This Was Brainerd - June 24, 2021

A look through the Brainerd Dispatch archives with Terry McCollough combing the microfilm for tidbits of history through the decades going back to 1921.

Van's Cafe in Brainerd from the Brainerd Dispatch archives.


20 years ago (2001)

Dan Gottsch, chief deputy of the county sheriff's department for the past 10 years, was fired three days ago by Sheriff Dick Ross. Ross said he and Gottsch were no longer professionally compatible and were unable to resolve their differences. Gottsch had been appointed chief deputy by Ross in 1991.

30 years ago (1991)

The Brainerd Community College Foundation has accepted the donation of land and a building worth $16,000 from the South Long Lake Gun Club. The club said its members were growing older and it was time to disband. The property will be sold and proceeds used to endow a scholarship in the club's name through the foundation.


40 years ago (1981)

(Photo) The Van's Cafe sign – a Brainerd landmark dating back to the 1920s – was recently taken down to make way for a remodeling project at the restaurant. Al Gmeinder, who recently bought the restaurant from Lou Carlson, will finish the project in about six weeks and open under its new name, the Sawmill Inn.

60 years ago (1961)

Calhoun Realty of Minneapolis announced that more than 200 lots will be available for sale on land adjacent to Pelican Lake and the Breezy Point golf course. Price of lots range from $695 to $1,695 and include a year's membership for use of the golf course, the marina and other amenities.

80 years ago (1941)

A 17-year-old Brainerd orphan boy is being held in the city jail after confessing to burglary of the NP Railroad depot. He climbed through a window moments after the office employee stepped outside, and stole $22.50 from the safe. He has been committed to the reformatory at Red Wing four times before.

100 years ago (1921)

The largest all-county agricultural picnic in history was held at Grand View Lodge and took over the entire Gull Lake Resort. It is estimated that 1,600 cars, 20 farm buggies and numerous hayracks with up to 25 people each arrived. A conservative estimate put attendance at 7,000 people.



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