View from the Lake. . .
Infrequent accidents have occurred

This article submitted by Linda Lorentzen on 8/25/99.

Over the many years that people have been coming to the lake for rest or recreation, infrequent accidents have occurred. The accidents that have reached the pages of the Press range from children, lacking in swimming skills, falling into the lake to fires destroying property to deaths resulting from drownings.

From the Aug. 8, 1895, issue, the following was reported: "Little Johnny Sager came very near being drowned at the lake last Saturday. He was playing in a boat near the shore and fell into the water. Luckily R.J. Tuttle saw the accident and rescued the little fellow."

In 1903, fire caused the loss of a residence in Koronis Park. "The Bennett residence at Koronis Park was destroyed by fire last Saturday, together with all its contents. Mr. Bennett and children had left the house but a few moments before the fire was discovered and its origin is a mystery. Nothing whatever was saved and the family was left in an almost destitute condition. The building was the property of the Calumet Club of Pipestone."

In the early spring of 1868, two trappers were crossing the lake. "They had their traps and entire camping outfit in the boat with them...about midway between the inlet and outlet of the lake the high waves washed over the edge of the boat and its heavy load caused it to sink immediately. One of these men was an expert swimmer while his partner could swim but little and it seemed the irony of fate that the good swimmer should have drowned while the poor one was able to gain the shore."

From 1869 to 1907, no deaths from drowning occurred in Koronis. An eighteen year old, Cenious Thorson, drowned in 1908 while swimming near Third Island. Evidently, he "was seized with cramps and went down in six or seven feet of water, there being no one near him at the time who was able to render him any assistance." Thorson worked for Christian Christianson, a farmer who lived near Lake Koronis. The two had come to Third Island by boat and Thorson swam for as much as two miles while Christianson remained on the shore of the island. "When Christianson noticed that something was wrong with the swimmer he was a considerable distance from him and before he could reach the spot the body had sunk. He could see the body lying on the bottom of the lake but as he could not swim a stroke he was obliged to leave and summon help. The body remained in the water about three hours and, of course, life was extinct when it was recovered. The funeral was held Tuesday from the home of the boy's parents and was largely attended by the many friends and neighbors of the family who sympathize with the stricken family in their hour of sorrow."

On July 20, 1922, a headline read: "Had Narrow Escape From Drowning." Miss Goldie Swanson was swimming in Lake Koronis on Sunday, July 2, 1922. She was near the shore but stepped off into a drop off. Swanson was rescued from the water by Miss Grace Hanson, "who fell exhausted upon reaching shallow water. Miss Swanson was unconscious for a short time, but soon recovered."

Accidents and misfortunes have always been a part of our world and will continue to be. Let's hope that accidents with happy endings are all that will grace Koronis' shores allowing for a safe view from the lake.

Information for this article was taken from the following issues of The Paynesville Press: Aug. 8, 1895; Aug. 7, 1903; Aug. 6, 1908.

Archived View of the Lake articles