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'Creepy girl' finds her family

The Kinney family of Badlands Sno-Park discovered a portrait of this girl in a family basement, and were searching for her identity. They now know she is a relative of John Hanson, one of the early owners of the land where Badlands is located. Submitted photo1 / 2
Wayne and Lilibeth Hanson, center, claimed the portrait of a young girl found by sisters Patsy Bevers, left, and Maggie Hall, right, in their mother’s home. The two were searching for the identity of the young girl, and found it through Wayne Hanson, the grandson of farmstead owner John Hanson. Submitted photo2 / 2

The old photo of a young girl that entranced the Kinney family of Badlands Sno-Park has found its way home to her family.

Hudson resident Wayne Hanson, the grandson of one of the Sno-Park land's early owners, John Hanson, claimed the photograph over the weekend.

"I was really surprised, but I knew it was ours," Wayne Hanson said.

The portrait of the young girl was found in the basement of the Kinney family home, having made its way there from its original home on the Badlands property down the street.

Kinney sisters Maggie Hall and Patsy Bevers said the photo had intrigued their family when they discovered it after their mother's death.

Unknown to their family, they affectionately referred to the subject as "Creepy Girl" and set out to find who she could be.

The family of John Hanson, who lived on the Badlands land when it was a farmstead in the early 1900s, seemed like the likely answer. They couldn't be sure though, until Wayne Hanson contacted them after reading about their search in the Star-Observer.

Wayne Hanson believes the girl is likely his grandmother Petra Hanson, the wife of John, from when she was a girl in Norway. It could also be the eldest daughter, Selma.

Wayne Hanson said he was grateful to find an artifact from his family.

"It's just like being back in the old times," he said. "I can remember all the stories my father used to tell and it's just like going back in time."

Hall said she and her family are happy that "Creepy Girl" has found her way home.

Rebecca Mariscal

Rebecca Mariscal joined the Hudson Star Observer as a reporter in 2016. She graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a degree in communication and journalism. 

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