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Lind: Can Pile full of slick memories

It was a year ago this week that the famed Can Pile of Casselton, N.D., was moved. That's the 50-foot tower of empty oil cans that is, depending on your point of view, a) a historic landmark, or b) an eyesore. For Everett Brust of Fargo at least,...

Charles Abrahamson and Jim Rehn
Fargo Central High School students Charles Abrahamson, left, and Jim Rehn drove from Fargo to see the Can Pile in Casselton, N.D., in 1948. Special to The Forum

It was a year ago this week that the famed Can Pile of Casselton, N.D., was moved.

That's the 50-foot tower of empty oil cans that is, depending on your point of view, a) a historic landmark, or b) an eyesore.

For Everett Brust of Fargo at least, it's a memory from his teenage years.

The Can Pile began innocently enough in 1933, when Max Taubert opened a service station at a Casselton intersection and began throwing empty oil cans inside a chicken-wire fence surrounding an old windmill.

The Can Pile began to climb. And climb. And climb. And draw tourists' attention.

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When Max died in 1973, the Loegering Manufacturing Co. bought the service station site and felt it was best, for aesthetic and environmental reasons, to get the pile out of there.

But Can Pile fans didn't want to see it destroyed. So last May, the 12-ton pile was shrink-wrapped, lifted by crane on a trailer and hauled to another Casselton location where it continues to draw attention while awaiting a decision on where it should be placed permanently.

Memorable trip

Now let's go from Casselton in 2009 back to Fargo in 1948, where three buddies were about to graduate from Central High School.

They were Charles "Chuck" Abrahamson, Jim Rehn and Everett.

The boys "had heard so much about it (the Can Pile)," Everett writes, that one day they drove to Casselton just to see it and take pictures.

After graduation, Chuck joined the Army and served in the Korean War; he and his wife now live in Los Angeles. Jim, now deceased, was a police officer in Fargo and in Denver. Everett was a 40-year member of the North Dakota Air National Guard, served as its photographer and retired in 1987.

But Everett will never forget that visit to Casselton.

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Well, that's understandable. After all, how many piles of empty cans are there in the world that tower 50 feet high and rate capital letters, as does Casselton's Can Pile?

If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107; fax it to 241-5487; or e-mail blind@forumcomm.com

Related Topics: CASSELTON
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