Le  Seur, Minnesota

For many years, farmers and local residents near Le Seur, Minnesota have reported seeing a red light, that looks like a lantern, bobbing along the Omaha Railroad tracks south of the town. These sightings date back many years and have been connected to an unsubstantiated report of an old hermit who lived in a nearby cave. Does his ghost still haunt the area?

The area south of town was known as Old Brewery Hill for the brewery that was started there around 1875 by George Kienzli. He constructed a small building on the hill and beneath it dug two deep cellars into the earth. Large wooden casks were brought in to store the beer while it aged and to hold ice that would keep the earthen chambers cool in the summer. The beer that was brewed there was hauled to nearby towns and it was fairly successful for a number of years. Eventually, it was sold twice more and closed down. The buildings later burned down but it is said that visitors along the east side of Ottawa road can still see the remains of the cellars if they can find the right side of the hill.

While the brewery is long since gone, the story of a ghost in the vicinity remains. It was believed that a man lived in one of the brewery caves and people claimed to see him leave the cave, walking along and carrying a red lantern. It was said that if you tried to approach him, he and the lantern would disappear. Curiosity-seekers who explored the cave found some old clothes, a straw mattress, a shoe box.... and human bones.

Apparently, the hermit who lived in the cave had died long ago, but someone was seen leaving the place at night and walking along the railroad tracks! A brakeman aboard a passing train reported that one night, the train was forced to stop because of someone carrying a lantern along the tracks. When the brakeman got down from the train to removed the man from the path of the train, there was no one there. The engineer and several workers on the train all swore that they had seen a red lantern.

As time has passed the ghost of the old hermit still haunts the stretch of tracks near Old Brewery Hill, still waving his red lantern as he walks along and still vanishing if anyone gets too near. Why he haunts this place remains a mystery....

The small town of Le Seur, Minnesota is located in the south central part of the state, about fifty miles southwest of Minneapolis/ St. Paul. Old Brewery Hill is located south of town along the road to Ottawa. The hill is located on the east side of the highway.

Copyright 1998 by Troy Taylor

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