By Louise Oleson
Journal Managing Editor
Former area resident Corrine Kenner has written about the ghost stories and legends that surround her hometown - Devils Lake. The book, available both in e-editions and print will be launched Thursday - on Halloween - at a very special event to be held in Devils Lake’s own haunted Old Post Office - a.k.a. the Lake Region Heritage Center at 7 p.m. in the courthouse on the third floor.
The following is an excerpt from the eagerly anticipated book. The title of this story is “The Ghost of the Minnie H”
“You don’t usually expect to meet a sea captain plying his trade 1,500 miles from the nearest ocean—but one sailor, Captain Edward E. Heerman, was able to claim the inland sea of Devils Lake as his own for decades.
These days, Captain Heerman’s steamboat voyages are a thing of the past. No one alive remembers them. But if you look closely, you might be able to spot Captain Heerman himself, still waiting for passengers on the ghost ship Minnie H.
In life, Captain Edward Edson Heerman looked as if he could have stepped out of a storybook.
He was bearded, like all sea captains should be, and he smoked a pipe. He was perpetually sunburned, and when he walked, he leaned, as though he was always braced for waves or wind.
Like so many settlers, Captain Heerman had traveled a long way to reach Devils Lake. He was born in Vermont in 1834. His parents were farmers who raised sheep, spun wool, and wove it into cloth. His family moved to Iowa when he was still a boy. At the age of sixteen, he left home and headed for the Mississippi, determined to seek his fortune on the water.
He found it. By nineteen, he commanded his own steamboat, and a few years later he owned a fleet of thirteen riverboats that ran along the Mississippi and Chippewa rivers.
As railroads competed with riverboats for passengers and freight in the central corridor of the country, Captain Heerman started to look for new waters to explore. He headed west toward Dakota Territory.
In 1858, he helped establish a town along the Red River, near Fargo. During the Indian Uprising of 1862, however, the settlement was burned to the ground, and his expansion plans were put on hold.
In 1882, he made a trip to Devils Lake.
“Devils Lake was a beautiful body of water fringed with timber,” he wrote in his memoirs. “The locality was dotted with other beautiful lakes. I examined the soil and believed I had found an empire of undeveloped resources.” (end of excerpt)
Page 2 of 2 - Corrine Kenner specializes in bringing metaphysical subjects down to earth. She’s an award-winning writer who was raised on a farm near Devils Lake. Since then, she has traveled the world studying the mysteries of life and death.
Corrine is the author of more than a dozen books on the paranormal, as well as the editor of four anthologies. Her books are available worldwide, and they’ve been translated into a dozen languages.
Corrine herself has been a keynote speaker at international conferences and events in England, Canada, and across the United States.
Corrine’s father, Wayne Kenner, was a mail carrier, and her mother, Carolyn Kenner, directed the Devils Lake childcare center. As a young adult, Corrine lived in Brazil, where she learned Portuguese, and Los Angeles, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from California State University.
She is the mother of four girls, and she and her husband have homes in Devils Lake and Minneapolis.
To contact Corrine, email email@example.com or visit her website at corrinekenner.com.