Sherburne History Center

Sherburne History Center
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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Boosterism Generates Some Interesting Reading

When newspapers get involved in the city booster business their words and activities generate some very interesting headlines.  Such was the case when a correspondent for the Saint Cloud Journal Press began observing the negative condition in Clear Lake.  

In January of 1902, the correspondent wrote:
“… the street lamps have not been lighted for several months and in their present condition are of no use whatever.  The roads in the village are in a pitiful state of repair and the streets are filled with old machinery and other unsightly junk.”

Quick to reply, the editors of the Sherburne County Times defended the town:
“…the street lamps are also all right and apparently satisfactory to every one except this correspondent.  As to the obstructions in the streets, this is purely fiction.”

A week later, the Times editors continued their defense in writing:
“We don’t know who this correspondent is, but one would infer, from the fault he finds with the street lamps, sidewalks, machinery, etc., that he must have wandered around, some dark night, in a fit of temporary aberration, got onto a vacant lot and got tangled up in one of the aforesaid harvesters.”

Boosterism is truly an interesting form of newspaper reporting that provides great entertainment even 100 years after the fact.

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