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Alice Ziegler Carley and (Ralph) Deane Fischer Oral History


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Biographical Information:

Alice Ziegler Carley and (Ralph) Deane Fischer were both residents of the town of Brook Park, Minnesota. Carley was originally born in Brook Park, but left the community in 1922 to pursue marriage and employment as the (alongside her husband) owner of a telephone company, before she ultimately returned to Brook Park in 1946. Fischer was not originally from Brook Park, but moved into the town in 1915, after which he spent time working as a farmer, construction worker, member of the town school board. He worked ultimately as the town’s postmaster for 21 years, retiring in the mid-1970s. Carley, who was born in 1903, died in 1981 while Fischer, who was born in 1910, died in 2003.

Transcript Summary:

In an interview conducted on December 19, 1980, Alice Ziegler Carley and Deane Fischer discussed the history of the town of Brook Park, Minnesota. Carley and Fischer noted that the community was originally called Pokegama, but that its name was changed to Brook Park (named for a creek in close proximity to the town) after much of it was destroyed in the Great Hinckley Fire of 1894. Carley and Fischer said that much of their youth was spent in Brook Park in which the town experienced a great deal of economic and population growth, right up until the start of the Great Depression in 1929. Nevertheless, they also affirmed that the Depression contributed to a decline in the town’s fortunes, from which it has since never fully recovered. Carley and Fischer affirmed that much of this also stemmed from a lack of recreational activities and professional work for young people within Brook Park that caused many of them (including their own children) to move out of town and live elsewhere.

Interview conducted by Calvin Gower and Alan Nielsen


Image ID: 16066

See additional files below for full transcript.

16066_transcript.pdf (263 kB)
Alice Ziegler Carley and Deane Fischer oral history interview transcript

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