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Mayor’s Historic St. Cloud Trolley Tours Are Back [VIDEO, AUDIO]

St. Cloud is a city steeped in history, and passengers on Mayor Dave Kleis' Trolley Tour got an in-depth lesson on Tuesday morning.

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Abby Faulkner
Abby Faulkner
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A Century Later, Clearwater Veteran Given Headstone [AUDIO]

A Civil War Soldier hailing from central Minnesota has finally been honored with a headstone on his grave site.

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Abby Faulkner
Abby Faulkner
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Be Charles Lindbergh for a day [VIDEO]

Most of us will never fly a plane across the Atlantic Ocean - but now, you can IMAGINE TO at the Charles A Lindbergh State Historical Site in Little Falls.

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Easter bunny
Getty Images
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Here is a Hare-Raising Story!

The one and only Gary Crawford at the USDA takes a unique look at the Easter Bunny.

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Abby Faulkner
Abby Faulkner
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New Stearns History Museum Exhibit Honors A Century of Girl Scouts [AUDIO]

It's been a century since the Girl Scouts of America were founded, and the Stearns History Museum is recognizing this milestone with a new exhibit.

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Kayana Szymczak/Getty Images
Kayana Szymczak/Getty Images
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20 Years Ago Today: The Halloween Blizzard of 1991

Last week, Jim Maurice and I wrote up a couple of stories about that storm and we asked for your comments. Here are some funny memories and harrowing stories as we remember The Halloween Blizzard of 1991. 

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Scott Olson/Getty Images
Scott Olson/Getty Images
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Remembering the Halloween Blizzard of 1991

It has been 20 years since the Halloween Blizzard of 1991 when the Upper Midwest saw a record breaking snowfall. And that’s hard to do up here. We’re taking a look back at the wind up, the snow storm and the aftermath. 

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Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons
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The History Behind Labor Day

What’s not to love about Labor Day? A long weekend, BBQs and parades — really, no responsibilities except for having a great time and toasting the end of summer. But what exactly does Labor Day celebrate?

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Category: history, Sports
neenah
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Ghost Towns: Stearns County Towns that Disappeared from the Map — Our Top Five

So a few weeks back, we explored a smattering of supernatural legends from St. Cloud State University. This time around, I wanted to take a different approach to the concept of haunted spaces, and turn focus to a bunch of real "ghosts" we unknowingly encounter every day - the dissolved, forgotten towns of central Minnesota.

Many of us probably get the same old timey, western-style mental image when we hear the phrase “ghost town” – sepia-toned montages of overgrown, decrepit buildings with punched out floors and collapsed roofs, flanked by cacti and maybe a tumbleweed or two. I’m sure those Hollywood-style colonies are out there somewhere – but really, you won’t find them here in central Minnesota. As a matter of fact, most of the structures in the towns on this map were extinct before the turn of the century.

Like a good ghost story, the forgotten towns of central Minnesota are full of mystery. It took this reporter a few hours of digging around in the spectacularly organized archives of the Stearns History Museum to find the essential maps, facts, dates and photos to prove these places really existed. Now, while I’m crazy about history, research and heavy-duty air conditioning on 90-degree days, I was slightly discouraged when I realized that the vast majority of these towns have one thing in common – hardly ANY documentation exists to describe exactly where they were, what they looked like or who lived there. 

Another mystery I quickly uncovered - there's no good reason some of these towns flourished (if only for a while) and others failed almost immediately. These towns (pictured on the above map) were surveyed and settled by enterprising immigrants during the 1850s and 60s, itching to develop profitable commercial trade centers. Some were temporary outposts  - they drifted into disrepair and vanished. Others were platted, named and never saw so much as a single building. A handful served as the foundations for towns we know and live in today.  Take a close look at the map we've created.

The latter sums up the towns that made this list. May I present for your consideration - and in no particular order - 5 central Minnesota ghost towns that captured and haunted my imagination.


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German American Bank
Stearns History Bank
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Looking Back: D.B. Searle’s St. Cloud Legacy [PHOTOS]

It's been many things over the years, but the stately Searle Building on St. Cloud's historic 5th Avenue remains open and is as full of life today as it was in the early 20th century. Dick Nelson talks with D.B. Searle's manager Matt Novak about the building over the years and the business in it today.

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Category: history, Looking Back Tags:

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