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Take a walking tour of historic downtown Perham

The public is invited to join Otter Tail County Historical Society's executive director, Chris Schuelke, for a walking tour of historic downtown Perham on Thursday, May 31.

Schuelke said this tour is the first of its kind, and will hopefully lead to more in the future.

"I'm looking forward to it," he said. "It should be a lot of fun."

According to a press release from the historical society, when the Northern Pacific railroad bypassed Otter Tail City in favor of Perham in 1871, the success of the community was ensured.

Named after railroad executive, Josiah Perham, the village quickly grew into the county's second largest town.

Unlike many communities its size, Perham retains many of its historic structures. Each building has a story to tell about people and events that define the town's history.

A walk through the well preserved downtown reveals a series of architectural treasures that people typically ignore on their daily routine. For example, one building features the initials and logo of the fraternal organization the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (find out which on the tour).

In addition to highlighting building styles and features, the tour will include stories and trivia from Perham's past. (Such as, which Perham dentist used the phrase, "a little pain to save a big pain" to advertise his practice?)

People are encouraged to bring stories of their own to share, which will continue to be shared at future tours.

The tour begins promptly at 6:30 p.m. at Northern Pacific Park. Cost is $5 per person.

For more information, call 218-736-6038 or visit