All posts by Mary Casanova

Where fact meets fiction

Historic Lift Bridge, Ranier, MN

Living in Ranier, Minnesota (on the Minnesota-Canadian border) and directly across from the historic lift bridge that fits prominently into the story, it’s easy for me to picture steamers, log booms, taverns and brothels from the turn of the century. Indeed, we have a photo from 1908 of our home and its original family. This 100-year-plus home, therefore, became the natural setting for the Worthington’s summer cottage.

From what I’ve gathered, the builder of our home and the bridge was an engineer from Duluth, much like Mr. Worthington. And like another character in history, went into a business arrangement with the reigning industrialist, E.W. Backus—an arrangement that eventually turned sour.

In the string of our home’s earlier owners was a woman named Sadie Rose. The name fused with my emerging character, and I never considered changing it. In many ways, I felt the earlier “ghosts” of my home and area speaking to me over the years about this story’s direction. My job was to listen to the story that needed to be told.