astride the mast. Six boats were required to tow in the capsized boat from the fifty foot water. Evidently, John's date, watching from shore, "promptly mounted her wheel and disappeared on the road to town, and John had another lone ride."

Reuben Parker, a Stillwater resident staying at the Blue Jeans Cottage in August 1905 met with an accident. He was on Cedar Island in Lake Koronis and somehow a tree fell. It struck him on the head and rendered him unconscious for several hours. Nothing else was reported, so it's assumed that he recovered completely.

Gilbert Smith was in the process of delivering a hog to Charles Behr in April 1916. The hog jumped out of the crate and into the lake. He reached the outlet and then began to swim down stream. For more than an hour the hog remained in the icy water. Just as the owner had given up hope of rescue, the animal "calmly came back on the road and was captured, apparently none the worse for his cold plunge."

A severe windstorm visited the area around and near Lake Koronis in May 1916. For about a two-mile wide path, woodsheds, chicken coops, doors, windows, and some barns were destroyed. At the lake a boat of Frank Kennedy's was lifted into the air two times, landing in the lake with a thud each time. The second time the boat was lifted into the air, it rose 75 feet and came down with such a force that the side of the boat disintegrated.

Each time I read about accidents or storms at the lake, I hope for a happy ending. When all is well, we can celebrate a safe view from the lake.

Information for this column was taken from the following issues of The New Paynesville Press or the Paynesville Press; June 20, 1895, August 2, 1900, August 17, 1905, April 6, 1916 and May 11, 1916.

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