“Time marches on,” was the first thing that came to mind when I found out that Dave Phillips had sold Bluff Country Newspapers to Jason Sethre. Thinking about the eight community newspapers that had served Harmony, Lanesboro, Preston, Mabel, Spring Valley, Chatfield, Rushford and Spring Grove for all those years now just a distant memory, really pulled on my heartstrings.
In 1981 when I moved to Fillmore County and bought the Harmony and Lanesboro papers there was a weekly paper serving each of the eight communities I just mentioned. And each one of those communities had their own busy, viable business district. Yes, that was almost 40 years ago and time does march on, more rapidly the older one becomes.
Having grown up in a newspaper family (both my father and grandfather were newspaper publishers) it is difficult for me to witness the demise of weekly subscription community newspapers. This phenomena isn’t something that is just taking place here in Southeast Minnesota. Small-town newspapers all over the U.S. are closing their doors. I guess it could be likened to the end of horse carriage makers when Henry Ford’s horseless carriage took America by storm. I understand why this regrettable trend continues, but it is still hard to swallow.
So now there is just one paper, the Journal, taking the place of those weekly publications.
I’d like to wish Jason and his staff the best of luck taking on this challenging endeavor. And I’d like to encourage everyone to support what Jason and company are trying to do. Without the Journal, folks in this part of the state would be without any type of local paper. And that wouldn’t be good for anyone.