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

By Wick Fisher
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

An interesting history of wealth, love, and giants

Wick's World

 

September 5, 2019



In the very early 1800s, my great-great-great-grandfather, Joseph Fisher had a son whom he named Vit. As is sometimes the case, Joseph and Vit were as different as day and night. Joseph was a very rich and very mean land baron. His idea of a good time was to ride reign over his serfdom with a large bullwhip at his side. He often used that whip on his farm workers, never needing much more of a reason than to accuse them of being lazy.

You can imagine the parental conflict that grew in the family when his son Vit acted much more like a serf than a baron. Vit was not only a young man of little ambition, he detested the way his father treated his laborers. Vit would spend his days and nights at the local tavern, drinking, dancing and especially enjoying his favorite pastime of gambling. The evening hours were often spent courting the Gypsy bartender/dancer who was alleged to be quite a flirtatious beauty.

One night after a huge fight with his father Joseph, Vit found himself disowned and holding a one-way ticket to America. His father was so disgusted by the embarrassment caused to the family because of his son’s scandalous ways that he decided to get rid of him forever. This proved to be easier said than done. Vit would only depart for his new home under the condition that his Gypsy girlfriend be also given passage.

They finally embarked by ship and made it by train as far as Iowa when things went south for Vit and his girlfriend. It seems that she caught a severe cold that only got worse, and before they reached the homesteading lands of the Dakotas, she perished somewhere in Iowa. The Gypsy dancer had sadly died from pneumonia after dancing her way across the country. To make matters worse, Vit had gambled away all of the money his father had supplied for him to start a new life in America with the promise to never return to Prussia.

Heartbroken and penniless, return to Prussia is just exactly what Vit did. Much to the displeasure of his cruel father, Vit soon returned to his drinking, gambling, and carousing ways. The following does indeed have some historical reference: Once more Baron Joseph Fisher pulled out his thick wallet and sent Vit sailing; this time with an assurance that there would be no next chance. A next chance was not necessary as Vit eventually settled along the Missouri River in Nebraska and South Dakota where the Fisher ancestors made their homes for the next two centuries.

Meanwhile, back in Prussia, Joseph was often in contact with his first cousin who was King Frederick the First. Frederick I made a hobby out of collecting giants, simply for putting them on display. As objects of courtly prestige, these giants were more treated like slaves rather than voluntary employees. Along came Frederick II, who like his cousin Vit was also rebellious to his father’s ways. Frederick II preferred his giants to be fighting soldiers rather than freaks to be put on display. He went around Europe capturing and enslaving all of the male and female giants he could find. He preferred his specimens to be at least seven foot tall or more, although there is ample evidence, that in the case of females, he resorted to somewhat smaller specimens.

Declaring mandatory breeding among his captive giants, King Frederick II hoped to create an army of super-human beings. His intended purpose was purely for military use. In a display of rebellion against his father, he turned over the remaining surviving giants that belonged to his father to his wife Catherine the Great; this deeply disappointed his father in a similar way that his cousin Vit Fisher had disappointed Baron Joe.

If you know any history surrounding Catherine the Great, you will realize why Freddy the First was not pleased with this arrangement. Many movies and books have been written about Catherine the Great and I will let them tell her sordid story; or catch me at cocktail hour at the Muni. I may share some family secrets about my royal blood.

 

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