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Living history: Fire destroys barn, 1140 hay bales

15 years ago

Excerpts from the Aug. 15, 2002 Pioneer Journal

• Relay for life raises $60,000

More than 5,000 luminaries were lined along the path on Friday to celebrate survivors and those who lost their battles with cancer at Sunnybrook Park in Wadena.

Despite a rainey, early end to this year's annual Relay For Life, the effort netted $60, 047.93 with 19 teams participating in gathering donations.

Proceeds go to the American Cancer Society.

There were five new teams contributing this year and some teams have already started earning for next year's event. Teams raise money through other means and when it gets close to relay time, luminaries are sold for $5 apiece. The names of survivors and those who have died along with the person who bought that luminary. Then all are lit while the teams walk all night along the path.

This year, after the opening ceremony, survivor lap and team introduction, the skies pour rain, turning the luminaries into soggy paper bags, dampening the mood and shortening the evening for many.

However, after the rain stopped, many people started to light the candles, some of which burned all night long. Some teams stayed while others went home for the night. This was the first time that the Relay For Life has been shortened due to rain in the nine years it has been happening in Wadena.

40 years ago

Excerpts from the Aug. 17, 1977 Pioneer Journal

• Fire destroys barn, 1140 hay bales

Fire of undetermined origin destroyed a 28 by 48 foot barn on the Roger Nelson farm four miles northeast of Wadena Thursday night, according to the local fire department.

Nelson said that 1,140 straw bales were also destroyed by the blaze. A tractor was also damaged extensively by the fire.

The fire, reported by a neighbor of Nelson's, occurred at about 8:20 p.m., a fire official said. The roof of the structure had fallen in when firemen arrived.

There were no personal injuries reported.

80 years ago

Excerpts from the Aug. 19, 1937 Pioneer Journal

• Stone man dies in car crash

The body of Roy Bard, ossified man, who died from injuries received in an accident near Milaca last Monday, was sent to the home of his mother in Los Angeles, Calif. Bard was to have appeared in one of the sideshows at the showing of the monster whale which was in Wadena Saturday.

Traveling in a trailer with his nurses, Bard received a cut over his left eye, three broken ribs and internal injuries when the conveyance ran into a ditch on the way to Milaca.

He was taken to a hospital in Brainerd but insisted he was not injured seriously and continued his trip to Milaca to join a carnival.

Bard, 49, had complete use of his internal organs, but externally he was completely ossified. His condition was first noticed when he was working as a telephone lineman when his legs became hardened.

• Man pushed off fast train

Elmer Score, 31-year-old transient of Washburn, Wis., is in Wesley hospital for treatment of injuries he suffered when he was pushed from the top of a boxcar passing through Wadena Tuesday night.

Score was picked up by local watchmen and first lodged in the jail. He was taken to Wesley hospital the next morning. He said he was half asleep when he felt his pockets being rifled by a sleeping companion and before he became fully awake he was pushed off the top of the car, whether intentionally or by accident, he did not know.