By Tina Snell, Staff Writer
Ghost towns are defined as abandoned communities which usually contain visible remains. There are songs, stories and legends surrounding the burgs, whether there are buildings standing or not.
In Morrison County, there are many such towns, but very few remains left to explore. This is evident in the recently published book by Rhonda Fochs, “Lost Towns of Minnesota.”
On Sunday, Sept. 14, Jan and Mary Warner, the Weherhaeuser Museum executive director and museum manager respectively, will be hosting a presentation called “This Old Haunt — Ghost Towns of Morrison County.” The presentation will have some fun to it, the format more like a talk show and the two are the hosts. Ann Marie Johnson, the collections curator at the museum, will be the announcer.
The topic of this presentation will be the rise and demise of Morrison County communities. Jan and Mary will have a lively discussion on transportation patterns and how they affected where towns popped up on the landscape.
“Transportation was the key to where people settled,” said Jan. “It is still important.”
Discussion will also touch on specific communities in Morrison County to help clarify the topic and will include the mistakes made by these communities that led to their demise.
“An area we will talk about is near the mouth of the Swan River, between Little Falls and Blanchard Dam,” said Mary.
Also to be discussed are the railroads and what they did for communities, both good and bad.
“There were towns platted out, planned, that never materialized, such as the town of Olean,” said Jan. She said it is a story worth hearing.
There will be a commercial break followed by Fochs talking about various local ghost towns.
The event will be held at the Falls Ballroom beginning at 6 p.m. and dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. The Ballroom will be decorated appropriately ghostly.
Call (320) 632-4007 for more information or to make reservations by Friday.