Looking north bound on MN route 59.

This historical landmark is in Otter Tail County, MN.

Days before the 2023 Fourth of July Weekend, I left Perham, MN, where I stayed for two weeks, and I will later blog about the small town’s unique features.

After years of traveling, I’ve learned to avoid the holiday crowds, so I used my Harvest Host membership to stay at a Boondockers Welcome property for three nights between Erhard and Elizabeth, MN, in Otter Tail County, Minnesota.

Otto the Otter
Otto the Otter

Both towns are north of Fergus Falls, MN, where I captured the image of Otto the Otter, who stands fifteen feet in height, nearly forty feet long, and is the mascot for the city and a roadside attraction. The statue overlooks a small lake in Fergus Falls’ Grotto Park, a popular destination for picnics and photos..

The statue was created and erected in 1972 by a group of high school students with the help of their teacher and local artist Steve Jaenisch. The shop class used metal rods and concrete to create the massive mammal in honor of Fergus Falls’ centennial.

My hosts, Paul & Denise, treated me like family on their 55 acres of farmland. Each night was enjoyable, with other Boondocking RV’ers visiting each evening, producing an excellent retirement environment to discuss RVing.

In the morning, I drove towards the town of Fergus Falls, MN, when appearing on the horizon on the right side of the road along a straight two-lane road brought forth into my view a clapboard building. Its imposing presence inspired me to capture its distinctive elder presence in the morning sun a few days later. I later discovered its history of being named the District 54 schoolhouse, built in 1874.

Similar school buildings were built around Otter Tail County, separated by thirty-five miles supplying an education destination for school-age children who walked to these destinations braving all forms of inclement weather along dirt roads.

For three days, I enjoyed my visit to the area, learning about Fergus Falls and Otter Tail County with my visit to the Otter Tail County Historical Society to discover the area’s history.

By Expedition Nomadic Adventurer

As a retiree travel blogger touring the US, voicing my wisdom, opinion, and thoughts about the retirement lifestyle and life in general. I'm an aspiring pre-published indie author of baby boomer romance and adventures with a whimsical comedic side. I photograph wildlife and landscapes, mountain, biking, kayaking, hiking, and backpacking. I travel the back roads and highways of America, Canada, and Mexico, documenting my adventures via print and photography.

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