10 years ago:

The annual Fireman’s Ball, hosted by the Forest Lake Fire Department and Rescue Relief Association, sold out for the first time in almost 10 years when 460 tickets were sold. Firefighters Dale Zeinert, Jon Wurm, Joe Houle and Bill Werner manned the raffle ticket table, which awarded cash, gift cards and a flat screen TV to lucky participants. Community members Kathy and Eric Johnson, Katrina Moats, Michelle Langston and Ric Rose turned out for the fundraising event held at the Forest Lake American Legion.

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Forest Lake’s synchronized swimming team fell 3 points shy of stopping Stillwater’s winning streak during a dual meet on March 29. The Stillwater Ponies hadn’t lost a dual meet since 1989, and the Rangers were out with a vengeance with the final score at 16-13. The previous year, the Ponies beat the Rangers by 23 points. Eighth-grader Andrea Dunrud placed third, leading the Rangers with a combined score of 62. She was followed by senior Morgan Sperry (61.8) and Katherine Anderson (61.6) who earned the next two places in the meet. Two days before the Stillwater meet, the Rangers beat Bloomington 23-5 and rolled Columbia Heights 29-0. Coach Laura Davison was pleased with the performance of the team against Stillwater.

25 years ago:

Dale Olson, of Olson’s Sewer Service in Forest Lake, retired after 27 years of working at the company at the age of 62. He moved to the Forest Lake area from Wisconsin in 1954, but commuted to the Twin Cities to work for about 16 years before rethinking his employment. It wasn’t until his brother Bill Olson, founder of the sewer service, needed help when Dale switched paths in 1970. Bill’s son Jon Olson and daughter Lee Weigt were stepping into the leadership roles when Dale retired and Bill was in semi-retirement.

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Garnet and Betty Bergerson, of Scandia, were in the midst of their family maple syrup operation to churn out 100 gallons of syrup by mid-April. It was the 20th year the family had tapped the group of maple trees near their home. That year, as the family set out to tap the 350 trees near their home on March 22. By the end of initial tapping of trees, there would be 500 spouts reaping the sap benefits. The tap buckets needed to be emptied daily throughout the monthlong season, which was a job for Garnet’s sons Cory and Jeremy. The sap from the woods was transported and dumped into the 40-year-old evaporator, from Vermont, which the family owned for 15 years prior. The evaporator would cook 100 gallons of sap down to about 2.5 gallons of pure maple syrup.

50 years ago:

St. Peter’s school in Forest Lake hosted students from Chicago for two school days and a weekend. Sister Eileen Welsh taught at St. Joseph’s in Chicago and accompanied the 17 children who visited Forest Lake. Sixth grade teachers Carol Schmidt and Sister Darlene Peltier worked with Welsh to ensure each of the out-of-state students had a home to stay in during their visit. Bernard Bellings, a member of the Minnesota Council of Churches, had arranged similar collaborative trips in the Twin Cities and presented it to St. Peter’s families. There were 20 local families who offered their homes as a place for the Chicago students to stay.

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Junior Barb Hanson, Forest Lake High School gymnast, was named an All-Skyline Conference gymnast. Hanson was the leading point scorer for the team in vault and on the balance beam, while freshman Karen Rolseth led the team with her floor routine, placing fourth overall. Hanson won first place on the balance beam and first on vault.

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Following the escape of three inmates from Stillwater Prison on Sunday, March 19, the Washington County attorney John E. Jansen instructed the Minnesota Department of Corrections to ensure tighter security measures at the facility. More than 200 community members attended the public hearings held by the department to vocalize the importance of safety in the city.

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