The Decorah Nespapers
June 25, 2017
Ice Cave Concession Stand
Steve MacArthur shares this vintage photograph. He writes “I read in Echoes of the Past about Ice Cave opening for the season. Here is a picture of the old concession stand at Ice Cave. Admission was 10 cents. Nels Larson (Steve’s great grandfather) is inside the concession stand. Outside left to right: Bernett Olson (great grandfather), Chris Queensland, Ida Queensland, Bernice (Larson) Scarvie (great aunt and wife of co-proprietor Stanley Scarvie and sister of co-proprietor Glen Larson, my grandfather). The child is possibly Dorothy Queensland, daughter of Chris and Ida. My grandfather Glen Larson and his brother-in-law Stanley Scarvie were the operators. A sign pictured near the entrance to the cave reads “Nature’s Refrigerator.” No other identifications are indicated on the picture.
  • New Bluffton Bridge should open next week

        EIGHTY YEARS AGO: That new 300-foot Bluffton Bridge located over the Upper Iowa River will be opened to the public next week. It is planned to have some pioneer resident of Bluffton make the first trip across the bridge.

    A Calmar lady has died from injuries sustained when she was run over by a train in the Calmar Railroad yards shortly after midnight a few weeks ago.

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  • Law enforcement picks up carload of ‘bad’ gypsies
        EIGHTY YEARS AGO: Sheriff George Harms and Deputy Sheriff Fred O’Boy of Winneshiek Sheriff’s Department (along with Highway Patrolman Lloyd Meyer) have picked up a company of three auto loads of those bad gypsies. They were between Calmar and Decorah the other afternoon. The gypsies were told to promptly restore the $9, which they had stolen from the pocket of an 80-year-old Postville resident, Carl Reinche. The gypsies also paid $20 to settle the man’s claim. Investigating officers wormed the funds out of them after considerable talking. There were upwards of 20 gypsies in the party, including more than 10 children. Locals beware.
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  • Sheriff, deputies honing machine gun, revolver skills

         EIGHTY YEARS AGO: Local Sheriff Harms and the other local deputies are hard at their machine gun and revolver practice at least every 10 days. They go out to shoot at the target range a few miles out of Decorah on the Bluffton Road.

    Students at St. Aloysius School are preparing for their annual school exhibit, which is held conjointly with their Pink Tea Carnival in honor of Mother’s Day. 

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  • Sheriff issues warning on one-armed bandits

        EIGHTY YEARS AGO: Sheriff Harms of Decorah has issued a stern warning to any and all places in the vicinity allowing the dreaded gambling device – the one-armed bandit – the slot machine. He said drastic action is being taken to rid the area of these devices. Remove them or else.

    More than 25 local residents are sitting idle here in Decorah as a strike has commenced at the local poultry plant – Decorah Produce Company. This is the first-ever strike of this kind in Decorah. Picketers are asking for higher wages. Local manager H.H. Woldum has reportedly stated he will promptly hire a new work force if those on strike don’t return to work immediately. Decorah workers at the firm are getting 25 cents an hour.

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  • Cliff Ryan shows off his skills as a pilot
        EIGHTY YEARS AGO: Cliff Ryan, local airplane pilot, gave a magnificent demonstration of his exceptional skill and nerve the other afternoon when he brought the Dewey Tatro airplane to a safe landing in a small alfalfa field a few miles north of Decorah’s airport. The plane reportedly had run out of gas at a height of 2,000 feet.
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  • Annual report for Hospital Farm released
         EIGHTY YEARS AGO: The annual report of the Decorah Hospital Farm for the past fiscal year was released last week. Receipts of $10,151 have been tallied. The hospital farm was the property of William Smith, a wealthy retired farmer who willed it to the hospital. He had previously given liberal sums for the establishment and maintenance of the hospital. The farm consists of between 400 and 500 acres, and much of it quite rough. John Schnitzler is the farm tenant today, and the farm is conducted on a 50-50 basis. E.F. Sellman is manager of the farm, and he is to be commended for his fine work.
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  • Frankville voters will decide on school bond

        EIGHTY YEARS AGO: The voters of Independent Country School District No. 6 over at Frankville will soon make their voices heard on a $2,000 bond issue. The purpose is consideration of erection of a brand new school building.

    A new dormitory for women is being proposed on the Luther College campus. The local chamber has pledged $5,000 towards the project.

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  • Rosenthal’s Sons Grocery is celebrating 50 years
        EIGHTY YEARS AGO: F.J. Rosenthal’s Sons Grocery in Decorah is celebrating 50 years in business. The jamboree is being highlighted by a food carnival and amateur radio contest. The event is March 27, 1937. Some of the bargains for local shoppers include three pounds of fresh bananas for 17 cents; a pound of delicious Wilson bacon for 29 cents; and a jar of fancy peanut butter for 19 cents.
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  • DHS debaters do very well at Drake University

       EIGHTY YEARS AGO: Debaters at the local high school scored well at the Drake University meet in Des Moines. Decorah was represented by Justin Nelson, Everett Miller and Philip Jerman. They lost out in the finals to a strong Oelwein team.

    Registration at Luther College is at an all-time high for the year, with the number of students totaling 433.

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  • 25-foot snow drifts hamper rail service

       EIGHTY YEARS AGO: Train service is continuing on a limited basis after a big snowstorm left 25-foot high drifts in the area. It is believed to have been one of the worst storms in Iowa history.

    Huber Hatchery in Protivin is holding a grand opening. The 28,000-capacity hatchery was installed in the former Bouska Garage.

    Bill Lyman is the 155-pound, district wrestling champion. He is the son of C.S. Lyman of Decorah.

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  • $62 for good cows, $165 for quality horses
        EIGHTY YEARS AGO: Prices as high as $62 for good cows and $165 for high-quality horses have been paid at auction sales around these parts this month. Decorah State Bank reports these results after clerking six sales just last week. Top prices for the season were paid at the Bergit Nelson auction. Corn as high as $1 is also reported in this corner of the state.
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  • Quick response to fire at A.T. Holton farm
        EIGHTY YEARS AGO: A rural fire truck was called out to the A.T. Holton farm in Glenwood Township the other morning. The firemen made a quick response, but when they arrived about a mile from the house, the main road had drifted shut, so firemen took a temporary road through a field, which slowed them a bit. The fire started in an upstairs closet from an undetermined origin. Some clothes, including a nice new suit of clothes, were destroyed.
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  • School District completes deal on purchase of land
         EIGHTY YEARS AGO: It’s official. The Decorah Board of Education has completed a deal for the purchase of three and one-half lots north of the present school grounds and bordering on Jefferson Street. Total cost is $600. If the proposed Dry Run flood control program is carried out, these lots will enable the school grounds to be considerably enlarged.
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  • Visiting children save local family from fire
        EIGHTY YEARS AGO:  Three neighbor children, the offspring of Mr. and Mrs. Sam Lietsch, are being given credit for saving a local family from burning to death in a fire. The visiting neighbors alerted Mr. and Mrs. Leo Funk and their two children about the fire, which started about five o’clock the other morning. The blaze completely destroyed the Funk home and most of its contents. The Lietsch children are light sleepers, staying overnight in a strange home, and they were awakened by the smell of smoke. The visiting children had great difficulty waking the Funk family, but were soon successful and all were able to escape without injury. A defective chimney is the cause of the blaze. The loss is considerable.
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  • County has 400 miles of hard-surfaced roads

        EIGHTY YEARS AGO: Winneshiek County now has 400 miles of hard-surfaced roads, having added an additional 54 miles last year. Roadwork cost the county $214,000 last year. Improvements are still needed according to local supervisors.

    The Winneshiek County Farm Bureau Male Quartet is to be congratulated as they have captured first place in the male quartet contest at the state Farm Bureau Convention held recently in Des Moines. The local group features Emick Ellickson, tenor; Willard Torgrim, second tenor; Willard Linnevold, baritone; and Arthur Lomen, second bass. Assisting the men were Mrs. Durwood Darling, accompanist; and Miss Clara Hoyt of the Luther music department.

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