Thursday, February 4, 2010
End of an Era
It was announced yesterday that Brunswick was closing its boatbuilding plants in my hometown, Little Falls, MN. There are two boatworks, Crestliner and Larson. Each was privately owned when I was a youngster. While I was in high school, the Brunswick corp. bought Larson boats. It seems sometime later they acquired the other company.
Boatbuilders are a major employer in this central Minnesota small town. When I was a kid my sister and I each had friends whose dads worked there. My best friend's dad was a design engineer. He tested the prototypes at their lake cabin and I benefitted from that friendship. Lots of summer hours were spent in the water at Lake Alexandria. Judi and I had our pictures taken for the catalogues. In high school I had a friend, Roz, whose dad was VP at the Larson / Brunswick plant. I'd go with her to the boatworks and get one of the employees to take us water-skiing. The plant was on the Mississippi. Boats and Little Falls went together. Now they will close causing economic hardship to the area. End of an era.
Picture: vintage 50's flying bathtub of a boat called the Falls Flyer built by Larson. Can spot them at vintage boat shows. I haven't seen one in operation in years.