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What's going on at the Creamery?
...a little recent history
Among the questions asked in Viking, Minnesota there is one query
common to most residents. What is going on at the creamery? If you’re asking what this old, brick building
is going to be, I have no answer. If you’re asking what inspired someone to remodel the old creamery, I think
I have an answer-but it will take some explanation.
I grew up in Viking during the seventies and early eighties.
Times were getting tough in small-town America. Many farms had already hit the auction block and as small farms centralized
into larger farmers, small town populations centralized in larger towns. Many of Viking, Minnesota’s residents
left for greener, concrete-covered pastures.
Some of us stayed and found jobs in town. We all loved our hometown
but some of us were lucky enough to find a job that satisfied us and could help us provide for a family.
Those that left
returned when they could an helped Viking improve by working on their parent’s farm or making improvements to Viking
with their labor or money. Those that stayed kept the school and church strong and made homes in which we could
all take pride.
Viking is a beautiful town. Viking is well-kept and maintained by it's residents and the City
of Viking. The Viking Diner has never looked better and features a nice line of antiques from cheaper, small items up
to some fairly high-end pieces. Viking still maintains an active fire department and two churches with strong congregations.
The Viking Elementary School educates children up to third grade and they are then transported to Newfolden until graduation.
Viking recently celebrated it's Centennial and was overwhelmed by those who returned home.
Viking's residents have traveled far and away but they made time to come home for this event. They still love their
little home town.
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...all right, enough history, what's going on at the creamery?
Viking's charm recently seduced a deer hunter. Jim Riggs of Murpheys,
California came up to the area to hunt deer with Viking resident Gerry Kagg. Viking reminded Mr Riggs of his hometown
which is near the wine county of California. Over time, Jim Riggs purchased several old buildings in his home town then
repaired them and made use of these old structures. He also found this benevolent labor was profitable. Then something
funny happened, others followed Riggs' example. Before you know it, this little town that was about the size of Viking
became the focus of opportunity and grew (to about the size of Warren, Minnesota.)
Jim Riggs has made a life for himself. He's accomplished quite
a bit and could just settle back and enjoy what he's done-but he wants a little adventure. He saw in Viking opportunity
for adventure. A nice town, low taxes, close to Thief River Falls. He noticed what Jerome Peters had done with
the museum and thought this town is ripe for a little boom. Maybe even a little adventure.
Dreamer, meet dreamer
Scott Peters is a unique dreamer in that he usually can do it if he
can dream it. He accomplishes what he sets out to do. He started the Sentence to Service project in Pennington
COunty, has successfully ran for local political office and is a spark plug for Viking, Minnesota. Scott Peters and
Jim Riggs met a while back and put their heads together-and their efforts. Scott had some strategically located land
that would work hand in hand with Jim's efforts.
...what to do with the land?
Riggs wants to develop the area just south of the old creamery into
housing for people who want a nice home in a nice town. He wants good people to come to Viking who will make
the town strong. These homes will be well-built, nicely landscaped with maybe a decorative pond to remind
people how close they are to the country.
...what shouldn't be done with the land
Jim Riggs has made this statement. He does not want to undermine
or compete with any current Viking business. He wants to complement the current businesses with more traffic and greater
Viking population. He would like to start a gas station in Viking but would like local investors to join him on this
project. Riggs plans to develop new roads for the residential section of his development using local contractors.
He feels that good quality work by he and Scott Peters will inspire others to do the same. He wants to start the process
that will make a stronger Viking-not a different Viking.
Connect and Communicate on the Viking Message Board
...this is what's happening at the Creamery
The answer is (drum roll)...we don't know. Riggs has suggested
a convenience store, bed and breakfast or maybe residential housing. The one thing he wants to do is a quality job.
Demolition took some time and construction has been measured and careful. They want to maintain the look of the creamery
but make it a functional building, and that ladies and gentlemen is what's going on at the creamery.
Read a past "Viking News" issue
If you have a story involving Viking or Viking township, send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I will use it if I can. I plan to write stories on a regular basis but life is busy so the timing
may be a bit irregular. Thanks for checking our first edition of "the Viking News" and please check out the
rest of the Rural Reflections website. If you are ever in need of beef for your table, please contact me at 218-964-5118
and I will check if I or my brother have a steer ready for butcher. Have a great day!
Contact Publisher Grant Nelson