The Decorah Nespapers
July 29, 2016
The first Nordic Dancers
Chapter 12 in the new book “Nordic Fest: 50 Years Strong” is dedicated to Decorah’s ambassadors of good will - The Nordic Dancers and Nordic Dancer Orchestra. The first group is pictured in the top photo in the very first Nordic Fest parade 50 years ago. The photo is courtesy John Nelson, and is just one of the pictures of the many groups of dancers from over the past 50 years featured in the book. The Nordic Dancers and Orchestra will perform throughout the Nordic Fest and the alumni are invited back for the Saturday night performance at the courthouse square. The book, which is hot off the presses, was researched and written by Dawn Svenson Holland, whose dad, the late Gary D. Svenson, was one of the founders of the Fest. Publishing Development by Erik Anundsen, Anundsen Publishing Company.
  • Eight new rooms at Hotel Winneshiek
         EIGHTY YEARS AGO: There are eight new rooms on the second and third floor of the Hotel Winneshiek in downtown Decorah. The rooms are above the lobby area. Each room is equipped with a French phone. Four of the rooms have modern SQUARE bathtubs. The hotel can now house 125 guests. Hotel Manager Ernest Bergman said a new bar in the Italian taproom has been completed, with the most sanitary draught beer equipment – just as in the old Indian room at the hotel. “Even the ladies will like it too.” Public inspection is encouraged.
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  • Locust Rd. deadlock has officially ended
         EIGHTY YEARS AGO: The final act of the Winneshiek County Board of Supervisors last week was in closed session. The Locust Road deadlock has officially ended. A step closer has been made for improvements, with an agreement approved to install blacktop over the next three years.
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  • Destructive fire causes $15,000 in damages

        EIGHTY YEARS AGO: One of the most destructive fires in the city of Decorah in recent years was reported the other day. An estimated $15,000 in damages resulted in the blaze at the Ingvoldstad Lumber Company yards when nine immense coal silos caught fire.

    A Chicago attorney has donated a valuable wall rug to Luther College. The rug, measuring 5x6 feet, is valued at a whopping $1,750. The rug is a semi-antique Kirmanshah portrait rug, portraying a Shah of Persia. Arthur Anderson, the donor, is well known in this area, as he is the donor of the boat Tradewind, a small craft that crossed the Atlantic Ocean and is now displayed at the Norwegian American Historical Museum.

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  • Rev. Paul Koren celebrates 50th

       EIGHTY YEARS AGO: Rev. Paul Koren, the pastor at Washington Prairie Church, is celebrating his 50th anniversary as a pastor.

    Enrollment FOR GIRLS is officially under way for the first time in history at Luther College. It is reported that there are already as many inquiries from prospective girl students as to make it seem certain that the total enrollment for girls for the first year of coeducation will exceed 100. This is a very satisfactory start. Luther has been a college for men for 75 years.

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  • Plans for city swimming pool are now finalized
         EIGHTY YEARS AGO: The construction plans for a new swimming pool for the city of Decorah have been finalized. Bids came in this week, according to Mayor George A. Baker. The contract for supervision of the construction work of the Decorah swimming pool has been awarded. The bid of the Fred Carlson Company of Decorah was  $2,800 for which they will provide one concrete mixer, mixing scales, truck, scrapers, wheelbarrows, water hose, picks and shovels, as well as other small tools. Labor on the pool is to be provided from the WPA rolls.
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  • ‘Risky’ prisoners are captured in big raid
         EIGHTY YEARS AGO: A siren-screaming state highway patrol car and officers in a caravan of 11 cars drove into Waukon with some “risky” prisoners the other night, following that big raid reportedly conducted in the area. The gang of thieves was traced to a “shady” headquarters in Postville. A stolen car, men’s and women’s clothing, whiskey, playing cards, poker chips, some lumber and a gas siphon were just a few items of “loot” discovered by investigating officers.
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  • Decorah remains in Republican ranks

         EIGHTY YEARS AGO: Democrats had 780 more votes in the June 1936 Winneshiek County primary election than did the Republicans. Decorah, however, remained in the Republican ranks again this year, with 781 votes, compared with 617 for Democrats.

    Ice cold milk – that stays near the freezing point even on a “near hundred-mile drive” in the summer months. That is what can be found soon here in Decorah these days with refrigerated trucks being the latest in new machinery.

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  • Land purchased for new Decorah pool
        EIGHTY YEARS AGO: Official word has finally been released to the public that the modern, new Decorah Swimming Pool will be constructed at the intersection of Luther College and Highway 52. Land has been purchased and deeded to the city park board for the new pool. Time of actual start of construction is still on hold.
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  • Seniors from throughout area invited to Luther
         EIGHTY YEARS AGO: High school seniors from a 75-mile area are invited to Luther College this week for a program of music, baseball, talks and more. The splendid program is planned for the young folks only if favorable weather prevails. A fine orchestra, consisting of students from Luther College and from the Decorah College for Women, will be directed by Prof. Nickel. A delicious picnic dinner will conclude the festivities.
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  • New Decorah citywide delivery system begins
          EIGHTY YEARS AGO: A new citywide delivery system, set in place for local businessmen, has been put into operation here. The folks behind the delivery system are four enterprising young men from Decorah. Hubert McCauley, Raymond Rosa, Arthur Eggen and Earl White have four delivery cars in operation and they will pick-up and deliver packages for area stores every 35 minutes. Sixteen deliveries will be made daily with more deliveries on Saturday evenings starting at 6 o’clock.
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  • G-man who helped nab Dillinger speaking here
        EIGHTY YEARS AGO: The chief G-Man from the big Chicago office of the Federal Secret Service is speaking here in Decorah in early May. He reportedly helped capture John Dillinger, the most notorious gangster of them all. No doubt, he will have some interesting tales of intrigue to share.
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  • More than 170 paid old-age pensions

        EIGHTY YEARS AGO: More than 170 Winneshiek County residents are being paid old-age pensions. The elderly citizens are paid $14.50 each month.

    Allen Wise has been appointed Postmaster in Decorah. Postmaster Will Linnevold checked out after 13 years of efficient service to the citizens of this area.

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  • Seek programs to help keep boys occupied
        EIGHTY YEARS AGO: Local residents are determined to provide programs to occupy the leisure time of boys in this community in a beneficial manner. The average boy in Decorah spends 30 percent of his time outside the home, church and school and boys must be trained in activities that will help them attain manhood. This is the plea urged from a recent speaker at the meeting of the Decorah Chamber of Commerce. A great deal of emphasis is being put on Boy Scouting. “Participating in Boy Scouting will work to make these boys into useful men,” said Dr. A.F. Fritchen, chairman of the local Boy Scouts.
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  • Big blowout at Legion Hall a big success
        EIGHTY YEARS AGO: The “big blowout” on Wednesday night at the Anton Bernatz Post American Legion of Decorah was a huge success, with more than 100 in attendance. Chief concern expressed at the gathering was the demand for adequate care for our disabled veterans and their dependents. A Dutch Lunch followed the meeting.
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  • Quite a scare at Kendallville Store
         EIGHTY YEARS AGO: There was quite the uproar over at the Kendallville Store the other day. What might have proved to be a very serious accident occurred when the store filled with carbon monoxide gas. A number of people suddenly became ill, some falling right down onto the floor - unconscious. It was discovered that a clogged exhaust pipe was filling the store with the gas. All were able to escape without serious injury.
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