Locks hanging on Minot bridges raises curiosity

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A long-time mystery has gained attention once again in the Minot area.

If you’re walking through Roosevelt Park along the bridge, you may or may not have noticed the many padlocks.

“We’ve been seeing it for a little while. It looks like it’s trending,” Minot Park District Executive Director Ron Merritt said.

Merritt says being a part of the Minot Park District for the last 29 years, seeing padlocks hanging on the bridge’s fence isn’t anything new — only this year it seems to be gaining a new spotlight.

“There are more of them now than obviously there were earlier this spring,” Merritt said.

A few dozen more, he says.

But why and how did this start?

“I kind of did some research on the whole history behind the locks being in Paris and it actually originated out of Hungary from a lady who lost her love in World War I and she put locks on bridges wherever they met as a memorial to him and it kind of picked up on the Seine River in Paris,” resident Jennifer Weigel said.

And now, years later, its found its way in the Magic City.

Weigel says she hasn’t lost her love, but instead found love, and decided to place a lock for that reason.

“We got married on March 17th right before the pandemic hit and we’ve been trying to put the lock on the bridge for a while, so, here we are!” she said.

The park bridge isn’t the only place you can find these padlocks.

Just over Broadway, on North Hill, a few dozen hang there too — each one holding its own meaning.

“We used it to symbolize an unbreakable bond with one of our friends who sadly passed away. We utilized this lock as a symbol to keep our bond with him to be forever — no matter where he is,” resident Kaelyn Woiton said.

Some might ask, do these pose a threat to the fences, causing them to weigh down and possibly tip over? Merritt says as of now, there’s no issue.

“It doesn’t seem to be hurting anything at this point. I guess if it does get out of control we may end up having to remove them and people can start over again if they wish, but at this point, it doesn’t seem to be hurting anything,” he said.

Merrit says he encourages people to place a lock on the bridge in the park, but he says to be respectful of others while doing so.

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