History of South Haven
Presentation to the Annandale History Club
October 6, 2006
Chris and Jerry Jeppesen owned Jeppesen's Store in South Haven 1985-1994, although Chris had worked there since 1970. The Fairway Foods and general store was owned from 1937 to 1985 by Jerry's father, Bob Jeppesen (1913-2007). Jeppesen's Store (the former Marquardt's Store),was owned by Bob Jeppesen's father, L. P. Jeppesen, from 1934 to 1937. Chris Jeppesen and Shirley Karie were co-chairpersons for the South Haven centennial celebration held June 6-12, 1988.
South Haven, located just 60 miles west of
South Haven owes its existence to a change of plans made by the
Minneapolis/Pacific Railway, which became Soo Line in 1888. Soo
Line is short for
Fair Haven was founded in 1856, and by 1886 Fair Haven was an
important and well-established town. It
was expected that the railroad would go through Fair Haven. However,
it is said that the people of Fair Haven didn't encourage
the railroad, because they were confident they would be in the railroad's
"J. A. Wendell of
R. M. VanDervort, a Fair Haven resident, helped guide the surveyors
along a line which was most desirable for the best interests of the
railroad, and in 1886 the tracks were built one and one-half miles south
of Fair Haven. There
were only five existing towns or villages along the projected railway
According to the Soo Line Historical and Technical Society, "The
first passenger trains were inaugurated on December 9, 1886, running
The first store was built in South Haven in 1888 by A. G. Lano and James Monitor. South Haven's second business enterprise was a general store owned by Monitor and Perry, followed by a saloon, hardware store, meat market, etc. The first postmaster was A. G. Lano.
The first officers of South Haven at the time of incorporation in 1902 were R. A. Marquardt, president; C. M. King, recorder; F. G. Kersten, F. J. Haskell, John Mauer, trustees; J. N. Backlun, treasurer; J. G. T. Rudolph, assessor; J. N. Backlun, constable.
In 1907, a grade was established and a cement walk was laid on both
1910 South Haven Fire (condensed from a story in the April 14, 1910, Annandale Advocate) -- "At about 4 a.m. Monday morning, April 11, 1910, fire was discovered in the hardware store of the Central Lumber Company and soon spread to Kurtzenacker's store, the State Bank building, Kite's saloon, the post office building, Gust Werner's jewelry store, the hotel owned by John Tufts and run by Frank Cleveland, G. Strecker's meat market, B. Blackermer's confectionery and the barber shop owned by Alison Noyes and occupied by Ed Wiggend. Eleven businesses were destroyed. A couple of barns and several ice houses and store rooms were also destroyed by the flames. The main part of the town was totally destroyed and the loss will run into many thousands of dollars. Most of the firms announced their intention of starting in business again as soon as arrangements can be made.
"As to the origin of the fire, the people of South Haven are convinced that it is the work of someone with grievance toward the town who deliberately used this method of 'getting even' for some fancied wrong. There seems small doubt but that the fire was purposely set. Means of fighting the fire was practically confined to a bucket brigade."
By fall, the burned district was rebuilt. The
new buildings consisted of solid brick block facing east on
In April 1911 the Council offered a $200 reward for arrest of the person who set several fires in the Village. The fire department was given two arctic coats, four axes, six fire buckets and four lanterns for their use.
1911 Fire - On April 11, 1911, at almost the same hour that the 1910 fire started, a fire destroyed most of the businesses that escaped the first fire. The lumber yard and machine sheds of the Central Lumber Company, store building owned by George Kites and stock of merchandise owned by A. T. and C. V. Forsberg were totally destroyed. The Central Lumber Company established a yard in a new location completely surrounded by a steel enclosure. The Forsbergs built a new brick building and stocked it with a complete line of general merchandise.
South Haven has had several other fires in its first 100 years of existence. In 1891, there was a fire at the residence of A. G. Lano, a pioneer businessman. Lano's second story residence, the store below and all its merchandise, and the post office burned. In 1906 the railroad depot burned. Ten days before the first big South Haven fire in 1910, the Kurtzenacker home burned. The last big South Haven fire occurred in the1932, when the Town Hall caught fire.
Train Depot -
Steam engines required coal and water every fifty miles. South
Haven was the first refueling station out of
AA, 12-8-1904 --
"The stopping of all trains here will make it necessary to employ
a Marshal. The
number of hoboes and bums arriving is quite extensive and they must be
looked after, and systematically. The
village council is giving the matter attention." AA,
2-9-1905 - 'The
young men of South Haven have fitted up a room in the depot and have
started a gymnasium." AA,
"An engine "jumped
the track" on
Monday and tied up several trains here for many hours. Business
was good during the time and eatables scarce when the trains left." AA,
"Agent Bennett has a new phonograph. It
plays so sweet that the flowers in his
AA, 9-6-1906 -- "As we go to press we learn that the depot at South Haven has been destroyed by fire. It is an old and inadequate structure and was built when the road was put through. The details are not forthcoming and we will try and give them next week." AA 9-13-1906 - "Agent Bennett is holding forth in a box car depot." AA-10-11-1906 -- "Agent Bennett has gone into the new depot." AA 10-11-1906 -- "A dance at the new depot was well attended and a good time is reported by all." The new South Haven depot was one of the finest stations on the railroad line.
AA 3-5-1914 --
"The surveyors are surveying the route of the Luce Line west of
the Corners (
AA, 7-24-1924 -- "Mr. Ness has resigned his position at the depot and has left for N. Dak. A. B. Erickson has taken his place."
According to the Soo Line Historical and Technical Society, "The
last steam powered train probably operated through South Haven sometime
during 1954. By
February 1955, the Soo Line Railroad was the first major line west of
The following information regarding station agents is from the Soo Line
Historical and Technical Society. "The
South Haven depot was opened for service in late 1886 or early 1887 and
was closed in 1953. Depot
agent S. J. Stearns was listed in records of 1887 and 1889. In
1903 A. E. Bennett was agent-operator. In
1903 a coaling station was established, which meant all trains stopped
for coal and water. A
night operator, George Lavigne, was also assigned at this time. Clarence
Peterson was a night operator 1905-06. Oscar Hendricks was
Soo Line Agent at South Haven from 1920 until his retirement in 1947. In
1927 Oscar Hendricks was agent-operator, Adolph Schlink was 2ndoperator,
and Anton Kusy was 3rd operator. The
depot was open 24 hours a day. Adolph
Schlink took over as agent-operator from 1947 until early 1953. Some
of the other night operators were Arthur C. Davidson, Dale Stenseth,
Clarence Coder, and Dale Bourne. Unfortunately,
many more operators worked at South Haven, but records do not exist. Frank
A. Swanson was agent-operator for a few months of 1953 when the depot
was closed. Station
accounts were then handled by the agent at either
Oscar Hendricks was part of Division 119, Order of Railroad Telegraphers, along with Bill Brown and Adolph Schlink.
Otto Maurer, 78, was killed when his car collided with a westbound train in November 1967, at the R.R. crossing on main street. The Soo Line decided to remove the depot shortly afterwards.
AA, 6-13-1968 - "Old
landmark in South Haven will disappear from scene -- The Soo Line Depot
at South Haven is soon to disappear from the landscape in that village. The
building was sold by the railway to Pat Nelson of
"The two-story depot building erected in 1906 had living quarters on the second floor. It is understood that a small frame shack was used for the first depot. South Haven was a water and coal station for the Soo Line Railway. Many local folks recall going to South Haven to 'catch the morning flyer into the city' as it had to stop there for coal and water.
"When asked if he had discovered anything unusual, such as old newspapers or other items in the building, Mr. Nelson said so far all he had found was a couple of coins under the floor. Nelson plans to use some of the lumber to build a cottage."
The depot was once the center of activity in every town as the train arrival brought mail, news, goods, and friends and family to visit. The Soo Line railroad stations were built from two or three standard designs, although more elaborate structures would be built in important centers. Depot paint colors were also standardized. The Soo Line used ocher with reddish brown.
AA, 10-5-1983 -- "Reliving the old railroad days - Walter Swanson was coal heaver at the South Haven depot from 1925-1935. He worked 12 hours a day, 7 days a week for 10 straight years. He worked the 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift all by himself and usually had about 10 trains to service. The actual work of filling the trains with coal and water didn't take much time, but he had to make sure enough coal was available and readily accessible. The task became harder in winter when coal froze and he had to pick the coal for hours to loosen it. All his efforts were worth $42.50 a month." Swanson later got a job in Shoreham at the big Soo Line yards and worked for the railroad until he was 73 years old."
Resorts - The
popularity of summer resorts on Lake Sylvia and Lake Augusta attracted
people from the Twin
AA, 3-8-1894 --
D.. N. Bryant, Station Agent, South Haven,
AA 3-22-1906 -- Even
at this early date Capt. Hatch and A. E. Bennett are speculating on the
number of resorters they will have this season and how many "best
fishing holes" they
must find to supply the demand. Sylvia
AA 9-13-1945 -- Mabel
Seeley, the noted author of mystery stories, is vacationing at
Wulleiinda Lodge. Her
written at the lodge, and much of the story is of the
Grain Elevator (c.1900-1933) -- Soo Line Historical and Technical Society -- "Late in 1887, S. J. Stearns was the M & P depot agent and, as was the case at smaller stations, he doubled as the 'elevator' agent at the railroad's grain warehouse. The elevators back in this era were generally open for business starting in mid-August and into January or February when the grain handling business was almost non-existent." A few years later the grain handling facilities were leased to Atlantic Elevator Company."
Northwest Business Directory Dec. 1909 -- "South Haven is so situated that its interests can tap a large portion of the grain territory and obtain for its patrons the best prevailing prices for their grain. For this reason the Osborne-McMillan Co., established an elevator here eight years ago with a capacity of 15,000 bushels." AA, 8-2-1900 -- "A Peculiar Case -The elevator at South Haven is a hoodoo to every man who runs it. No man has yet come out whole who had charge of it, and it is evident that there is something wrong with the elevator or with Osborne & McMillan. Every year there is a shortage in the grain, and every year some employee, at $40 per month, must make alleged losses good."
Buffalo Journal, June 6, 1929 -- "Osborne-McMillan Elev.-- The modern elevator has a storage capacity of 26,000 bushels, with every facility for quick handling. In connection there is a model custom grinding mill, with a daily run of 400 one hundred pound sacks all kinds of mill feeds being ground at a nominal charge. The elevator can also handle all kinds of high grade mill feeds for horses, cattle, sheep, hogs and poultry, and offers lowest prices on the famed "Occident" flour, in retail or wholesale lots, as desired. In their sheds they also carry best 'run of the mine' hard and soft coal, and briquettes at lowest prevailing prices. N. A. Brown assumed management here last August, coming here from Kimball where he had been located for six years. He has the confidence of all with whom he has dealings."
AA, 11- 9-1933 --
"The auditor for Osborne-McMillan Elevator Co., has been spending
a few days here attending to business matters relative to the closing of
the company's elevator at South Haven. Due
to the small amount of business, the company closed the South Haven
grain and coal is being moved to the
AA, 9-14-1938 --
"O & M Elevator Razed -- The
O & M grain elevator here has been dismantled. The
grain was sent to
Feed Mills -- AA, 11-15-1945 -- "Earl R. Maurer has opened a feed store in the building east of the South Haven hotel. He is carrying a full line of feeds and will be prepared for feed grinding within a short time." Maurer's feed mill was located in the former Methodist Free Church, which was moved to the site. The building burned down in 1947.
South Haven Commercial Club -- Established in 1911, this organization accomplished a great deal for the advancement of the village. The first officers were F. G. Kersten, president; G. Strecker, vice president; Dr. A. A. Rankin, secretary; George Kites, treasurer. There were 45 businesses listed in the 1915 South Haven business directory.
In May 1937 the Tri-County Messenger announced the following: "The South Haven Commercial Club informs us that they will have their first free movie on Wednesday evening, May 12th." The movies included favorites such as Hopalong Cassidy, Gene Autry and Laurel and Hardy. Advertisements for local businesses were shown along with the movies. Everard Flygare and Bob Jeppesen were two of the people who ran the projector. Families brought blankets to sit on while watching the movies. The Wednesday free movies, which were shown in the park next to the depot, continued into the 1950s. Stores were open late on Wednesday movie nights and also on Saturday nights.
1936 newspaper advertisement: "Come
to South Haven - The resort center of the
The South Haven businessmen started the first annual fish fry in 1938. The South Haven Commercial Club also sponsored Sauerkraut Days in the 1930s (see Celebrations below).
SOUTH HAVEN BUSINESSES
There have been many businesses in South Haven. Just a few of them are mentioned here. Some of the South Haven businesses advertised in a 1934 newspaper were Flygare Cash Store (dry goods, shoes, general merchandise, food and bakery goods); Jeppesen's Fairway Foods (food and general merchandise); J. G. Lies (meats and groceries); Beyer's Beer Parlor; a billiard room in connection with Beyer's Barber Shop); Christensen Barber Shop (haircuts 25 cents); Castles Cafe; Willett Service Station (later owned by Uekers); Elmer Lundeen Poultry (in conjunction with his shoe repair shop); South Haven Garage, W. H. Wolff, proprietor.; Clock and Watch Repair, Gust Werner.
Early Hotels -- AA
"C. M. Kings hotel, Lake Sylvia House at South Haven, was burned
down Tuesday night." AA
"F. S. Holmes is putting on an addition to his hotel 16x40. Bert
Blackmer and family have moved out of the F. M. parsonage and are
stopping at the hotel at present. There
is need for more dwellings in South Haven." N.W.
Business Director, Dec. 1909 - "Lake
Sylvia House -- One
of the modern hotels of
Gust Werner Jewelery Store (1908-1927) -- Gust Werner opened his jewelry store and watch repairing business in December 1908. Werner owned a jewelry store and later did watch and clock repair out of his home. On November 11, 1927, there was an ad in the Annandale Advocate for a closeout sale at Gust Werner's jewelry, dry goods and grocery store.
Garages - The
South Haven Garage owned by Wolff was located at the southeast corner of
Highway 55 and Oak (main street). The
building, covered in pressed tin, is still standing. A
video store was the latest occupant. AA 5-20-1937 -- The
Strecker Motor Sales at South Haven will have a gala opening on May 22,
located just south of the village hall. The
business will handle a full line of
Buffalo Journal, June 6, 1929 -- "South Haven Garage -- South Haven has splendid auto and garage service. For nearly ten years W. F. Wolf has operated the South Haven garage to the satisfaction of scores of car owners, including tourist travelers and the many who resort to this popular summer resort section. There is ample storage for about 40 cars. In the rear is the repair and machine shop equipped to do all kinds of light and heavy repairs and overhauling any make of car, truck or tractor. Work is completed in a workmanship manner and at the right price. Acetylene welding and battery work is a specialty. In the sales room is handled a complete line of accessories, the Firestone and Fiske tires, the famed Grant batteries, etc. Havoline and Marland oils and lubricants are dispensed at the gas tanks."
Central Lumber Company (1899-1940) -
The Central Lumber Company, a
Buffalo Journal, June 29, 1929 -- "They carry large stocks of lumber for all purposes, lath and shingles, doors, windows and sash, screening for doors and windows, mouldings of all kinds, newels and posts, flooring and ceiling -- briefly any description of wood work required. In addition, they handle all kinds of mason's supplies, bricks, tile, lime, hair and high grade cements, etc.
"In their big store on the corner, you will find one of the most complete lines of hardware and fittings, tools of all kinds, fine cutlery, electric specialties of various kinds, bolts and nails, etc. In addition, they handle an endless variety of household utilities, such as tin, agate and aluminum ware, garden tools and implements, washing machines, leading makes of stoves, heaters, ranges, and refrigerators, beds and bedding, and the little useful things called "counter goods," all carefully selected to meet the requirements of town and country people, also those who resort here during the summer season.
"If it's paints, just remember that the Central Lumber Co. carries a most complete and varied line, specializing in the famous "CHICAGO"paints and kindred products, such as finishes, enamels, varnishes, tints, etc. at very low prices. Harnesses and stable supplies, barn equipment, silos, beds and bedding, etc., also are to be had here.
"This is the headquarters for the ever popular and reliable John Deere line of farm implements and machinery, tractors, farm wagons, etc. There is here every implement or machine that is in demand in this rich farming section. Dairying and creamery machinery, equipment and supplies, also are carried. And, of course, parts and repairs in addition to which a complete service department for farm machinery is maintained.
"J. E. Essen, the local manager of the Central Lumber Co. will be pleased to render every assistance in the matter of proper selections of building material, and has on hand many plans for homes, barns and garages, together with specifications, that will be of great aid to you if you are a builder or even an intending builder."
Central Lumber Company, dealers in hardware, implements, and building
materials, discontinued its business in 1940. Jake
Essen managed the lumber yard when it closed.
Lundeen Shoe Shop (1927-1945) -
Excerpts from Elmer Lundeen's diary were
printed in the April 13, 1988, issue of the Annandale Advocate. Elmer
Lundeen started his shoe shop in 1927. In
1930 Elmer Lundeen built the building on
AA, 2-24-1927 -- "Kimball-South Haven Cut Off Due in 1928 --The change in Trunk Highway No. 69 from South Haven to Kimball, eliminating Fair Haven, will be put through in 1928, according to Commissioner Babcock, in reply to an inquiry, but he adds it may be possible to have the contract let this year and work started the coming fall. Until this change is made, which will be on the trunk highway, and after that it will be on a state aid road, which will probably be much improved by the Stearns county commissioners when it comes under their jurisdiction."
For a time, Elmer Lundeen took in cream, eggs and poultry in conjunction with his shoe shop.
Lundeen Hardware (1942-1994) - In 1942 Elmer Lundeen (1900-1985) opened Lundeen Hardware in the building next door to his home and shoe shop. The hardware business increased so in 1945 Elmer Lundeen sold the equipment and discontinued the shoe and harness repair business he started in 1927. His son Melvin Lundeen and wife Carol continued in the hardware store until 1994. Melvin Lundeen continued his plumbing business for many years after the hardware store closed.
Livery Barn -
The livery barn was located just south of where the town hall is today. There
were hitching posts by the livery barn and in front of other South Haven
"John Tufts has sold his livery business to H. C. Tessman and
Frank Holmes." N.W.
Business Directory, Dec. 1909 -
Tufts & Earnest Livery "They
have a large barn with quarters sufficient for ten rigs complete and can
board many horses beside. They
have vehicles of every description and are always on hand ready to
serve." In December 1920 the
Council voted to notify stores to remove all hitching posts on
Pool Hall - The pool hall, in conjunction with Beyer's barber shop, was located in the building south of the present post office.
Farmers Exchange - Emil Wadman was the president of the Farmer's Exchange in 1921. The Farmers Exchange, a co-op store, sold feed, Oliver tractors, implements, and parts. Customers owned shares in the Farmers Exchange. The Farmers Exchange was located by the elevator. May 8, 1924 -- Legal Notice -- Articles of Incorporation of the Farmers Exchange of South Haven. AA, 2-4-1926 -- "The annual meeting of the Farmers Exchange of South Haven was held on Tuesday, January 26, 1926. The following officers were elected for the ensuing year: President Emil Wadman; Vice President Paul Knute; Sec.-Treas. J. Bartlett; Manager G. Strecker; Shipper F. G. Kersten; Directors Oliver Knickerbocker, Paul Knute, Emil Wadman, Gotlieb Strecker, J. Bartlett."
AA, 2-4-1926 - "Farmers Exchange, Inc. Financial Statement -- Shipping Account: Receipts of all livestock sold, $35,232.81; Taken from General Account for shortages, $150.52. Paid out to owners for hogs $25,770.27; cattle, $5,504.50; veal, $3,025.76; sheep, $572.32; Paid Manager, commission, $311.63; Paid to General Account, $164.14; Total paid out, $35,383.33."
Buffalo Journal June 6, 1929 (excerpts) -- "South Haven has a progressive Farmers Exchange of which G. M. Strecker is manager. Incorporated less than four years ago, it now does a splendid business this year more than double last year and still growing. There are some 84 or 85 farmer stockholders who, through cooperative buying, save considerable money in many commodities for home and farm.
"The Farmers Exchange maintains an elevator of
ample capacity. They
handle the famed
Creamery - The South Haven creamery was established and operated by a group of farmers. AA, 1-4-1906 -- "The South Haven Creamery Co. held their annual meeting on Tuesday and the following officers were elected: Pres. Wm. Schmidt; V. Pres. Herman Lueders; Sec. Emil Mauer; Directors; Henry Albers, Theo. Nordberg and J. P. Kiehn." AA, 1-11-1906 -- "The creamery is offering to receive bids on putting up ice." A. W. Swenson bought the plant in June 1909. "Golden West" was the creamery's brand of butter. In 1915 the creamery operated at full capacity of 1,000 pounds of butter per day. AA, 6-10-1920 -- "Creamery robbed and burned; A. W. Swenson, proprietor, shot twice and severely beaten." AA, 2-23-1922 -- "At the meeting Saturday it was decided to build the creamery on the lot just south of the old store building owned by C. R. Thom." AA, 2-10-1938 -- "A new enterprise in the form of a creamery will open soon in the building formerly occupied by the Hedlund Chick Hatchery in South Haven. Pete Christenson will be the butter maker and manager. The Commercial Club is lending some assistance in getting the creamery started. It is expected to be in operation within two weeks." The creamery closed and a pop factory was started in that location. The building is now the South Haven Post Office.
Drug Store - AA,
1926 -- "A
deal was consummated last week by J. D. Pedersen in which he disposed of
his drug store, stock and business to M. O. Clements of
Buffalo Journal, June 6, 1929 (excerpts) - Clements Drug Co. --"It is a spacious pharmacy and the displays are attractive and very complete, including all the reputable proprietary preparations and home remedies, an endless variety of toilet articles and preparations, perfumes and extracts, all kinds of rubber goods and sick room and hospital supplies, etc.
Also stationery, school supplies, Kodaks and camera supplies of all kinds, gift goods and souvenirs, small jewelry, bathing suits and caps, and other goods in active demand, magazines and periodicals, the finest in choice confections and all kinds of smokers' requisites. During the summer months the Clements Drug Co. is the mecca of young and old who find here delicious drinks, sundaes and ice creams and ices served at the fine soda fountain. In addition this is South Haven's Bureau of Information for tourists and travelers. Clements is headquarters for 'B.P.S.' paints -- full and complete line -- all tints and colors, finest qualities, lowest prices.
For years leading physicians and surgeons have recommended this pharmacy to their patients -- those in need of sick room requisites and expert prescription work. This department is in personal charge of M. O. Clements, a graduate pharmacist who takes the utmost care in the compounding of physicians' prescriptions and family remedies. He is also mayor of South Haven and in other ways takes a keen interest in civic matters. He is also vice president of the Community Club.
Esther Kline later owned the drug store on main street next to Jeppesen's store. The drug store was popular for its soda fountain.
Lies Market and Meats - Joe Lies (1900-1981) started a meat and food market circa 1925. Joe's son, Jerry Lies, later expanded into the former bank/post office building just north of the market. Jerry and Edie Lies closed the store in 1981.
Buffalo Journal, June 6, 1929 (excerpts) -- "J. G. Lies operates South Haven's splendid sanitary meat and provision market, buys and ships milk and cream, and deals in hides and pelts. In addition to offering you the choicest cuts of all meats, Mr. Lies specializes in the finest hams and bacons, fresh country sausage, oysters and fish in their seasons, and a splendid line of canned, bottled and jar goods, lobster and other shell fish, condiments, delicacies and luncheon specialties -- all carefully selected to meet the requirements not only of the town and country trade, but also catering to summer resort trade from the surrounding lake region."
Marquardts Store (1897-1920) - Buffalo Journal, June 6, 1919 (excerpts) - "Marquardts is really a small department store, where is carried about everything required for your table, for personal wear and adornment, and many needs and necessities for home and farm, groceries of every description, dry and fancy goods, millinery and millinery trimmings, the best in fine and medium grade underwear and hosiery, lingerie, linens, dress and waists, work clothes of all kinds, small jewelry and an endless variety of notions and small wares, hats and caps, and footwear. Personally, R.A. Marquardt is a progressive, alert businessman and a director of the State Bank of South Haven."
AA 4-15-1920 - "R. A. Marquardt sold his general store to Ed Kingsted. Mr. Marquardt will now devote his time to the automobile business."
Jeppesens Store (1934-1994) - AA,
"Ted Johnson, proprietor of the U and I store here, sold the
business to L. P. Jeppesen, a Forest City merchant, last Friday. Mr
Jeppesen took possession at once and is busy now adjusting the stock. Mr.
Jeppesen has a store at
Blacksmith Shop -- F. M. Boobar, blacksmith and wagon maker, horseshoeing a specialty. N.W. Business Directory -- Dec. 1909 -- "Mr. Boobar has caused to be erected here one of the finest shops in the county. It is 32x50 with concrete floor and every known labor saving device of the day. Machinery for the proper handling of all kinds of plow and repair work has been installed. During the past 20 years, he has conducted a similar establishment at Fair Haven." AA, 1-15-1931 -- 'Fire Destroyed the blacksmith shop of John Kites here between 12:30 and 1 p.m., Monday. Mr. Kites filled the stove with coal and went home for dinner, when the fire took place. It is thought gas formed and an explosion caused a fire. The interior of the building was all afire when discovered. Everything burned, and Mr. Kites was without insurance."
Restaurants AA 4-5-1906 -- "Geo. Cross has sold out his lunch stand." AA, 5-21-1936 -- "Hamburger Shop Opened -- We have opened a Hamburger Shop at South Haven on Highway 69 next to Tydol Oil Station, serving 5 cent sandwiches, pies, soft drinks, candy and cigars. Day and night service. Parkers Hamburger Shop."
The corner building at the south end of
In the early1950s a cafe was built by Basil Hanson on the site of the former hospital. Some of the other owners of this cafe were Harry Marks, Ervasti, and Cliff and Vi Widlund. The cafe was purchased by Wally and Elaine Weis in the early 1980s and renamed Moms Cafe. In 1989 Steve and Mary Ann Edwards became owners of Moms Cafe. AA, April 2005 -- "South Haven landmark leveled The old Mom's Place Cafe in South Haven, which stood for more than 50 years, was demolished in a short time April 20. A new Mom's Place opened March 1, just west of the old building along Highway 55. The old diner had been built in the late 1940s or early 1950s on the foundation of an old three-story brick hospital, which closed in the 1920s. Among items saved before the building was destroyed was the autograph of former governor Jesse Ventura on the wall." (Note: Gov. Ventura had a cabin on Lake Marie.)
South Haven School -- AA,
"C. M. Dally has been awarded the contract for moving the old and
erecting a new school house at South Haven, his bid being $48.00." AA,
"For Sale -- We
will offer at public auction on June 21, 1906, at the front door of said
building, at 2 o'clock p.m., the school
building in the village of South Haven. The
building is a two story building constructed of good pine lumber, newly
painted, and is comparatively new. Size
is 24x36 feet. Terms,
reserve the right to reject any and all bids. J.
L. Rogers, Clerk, School Dist. No. 136,
AA, 6-28-1906 -- "The highest bid received for the old school building was a trifle over $400. The trustees deemed this far too low and the bid was not accepted. The building will be used and added to which will make a very comfortable school." AA 8-23-1906 -- "The schoolhouse is ready for the plaster and will be in shape for the opening of school."
AA 9-20-1906 - "People
about town are giving John Heaton of
In 1910 a new brick school was built. The
new school consisted of three classrooms, gym, and a large room for
meetings and was steam heated. Each
class had approximately 15 students, grades 1-12. The
last high school graduating class was in 1929. After
1929, grades 9-12 went to
Hospital (1913-1920s) The
Weum Hospital was founded by Dr. Thurston William Weum (1882-?), surgeon
and general practitioner, who practiced in South Haven since the winter
of 1908. Work
was started in the fall of 1912 to remodel the old two-story
AA, 8-11-1921 --
"Dr. O.S. Werner of Lindstrom has purchased the
AA, March 1926 --
"Hospital to Open May 1 -- News
was received here this week that the former hospital building which has
been abandoned for hospital purposes for a number of years will be
reopened and ready for patients about May 1. Dr.
AA, 7-16-1942 --
"Old Hospital Building Being Razed -- A
wrecking company from
South Haven Commercial Hotel -- On December 13, 1912, the South Haven Commercial Hotel was opened with a banquet and reception. Mr. and Mrs. Andrew M. Grogan were the proprietors of the hotel. The structure was fireproof, steam heated, and supplied with hot and cold running water and electricity. The hotel had 20 rooms and was 46 by 96 feet with screened verandas front and rear and had a full basement. The opera house was located in the hotel. South Haven was a popular shopping destination. Shoppers would often stay at the hotel overnight before returning home the next day. Summer resort visitors arriving by train stayed overnight at the hotel to await transport to resorts the next day.
AA, 3-31-1921 Emil
AA, March 1, 1923 -- "Mortgage Foreclosure Sale -- All furniture of the Commercial Hotel, South Haven, Minn., will be sold for cash at that place on Saturday, March 10, at 9 o'clock a.m." The hotel was called the Hotel Sylvia in 1929. It was the Hotel South Haven in 1932. In the 1930s, names of hotel guests were listed in the weekly newspaper.
Buffalo Journal, 6-6-1929 -- "The Hotel Sylvia, conducted by Oscar Youngkrantz, is becoming a popular inn, by extending to the public nice, clean rooms with a home-like service. There are 18 light, airy and comfortably furnished sleeping rooms, a parlor and a lobby, outside of which is a spacious veranda.
"Adjoining the lobby is a neat, attractive dining room where they specialize in home cooking served at tables or the lunch bar, as desired. Room rates are $l.00 per day and meals 50 cents each or lunches on the ala carte plan.
"Mr. Youngkrantz invites you to stop with him, with the assurance your stay here at the Hotel Sylvia will be a pleasant one."
Archie Helgeson started a beer parlor in the front rooms of the hotel. Ten families had apartments in the building in 1948. A nursing home was started by the Pulkerbecks (sp.) In more recent years the hotel served as South Haven Nursing Home, owned by Joe and Delores Madden, and later as a residence for special needs adults. The hotel has been vacant and in deteriorating condition for many years.
South Haven Leader Newspaper (1911-1916) -- The weekly paper was established in 1911 by John Tygeson and sold to P. A. Neff. The first issue was published August 3, 1911. The first printing job was the directory for the new telephone company. Note: This entry in "History of Wright County - 1915" is incorrect. Tygeson's obituary states that he conducted the South Haven Leader for one year from 1914-1915, leaving in question who actually started the South Haven Leader. Tygeson purchased The Annandale Advocate in 1916. AA 8-3-1916 -- "Wallace Sykes is in charge of the paper." The South Haven Leader was short lived and was combined with the Annandale Advocate in 1916. The Annandale and Kimball newspapers had "South Haven News" columns, including social news and meeting announcements. In 1931 the Annandale Advocate's South Haven News section had the following announcement: "Contributions of news or advertising to this page will be greatly appreciated."
AA 5-7-1925 -- Obituary of John Tygeson (1874-1925) - "In March 1912 he bought the Milltown, Wisconsin Herald, which he conducted for about two years. He then leased the South Haven Leader and conducted it for one year. He took over (leased) the Annandale Advocate in October 1915 and had enjoyed a successful and thriving business since that time."
AA November 30, 1916 -- John Tygeson purchased the Annandale Advocate from Heil E., Della and John E. West. The editor of the South Haven Leader had enlisted in World War I, so the South Haven newspaper became a part of the Annandale Advocate.
The South Haven News section of the Annandale Advocate was filled with items about local organizations. The following organizations appeared in 1930s issues of the Annandale Advocate. South Haven Royal Neighbors, East Lynne Camp No. 1713, R. N.of A. of South Haven; Modern Woodsman; South Haven School news; South Haven P.T.A.; P.T.A. Study Club; girls and boys basketball; Pathfinders; Free Methodist, Zion Evangelical and Lake Union Mission Church announcements; Veterans of Foreign Wars (organized 1932); Ladies Auxiliary V.F.W. organized 1932); South Haven Independents and Juniors ball teams; Birthday Club; Stitch and Chatter Club; Dramatic Club; South Haven Red Cross; South Haven Village Council announcements; Twin Haven Community Club (Fair Haven and South Haven); Boy Scouts; Mile-a-Minute 4 H Club; and W.C.T.U.
First State Bank of South Haven (1906-1924) -- The bank was established on August 15, 1906, with August Bragg as cashier. AA, 6-10-1920 -- Advertisement: "Save Your Money and Make Your Money Safe; Bank with Us." AA 1920 -- February 10, 1920 -- "This is to certify that the action of the stockholders of the First State Bank of South Haven, Inc., in voting to increase the highest amount of indebtedness or liability to which the corporation shall be subject from two hundred thousand dollars to three hundred thousand dollars as provided for in the foregoing amendment to the Certificate of incorporation, has been approved by me. F. E. Pearson, Superintendent of Banks."
AA, 1-11-1923 -- "Official Statement, First State Bank, South Haven, Minn., at close of day December 29, 1922: Resources, $219,987.83; Liabilities, $219.987.48; Amount of Reserve on hand, $23,987.48; Amount of Reserve Required by Law, $13,275.81. We, M. T. Weum, President, and Louisa K. Bragg, Cashier, of the above named bank, do solemnly swear that the above statement is true to the best of our knowledge and belief. Attested: O. T. Platen, August Bragg, Directors. Notarized by F. S. Holmes."
1-21-1926 -- "First dividend of $40,000 to be paid by the state banking department on the claims against the First State Bank of South Haven was paid on Saturday on the basis of 20%. It is now one year and a half since the closing of this institution." AA, 12-10-1931 -- "Notice of Sale of Remaining Assets of the First State Bank of South Haven, Minnesota Up to and including Tuesday, December 29, 1931, bids will be received at this office upon the remaining assets of the First State Bank, South Haven, Minnesota." AA, 9-13-1934 -- The depositors of the First State Bank, South Haven, Minnesota, whose names are listed below have money waiting for them or have failed to cash a dividend check previously mailed them. They are depositors of closed banks. In the liquidation of closed banking institutions, dividends are paid to depositors from time to time."
People's State Bank (1925-?) - People's State Bank was open in South Haven in the 1920s and 1930s. The building which housed the bank and later the post office was combined with the building to the south and converted to an expanded Lies food and meat market.
AA, March 1926 We call your attention to the report of the condition of the People's State Bank of South Haven which appears on this page. It is encouraging to note the gradual increase in business of the new bank under the able conservative direction of Cashier A. T. Dell. Statement of the condition of the People's State Bank, South Haven, Minn., at the close of business on March 15, 1926: Resources, $33,502.32; Liabilities, $33,502.32; Amount of Reserve on hand, $9,866.82; Amount of Reserve Required by Law, $2,154.52.
AA -- 8-12-1926 -- "Kimball-South Haven Banks Consolidated - One of the most important changes in business circles was effected last Friday when a consolidation of the Farmer's State Bank of Kimball and the People's State Bank of South Haven took place. The business of the Kimball bank was moved immediately to South Haven and the name of the local bank retained."
Post Office (1887-Present) The South Haven Post Office was established April 14, 1887, with Adolph G. Lano, postmaster. The building currently housing the South Haven Post Office is leased from the VFW. The current post office building was the location of the South Haven Creamery and later a pop factory owned by Fergusson and Frye. Note: AA 6-25-2008 -- After more than a half century of supporting veterans and community causes, South Haven Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7332 plans to disband because old age is overtaking members. The move became public last week when officials turned over the South Haven post office, which the VFW has owned and rented to the federal government for 47 years, to the city. 39 WWII veterans founded the post April 12, 1957, and 23 of their wives formed the auxiliary in June that year.
"The building generates $9,181 each year under a new five-year lease with the federal government. It has a new boiler and property taxes are paid through October. John Maurer said the VFW bought the building, which used to be a creamery and a soda pop factory, in 1960 and renovated it. The post office dedication took place July 11, 1961, according to Jerry Lies. The VFW is also handing over two adjoining lots north of the post office where a veterans memorial, flagpole and a picnic shelter are located."
Electric Light Plant (1911-1916) -- The idea was conceived in September 1911 by Henry Niklason. By November 1911, South Haven was lighted by electricity from a modern and well- equipped plant. South Haven claims the distinction of being the first place in Minnesota outside the larger cities having a 24-hour service electric light and power system. In 1916 the Council voted to set up a contract with St. Cloud Power and Light for service. In 1927 the Council voted to transfer from St. Cloud Power to Northern States Power.
Village Hall -- (first hall, 1908-1932; second hall 1933-present) - AA, 1-11-1906 -- "South Haven needs a town hall, and needs it bad. For all gatherings it has still to go to its neighbors." 2-29-1906 -- "South Haven needs a public hall. The schoolhouse cannot be used, nor could it half supply the needs in this direction." Council Minutes, 4-23-1908 -- "A resolution was read stating as majority (25-23) voted in favor, bonds should be issued to the State of Minnesota for the $2,000 for the town hall." Council Minutes, 7-27-1908 -- "Bids were opened and contract signed for town hall at $2,298 for frame building on lot for which $150 had been paid." 12-1-1908 -- "Voted to rent hall for basketball at $1 per night for practice and $2 a night for games." The village hall was built in 1908 on the east side of Oak Street. During the rebuilding following the South Haven fire of 1910, the village hall was pressed into service to accommodate displaced business concerns. In 1912 a fire bell was placed in the cupola of the town hall. AA, 6-10-1920 -- "R. Olson is at work making a full basement under the town hall which will be quite an improvement for the town."
A 1932 entry in Elmer Lundeen's diary reads as follows: "The village hall located next to our house caught on fire in the early evening. This was a wooden structure and burned all night right to the ground. The glass in our windows was so hot you could not touch them. So we stayed up most of the night in case we would have to move out. Those days we did not have city water for fire protection. We had chemicals to use for fire protection and volunteer help." The present Town Hall on the west side of Oak Street was built in 1932 and is still in use.
AA, 1-14-1932 -- "Fire of unknown origin destroyed the South Haven village hall late Monday afternoon. A large crowd gathered to fight the flames, but when the fire was discovered the smoke was so dense it was impossible to get into the building, so their efforts were directed to nearby buildings. A call was sent to Annandale and to Kimball for help. Both towns responded, but there was no hope of saving the hall. The loss of building and contents is estimated at over $7,000. Some insurance was carried on the building and equipment.
"The building served as a Community Hall; also several different lodges and organizations held meetings there, and their properties were also destroyed. The Tri-County Veterans of Foreign Wars was to have a dinner in the basement of the building that night. The fire is reported to have been discovered about 4:30 p.m. Monday, and had a good start at that time."
AA, 8- 4-1932 -- "Call for Bids, Construction of Village Hall, South Haven, Minn. -- The Village of South Haven, Minn., will receive sealed proposals up to and including 12 o'clock noon of August 16th for the furnishing material and labor for the construction of a Village Hall in the Village of South Haven, Minn. -- By order of J. E. Essen, Village Council Clerk. The new town hall was built on the west side of Oak Street.
AA 1933 -- "The new village hall is completed. The siren was first heard Tuesday night. We presume it will answer the purpose of curfew, fire alarm and what not."
AA, 4-16-1942 -- Rinehart Olson is putting a new ceiling in the Village Hall, which was damaged by fire a few weeks ago. AA 5-28-1942 -- "Improved Village Hall The Village auditorium has been restored from the effects of the fire some months ago. It is in more of an attractive condition than before. Rinehart Olson did the work."
AA 10-15-2008 -- "Asbestos tile and the adhesive that holds it to the basement floor of the South Haven City Hall must be removed before the building can be demolished, Mayor John Lemke says. Lemke told the city council at its October 7 regular meeting that an asbestos inspection found only that and a small piece of construction paper in the furnace room. The council authorized the asbestos test in August as a preliminary step to possibly tearing down the deteriorating Main Street building and replacing it with a community center-city hall. A new one-story building would go up on the same site and an adjacent vacant lot if the council gives it the go-ahead.
"Lemke said an inspection of a derelict building next to the municipal liquor store found asbestos from the roof to the floor. The inspector suggested the city might have to use a fire hose to keep the dust down during demolition of the building. The city bought it from the bank after a foreclosure."
South Haven Rural Telephone Company (1911-1934) -- AA, 3-8-1906 -- The long distance telephone has been placed at the hotel. A telephone connecting the depot, hotel and post office is a late improvement. AA, 3-22-1906 -- The telephone between the hotel and depot is a great convenience. Now if it only connected the town with the summer resorts, it would be doubly useful.
The South Haven Rural Telephone Company was organized early in 1911 and the system was in operation in September 1911. AA, 9-29-1921 -- "In the matter of the Application of the South Haven Rural Telephone Company for authority to increase its local and rural telephone rates at South Haven, Minnesota: Individual Line, Business, $2.50 per month gross; Individual Line, Residence, $1.50 per month gross; Rural Multi-party, $1.50 per month gross; Summer Resorts, net rate per season $15.00."
AA, 4-16-1934 -- "In the matter of the application of the South Haven Rural Telephone Company to sell and the Annandale Telephone Exchange Company to purchase all of the telephone properties located in the Village of South Haven and the rural districts adjacent thereto ...Whereas, the Annandale Telephone Exchange Company, upon acquiring this property, proposes to close the central office now located at South Haven and serve the area from its Annandale exchange.. "
AA, 11-26-1936 -- "Dial System is Now in Service at South Haven -- Improvements Cost $6,000; New Fire Proof Building is Erected -- The new Dial Automatic telephone system at South Haven was placed in service on November 12. This marked the completion of an entire summer's work by the Annandale Telephone Exchange Co., according to information given by Wm. C. Kiehn, manager of the company."
Lakedale Communications has provided telephone service to South Haven since 1946. In 1975 the telephone wires in South Haven were put underground.
Churches -- South Haven had a Free Methodist and a German Evangelical Church. The Free Methodist Church (circa 1883-1937), also called Union Church, was originally located in a log building at present-day Hwy. 55 and County Road 3. "Sunday School started by Mrs. D. H. Weir and Mrs. Lampson developed into Free Methodist Church in South Haven and Grace Methodist Church in Southside. This in turn became the Evangelical United Brethren of South Haven and the Methodist Church of Annandale. A January 30, 1892, Annandale Advocate newspaper article stated: "The log church (Free Methodist), Spur 7, Southside, is just now the scene of an interesting and profitable revival under the immediate charge of Elder Norris and other co-laborers in a good cause." There is a small cemetery at that location. The Free Methodist church building was moved into the town of South Haven to the northwest corner of Highway 55 and Oak (main street) across Highway 55 from present-day Mom's Cafe. W. H. Dorman built a steeple on the Free Methodist Church in August 1910. A Notice of Sale was signed by Jerome Bartlett, President, Board of Trustees and Cary Dunnohoe in 1929. In 1945, the building was moved behind the hotel and near the Farmer's Exchange warehouse. Earl Maurer operated a feed mill for about two years in the former church until the building burned down about 1947.
Zion Evangelical Church started meeting in homes in 1873 and was incorporated in 1891. In 1899 a church building was erected on land donated by Gotlieb Kersten at the site of the cemetery on County Road 2. AA, 7-13-1899 -- "The German Evangelical Association church near South Haven will be dedicated on the 23rd. Rev. Sahr, the pastor, made us a pleasant call while transacting business here on Tuesday." This church structure was moved into South Haven in 1916 (to the site just south of the present day fire station). In 1963 the congregation built a new church building on a four-acre site on Highway 55 on the east side of town. The church was Zion Evangelical 1891-1953, Evangelical United Brethren (1953-1968), and has been Zion United Methodist Church since 1968. (See Trula Kersten's "History of Zion United Methodist Church" Annandale Online in the 2001 Annandale History Club presentations.)
Celebrations -- Starting in the 1930s, South Haven had an annual celebration each summer known as "Sauerkraut Days." AA, 8-12-1939 -- "Taking advantage of the ideal weather, and the attractions offered by the businessmen of South Haven last Friday and Saturday, was the largest crowd that ever attended the annual kraut festival. Both days were filled with entertainment that kept the crowd busy from early to a late hour. R. P. Jeppesen, chairman, and his assistants received many compliments on the success of the event.
"Walter Swanson, chef, reports that he and his assistants served three barrels of kraut, 11,000 wieners, 7,200 buns and passed out 3,500 plates of the free lunch. Everyone was well pleased with the festival program." The 1939 festival featured speakers (Senator Thomas P. Welch, Albert A. Anderson, county superintendent of schools, and F. M. Leahy, clerk of court), the Annandale and St. Cloud bands, Ferris wheel and merry-go-round, movies, side shows, races and contests with prizes, and a dance each night.
AA, 1-23-1941 -- "The South Haven Commercial Club will sponsor the annual Fish Fry dinner and a conservation program Friday evening, January 24. The story of conservation becomes a living, moving story as told by Carl Moen, lecturer for the Minnesota Department of Conservation." AA 1-15-1942 -- "South Haven Commercial Club Fish Fry -- January 23, 1942. Fish will be served from 6 p.m. on. Tickets 50 cents. The ladies, too, are welcome to come and enjoy a fish supper. Program and speaker at 8:30."
The South Haven Sportsman's Club, established in 1938, sponsors an annual fish fry in April every year (now in its 68th year).
A celebration of South Haven's Centennial was held June 6-12, 1988, including an all-school reunion, movie night, parade, street dance and other events. It was very successful. A South Haven Centennail Booklet was published. A copy is at the Wright County Historical Society.
South Haven Railroad Days celebrations have been held every July since 1994.
St. Urho's Day, March 16, was celebrated at the South Haven Village Hall. Fish soup (mojakko) and flatbread supper was served at the town hall, followed by a dance with music by Bobby Aro, "the Finnish Bing Crosby" from the Iron Range. The St. Urho's celebration was sponsored by the Moose Lake Snow-Rollers snowmobile club for several years.
The Demise of South Haven Passenger and freight trains no longer stopped in South Haven, and better roads, trucks and automobiles allowed people to drive farther for their groceries and goods. Stores with larger volume in Annandale, St. Cloud, Buffalo and the Twin Cities could sell their products for far less than the South Haven stores could purchase them. Young people moved to the cities for jobs. The population of South Haven in July 2007 was 192.
Submitted by James Hanson:
My parents, Basil and Cecilia Hanson, came to South Haven in the late 1920s. They bought a gas station on the north end of town on Highway 55. In 1931 they built a new station, a home and bulk plant at the railroad; this was called South Haven DX Oil Co. He also was a Johnson outboard motor dealer and sold Crosley TVs and refrigerators. They built the corner café called Mom's. My father Basil also was notary public and mayor for many years. He was active in the sportsmen club and the fish fry with Bob Jeppeson and others. My parents moved to Lake Sylvia after selling the station in 1951 to Phillip's 66 and the café in the mid-1950s.
Notes and additional research by Secretary, Annandale History Club