Based on the area’s past experiences with holiday lights displays, there are at least two reasons the Kiwanis club’s efforts to create a huge tourist draw in Sibley Park will succeed: the city has a successful history with such events and they are creating a wide base of support that the other efforts lacked.
It has been awhile since anyone made a living by working the Minnesota River. Back in 1901, some enterprising young men went pearl hunting. This was one of the chief industries along the Minnesota River from the mouth of the Blue Earth River to the west. By dragging the bottom of the stream, a large number of clams were dredged up and from some a large, well-shaped pearl was extracted. It took a lot of work, but for a time pearl hunting was a livelihood for some people.
The trail of events which forms the history of a community often takes some sharp curves. The factors which influence the young, growing community lead to some unpredictable outcome. In June of 1854 two unrelated men, William R. Robinson and Lucius O. Hunt, both from New York State, ended their mutual quests for desirable government lands upon which to locate with their families. They beheld for the first time the three beautiful lakes, Loon, Crystal and Lily, all three connected and beautifully edged with fine groves of oak trees inside a rich prairie.
When the summer heat reaches nearer the triple digits then it is county fair time in Minnesota. The smell of fair food flows through the air and the sound of animals and laughter compete to be the loudest sounds at the fair. The Blue Earth County fair has been creating good times for more than a century and a half. In fact Blue Earth County is home to one of the oldest fairs in Minnesota starting back in 1859. And even though the fair has been in Garden City all those years except for 2 fairs there are some notable changes between the fair of the past and the fair of today.
Early in the morning of July 4, 1909, around 12:30 a.m., the city of Mankato was struck by such a forceful explosion that alarmed residents thought they’d been hit by an earthquake. Homes and stores shook on their foundations, windows and glass lights were shattered.
Baseball has changed since 1895 and so have the players. Uniforms of today wouldn’t be recognizable then. By 1895 the game was beginning to hit its stride. Men were men, women weren’t even allowed on the diamond, but pitchers did aim for the batter’s head.
Baseball in the Mankato area has remained a popular sport since the late 19th century. Prior to the 1880’s, baseball as we know it was quite a different sport. Back then, baseball was a much more brutal sport. Only the first baseman was permitted to wear a small glove over his palm. According to one newspaper at the time, catchers and outfielders were considered “sissies” if they so much as hinted that they wanted to wear a glove or a mask. It did not help that those players were using pretty much the exact same ball used in contemporary baseball.