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It’s no tall tale: Library has scoop on MN folklore

The story of ‘Casey Jones’ is one of several American Tall Tales and other folklore resources available at the Detroit Lakes Public Library. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Do you remember way back in fourth grade, learning about American tall tales?  Some characters will jump right to mind, like Paul Bunyan, Casey Jones, Johnny Appleseed, and Davy Crockett.  But do you remember the likes of Febold Feboldson, Joe Magarac, Mike Fink, or Alfred Bulltop Stormalong?  If not, maybe you have some reading to do!  Come to the library to find their stories.

“Born on a Mountain Top: On the Road with Davy Crockett and the Ghosts of the Wild Frontier,” by Bob Thompson.

Pioneer. Congressman. Martyr of the Alamo. King of the Wild Frontier. As with all great legends, Davy Crockett’s has been retold many times.  Over the years, he has been repeatedly reinvented by historians and popular storytellers. In fact, one could argue that there are three distinct Crocketts: the real David as he was before he became famous; the celebrity politician whose backwoods image Crockett himself created, then lost control of; and the mythic Davy we know today.

“Casey Jones,” by M.J. York.

Casey Jones is a tall tale based on a true story. The character Casey Jones lived from 1863 to 1900; his full name was John Luther Jones, but everyone called him Casey because he lived near Cayce, Kentucky.

He was a fast-driving railroad engineer, just like in the story.  But there are a few things the tale’s narrator exaggerates: such as when Casey blows his whistle and babies go “chugga-chugga, whoo-whoo,” and when he passes by houses and food gets cooked (because he’s going so fast).

Library Happenings

On Thursday, July 24 at 2 p.m., the Z Puppets Rosenschnoz theater troupe will be at the Detroit Lakes Library presenting “A La Carte: In a Fool’s Kitchen,” a comic battle between a French Chef and a wiley lobster.

This exciting Summer Reading Program finale event is free and open to the public; fun for everyone ages 2 and up.

It’s storytime at the library, as Thursday Morning Adventures and Saturday Stories will be presented on Thursday, July 24 and Saturday, July 19 at 10:30 a.m. This week’s theme is “eating out.”

These events are geared towards preschoolers and their families. A different theme is explored each week with books, songs, a flannelboard story or puppets, and a related craft.

Daycares and other larger groups are asked to call ahead.

Remember that you can “Book A Librarian” anytime, by appointment, for Individualized computer training. Available topics include: downloading ebooks to Kindle, Nook, iPad; Microsoft Office; using the LARL catalog; searching with Google; using the library’s genealogy databases – Ancestry Library Edition and HeritageQuest; and more! Contact the library for more information or to set up an appointment.

Library Hours

The Detroit Lakes Public Library is open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is closed Sundays.

For more information on Detroit Lakes Library services and programs, call (218) 847-2168 or visit your Library at 1000 Washington Ave. 

Information is also available online  at Detroit Lakes Library is a branch of Lake Agassiz Regional Library.