LOCAL HAUNTS. Television presenter Chad Lewis discussed reports of spectral figures seen at Billy's Bar in Anoka during a presentation at the Sherburne History Center Tuesday night to discuss his book, The Minnesota Road Guide to haunted Locations. Lewis has travelled around the world to investigate reports of strange happenings, including a trip to Transylvania in pursuit of the Dracula legend.

History Center hosts ghost chaser

Contributing Writer
David Hannula


The volunteer appreciation dinner and the annual meeting of the Sherburne County Historical Society Tuesday evening included a new twist this year with the addition of some Minnesota ghost stories from author and television host Chad Lewis.
Sherburne History Center Exec. Dir. Mike Brubaker welcomed the audience to the event, which took place immediately after the appreciation dinner.  
Brubaker said there were two seats currently vacant on the SHC board, but no election was held because no candidates had come forward to fill the positions.
The SHC is growing both in the number and frequency of programs offered, and in the general membership numbers, Brubaker said.  The work of a core of 25 volunteer workers was honored at the dinner, with the group having contributed more than 1,500 hours to center activities in the past year.
The ghost stories included a slide presentation from Lewis, a well-known radio and television presenter who has written books on haunted sites in Minnesota, Iowa and his native Wisconsin, and has travelled as far afield as Romania’s Transylvania region in search of the Dracula legend.  
He has also collected stories and investigated reports of weird happenings from almost all 50 states, Canada and Mexico during his career as a ghost chaser.
His presentation included visits to several cemeteries around the state, stories of witches and moving headstones, along with eerie voices heard after dark made for an interesting evening.  
Haunted doll houses, reports of ghosts seen as near as Billy’s Bar in Anoka, or in well-known locations like  Forepaugh’s Restaurant in St. Paul, added a local angle to the presentation.  
As a Wisconsin boy, Lewis could not resist a visit to the case of serial murderer Ed Gein, complete with some graphic slides of evidence uncovered during the investigation of his crimes.
Following the presentation, Lewis stayed on to answer questions, listen to stories from people in the audience and to sign copies of his book, The Minnesota Road Guide to Haunted Locations, which is available in the Sand Burr Gift Shop at the SHC.
Autumn Lights Fundraiser Next Friday
The SHC will present their annual Autumn Lights fundraiser Friday (Oct. 25) from 5:30 to 11:30 p.m. at the Carousell Works, 160 lake Street North in Big Lake.  
The 2013 event is titled the “Harvest Moon Gala”, and will feature dinner served by “A Catered Event”, music, a silent auction, raffles and a “Township Dessert Competition”, with the rules available on the SHC website.  Halloween costumes are optional, but are encouraged, and prizes will be awarded for “best costume” in several categories.
Tickets are $50 per person, and are available at the Sherburne History Center, 10775 27th Ave. SE., Becker, MN 55308. Contact the SHC by phone at (763) 261-4433, or via e-mail at sherburnehistorycenter.org.
The 2013 event sponsors are the Sherburne County Citizen and the West Sherburne Tribune.


(From left) Lexi Freund (Big Lake), Betsey Cornelius and Ben Cornelius (Nowthen), Gunner Dorweiler and Colton Dorweiler (Princeton), Ben Manning (Zimmerman), Bailey Dorweiller (Princeton) and Salene Krueger (Big Lake.) The county fair runs from July 16-19. (Photo by Ken Francis.)

Dr. Lola Sutherland is retiring from clinical practice after 33 years in the Big Lake community. (Photo by Jennifer Edwards.)

SMITTY’S AMATEUR FIDDLERS CONTEST drew 22 musicians to compete in Big Lake this year. They were accompanied by Gilmore Lee.

LEE GERHARDSON, 47, from New London, was found dead in Big Lake near the swimming beach in 10 feet of water Monday. Cause of death is unknown at this time but foul play is not suspected.

Adopt-a-Road participants volunteer for Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) and work to clean roadsides that border and bisect refuge land. This spring, from April to June, approximately six individuals, three families, and seven groups, such as boy and girl scouts and 4-H groups, volunteered to clean countless miles of roads. (Submitted photo.)