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February 10, 2016
Welcoming the train
The old Milwaukee Train Depot in Decorah is pictured in this photograph from a local collector. A celebration of sorts appears to be taking place as a big crowd has turned out to welcome the train and passengers. Upon a closer look, the band members in the center of the picture hold a decorative banner bearing the word “Decorah”. The railroad depot (which still stands today near the intersection of Water Street and Day Street) was built in 1888, boasting waiting rooms for men and women. Passengers could take the train to Calmar, where connections could be made to Chicago and the Twin Cities. No date is indicated on the photo.
  • Merchants donating playground equipment

        EIGHTY YEARS AGO: Free playground equipment is to be given away by Decorah merchants following a rural school contest in this area. Of note: Children will have no begging, soliciting or selling to do. Watch for more details in the months ahead.

    The CC boys have constructed a fine new bridge over at Twin Springs.

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  • Plot thickens in the murder of Decorah man
         EIGHTY YEARS AGO: The plot thickens in the murder of a Decorah man on New Year’s Eve. The man reportedly met up with a woman in La Crosse while he was entered as a contestant in a dance marathon.
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  • Cold weather hits county
         EIGHTY YEARS AGO: Extremely cold weather made all residents of Winneshiek County shiver this past week. According to weather observer M. D. Whitney, Decorah was the coldest spot in the state on the morning of Dec. 27, when the thermometer dropped to 17 below zero.
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  • Rumors swirl about loss of local Conservation Camp
     EIGHTY YEARS AGO: Rumors continue to swirl around the county of the possible abandonment of the Decorah Civilian Conservation Camp and 33 others of its kind in the Midwest. It is hoped Decorah will unite on a worthwhile new project for our CC camp here, and make an appeal to authorities to keep the camp busy for the coming months. 
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  • Big cheese on display at Rosenthal’s weighs 349

    EIGHTY YEARS AGO: The Big Cheese on display at Rosenthal’s weighs in at 349 pounds. The cheese will be on display for a few more days, and locals are asked to turn out for a sample when the cheese is cut on Friday.

    Hotel Winneshiek will play host go a guest speaker from the Minnesota School for the Feeble Minded next week.

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  • Ida Kraby has pansies blooming in her garden

       EIGHTY YEARS AGO: Mrs. Ida Kraby, residing on Mill Street, reportedly has some pansies blooming in her garden.

    The Glenwood Church confirmation class of 1875 held a surprise reunion at the Peter C. Johnson home on Upper Broadway the other day. It was also Mr. Johnson’s 75th birthday.

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  • Local couple sentenced to three years for adultery
       EIGHTY YEARS AGO: Judge H.E. Taylor has sentenced a local farmer and a woman who was working as a maid in the farmer’s family home to three years in jail for the crime of adultery. The despised farmer has since been sent off to Fort Madison Penitentiary; and the scorned female is being taken to the Woman’s Reformatory down at Rockwell City. In other court matters, a 19-year-old has been sentenced by the judge to five years for chicken stealing. Sheriff Mike Graf took him off to Anamosa to serve out his sentence.
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  • Bullet from Dillinger gangster on display here
    EIGHTY YEARS AGO: A bullet taken from the gun of Homer Van Meter, one of Dillinger’s gangsters, who was shot and killed a few months back in nearby St. Paul, has been secured by Jimmy McAndrews of Decorah. The bullet, which is proudly on display at the newspaper office, is drawing much attention. 
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  • Carolans retire from farm, move to town
    EIGHTY YEARS AGO: Mr. and Mrs. Phil Carolan have retired from their fine farm a few miles northwest of Decorah. They have packed up and moved to Decorah just west of the Catholic church. In the future, their farm will be operated by their sons, Will and Melvin – along with Phil making frequent trips to supervise the general operations.
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  • Decorah Elks holds ping pong tournament
    EIGHTY YEARS AGO: The Decorah Elks Lodge will once again hold the popular ping-pong tournament in the lodge rooms in mid October. Three trophies will be awarded for the winners. Entry fee for participants this year is 35 cents. The fee is charged to take care of the expenses of the cups and the balls to be used in all matches.
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  • Work commences on Wenthold farmhouse
    EIGHTY YEARS AGO:  Work has commenced on the farmhouse of the Wenthold Brothers, prominent Winneshiek County farmers living about three miles southwest of Decorah. Last winter, a fire destroyed their home. The brothers, Frank and Ed, have reportedly just completed the construction of a new grainery and a modern new garage.
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  • Swimming pool bond issue passes easily
        EIGHTY YEARS AGO: Vote on a new swimming “pool” bond issue passed 800 to 319. Bond issue amount was $15,000. Most folks in this area apparently favor an artificial lake, pond or lagoon over construction of a new cement swimming pool. Local council members are seeking input regarding the issue as the swimming debate continues.
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  • Dampness in new high school delays opening
    EIGHTY YEARS AGO: Dampness in the newly constructed and enlarged high school building, which is bounded by Vernon Street and River Street here in Decorah, delayed the opening of the school year by a week or so. Classes began here at public schools on Sept. 16, 1935. Students and parents are anxious to tour the new gymnasium on the north side of the school. 
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  •     EIGHTY YEARS AGO: Twelve new rooms are being added to the Winneshiek Hotel. Price tag for this most recent development project is estimated at $10,000. Construction will begin here soon. The Winneshiek has been crowded to capacity all of the past year with the rooms in demand during all seasons. All of the new rooms will be equipped with bathrooms and some will even have both a shower and a tub.
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  • Hitching grounds offer good place to park cars
    EIGHTY YEARS AGO: The city hitching grounds is gradually providing a popular place for parking autos, especially on Saturday nights when parking on the city streets is at a premium. A big new floodlight has been erected at the grounds situated at the rear of the Ness Grocery Store, lighting up the entrance for those interested in parking there.
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