Mary Casanova and the ghosts of Koochiching
For three decades, Mary Casanova has lived in Ranier, one of Northern Minnesota’s most northernmost communities, situated on the edge of Rainy Lake. As a writer and storyteller, she’s naturally collected a wealth of information about the region, the 100-year-old house she lives in, and the area’s notable residents. One of these stories caught her attention and wouldn’t let go.
Twenty years ago, Casanova was reading Hiram Drache’s "Koochiching: Pioneering Along the Rainy River Frontier." In the book was a brief reference to a prostitute who had been found frozen to death in the snow. Her body was propped up in the corner of the room at a City Council meeting. The incident “caused quite a stir,” wrote Drache, but that was all he had to say about the woman. The rest of the story was up to Casanova to write.