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Lake County Past: June 5

May 27, 1943

State Board of Health orders 'Keg' cleanup

On direct orders from A.J. Chesley, secretary and executive officer of the Minnesota State Board of Health, public health engineers made an investigation of the sanitary conditions at the Keg last Thursday and ordered a cleanup and the provision for a well of water on the premises.

The Keg was investigated by Mr. E.C. Slagle, public health engineer, District 4, and orders then were issued, if carried out, would have removed the menace to health and the possible cause of an epidemic in Two Harbors.

This condition has existed for more than four years since the state of Minnesota paid the owners upwards of $2,000 for moving the building at the time the Minnesota Highway Department claimed additional right of way at this point. No sanitary provisions were made at the new location and since that time water has been hauled to the Keg in rusty milk cans for use in drinking and washing of dishes and tableware.

When the Two Harbors-treated water shows a positive bacilli reaction, as it does on occasion, and this water is allowed to stand for any length of time, the multiplication of bacilli is a menace that cannot be estimated.

Some five years back, the State Board of Health sought to compel the City of Two Harbors to move its water and light plant to the point on Burlington Bay at a cost upwards of $150,000.

Tests at that time showed the source of supply at the proposed location no better than at the present intake of the Two Harbors pumps and the move was abandoned. During the time subsequent to this move the residents of Two Harbors have lived under the menace of a public place serving under conditions which the State Board of Health now condemns.

Little excuse for the failure to provide a well and sanitary conditions at the Keg is evidenced by the fact that during 1941, the county board closed the place, a profit of more than $7,500 was made by the illegal sale of intoxicating liquor and gambling.

Equally as repugnant and nauseating as the water situation are the sanitary facilities. Within three feet of the kitchen has been a toilet marked "Ladies" the seepage from which has gone under the building and the facility on the outside of the building marked "Men" would make Chic Sale turn over in his grave.

In the event of an epidemic in Two Harbors, the state Board of Health could scarcely renew its demands for moving the city water plant so long as such abominable conditions were allowed to exist on the outskirts of the city. Mr. Chesley has indicated that a cleanup of any such conditions as exist in other sections of the county will be made at once.

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