Sep 282014

Totem pole at Lake GeorgeWhen I got to Lake George (July 9) I stopped at this tourist shop to ask where the township hall was, and was directed across the street, to the other side of the Woodland gas station.  In other words, it was right within view when I had stopped at the Hwy 71 intersection, wondering where to find it.

The totem pole in front of the tourist shop was too photogenic to pass up, even though such objects are better associated with the Native people of the Pacific northwest rather than with Minnesota. On the other hand, maybe there is a good-enough excuse for putting it here, where Ojibwe-speaking people live.  The word “totem” itself comes from Ojibwe, and probably other Algonquian languages.  For example, in the Pimsleur Ojibwe course one learns that “maang indoodem” means “I am of the loon clan”.  Or maybe it’s more like “I am” than “I belong to.”

Lake George business district The business district of Lake George can be seen in this photo. The tourist shop can be seen on the other side of the Woodland store.  Traffic on US-71 doesn’t need to stop for the town.

Lake George Township HallThe township hall itself is a rather plain building. Regular office hours are very limited or non-existent at many of the township halls in areas of low population.   The only person here when I was taking photos was the guy who had the job of mowing the lawn.

Lake George Fire DeptThe fire department occupies a bigger structure.

Old Lake George Fire DeptI took a photo of the older fire hall, too, for completeness.  It apparently had been outgrown.  Early in the township-hall project I decided that I wasn’t going to try very hard to get photos of the township fire stations that are sometimes on the same sites with the township halls.  But I’m glad I got a photo of this one, if for no other reason than that it is the smallest fire station building that I’ve encountered so far.

Lake PayneAfter learning how the publicity-minded adventurer, Willard Glazier, had come through this area in 1881 and had put the names of relatives and friends on the names of lakes that weren’t exactly lacking for names on existing maps, I wished I had taken photos of Lake Payne and Lake George.  Glazier named Lake Payne for newspaperman Barrett Channing Paine and Lake George for his brother, both of whom were part of his expedition.

So when I had a chance to ride through Lake George again earlier this month, this time traveling from north to south, I made sure to stop and get photos on my way out of town. But first I stopped at the Woodland store for a snack break and rest. While sitting outside some motorcycles stopped.  A woman of the group and I exchanged pleasantries about this being such fine weather for being out on the road.  Perhaps we weren’t watching the sky carefully enough.

When I resumed my ride, I stopped to look at Lake Payne, and was startled to see dark clouds moving in from the northwest.

Lake GeorgeThe view of Lake George to the east was more pleasant.  But I didn’t linger.  I had 26 miles to go to get back to my parent’s house.  In the end, I wasn’t able to outrun the rain.  If I had known how much thunder and lightning there would be on the last three miles, I would have stopped to wait it out.  I didn’t see any ground-to-sky lightning, but still, I try not to be out on the road in those conditions.   On the other hand, I got some use out of the rain clothes that I always carry with me.

Lake George was township hall number 4 out of 90-some that I’ve visited so far.


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Park Township Airport

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Cass County Township Halls - Part 1

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