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Pathways Through Our Past

Way back in 2001 Blackduck celebrated its 100th birthday with different types of programs or activities each month. It was a great year long party. Other things were going on during this time that you may or may not be aware of, and that was each township in our school district was asked to research and record people and event histories for their community. Several townships completed those histories and the resulting books are in our History Center library.

Marilyn Page and several women from the Hines area have been working on the history of Hines and its people -- current and former residents. If you have old artifacts, souvenirs, pictures of buildings and people from the past, or stories of events, etc., please contact Marilyn at 835-4560 or mail them to her at the Blackduck Area History and Art Center, P.O. Box 223, Blackduck, MN 56630. If you wish, pictures can be returned to you. If you have other pictures and stories of the Blackduck area, we hope you'll share those also.

This is a story from a February 1908 Blackduck newspaper.

Owen's Store at Hines Is Destroyed and Three Die In Flames

Hines station was the scene of a calamity early yesterday morning, which has no parallel in the history of this section. As a result three are dead and seven others either terribly burned, or injured from being thrown from the upstairs windows of the home of V. M. Owen, which together with all his personal property including a stock of merchandise, was totally destroyed by fire.

Those who died in the fire are Wells Johnson, brother of Mrs. Owen, Miss Vina Doyle, a young lady employed as a domestic, and Rodney Owen, the 8-month-old son of Mr. and Mrs. V. M. Owen.

About 1 a.m. the family was aroused from their peaceful slumber by suffocating smoke and the crackling of fire. The lower part of the building by this time was a mass of flames and escape in that direction was impossible and their only means of exit was through the windows. The dead girl slept over the kitchen and she perished without any chance of escape. The baby occupied a buggy and Wells Owen made a last heroic attempt to save the little one, but with the latter, fell into the fiery furnace before he succeeded in reaching the window. One of the little girls in being dropped from the window struck her head on a barrel and received an ugly scalp wound.

Lester Johnson, Frank Owen as well as V.M. Owen were burned more while saving the lives of the latter's two little daughters, and their wives, Mrs. Frank Owen and Mrs. V. M. Owen.

Dr. Osburn responded to a telephone message and went down and dressed the wounds of the injured. V. M. Owen and Lester Johnson, both of whom were terribly burned about the face and hands were brought up on a handcar and taken to the M. and O. Hospital. The loss to the Owens amounts to several thousand dollars and as they carried no insurance, it is a severe one. Charles Throndson has started a fund for the aid of the unfortunate family.