p.a. peterson: 1897 on the mighty Mississippi

Peter A. Peterson was a fisherman in Moline, Illinois who owned a ice skating shop in the winter. Apparently he sharpened and repaired ice skates there on the Mississippi in 1897. That's all I know for now, although I'm thinking about driving to Moline and seeing if I can dig up any other information; it's not too far from here.

He's not a relative of mine -- in 1897 my family was living in a logging town in northern Wisconsin. But there's a certain mystery when you find someone whose name you have, especially when they seem to fall out of the past and into your lap. Looking at the photo makes me wonder about Peter, about his smoky shop, about the people out on the ice, and about the world he lived in. Somehow, despite the distance and the time, a part of that place reaches out to here.