Henry Lott

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Henry Lott - Man Buys Old Town In Iowa LOTTS CHEKK, Iowa...
Man Buys Old Town In Iowa LOTTS CHEKK, Iowa (AP)- Healtor Oliver Carlson has bought himself the near-ghost town of Letts Creek for $4,400 and plans to pump some life into it and into iiis pocketbook. The decision came when the Algona, Iowa, man was having coffee with a fellow realtor who suggested, "Why don't you buy Lotts Creek." That was in August 1971. Carlson bought one side of the street then and recently completed purchase of the other side of the block-long "downtown" area of this town near the Minnesota border. His six buildings include a former general store, hardware store, locker plant, feed store, creamery turned Into a cheese factory, and what once was a buttermaketr's residence. Carlson, who allows that some folks "think I'm a little eccentric," says he also owns Oak Lake near Algona along with four other persons. It's a 100-acre sports oasis for snow- mobiling and skiing if you like being towed, and "minor league" fishermen can go after bullheads. At Lotts Creek, Carlson would like to convert the general store and hardware store into vintage museums and antique sales shops. He'd offer the brick creamery to a small business, explaining, "I'd like to see one that would employ a dozen or 15 people. We need small industries so our young people don't have to go somewhere else." Right now, Lotts Creek has a population of three in the heart of town Carl Pijahn, 63, who's lived there since 1919, and his brother and sister-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Pijahn. They own their own place. If you want to stretch the boundaries half a mile north, you could take in a couple of farms, a church and vacant church school building, plus three other residences. Carlson, ' a talkative 49-year-old, would like to restore buildings on both' sides of the streets much like they were in the 1800s. He has a photograph to work from. "We have to preserve some old landmarks or there won't be any left to preserve," said Carlson, who says he has his eyes on a couple of upcoming celebrations with which to coordinate his ideas for rural restoration. One is the centennial of Lotts Creek Lutheran Church in 1975. The other is the U.S. bicentennial in 1976, and Carlson is convinced the itch for antique buying among many Americans will increase through that time. Lotts Creek also has some Indians-settlers lore. Henry Lott reportedly was the first white settler in the area. He clashed with Indians after some of them invaded his place, so the story goes, and slew Chief Sidominduta, a Sisseton Sioux and others in the redman's family. That brought Indian revenge against white settlers which some historical accounts call the Spirit Lake massacre.

Clipped from
  1. Asbury Park Press,
  2. 22 Jul 1973, Sun,
  3. Page 72

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