To the editor
The announcement of Mike and Randy Preisler’s retirement prompts me as a lifetime resident of the area to respond with sincere congratulations to them for commendable job of service to the residents of the community of North Branch. It’s been very noticeable among groups as one moves about to hear remarks of appreciation of their work over the years. My best wishes go with them as they adjust to the new phase of their life.
My personal emotions come into play as I realize this event of change is actually happening to this small historically important corner of our city, which encompasses many of my own and family’s experiences. As the years have gone by, I have envisioned if this day were to come how ideal it would be if the city and the Chamber of Commerce would get together and somehow restore, at least parts, of the beautiful white brick building which has been hiding under that steel facade since the early 1960s. Hopefully they could come up with a greeting/welcoming place to the city as a tribute to what and who have been there before.
I intend to write an account of the corner’s history from a personal viewpoint in the near future for all of you to reminisce with me.
In the meantime, I find myself wishing for a person or group with a vivid imagination, workable ideas, resources, and skills, along with the love of history, to bring about a practical fulfillment for the corner. It should be something complementary to the tall brick building just to the east that displays a once refurbished Coca-Cola sign from the past. That building and the “Bergh Block” building across the street as well as the “Hall Block” which housed the North Branch Mercantile on its first floor were all built in the year 1892. The two buildings are still functioning, and it only seems right to commemorate the other as the flourishing mercantile store which had been on the corner for 38 years before the Standard station building existed to this day (82 years). The corner should carry on through restoration rather than destruction- Please not another parking lot. May this letter be fuel for thoughts that might bring action.