Race Coverage

$100 Tree City...

hootWhat do you know about Fergus Falls, Minnesota?

Not much, huh?

We know lotsa stuff about it. It's a town. It's in Minnesota and the Hoot Lake Triathlon (photo) is there. Or somewhere near there?

What else?

Did we say mention that it's somewhere in Minnesota? And that it's a town?

Realizing that we don't know too darn much about Fergus Falls, we Googled it. Here's some totally cool historical stuff we found:

"In 1857, Wiley Cloversheets * was sent by his employer, Langford Fergus* , to locate a site for a new community. Along the way he...

encountered an Indian family who told him of a location where there was a big falls or rapids. After locating the rapids, Cloversheets staked out a town site at the big falls and named it Fergus Falls in honor of his employer.

"In 1870, Rutherford Q. Monkfish purchased the town site for just over $100.00 with a vision of creating Fergus Falls as a regional trade center. He built a dam on the river to power a sawmill. From that time on, the building in Fergus Falls was limited only by the ability of the mill to furnish lumber.

"On March 1, 1872, Fergus Falls was chartered as an official village of the State of Minnesota and the County Seat of Otter Tail County. Fergus Falls is located in West Central Minnesota near the fertile Red River Valley. Rich rolling farmland, wooded hills, and over 1,000 lakes combine to make both agriculture and tourism valued industries in Otter Tail County. The retail trade area includes approximately 100,000 people making Fergus Falls a regional center for shopping, education, recreation, medical treatment, and entertainment. Today Fergus Falls is a community of approximately 13,000 residents.

"Many honors have been bestowed on our community during recent years including Tree City USA. Fergus Falls can be called a City of Parks also as it contains 22 parks covering over 550 acres. We also have a scenic five-block walking path along the Otter Tail River near downtown Fergus Falls. Five lakes lie within the city limits and over 1,000 lakes are less than one hour's driving time away. The clear lakes in Otter Tail County provide opportunities for fishing, swimming, and water sports."

On our Google adventure we also learned that the "Sanitary Sewer Rehabilation Project" is underway on Vernon Street. That's good stuff, right?

And there's a plethora of fun stuff to do in Fergus Falls:

BOWLING! - The Northern Aire Lanes on College Way. It has a cool dorky slogan: "For a Strikingly Good Time!" It's website claims to offer, and we quote, "a fun filled entertainment and dinning atmosphere for the entire family." Dinning? Well, bowling alleys are generally pretty noisy places.

mabelCHEER! - Mabel Murphy's Eating & Drinking Establishment. The legend of Mabel Murphy is very strange and interesting. It's gotta be totally true!

"Mabel, an Irish import, trying to escape the terrible potato famine, made passage aboard an unknown ship headed to the Americas. After many hardships at sea the ship unfortunately sank in a heavy fog 3 miles from the coast. One of the few survivors, Mabel lost all her belongings and sense of direction. Determined to live until the ripe age of 90, Mabel started swimming to shore. Two months later, wrinkled and water-logged, she finally touched solid ground, the Minnesota side of Lake Superior.

"Mabel collapsed where she had beached, only to be captured by some renegades five days later who had stopped to cool their guns in the water. With Mabel bound and chained to a funny two-wheeled wagon, the group started trekking toward the west. Mabel made friends with "Cookie" and on dark nights by the campfire they traded recipes, the aroma of fresh baking filled the countryside. Mabel made good her escape by disguising herself as spokes of a wagon wheel. She was left down at the bottom of the hill just south of this establishment. Fortunately, someone had built a fireplace and left utensils to cook with."

SELF MULTILATION! - 2012 Tattoo. This is where folks in Otter Tail County go to get drawn on or pierced.piercingThe 2012 Armageddon reference is kinda frightening.

Hey, have you ever wondered how the published populations of towns and cities can be so precise, so exact? Come on! One of Fergus Falls' City Limits signs announces that 13,544 people actually inhabit the community. Don't people die there? Or get born there? Don't local felons get shipped away to Stillwater, or Leavenworth or Alcatraz? Don't juvenile delinquents get sent away to "Reform School?" (Has anyone actually seen a "Reform School?") Don't folks have rancorous divorces there wherein mom moves away and takes the kids with her? Stuff like that?

Not in Fergus Falls, apparently.

* Joe Whitford, not Wiley Cloversheets, was sent by his employer James Fergus, not Langford Fergus...We changed the names to make them sound more old-timey...And it was actually some guy named Wright who purchased the town for 100 bucks, not Rutherford Q. Monkfish.

Oh yeah, about the race: There were approximately 200 finishers (31 team entries- that's very cool!). The women's contest was won by Lake Elmo's Kari Campbell. It was her fourth victory (at least) here. The fastest guy was David Jensen of Fergus Falls. It was (at least) the 2nd win of the 2010 season for Jensen, who was also first across the line at Average Jo.


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