10 Years Ago, 2009
Zion Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, will be looking back on its rich history in Pine City this week, as its congregation celebrates 125 years since its founding in 1884. Marianne Klande has belonged to the church since her family first came to Minnesota from Germany in 1925. One of her early memories is of her Sunday School teacher, Margaret Peterson, and overall Zion Lutheran “has been a big part of my life,” she said. In a recent church bulletin, Pastor Glen Kleppe called the 125th anniversary of Zion, “quite an accomplishment,” but noted that the praise should go to the pioneers who organized the congregation in 1884, those who built the two churches, and all those who supported the church through hard times.”
A world of new opportunities for self-expression, creation and collaboration has opened up to Pine City residents. Pine Center for the Arts (PCA), the non-profit regional arts center is now open on Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. Hours will expand in mid-September when PCA members begin to host a wide variety of classes and special events. PCA Board Member Kris Seuntjens has a simple reaction to the opening of the center and the start of classes. “I’m ecstatic,” she said. “We have so many creative people in this community, and we have so much to give each other.”
Sauser’s Hardware will celebrate 100 years of business in Pine City on Aug. 14. “When I was a little kid I always thought, ‘Will we see 100 years?’” said Mike Sauser, proprietor of Sauser’s Hardware. “Our sixtieth and seventieth birthdays went by. Now that we’re here, it’s kind of nice, because we can advertise that we’ve been serving Pine City for more than 100 years. That’s rare.” He also notes that his old-style hardware store has come back into fashion. “A few years ago, a guy came in here and told me I’d better make this place look like Target, or I’d go out of business,” Sauser explained. “A couple years later he came back and said, ‘I’m glad you didn’t listen to me!’”
25 Years Ago, 1994
Fall sports started Monday with the Pine City varsity and junior varsity tennis teams playing an exhibition match against an Austin team. Austin is touring the state and planned the stop in Pine City. While no official scores were kept, the Dragons won most of the matches. We do know that Heather Cummings and Renee Henschel won 6-1 in their first match of the season.
More people than ever before attended the 102nd Pine County Fair judging by crowds at the Friday and Saturday night demolition derbies. Fair board members estimate that 3,500 people watched the derby Friday night and 4,000 on Saturday night. Midway crowds both nights were estimated to be between 3,000-4,000 people. On Sunday night, over 1,000 people watched the tractor pull. Over 130 units marched in the Pine City Chamber of Commerce-sponsored parade on Saturday night, and spectators numbered in the thousands.
The Legion baseball team celebrated the end of the season with an awards banquet last Thursday. Seniors on the team were Matt Sias, Jacob Peterson, Ryan Smith, Mac Christensen and Jon Madison. Ryan Smith and Joe Rysdam shared the MVP honor.
50 Years Ago, 1969
During the past spring and summer months, several school districts in the area have decided to close and consolidate with surrounding independent school districts. Only four small ungraded elementary school districts will remain open in Pine County this coming school year. They are: District 1562, Hinckley; District 1573, Pine City; District 1565, Sturgeon Lake; District 574, Kerrick.
About 4 a.m. on Tuesday morning, Aug. 19, Pine City Police Chief Norman Briesemeister noticed what he said looked like a “flying yardlight” in the sky southwest of Pine City. He followed the light for over an hour and last spotted it about 5:20 a.m. flying northwest from Pine City. Other police personnel in Cambridge, Milaca and Mora also reported seeing the bright object during the night and a truck driver near Brainerd stated that he was forced to stop his truck as the light was so bright he couldn’t see the road.
75 Years Ago, 1944
The wild rice crop for 1944 will be larger than that of last year, but will be considerably less than that of years of bumper crops. In Pine County, Snake River, from Pine City to west boundary of Pine County, including outlets of Cross and Pokegama lakes is open, with a line of 10 boats allowed.
100 Years Ago, 1919
Following the precedent set by other posts of the American Legion in naming the local organizations in honor of one of the first men in the community to lose his life in the service of his country, the local body will be known as the “Leon Heath Post No. 1” of the American Legion. Leon Heath, who was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Sam Heath residing at Beroun, enlisted in the U.S. Navy, Nov. 20, 1917. His ship was torpedoed by a German submarine, thirty-six lives were lost.
125 Years Ago, 1894
Nine settlers have bought lands down on the Barrens and will come at once from their former homes at Amador, Chisago County, and open up their farms.
Mrs. M.L. O’Brien has purchased the Warner lost on the “point” and will no doubt erect a fine dwelling thereon before snow flies.
L.H. McKusick, of Pine City, was in town for a few days on legal business connected with quite a number who have been cutting hay on land that did not belong to them. A lawsuit is on the tapis, it seems that some poor people cut the hay and stack it, and some of our town people go and draw it away. Time will tell if they have a right to it or not.