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Lake County Past: April 21

1917

Soldier boys here guarding property

There was unusual excitement in the city and probably the largest crowd that ever came out to witness the arrival of one of the local trains swarmed around the depot and station grounds as train No. 1 pulled in from Duluth. This excitement was due to the fact that it had been rumored around the city that a company of National Guardsmen was arriving on that train. Those who went to the depot with the expectation of seeing the boys disembark and march to the Lake County Fair buildings were doomed to disappointment however as the coaches were taken from the train by the yard engine and placed on the track near the fair buildings.

The company came from Neilsville, Wis., and consists of a total of 96 officers and men with 30 more to come. These men were sent here by the war department for the purpose of guarding the shops and docks of the Duluth & Iron Range Railroad Co. It is realized that the iron and steel industry is now the most important in the United States, and if anything should occur that would cripple the iron ore hauling railroads in Minnesota it would be one of the most severe blows that could be administered at this time.

It is known that the country is full of German sympathizers as well as a large number of spies and plotters directly in the employ of the German government, and it is to prevent the possibility of damage to important industrial plants by traitors at home and by foreign enemies in our midst that the precautions are being taken.

The men began guard duty around the docks and shops Sunday afternoon, and as the regulations are being made more strict every day as the provisions for passing the employees in and out are perfected, it is now practically impossible for anyone to get to or from the shops or docks without a written permit.

There was great excitement among the numerous fishermen early in the week. These men have their gasoline boats tied up in the slip near the tug dock. As the rules began to be enforced more rigidly they were unable to get to the waterfront. Futile efforts were made to get around the guards, but they were all finally forced to give up the hopeless task and go to the superintendent's office for permits to get to the waterfront to care for their craft.

Never before in the history of Two Harbors have soldiers been quartered here, and it is a novelty to most people to see bunches of the boys around the city at all times during the day. Anything that would adversely affect the operation of the railroad and the hauling of iron ore would be a blow to every person in the city, whether employees and their families or not; and every one should make a special effort to make the life of these boys as pleasant as possible.

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