Sunday, March 6, 2011

It was a Hot Time in the Old Town

My mailing address is in a small town named South Haven, current population 202. The town was a booming railroad city in the 1920's at a crew change point. It had almost 1200 people, banks, a newspaper, hospital, lumber yard and other accoutrements of civilization. It is now is a vestigial city with empty and derelict buildings, the post office, a gas station and the municipal liquor store.

Last night while returning from a trip to Gypsy Lea's in Sauk Rapids and Italian dinner in St. Cloud, we saw a giant pillar of black smoke. We encountered a large number of fire trucks and County Sheriff's squads all a glitter when we entered the town. A derelict old building on Custer Street (named when the town was organized in 1880), the two block long main drag, was fully engulfed in flames and smoke. Firefighters from South Haven, Kimball, Watkins and Annandale were pumping water and saving the post office. (The white building to the left of the fire.)

This was the most excitement in town since the 2 block long parade last summer. Even the inhabitants of the muni were out on the street, beer glasses firmly in hand, watching the building blaze.

Mr. Flannery


Charlene said...

The new postmaster general announced recently that some 2000 post offices in small towns are due to be closed this year. You'll be lucky if you get to keep yours.

Great pics.

Mr. Flannery said...

Charlene - Close the PO. There is one 5 miles to the east, one five miles to the west and one 8 miles to the south. The USPS will be bankrupt by July. 2000 small town POs is not even a good start.

terry5732 said...

I thought for sure the last pic would be s'mores