The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

March 14, 2013

Herbst to be forever connected to beloved Minneopa State Park



The park-area resident recalled the long-ago image of a man who delivered coal to Mankato homes and businesses.

When the coalman’s work day was done, he’d come to the falls to clean  up under its cascade.

“This is where he’d come to strip off a certain amount of his clothes,” Herbst said in his typical fashion, sharing just enough of the tale to keep it tantalizing.

Said Frentz, “He’d hint at something but not tell you anything.”

Brand said Herbst’s quirkiness also came into play when Friends of Minneopa held meetings in a local restaurant.

Others would order food and drink, but Herbst never did.

“He’d say, ‘I don’t eat anything I don’t make myself.’”

Frentz said Herbst’s zeal for Minneopa State Park was demonstrated thusly a few years ago:

When it came time for Friends members to fill out their yearly volunteer work-hours forms for the state Department of Natural Resources, Herbst penciled in about 400 hours.

“He beat all of us put together,” Frentz said.    

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