Mankato's Storage History
Did you know that;
On the site that Store It now sits, Mankato’s first storage facility opened during the mid-1800’s.
Ezekiel Lumbertosen, a champion cliff diver who immigrated from Sweden was one of the first settlers of lower East Mankato. He bought some land just near Kohls Pond and tried. He had many endeavors, but never achieved the success he dreamed of. Nicknamed Mud Flap by those that knew him best, he tried farming the fertile soil, but the cucumber plague of 1871 killed those dreams. He later started a travelling lutefisk and flaming banjo show. He even drove the massive herds of winter tabby cats across the Great Plains into Cheyenne. Nothing seemed to click and the fortune never came.
Until he sat alone one cold fall day and watched squirrels gather nuts for the winter. He noticed that each family had their own little hole in a specific tree. He watched as the families loaded the nuts into their own designated space in the tree. Was this the moment? Would it work? Could it work? He knew right then he had to try.
Buying an old barn from Mortimer Blenderson and after much effort, moved the barn to a perfect location. Near the town, near the farms and with the Kohls Pond for water, he began. A second floor was added and he then sectioned the barn into small rooms. He hung doors on each room and opened shop. Soon enough, they came. What a great idea they remarked to each other and how “keen” Kato’s best would say. The townsfolk soon brought their belongings and paid for a storage at “ole Mud Flaps” barn. Demand continued and he expanded at the site. He even opened another location with the great French badger hunter Maurice Flambeau just across the border in Canada.
With his empire growing and the back accounts ever-increasing, it all ended on a fateful night. After crossing the border into Canada to check on his Winnipeg site, a rail car full of maple syrup heading west came off the rails and smashed old Ezekiel dead. Some say Monsieur Flambeau was responsible. The RCMP could never prove it though. The empire died with him on that day. Back in Mankato, the townsfolk spoke maybe a parade or erecting a statute for this burgeoning storage king, but eventually the memory faded. The barn fell into disrepair. And Mud Flaps dream of a storage kingdom faded into the past.
Until a few years back when construction began at the current Store It location. A story was found in the dirt. During excavation, crews began finding old locks, hinges for doors and even a diving board from the old country. Old newspapers found announced the opening of Bring It, Mankato’s “fancy” storage location. By some twist of fate, some coincidence, “Mud Flaps” dream hadn’t died after all. His old location was now being rebuilt as the most modern facility in the River Valley. While he may have never achieved the empire he dreamt of, Mud Flap will now live on at Store It. And we are very proud to continue his dream and his legacy.
Some locals even say on a warm summer night, you can hear ole Mud Flap on the diving board practicing his renowned “Swede Tumble” into the Kohls Pond while the town folk cheer him on.