Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Lois E Johnson
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Rebuilding after the fire

1918 Revisited


December 13, 2018

Editor’s Note: The devastating forest fire of Oct. 12, 1918, destroyed Kettle River and Moose Lake. The rebuilding process began the following year, as reported in the pages of the Star-Gazette.

Jan. 19, 1919 – Five township mutual insurance companies suffered losses aggregating $350,000 in the forest fire. Payments of all forest fire losses in the Moose Lake district are assured.

The State Bank of Moose Lake and the Farmers State Bank of Moose Lake have been consolidated. When spring comes, a fine new $25,000 banking building will be erected on the lots where the Knutila store stood before the fire.

Jan. 25, 1919 – H. K. Lower is preparing to start up a first-class garage and livery in the spring. The proprietor just returned from Minneapolis, where he purchased $1,200 worth of tools and equipment.

Feb. 13, 1919 – Building operations are steadily going on in Moose Lake. Everybody seems to be very anxious to build on his lots on Main Street and add a line of groceries. Swanson and Westholm will build on the old Swanson property. Friedman will build a harness and shoe repair shop as soon as possible. Weske Brothers will build on their old lots and have one of the finest street markets in the state. H. K. Lower is ready with a garage but will greatly improve it later on. It is said that Bergquist Brothers will also erect a modern garage. Moose Lake Motor Company will also build in the spring. The Moose Lake Hardware Company will build, and H. T. Carlson intends to erect a hardware store. J. F. Nemetz is now doing business but will build next summer. T. C. Biscoe intends to erect a building for a drug store as soon as possible. J. W. Lindmark of Duluth, formerly of the drug business here, intends to return in the spring and re-enter business. The Star Gazette will erect a modern print shop on the west side of the tracks. It is expected to be ready June first. The Moose Lake Creamery Company will also be located on the west side of the tracks and will have a large feed store in connection. F. M. Hull and Ole Anderson will have new buildings for their confectionary business. The two banks have consolidated and will do business in a new building to be erected on the Knutila corner. John Carlson has a new store building nearly completed. The five churches will all rebuild.

A well-attended meeting of Moose Lake citizens was held Monday night at the school house, and it was decided to plat the village property where the creamery was located and offer the lots for sale. It was also decided to prepare a new plat of the village, showing every lot and every alley. The citizens took up the matter of an electric light and water system but this project was eventually left in the hands of the village council. Several plans were submitted for straightening out block 38 (the business section of town), and property owners are of the opinion that everything will be fixed up quickly so that building operations can be started at once.

March 10, 1919 – John Carlson is moving his store from his recent location in the Community building into his new store on the site occupied by him before the fire. Besides carrying a full line of staples and fancy groceries, the store will also have a nice line of dry goods as well.

April 17, 1919 – Bergquist Brothers have secured the contract for the erection of the new creamery building. The building will be located on the same ground that the Knutila warehouse stood on.

May 8, 1919 – John Mattson will soon erect a store on the west side of the tracks and start in the machinery business.

May 22, 1919 – Johan Olsson has “come back” since the fire and is now operating a grocery store in the Community building. Bishop J. D. Morrison of Duluth was here yesterday afternoon and dedicated St. Andrew’s Episcopal chapel. The chapel replaces the former chapel, which was burned in the forest fire last October. Work upon it started in January. The structure cost $2,500. The chapel has been used by the Masons, the Norwegian Lutheran denomination, the Swedish Lutherans, the Commercial Club and the Community Club. It has been the only public building in the village with the exception of the school house.

Next week, the Star-Gazette will publish the second part of rebuilding projects in 1919 Moose Lake.


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