For many years, I have heard the story of when Lake Belle Taine drained.

My dad and my wife’s father both told the same story, so it must be a fact.

It seems that long ago – I don’t know when – Lake Belle Taine drained, all the water went out a hole in the bottom of the lake. They think there was an underground river that sucked all the water out of the lake.

My dad and my wife’s father hauled trees with horses to the lake and people put them down the hole until it plugged up and the lake filled back up.

I have never been able to verify this story, but believe it to be true.

My dad was born in 1900 and my wife’s father in 1901. These dates may give us a time basis for the story.

I have been told that Pickerel, Blue and the Bottle lakes are all hooked together with an underground river. This theory was tested with dye.

There are many stories about the different lakes around Park Rapids. Within a 50-mile radius of Park Rapids, there are 420 lakes.

The stories are endless. If you have any, send them into the newspaper to me (203 Henrietta Ave. N, Park Rapids, MN 56470 or sgeisen@parkrapidsenterprise). I will try to put them in my column.

Back to the lakes. Potato Lake and Fishhook Lake somehow must have had their names messed up. Potato Lake looks like a fishhook and Fishhook Lake looks like a potato. If anyone knows anything about this, let me know.

Many people think there is a very large critter living in Pickerel Lake. I have heard this story all my life. Many people have claimed to have seen it.

One story I was told was about a man – the same one who told me the story – out on the lake in a boat. This large fish came up beside the boat. It was longer than the boat. Another fish story? I don’t know.

I, myself, have seen a large wave come across the lake and nothing there to cause it.

In about 1956, a state record was set in Lake Alice when someone caught a 2-pound, 15-oz. sunfish. To my knowledge, that record still stands today. That is one big sunfish.

My mother and her sister told many stories about big northerns caught in lakes around Park Rapids. My mother was born in 1910; her sister in 1904. They caught these fish when they were young. That was a long time ago. These fish were so big they would not stay on the kitchen table. They had a very large table, so that had to be a very large northern. In those days, people didn’t record the fish or check for a record so some them could have been a record – or just another great fish story.

Looking forward to your stories, please send them in.

A storyteller, John Zentz, 87, will share a blend of fact and fiction in his bimonthly column. Some tales he’s lived through, some he’s been told. Zentz and his family are longtime Hubbard County residents. He has a picture of his grandmother and grandfather, seven times removed, sitting on a porch in Park Rapids.