Howard Lake Herald, July 13, 1998

A Highway 12 of fifty years ago revisted

By Robert Rekedal

This is the final part of a three-part series.

On the north side of the highway, across from Carlson's Variety Store, was the large wooden building, still there, called "Norske's" Hardware, owned by Allen Narverud.

His plumber and furnace man was Lefty (George) Anders. It was a well-stocked hardware and plumbing business which included many farm supplies. They carried cream separators, fishing equipment, binder twine, and a full line of guns and shells.

During World War II, nearly a dozen metal lathes of different types were put into the basement. Many people were taught a much needed skill for good paying jobs during the war years.

Allen was known for his abilities in collecting and dealing, particularly with coins and stamps. He also bought and saved the Dustin Massacre Stone from Cliff Nelson's field.

Warren Glessing, a polio victim, had a watch repair and jewelry business in a front corner of the store. Warren was an avid hunter and fisherman, so there were plenty of stories at his counter. The Foss Dry Cleaning shop, with living quarters on the second floor, was adjacent to the hardware. This building had formerly been a bank.

Next was a vacant lot and then a small building that had housed Charlie and Lil Hamburgers. Munson built and moved the bakery onto this property.

The movie theater next door (now the Herald office) had two shows nightly. Skeeter Rasmussen ran the projectors.

The furniture store and undertaking parlour were owned and operated by Vince Greelis. He was a very early dealer in TVs. Many times at night, we would watch the Minneapolis Lakers and George Mikan on a TV set up in the Chapel room.

Dr. Scanlon's dental office was in a nice brick building with living quarters above. He loved to fish and had his boat house between the railroad tracks and the lake, just below his building.

The next little building had been the location of Tailor Pudlitzke who moved into his home. The corner had a filling station garage. I believe Ken Moulton sold cars there. Ken built and moved to 13th Street when he became the Kaiser-Fraser dealer. That is now the Auto Parts store.

Al and Leonard Strohschein sold Phillips petroleum oil in the station and bulk, across the street westward. This is now part of Munson Feeds. North of them, Ed Shepherd, the Oliver Implements dealer also sold Admiral TVs.

The American Legion Building became part of the Munson Feeds offices. Munson's mill operation was much smaller in 1948 compared to the present day plant.

Martin Shepherd (Chevrolet) Motor completed the block with Jim MacNeill as chief mechanic. Martin and Gordie Judd also were accused of a few tricks in the community a long time ago.

Diagonally across Highway 12 from Shepherd Motors, were the Al Northrup Gas Pumps. Near him, Fred Heuer had a larger gas station and two bays for repairs where Wegner Electric now stands.

Gilmer Monument was a thriving monument business, taking raw stone, cutting, polishing and making monuments and building facings. "Jug" (Howard) Gilmer owned and managed the business and his boys worked into it.

Across the street his brother-in-law, Clint Custer, had a sales office and samples displayed from the Delano Monument Works, another Gilmer.

In a new building farther west, now a tire store, Claude Moorhead sold International Harvesters and made several items for farmers.

North of the tracks on County Road 6 was an elevator and grinding mill owned by Ralph Fleming, purchased from the original owner Charlie Moore. When I left my fish house after midnight fishing, I saw the mill ablaze and turned in the alarm, but it was too late to save it.

The P. V. Elevator, now owned by Munson Feeds was managed by Freeman Hawkins, a brother-in-law of Curly Marshall. There was a busy creamery run by Oz Heyer and prize-winning butter making by Gaylin Scheer.

Emil Wagner operated Breezy Point Cabins and restaurant. He also liked horses, especially fast ones. On the other side of the lake, Lew Roberts had some cabins. J. Carl Scherer lived on the north side of Howard Lake and owned a lot of lakeshore. Most of that is all built upon. Memorial Park was used as now, but no lights had been erected.

Herb Skjod managed the Central Lumber Yard, now a church. Hub Primus was responsible for Northern States Power in our area.

"Dead Horse Dick" (Hankinson) drove a truck for a rendering plant. Later, he moved to Maple Plain and opened an antique shop, where he became quite a authority on trivets. He published a collectors' book about their origin and history.

William Eddy and his three sons, Howard, Edwin and Paul, were well acquainted with the nursery business. Ed also did gunsmith work from his home. Paul started a nursery west of town and Howard sold for his father. Most of the Eddy Nursery has been developed for residences.

The Henry Luhman orchards and other berry growers helped start the annual strawberry festivals, with parades and queens. Hundreds of cases of berries were shipped by train into the Dakotas and to Minneapolis. Cost of labor changed that industry.

Pardon the errors in these 50 year-old memories. So now life goes on in the pretty town by the lake.

Fifty years from now the changes will show some different buildings, but the spirit of the community hopefully will continue to thrive and grow.

See Part 1 | See Part 2

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