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Paynesville Press - August 28, 2001

View from the Lake

Summer season 2002 is coming to a close

By Linda Lorentzen

One hundred years ago, in 1902, world, state and local activities were recorded in the newspapers. World event headlines included the ending of the Boer War, Mount Pelee' erupting, the introduction of the Teddy Bear, and the United States passing the Chinese Exclusion Act. In Minnesota the Legislature passed a law for the protection of songbirds as residents of New Paynesville/ Paynesville and tourists continued to seek refuge at Lake Koronis.

The passage of a law protecting songbirds appeared in the April 24, 1902, issue of the New Paynesville Press. "Section 1, Chapter 242, Laws of 1899: No person shall catch, take, kill, or have in his possession or under control for any purpose whatever at any time any whippoorwill, nighthawk, bluebird, finch, thrush, linnet, lark, wren, martin, swallows, bobolink, robin, catbird, or any other harmless bird; and anyone violating this act shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $100 or by imprisonment for not more than three months." The direct result of this legislation is reflected each week on the bird feeders around Koronis. A variety of songbirds can be sighted around the lake, enjoying plentiful food, and having to contend only with their natural predators.

Brief articles concerning the activities of people connected to Lake Koronis appeared in the New Paynesville Press. The following are direct quotations from the year 1902:

January 2, 1902: A large company of people of the village journeyed to the home of Mr. and Mrs. N. O. Parsons' home at Lake Koronis Friday evening, where they were pleasantly entertained for several hours.

March 2, 1902: C. W. Conkling of Tekamah, Neb., spent a portion of the first of the week in the village, looking after his property interests at Lake Koronis. Mr. Conklin is very enthusiastic as to the possibilities of Lake Koronis as a summer resort. He is confident that fully one hundred people from his section will visit the lake during the coming season.

March 20, 1902: Chris Adam proposes to enjoy life this summer, and in carrying out that purpose has built a cottage at the old landing on Lake Koronis.

April 10, 1902: Honorable E. C. Hogan and family will occupy the Parsons' cottage at Lake Koronis during the coming season.

May 22, 1902: Summer finally came with a vengeance Sunday and again Tuesday. The thermometer registered only about 80 either day, but the atmosphere was loaded with moisture and this made the heat very oppressive.

June 5, 1902: A large part of school children and their teachers from Eden Valley school picnicked at Lake Koronis Saturday.

July 10, 1902: An extremely high wind made the Fourth the most disagreeable day of the summer, but in spite of the weather a great crowd of people participated in the German picnic at Lake Koronis. The exercises were all carried out according to program and were highly interesting and instructive. Quite a number drove over to Litchfield and several to Lake Henry, and all report a good time.

July 24, 1902: For several weeks past there have been persistent rumors to the effect that a large bear is lurking in the deep woods west of Lake Koronis. It is not easy to find anyone who has seen the animal but there are any number willing to swear that someone has told them that someone else saw him. July 31, 1902: Mr. and Mrs. Halverson will break camp tomorrow and leave for their home in Valley City, N. D. She was Mrs. Sorem, so long a resident of this place, and came to love Lake Koronis, as all do who set foot on its mystic shores.

And another all too brief summer season in 1902 came to a close just as we are facing 100 years later in 2002. Lake dwellers, seasonal and resident, will watch the traffic on the lake diminish over the next few weeks, the docks will be removed from the lake, the trees will lose their colored leaves, the birds will start their migration south, and another lake season will come to a close. Memories of Lake Koronis will stay with us as we look forward to next year's view from the lake.

Lake Koronis and the three islands
This photograph of Lake Koronis and its three islands is found in the archives of the Paynesville Area Historical Museum.

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