By Starrla Cray
DASSEL, MN Looking for something unique and free to do this summer?
The first ever Dassel Story Slow Roll might be the perfect fit. For those unfamiliar with a “slow roll,” the idea is to take a leisurely bike ride through a city, stopping periodically to explore and enjoy the surroundings.
The Saturday, July 14 event will include stops at seven historical sites in Dassel, and will be led by resident Bill Ward. Sponsored by the Dassel Area Historical Society, there is no charge for the tour.
Similar events are planned for the second Saturday of each month through the fall Aug. 11, Sept. 8 and Oct. 13.
“We are making use of the historical knowledge that Bill Ward has about our town, and we want people to know and promote what a wonderful small town Dassel is and the history behind it,” noted Barb Kay, who is helping to organize the event along with Ward, Carolyn Holje, and Mechele Pitchford.
Participants will meet at the Dassel History Center the morning of Saturday, July 14. Take-off time is 9:30 a.m. Those who don’t have bicycles can participate by driving or walking.
The entire tour is expected to take about 1.5 hours. Stops at each historical site will last about 15 minutes, with storytelling and acting. The FungusAmungus Players of Dassel-Cokato will be assisting, some wearing costumes to add realistic flair.
Kay noted that the idea to have a slow roll in Dassel came from other larger cities that have done similar events. In 2015, for example, the Star Tribune reported on a slow roll in Minneapolis. Slow rolls have also taken place in other major cities throughout the US.
History roll sites July 14
These are the stops for the Saturday, July 14 Slow Roll through Dassel:
1. Man Who Moved a City Story of Noah Parks’ refusal to sell land to the railroad.
2. Saved By a Gentleman’s Agreement Story of Jasper Wright’s survival of the Civil War and early experience in Dassel.
3. Seven Sisters Story of the McKinney family traveler’s rest.
4. Bryant Visits Dassel Story of the death of Edward Gibney by W.J. Bryant’s train.
5. Did Bad Karma Come Calling? Story of William Cox’s adventures in the Black Hills and shooting himself in the alley.
6. Revival Leads to Explosion Story of the explosion of the Mission Church
7. Dreams to Memories Story of J.J. Sundquist’s adventures and photo studio.
History roll sites Aug. 11
The Saturday, Aug. 11 Slow Roll sites in Dassel include:
1. A Classic Pioneer Tale - Story of John Shields’ Indian war adventures.
2. The Cave Man of Collinwood - Abe Risner living in cave and gold mine.
3. Dassel’s First Accident Story of a Sunday afternoon buggy crash.
4. Early Town Photo Share a photo of the early town from this point of view.
5. Danger at the Depot Story of Wilhelm Seafelt’s wagon vs. train collision.
6. Bad Start for a New Church Story of a roofing accident of a new congregation.
7. Soldier Who Shouldn’t Be Here Story of Francis Boyer, who was left for dead on the Civil War battlefield.