By Caroline Wigmore
Area residents may be facing very different voting issues than their neighbors who live just across the street, due to the location of a three-county split.
Carver, McLeod, and Wright counties meet on the property of farmer Harlan Hecksel. Hecksel has a Winsted address, lives on a Carver County road and owns land in Wright County.
“I always like to say that I own land in three counties,” laughed Hecksel.
In an effort to find the place where Carver, McLeod, and Wright counties meet, several staff members from Herald Journal Publishing tromped about a mile deep into Hecksel’s field recently.
When they reached the spot where the three counties meet, each staff member stood in the county where they reside for a photograph.
The history of this location is also diverse, and has caught the attention of the Minnesota Historical Society.
Upon learning of a Native American village that once stood close to the point of intersection, in Wright County, the Minnesota Historical Society made a trip out to Hecksel’s property to investigate about 25 years ago, Hecksel said. They were in search of relics or remains from the village, which Hecksel believes belonged to the Sioux Indians.
“This used to be Swan Lake,” Hecksel said, pointing to the ground. Swan Lake was drained in 1903, in order to straighten Carver County Road 20. Originally, the lake touched land in all three counties.
Another historical story set on Hecksel’s property, located in McLeod County, involved a duck hunter who froze to death in a blizzard in 1940.
The hunter had set out for the island in the middle of Swan Lake in 70-degree weather when the Armistice Day blizzard set in. The man’s body wasn’t discovered until the spring. He was found huddled up next to a tree, where he was apparently trying to keep warm.
“They found him wearing a short-sleeve shirt,” Hecksel said, explaining that the man was completely unprepared for the sudden snowstorm.
At the polls Tuesday, Nov. 4, locals will vote on many issues, one of which is the future of Congress.
Running for Congress in Congressional District 6 are El Tinklenberg (Democrat), Michele Bachmann (Republican), and Bob Anderson (Independent); running for Congress in Congressional District 7 are Collin Peterson (Democrat), and Glen Menze (Republican); and running in Congressional District 2 are Steve Sarvi (Democrat), and John Kline (Republican).