Listen Now
Pledge Now


Historic Cook County: The demise of a trapper along the Gunflint Narrows

There are many stories from the early days of northeast Minnesota, and it’s the mission of the Cook County Historical Society to document and record these glimpses of our past. Here’s an excerpt from a 2008 oral history by LeRoy Creech. Creech recalls a story he’d been told by Pat "Paddy" Bayle about finding the body of a 1900s fur trapper along the Gunflint Narrows.

LeRoy “Lee” Creech was the son of Judge James and Hazel (Andersen) Creech, and lived in “Creechville” in Grand Marais for 75 years. Lee worked at a gas station, the Forest Service, the Cook County School District and also owned and operated the NAPA store in Grand Marais until his retirement in 1993. Lee enjoyed fishing, playing music, and spending time at the family's cabin on Clearwater Lake. Lee died in 2012.

Patrick ”Paddy” Bayle was a former state forester and Cook County sheriff and served for 27 years as area forest ranger. Pat Bayle died in 1954 at the age of 77. The Pat Bayle State Forest is located near Grand Marais.

View the slideshow for photos of Pat "Paddy" Bayle and LeRoy "Lee" Creech.

This feature is a collaboration between WTIP and the Cook County Historical Society, and produced by Martha Marnocha.