Friday, May 6, 2016

Country School #218

This documentation tells us all about district #218 in Effington Township, Ottertail County. In this there will be interviews, teaching records, maps and historical happenings.  This was written from a local history student, Amber McManigle, taught by Kelly Mesker In January 14, 2000. Thanks to her great work we have all of this great information at our fingertips. 

Parkers Prairie Explosion

The images above show where the explosion happened in town and the buildings affected by the explosion. Click on it to enlarge.


On April 2nd, 1995, Parkers Prairie had its infamous explosion. An inebriated teenager was opening the lines on propane tanks around town. He opened four of the valves in the back of the fire hall. The propane tanks were used for the Smelt Fry. The explosion had occurred when the furnace turned on early Sunday morning. There were editorial reports saying that the lines might not have been capped the night before. If they were capped, the explosion might not have happened. Of course, if the tanks were not tampered with, there would have been no explosion.

A teenager was convicted. He was kept in custody in fear that he would run away because he had run away twice from his parents that year. As for the town’s recovery, it took about a year to repair all the buildings that were damaged. Governor Arne Carlson Representative Collin Peterson had visited the town to asses the damages. The town had received a million dollar donation from the state to repair buildings and build a new city hall, fire hall, and to replace the fire trucks. While this was a difficult time for all involved, the town came through the incident stronger.

Creamery Part Two


Shown here is a record of stock from the Parkers Prairie creamery.  The original price of the stock was $5.00 per share in the 1930’s. The first stockholders were A.B. Hazen and Geo. Mccombs. The owner and founder of the creamery was John Hawkinson. The first creamery was erected on Highway 29 Where Frank Bettin’s house now stands. It ended up going bankrupt after about 3 years of operation. In 1907 farmers pushed to have another creamery and eventually did buying the building for $600. It continued business until Land O’ Lakes bought the building in 1970 and the building was abandoned in 1971. This signified the end of Parkers Prairie Creamery.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Creamery Records



Our assignment consisted of Mr. Dave O’Brien giving us a box of dusty paperwork and we had to go through them all. The box was labeled Creamery Records and we found mostly tax records and building records from the early 1900s. Among those records we found these three instruments.
The object on the right is a “Paley Test Bottle”. This instrument was used to measure fat in milk and cream. This was called the “Babcock Method” of measuring. In the middle of the image there is the instructions for use of the Paley Test Bottle. On the top of the image is a Butter Color Indicator used to tell the correct color of butter. If it was the correct color that meant it was made correctly.The other glass instrument was a ladle to pour the milk and cream into the “Paley Test Bottle.”