Collections Carousel – Pine Grove Park Deer

On Wednesday, September 10, 1913, the Little Falls Daily Transcript announced that two deer purchased from the city of Mankato, Minnesota,  for Pine Grove Park had arrived the previous night “…by express and are now the pioneer inhabitants of the deer enclosure at the park.”  Money for the deer had been raised through popular subscription, largely through the efforts of Val. E. Kasparek, who later became one of the founders of the Morrison County Historical Society.  The deer were housed in a 2½ acre fenced enclosure in the park.  According to the Transcript, “(h)aving tame deer at the park will be a fine thing for local big game hunters as they will be able to become acquainted with the species and will consequently be less apt to slaughter some settler’s cattle.”  The deer and the owls who were already residents at the park were the start of what later became Pine Grove Zoo.

Pine Grove Park was established in 1907 on the west side of Little Falls in order to preserve one of the last remaining stands of white pine in the state of Minnesota.  The fifty-five acre park was set aside for the benefit of the public and is located approximately ten blocks west of the Mississippi River.  For more information see Pine Grove Park, M.M. Williams – An Influential Man, Preserving The Trees At Pine Grove Park, Storm Photos.

Thomas H. Dewey feeding the deer in Pine Grove Park during the winter of 1917-18. Photo by Alfred Molde.

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