Like many good stories, the foundation of the Pine City Pioneer was rooted in 18th century wagon-train folklore. Future Pine City Founder, P. Pine Poker, had led a group of hardy souls across the upper Midwest in search of the elusive Mighty Crappie. This near-mythical fish was thought to be many times larger than a typical crappie and was known for an elaborate mating dance, thought by many to look as if it was faking an injury, or flopping. P. Pine, or 'PP' as the locals called him, was unrelenting in his search. Throughout the warm summer and freezing winter he tried unsuccessfully to capture the mythical beast only solaced by bottles of whisky at his side. Bottle after bottle PP failed in his endeavor, and one by one the pioneers that began the search with PP dropped away to pursue saner endeavors in the region. PP found himself abandoning the hunt and isolated to local saloons, scratching images of the fish on pieces of paper which he circulated to the locals asking in a crude voice ...you seen this fish round here? The circulation of these articles came to an abrupt halt in 1879 when PP was distributing his articles at a local saloon only to accidentally bump into the wife of the town sheriff. The sheriff abruptly pulled his pistol in front of PP asking 'you poke-her?' to which PP thought was a reference to his name, so replied 'yuh-huh'. The rest is history as the sheriff unloaded 5 pistol rounds into PP, the 6th round was a dud.
In the months leading up to this event, the followers of PP had begun to band together as a community and with PP's unspoken (and some believe, completely unconscious) support had filed the first articles to claim township for their group. They thought it fitting that they name the town after their former leader, partly out of respect for his leadership skills and in part in the hopes that it might convince him to take a bath before the incorporation ceremony. However, none of this came to pass as PP's unfortunate encounter with the sheriff put PP and all of his inebriated hopes and dreams to rest. As a tribute to PP, the local towns-people gathered the chicken-scratch papers from PP's cold dead hand and published them as the first edition of the Pine City Pioneer, or sometime affectionately referred to as 'The Poker'.
Because of the creation of the paper and in support of PP's key role in the formation of their community, the funeral for P. Pine Poker was an event the likes of which the upper midwest had never before seen. Outdoorsmen, fish-lovers and whisky drinkers from all across the land had seen the writings of PP and made it their goal to share in PP's mission to find the Mighty Crappie. In fact, to this day the residents of Pine City as well as PP lovers from across the land congregate on Pokegema Lake in January to search for the Mighty Crappie. To show their solidarity with PP in this event, they sacrifice their time and their livers in order to drink copiously in the hopes that they too can have the vision of this amazing fish.
It should be noted that from that day forward many locals continue to claim to see P. Pine Poker walking the streets on cold empty nights babbling about fish and whisky.
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