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.