Redwood Falls Gazette
  • JOSHUA'S COLUMN — Welcome to historical Re: Druid False

  • In honor of Redwood’s 150th anniversary celebrations next weekend, I’ve done extensive research into some little known made-up facts about the beginnings of this town....
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  • In honor of Redwood’s 150th anniversary celebrations next weekend, I’ve done extensive research into some little known made-up facts about the beginnings of this town: • The Redwood Falls golf course was founded by the town’s first Scottish settler, Angus Podgorney. Podgorney moved here to dig the first post hole for the stockade in 1853, then sat around waiting another 11 years for Col. Sam McPhail and his troops to catch up. While waiting, Podgorney entertained himself by hitting a round stone into the post hole — again and again. • The town’s name came from a message Col. McPhail wrote back to his superiors in the Army debunking stories about Celtic mystics in the area. The title of McPhails message was, “Re: Druid False.” • Redwood Falls was the original inspiration for River City in Meredith Wilson’s popular play The Music Man, based on the early settlers’ habit of bursting into choreographed song-and-dance numbers while plowing their fields. • The Redwood stockade inspired a popular soft drink of the time — “Stock-ade! — made of carbonated buffalo broth. • It is well known that Richard Sears, founder of the Sears Roebuck mail-order store, got his start selling watches out of the North Redwood depot. Less known are the activities of his disloyal assistants, Montgomery Ward and J.C. Penny. • In 2056, archeologists will uncover the earliest known settlement of Redwood Falls, a tin-foil tent occupied by time traveler Delores Lichtenstein 14,000 years ago. According to recently discovered cave paintings hidden behind Ramsey Falls, Lichtenstein intended to travel only back to the year 3497 A.D., but overshot the mark by about 17,000 years. She then locked her keys in the time machine and had to live out the rest of her life chasing wooly mammoths in what is now Ramsey Park. • The troll who lived under the swayback bridge was named Janos, and the three billy goats gruff were originally owned by Reggie Filbruck, owner of the town’s first coffee shop, the Fiendish Cow. • The oldest known resident of Redwood Falls is 173 year old Philo Pierce, civil war veteran and beatnik poet. Pierce currently resides in a hollow tree in Ramsey Park, and declines all interviews with a flintlock rifle and cries of “The revenuers are a’coming, dagnabbit!” • As an example of Col. Sam McPhail’s forward thinking, the Redwood airport’s first runway was plowed over and smoothed by McPhail himself in 1874, a full 29 years before the Wright brothers invented the first practical airplane. • The design for the current Redwood Falls Family Aquatic Center was inspired by antique stills used in the town’s speakeasies during the 1920s Prohibition era. • In another 12,000,000 years, the Redwood River will carve out a space as big as the Grand Canyon, completely swallowing up the town itself. The residents will make up for the loss by moving into the cliff sides, much like the pueblo Indians of New Mexico. • The Redwood Falls High School fight song was originally intended to be sung in Czechoslovakian. • Ward Cuff, the greatest athlete in RFHS history, won a bronze medal in the 1936 Olympics for synchronized swimming. • The original architect’s model of the swayback bridge was made of graham crackers and chocolate bars held together by marshmallows. The model was lost forever when the model burned down in an mysterious accident.
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