Nov. 5, 2009: Time marches on

Posted on November 5th, 2009 – 11:03 PM
By Ben Welter

Yesterday’s News has a new look and a new location, You’ll need to update your RSS readers at the new site, and you’ll need to register and sign in to post comments.

Earlier posts – nearly 300 hundred of them, packed with photos, comments and related links – are still available here ( You can browse the “best of” links stretching down the column at right or use the “find posts” box at right to search for a specific post.

Nov. 11, 1903: Attacked by an eagle

Posted on November 3rd, 2009 – 4:36 PM
By Ben Welter

While fishing from a kayak the other day, I spotted a huge eagle atop a tree on the west side of Lake Harriet. After reading this St. Paul Globe piece, I wonder if I should arm myself with something more menacing than a paddle next time I troll that stretch of water. Any suggestions?


Anton Bosworth Has Exciting
Battle With King Bird

Alone in a rowboat on Bald Eagle lake, Anton Bosworth, a young hunter, battled with a powerful gray eagle yesterday afternoon, and after fifteen minutes of desperate fighting, in which the half-starved eagle made repeated attacks upon him, succeeded in breaking the eagle’s wing by shooting it.

Handicapped as Bosworth was by being in a small rowboat, he fought against the onslaughts of the bird, and when the danger was finally over, he fell to the bottom of the boat exhausted.

Bosworth, whose home is at Hugo, was hunting muskrats in the marshes of Bald Eagle lake. He noticed the eagle some time before it reached him, but did not anticipate any trouble. But the big bird, evidently in search of muskrats also, came direct toward the boat, and before Bosworth could realize his position the bird was within a few feet of him.

Raising his gun, he fired at the eagle when it was within three feet of him. The shell was loaded with small shot, and the charge, which scattered the bird’s feathers, only irritated it.

Circling around a few yards the bird came direct at Bosworth. He had not time to reload his gun, and for the next few moments it was a fierce battle between the enraged eagle and the hunter. By using his gun as a club, Bosworth managed to keep the bird off him, but the eagle put up a game fight and kept Bosworth busy to protect himself.

Finally the eagle soared away to a distance sufficient to give Bosworth time to reload his gun with a shell containing large shot, and when the attack was renewed a well-aimed shot broke the eagle’s wing and it fell into the shallow water.

Bosworth was exhausted, but after a rest of a few moments he recovered sufficiently to kill the eagle.

A wound on the wrist shows the only mark Bosworth received from the claws of the eagle, but he fought desperately to save himself from a worse fate.

Bosworth came to St. Paul with the eagle yesterday evening and was about town attempting to sell the bird.

The eagle’s wings measured a trifle more than seven feet from tip to tip. The bird had every appearance of being half starved.

  A cottage on Bald Eagle Lake in about 1895. (Photo courtesy

Nov. 18, 1903: The hazards of photography

Posted on October 28th, 2009 – 7:10 PM
By Ben Welter

From the St. Paul Globe:



Photographer Hurt While Tak-
Ing Flashlight Picture

F.B. Chapman, photographer, 438 Wabasha street, and Byron Gibbs, his assistant, 228 East Seventh street, were seriously injured last evening by the explosion of a carbide tank used by Chapman in taking a flash light picture of two bowling teams at Chris Miller’s bowling alley, 221 East Seventh.

When the tank exploded Chapman held it in his hand and his thumb and fingers were nearly torn off. The injury is considered serious, as the flesh is burned from the palm and the inside of the hand.

Gibbs was struck in the head with a flying piece of tin, and his face was badly cut, the laceration extending from the chin to the forehead. His forehead was laid bare, the tin plowing off three square inches of skin and flesh. Both Chapman and Gibbs were knocked unconscious and remained in that condition for over fifteen minutes.

The tank broke through a wooden partition in the rear of the alley, and after crashing through a window, in the rear of the building, fell in the back yard. It was torn and shattered by the force of the explosion of the contents.

The members of the two bowling clubs posing for the photograph were badly shocked by the explosion, and several were thrown to the floor.

The police ambulance was summoned by telephone, and Dr. G.A. Moore, police surgeon, dressed the wounds of Chapman and Gibbs. They were then able to go to their homes.

A bowling alley in Lake City, Minn., in about 1900. Note how the two subjects positioned themselves far from the dangerous flash mechanism. (Photo courtesy