EIGHTY YEARS AGO: A rattlesnake over four feet long with 12 rattles was killed last week by courageous Inga Exey from over near Freeport. She reportedly grabbed a stick, hacked the snake where it would do the most good … and that was that.

…Now showing at the theatre in Ridgeway – “Bringing Up Baby” starring Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn.

…The big Winneshiek Fair is being put on here in Decorah Aug. 18-21, 1938. Acrobats will do the famous pyramid pose during four nights of stage performances. Another big highlight for fairgoers this year will be the annual milking contest in front of the grandstand.


EVENTY YEARS AGO: The work of oiling the downtown streets of Decorah has now been completed.

…The Bergan brothers from over near Madison Township recently threshed 17 acres of oats, which went 76 bushels to the acre figured out on a weight basis of 36 pounds to the bushel.

…Decorah’s St. Benedict Parish has purchased the property of Mrs. Jennie Swehla on John Street, and five lots adjoining it. A school playground will be constructed on the property, which adjoins St. Benedict’s School on John Street.

…The Springer Hotel has been sold to Mrs. Marie Arness and Mrs. Bill Stockman. Former owners were Mr. and Mrs. Sam Usgaard.

…High School football equipment will be issued at the end of August, according to Coach Arthur Hass. The season opener is against Osage on Sept. 10.

…The controversial Dry Run Flood Control Project is rapidly assuming a finished look. Army officers were here in town last week to arrange to let contracts for construction of the last stage of the job. Final operation will take place from a spot below Twin Bridges to below the local fairgrounds.

…Proposed removal of the Bernatz Dam is being considered until more consideration can be given to the project.

…A shave at the local barbershop will go up to 50 cents after Sept. 5. Adult haircuts will remain the same as before at 75 cents. All county barbers will adhere to the new pricing.

…The top Baby Beef at the Winneshiek County Fair went for a whopping $54.50 per 100-pounds.    


IXTY YEARS AGO: There were 183 kids in a tussle for the fish derby awards here in Decorah last week. Prizes went to George Whalen for first fish caught; Richard Engen for last fish caught; Linda Grinna, most unusual fish; Mark Nichols, 10 caught fish; Jim McKernan, longest pole; and Freddie Rosenthal for “yelled the loudest.”

…A 1948 Packard belonging to Selmer O. Anderson was destroyed in a fire last Sunday morning. The fire started in a two-car garage on East Main Street.

…An opera career is the ultimate goal for Decorah’s Pauline Seim, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lars Seim, 103 Rural Avenue, Decorah. She was a Fullbright Scholar at Decorah.

…A falling flagpole injured Hubert Akken, age 11, of Decorah. The accident occurred at the fairgrounds.

…A gas-leak explosion at Barlow Tire Service in Decorah has left two dead and two in serious condition.

…Four young Boy Scouts from Protivin went on a tour of the newspaper office earlier this summer. The boys included James Bouska, Mark Lukes, Steven Bouska and Ron Novotny.

…An enrollment of 54 is expected at the Ridgeway High School this fall.

…A Hereford owned by Larry Teslow got the major honors at the Winneshiek County Fair in mid August. He is a member of the Glenwood Township 4-H Club. Testimony as to Larry’s showmanship followed close behind as he also was named the champion showman in the baby beef class.

…Norman Leistikow and Gary Van Vliet of the Burr Oak Builders 4-H Club each won a blue ribbon with their demonstration of “Safety First with Firearms” at the Winneshiek County Fair. Dean Sersland’s “Care of Electric Clocks” was also a winner. He is a member of the Frankville Jolly Boys Club.

…Decorah continues to offer the very best in men’s clothing at The Men’s Shop, Ben Bear Company, Larsen Clothiers and Frank A. Germann Store.

…Johnny Cash and Company with Leon McCauliffe and his Cimmarron Boys will perform Aug. 20, 1958 at the Fayette County Fair in West Union. Many from this area are planning a trip south for the fair.

…More than 1,000 turned out at Spillville’s City Park last week for Governor Day. Governor Herschel Loveless, along with several other state officials, were in attendance.

…Stanley Arneson, age 31, a farmer northeast of Decorah in the Sattre vicinity, is recovering at the Smith Memorial Hospital in Decorah after he was reportedly attacked by a bull.


IFTY YEARS AGO: Local 4-Hers with exhibits traveling on to the Iowa State Fair include: Wendy Hanson of the Washington Prairie Peppers, with a hand sewn jumper; Alma Hageman of the Turkey Valley Lassies, with a science display; Jim Andera of the Jackson Winners, with a woodworking project; and Keith Newhouse of the Burr Oak Builders with his winning photography submission.

…Now showing at the Decorah Drive-In Theatre: “Cool Hand Luke” starring Paul Newman; and “The Carpetbaggers” starring George Peppard.

…Faith Newhouse recently gave a talk on her experiences as a camp counselor at Safety Camp in Iowa. Her talk was during the Burr Oak Wonder Workers 4-H Club Achievement Program. Marlene Hovey talked about her trip to Ames for the 4-H State Conference. Also during the program, Karen Sacquitne earned top honors in the style revue.


ORTY YEARS AGO: Over in Protivin, the “Pivo” was flowing and the polka bands were entertaining during the big Protivin Centennial Weekend celebration earlier this month. The Archbishop of Dubuque was the main celebrant at Father Frank Perkovich’s Polka Mass. Pivo (beer in Czech) was a big drawing card for the Centennial, with a specialty beer brewed just for the Centennial by the Walters Brewery of Eau Claire, Wis. More than 100,000 cans of the beer arrived just in time for the celebration. It was priced at 65 cents a can (cold), or $8.50 by the case.

…Stop at Gibson’s Snack Bar on Saturdays and Sundays for 15-cent hotdogs and 10-cent ice cream cones.

…Father Russell Meyerhofer has been welcomed at the new associate pastor at St. Benedict’s Church in Decorah. He will assist Father Ed Lechtenberg.

…A local group called Local No. 4, made up of Jon Thompson, Mark Faldet, Steve Orwoll and David Usgaard, will perform at the Iowa State Fair Talent Show this summer. Their coach is DHS Choir Director Jim Sexter.

…There are six new teachers in the Decorah schools this fall: Beth Underbakke, Martha Mohr, Kimberly Heyworth, Teresa McGraw, Wanda Milbrath and Susan Haemker.

…Leiran’s A&W of Decorah captured the Decorah Park Rec men’s slow pitch softball championship here last weekend over Weis Buick. The team is made up of Tom Klotzbach, Bob Tieskotter, Loren Stortz, Randy Hahn, Tom Massman, Keith Bruening, Chuck Holthaus, Richard Hahn, Dale Thompson, Dave Strand, Brian Hanson and managers Eugene Sande, and Karl Klotzbach.

THIRTY YEARS AGO: Now showing at the Viking Theatre: “Bull Durham” starring Kevin Costner and Susan Sarandon.

…Three Decorah swimmers – Brent McGrew, Josh Snyder and Jory Blauer – will compete in the Junior Olympics in August in Des Moines.

…Current Certificate of Deposit (CD) rates in the area are 7.7 percent for deposits starting at $2,000.

…A big farm meeting in Protivin was jam-packed with Northeast Iowa’s drought-stricken farmers. The crowd gathered at The Mint in Protivin to learn more about handling the summer drought.

…Spahn and Rose Lumber Company of Decorah will build a new shop building for Winneshiek County over at Ridgeway in the coming weeks.

…Back by Popular Demand – 15-cent pancakes and 25-cent link sausages (no limit) at Family Table Restaurant, Decorah.


WENTY YEARS AGO: The local school district is searching for substitute teachers. Earn $65 per day.

…Mary Sallee of Decorah is the temporary manager of the Hotel Winneshiek. Her most recent position was coordinator for the Iowa State Fair Singers and Jazz Band, based in Decorah.

…Dr. Kurt Swanson has joined the Gundersen Clinic staff here in Decorah. He and his wife Erin have one daughter, 21-month-old Anna.


EN YEARS AGO: The City of Decorah is officially pursuing the purchase of flood insurance.

… A special “Dog Days of Summer” event is scheduled at the Decorah swimming pool later this month. Man’s “best friend” will have a chance to dog paddle at the pool during the event.

…From the society pages of 2008: Susan Wolfe and Adam Peterson are pleased to announce their engagement and upcoming wedding. They will be married Sept. 27 at St. Benedict’s Catholic Church, Decorah.