A rural Dassel man recently was reunited with an artifact from his youth after a motorcycle, submerged for 56 years, was pulled from the depths of Big Swan Lake.
KWLM reports Dean Allie was 15-years-old on a late December day back in 1956 when he decided to drive his newly-repaired NSU motorcycle in Big Swan Lake. Allie says he noticed a six-inch wide crack in the ice but didn’t think it was a big deal. On his return trip, he noticed the ice had changed…and before he knew it, he was in the water.
He was able to get out of the water, but the bike was gone. He says he came back and tried to find it a few days later, but snow had covered the spot. The next summer he trolled the spot in a boat and dragged the bottom with a probe but could not find the bike.
The bike seemed to be lost forever, but this past November, Jeff Reidemann was dragging the lake for carp when something big got caught in his net…and it was the motorcycle. He put it next to a tree on shore, and later, while having coffee in Dassel, mentioned it to someone who knows Allie. Allie’s sister took a picture of the cycle and showed it to Dean, who is now 71, and he recognized it right away.
Dean’s wife Betty says he was very happy to be reunited with the cycle, but wasn’t sure what to do with it. Bike collector Ron Miller of New Ulm heard the story and asked for the bike. Miller is working on the motor to get it to turn over, but otherwise plans to leave it in it’s current condition and display it, and might even bring it to the Sturgis motorcycle rally this summer.