Douglas County Past: The Meteor returns to Superior; Patch the Pony teaches kids about stranger danger

From the Sept. 12, 1972 Telegram: "Nostalgia filled the Superior Harbor area Monday afternoon and for young and old alike with the return of the tanker Meteor to its original home, Superior. Seventy-six years had passed since the famous whaleback, last of its kind, had sailed from the Port of Superior upon its maiden voyage in 1896."

Douglas County Past graphic
Gary Meader / Duluth News Tribune
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Sept. 9, 1972

“Patch the Pony” warns children of strangers

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A logo for the "Patch the Pony" program provided to students by the Superior Jaycettes. Sept. 9, 1972 Telegram
Superior Public Library / Superior Telegram

A program to guard public and parochial elementary school youngsters from strangers and possible child molesters will enter its fourth year next week.

The purpose of the program is accomplished by reading the story of Patch to the children.

The story concerns a pony named Patch who goes to the playground to visit the children. One day, he sees a man who gives one of the young boys a candy bar and asks him to go for a ride Patch realizes the child should not be associating with strangers and kicks the car door closed, scaring the stranger away. He tells the boys and girls his safety rule, “Nay, nay, from strangers stay away.”


The safety rule for children means not to get into an automobile with a stranger, not to accept presents, candy or anything else from strangers and not to follow a stranger anywhere no matter what sort of treat is promised.

Mrs. Peter Stroozas, left, a member of the Superior Jaycettes, sponsors of the “Patch the Pony” project presented to elementary school students, tells the story with the use of an illustrated cut-outs board to Chris Jenssen son of Mr. and Mrs. Allen Jenssen and Chad Callaway, right, son of Dr. and Mrs. Charles Callaway. Chad and Chris are both first graders at Bryant School. Sept. 9, 1972 Telegram
Superior Public Library / Superior Telegram

Sept. 10, 1947

Grocery stores violate rules

Imitation food products and adulterated hamburger were found in several Superior stores during the month of July, Oscar H. Hope Jr., meat and food inspector, reported Wednesday.

Hope found 10 grocery stores selling imitation maple syrup and imitation vanilla and also cherries with benzoate of soda. These products were removed from the shelves.

One grocery store was prosecuted and fined $28 for adulterating hamburger. Three bakeries were also found to be in an unsanitary condition.

Sept. 11, 1947

Brule man unhurt as car overturns


A Douglas County resident, Vernon Jondreau, 29, of Brule, escaped injury Wednesday when the car he was driving went out of control and turned over a half-mile east of Maple on Highway 2, County Highway Officer John S. Kane said Thursday.

Jondreau’s car was damaged to the extent of $200. The mishap occurred shortly after midnight in the early hours Wednesday morning.

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Kane also reported that Willard Joki, 24, of Poplar, a Douglas County highway employee, had suffered spinal injuries when he was hit by a bakery truck driven by Elmer Solem, 42, Superior, last week.

According to a report received on the accident, Joki was loosening the tailgate on a county gravel truck on County Trunk H near Brule as it stood on the side of the highway. After loosening the chain, he stepped back into the road and hit the side of Solem’s truck.

Superiorite, wife, compiling complete history of boxing

The Al Nelson family of 1418 E. Sixth Street is a boxing family.

Not that anyone there occupies his time as a mayhem merchant but there’s a room in their house that is filled with priceless boxing lore. That has been Al’s hobby since he was 6.

He has been compiling a history of boxing now for 38 years and has a complete authentic record of every fight since 1719.


What Al doesn’t know about the history of boxing isn’t worth knowing. His wife, however, professes to be absolutely ignorant of the manly art of self defense.

Although Al has has the last word of boxing history at his fingertips, he’s never seen a big time fight or a headline performer.

Mrs. Nelson, who says that boxing is over her head, is the member of the family who holds that distinction. She hobnobbed with three top notchers and has pictures and autographs to prove it.

“I got this stuff because I knew Al would get a kick out of it,” she explained.

The chance to see the mayhem stars came to Mrs. Nelson when she was visiting relatives in California last June. She visited Jim Jeffries on his farm, watched Joe Louis ref a wrestling match and had lunch with Abe “The Newsboy.”

Sept. 12, 1947

Brule thieves prefer cash, leave checks

Thieves who broke into and robbed the Brule Cooperative store sometime during Wednesday night were evidently interested only in cash as they threw away over $200 in checks along the right of way of the Northern Pacific railway about one-fourth mile east of Brule.

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Douglas County Undersheriff Elton Ekroth who investigated the crime with Deputy Louis Bannick, said that a section crew of the railroad found the checks in the cash boxes taken from the safe of the store Thursday morning while doing track work.

The robbers missed about $60 in silver that was in another compartment of the safe and passed up taking a brand new Browning automatic shotgun leaning near the safe. A wrist watch laying on a nearby desk was also untouched, Elroth said.

Wayne Lundeen, manager of the store, said the thieves obtained $671 cash for their efforts.

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The Meteor is back to stay. Sept. 12, 1972 Telegram
Superior Public Library / Superior Telegram

Sept. 12, 1972

Whaleback Meteor returns

Nostalgia filled the Superior Harbor area Monday afternoon and for young and old alike with the return of the tanker Meteor to its original home, Superior. Seventy-six years had passed since the famous whaleback, last of its kind, had sailed from the Port of Superior upon its maiden voyage in 1896.

For two elderly Superior women, it seemed like “just yesterday” that the Meteor slid down the launching planks and splashed magnificently into the crystal clear water of the Superior Harbor. Mrs. Nora Nelson, 2611 John Ave., “only 81 years old,” recalled that first day and so did Mrs. Ann E. Peterson, 82, 2117 Ogden Ave. The women had been playmates. Mrs. Nelson recalled that the then-ore carrier Frank Rockefeller (first name of the ship) splashed with such gusto on the launching that she and a neighbor, who took her to the launching, both were covered with water.

The Meteor, which surpassed all other whaleback-designed lake craft through the 76 years of its active use, was built in Superior by the American Steel Barge Col, headed by Capt. Alexander MacDougall, a Duluth native. It climaxed a final trip home to its home port from Manitowoc, Wis., as a gift to the city of Superior by the Cleveland Tankers Inc.

The ship, sought after by both the ports of Superior and Duluth for some time, is now docked at the Lakehead Pipeline Co. area in East End Superior and will later be moved after it is repaired, painted and outfitted, to a location off Barkers Island.

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The Superior Jaycettes will begin their fourth year of “Patch the Pony” on Sept. 18 and continue the project for students in public and parochial schools through Sept. 20. A special feature of the project is the coloring book which students receive to color and take home after hearing the story of “Patch.” The books are given to the youngsters as an additional reminder to stay away from strangers. Shown coloring in the book is John Larson, left, son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Larson, as Paul Jenssen, whose parents are Mr. and Mrs. Allen Jenssen, watches. Sept. 9, 1972 Telegram
Superior Public Library / Superior Telegram

Articles and pictures courtesy of retired librarian Judy Aunet with the Superior Public Library.

Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "staff." Often, the "staff" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.
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