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Memories of Mabel... What one loves in childhood stays in the heart forever


Mon, Jul 4th, 2016
Posted in Mabel Features

By Karen Lind Brazas

Channel Islands, California

I was only six-years-old when my family moved into a big old Victorian house in Mabel, Minn. They say a true Victorian home “evokes childhood memories of fantasy and make-believe.” Looking back now, 60 years later, I find myself immersed in “true to life memories” of my years in that dear old house. I didn’t consider it particularly special at the time. It was just an old house in a pretty little town, probably 40 or 50-years-old when my parents purchased it for $4,000 in 1953. Ancient elms bowed low along the street out front. A towering pine tree shaded our big side yard, and a narrow alley separated us from the school, an ideal location for a family with three young children.

Ours was the favorite play yard in the neighborhood as well as serving as a shortcut to the schoolyard. During the summer it was not unusual for the treehouse in the old pine to be tenanted by the neighbor boys while we girls set up a sheet tent over the clothesline as a playhouse. A “kittenball” game or croquet match were often in full swing. On autumn mornings it seemed half the children in town passed along the well worn path that cut through our yard. How many little faces peeked through the kitchen window as we ate our breakfast, urging us to hurry so we could walk to school together!

At some time in the past the house itself had undergone a “conversion.” Our family lived on the ground floor as the second story had been converted into an apartment that my father later rented out. Three well worn wooden steps led up to the original “piazza,” or front porch, where I tied my make believe ponies...Pronto, my “everyday” pony and White Flash, whom I rode only to church and Sunday school. I’d swing my skinny legs over the porch railing, bow my legs, and leap onto the appropriate pony, avoiding the aromatic lilac bushes that graced the porch front. Then with a “Hi Ho Silver” and a swat to my rear end, I’d gallop off to my friend Marcia Kingstad’s house six blocks away.

A wicker rocking chair rested on the porch near the front door. The only folks who used that door were the ladies of the Ladies Aid when it was mom’s turn to hostess, the doctor who still made house calls, or the minister paying us his yearly visit. The door opened up to a rather cold imposing front hallway or “foyer.” Its high ceiling and open staircase create .....
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Tragic day for Fillmore County and Mabel area

Tue, Sep 8th, 2015
Posted in Mabel Features

On the afternoon of Sept. 1, at approximately 3 p.m., the Fillmore County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Communications received a report of a head-on collision between a semi and a car. The accident location given was the 42,000 block of Highway 44, ..... 
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Steam Engine Days on track for a good time

Mon, Aug 31st, 2015
Posted in Mabel Features

The 63rd Annual Hesper-Mabel Steam Engine Days is geared up to take place September 12 and 13, 2015, with a large variety of events planned to please those of any age. The celebration, which includes the oldest steam engine show in Minn., is alwa ..... 
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Public invited to attend Mabel Area Community Foundation meeting

Mon, Aug 10th, 2015
Posted in Mabel Features

A follow-up meeting for the Mabel Area Community Foundation will be held on Tuesday, August 11 at 7 p.m. at the Mabel Community Center. The meeting will be facilitated by Alissa Blaha of the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation. Guest speakers w ..... 
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Brooklyn’s Helping Hands

Mon, May 25th, 2015
Posted in Mabel Features

Brooklyn Nelson, 4, of Mabel, pictured with her mother, Danielle Stortz, and a few board members from Lasting Imprint of Mankato, Minn. In its second year, “Brooklyn’s Helping Hands” raised $915 to assist local families affected by congenita ..... 
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Mabel girl crowned Miss Minnesota Amazing Preteen

Mon, May 25th, 2015
Posted in Mabel Features

Although 12 year old Faith Norby of Mabel, Minn., was diagnosed with Autism at the age of three years old, she has not let it define her or her abilities. Faith’s parents are Jason and Sunshine Norby who say that “even though her autism defini ..... 
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Mabel Area Food Shelf seeking volunteers and holding training

Mon, Mar 16th, 2015
Posted in Mabel Features

The Mabel Area Food Shelf is seeking volunteers to assist with various tasks. The food shelf is open Thursdays from 5:00 – 8:00 pm, with the exception of the third Thursday of each month. The food shelf is also open the third Saturday of each m ..... 
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South Dakota man survives plane crash in thick woods of Newburg Township

Mon, May 26th, 2014
Posted in Mabel Features

As farmers were working up the rich soil of Southeast Fillmore County on the afternoon of Saturday, May 17, an orange and white Preceptor Ultra Pup home-built single-passenger plane overhead seemed to be flying lower than usual. And, it was. Experienced military pilot, Carl Koch, age 65, had just refueled at an airport in Caledonia. According to Fillmore County Sheriff Daryl Jensen, the pilot had just purchased the plane in Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., and was planning on flying it back to his home in Mitchell, South Dakota. His plane fell short of the 453 mile journey, only making it approximately 145 miles to where he crash landed. Koch’s original plan was to refuel in Caledonia, Albert Lea, and Worthington along the way until he arrived at his destination in Mitchell, South Dakota. But, due to mechanical difficulties still under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), pilot Koch had lost power and had to navigate where to crash-land his newly purchased plane. With a dense volume of woods throughout Newburg Township, Koch and his plane crashed just on the fringe of some tillable farmland on a property owned by Weisel Creek, LLP. Following his crash landing with blunt head trauma, Koch found his way across a field and down a gravel road to the entrance of the property at 42489 County Road 18. From the site of the crash to County Road 18 is a little over one mile on foot. Once he arrived at the entrance of the property, he dialed 911, at approximately 2:43 p.m. on Saturday, May 17, to inform the Sheriff’s Department. Then he contacted his wife, who was traveling by vehicle following his flight path. Koch ended up with minor injuries and was transported from the scene to the hospital by a private party. The Mabel Ambulance also responded to the call. In the days that followed the plane crash, an FAA inspector investigated the damaged aircraft, upside down and mangled among the trees. According to Sheriff Jensen, FAA inspectors do not speak to the media. In the weeks to come, more information will be made available relating to the investigation of the crash. Sheriff Jensen said that the FAA inspector shared with him that investigating a crash in which the pilot survives is very helpful. With these types of crashes, the pilot often doesn’t survive to talk about what went wrong. Victor Spaulding, one of the owners of the property where the crash occurred, also arrived on the scene, asking Sheriff Jensen, “Is the pilot OK? How’s he doing?” Victor Spaulding, his son Alan Spaulding, and another partner named Mike Cashill are owners of the property under the entity known as Weisel Creek, LLP. All three owners live in the Twin Cities area. According to correspondence with reporter Mark Roper with television station KSFY in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, an ABC affiliate pilot Carl Koch is in good spirits back at his home in Mitchell, South Dakota. Koch, who is the city attorney for the City of Mitchell, credits his experience for surviving the plane crash. “I don’t believe that I would have a fear of flying again. The truth of the matter is, that when I was flying in the military, I experienced things, and when things did go wrong it scared me more than this and obviously I continued to fly,” Koch said, in an interview with KSFY news anchor Mark Roper. But, he did go on to say, “I’m not going to put my wife, whom I expect to be married to until I die, and family, through concern and worry. I’m not going to put them through that kind of concern and worry again.”

KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports ..... 
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Family fun during 2013 Steam Engine Days

Fri, Sep 13th, 2013
Posted in Mabel Features

By Barb Jeffers The 61st Hesper - Mabel Steam Engine Days took place September 6-8, 2013 in Mabel, Minn. with residents and visitors enjoying all of the activities. The highlight of the celebration is the steam engines and tractors although there ..... 
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