The town of Marty is an unincorporated community in Maine Prairie Township in Stearns Count just north of Kimball.  This time in WJON's "Small Town Friday" feature Marty is in focus.  I talked with lifelong Marty resident Roy Loesch.  John Decker from the Stearns History Museum says Marty got it's name in the late 1890s when Bishop Martin Marty was on his way to Holy Cross Church to dedicate the church when he passed away of natural causes.  The community chose to name the town after the Bishop.

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photo - Jay Caldwell
photo - Jay Caldwell

The community is located near the intersection of Stearns County roads 8 and 48 and close to County Road 141.  Pearl Lake is less than a mile east of Marty.  Businesses in Marty include the Pearl Lake Lodge, and Project One Construction.  Marty had a general store in the 1940s owned by Bernie Mueller.  Loesch says the store had groceries and various things including feed.

Loesch played for the Pearl Lake Lakers in Marty for 24 years.  He says he was the catcher on those teams.  He says they had some real good teams that did well in the regional playoffs but didn't make it to the state tournament.  Loesch says Laker Field is known as the field without a fence. He says Stearns County won't let them put a fence up because it would be too close to county road 48.  A prominent pitcher for the Pearl Lake Lakers was Herb Libbesmeier who Loesch says struck out 24 batters against Kimball one game.

Loesch says Pearl Lake has changed quite a bit over the years.  He says many years ago the lake had many cabins and resorts where people from the twin cities came up for the weekend.  He says many of the properties on the lake now are year round homes.

St. Patty's Parade in Marty

Marty has also been the home of the annual Marty St. Patrick's Day Parade. Some attendees are pictured above.

Loesch says many of the young residents of Marty attend Kimball High School like he did but they have buses from St. Cloud and ROCORI coming close to the community.

Just south of Marty a National Guard helicopter went down in 2019 where 28-year-old Chief Warrant Officer James A. Rogers Jr., 30-year-old Chief Warrant Officer Charles P. Nord, and 28-year-old Sgt. Kort M. Plantenberg were on board the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter that crashed. All 3 died in the crash.  A memorial is along side County Road 48 just south of Marty.

If you'd like listen to my conversation with Roy Loesch it is available below.



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