EIGHTY YEARS AGO: When an organization such as the V.F.W. is able to purchase warm clothing for 200 needy Winneshiek County children, it is doing a real service for this community. The local members of the VFW deserve a resounding thanks and congratulations from everyone in town for this most recent effort.

…Three one-act plays are in rehearsals at the high school. “Of All Things” stars Clifford Ellingson, Raymond Usgaard, Roy Fitch, Bette Dirks, Allan Moe, Ethel Barth, Irene Finberg and Joyce Thompson. Prompter is Kenneth Uglum.

…Diane Desing, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Desing of Decorah, had her tonsils and adenoids removed at the hospital last week.

…R.A. Amundson, proprietor of Bob’s Casino and Haymarket Taverns, has been ill at his home for some time. Locals wish him well in his recovery.

…John Valentine is head-and-shoulders above the other candidates for Iowa Governor in the recent poll conducted among county chairmen.

…Attorney Martin A. Nelson, the son of A.A. Nelson of Decorah, will seek the post of U.S. Senator from Minnesota.

…Burr Griswold from over at Hesper has started work at the Mabel schoolhouse doing office work.

…Following the trail of the stork from February, 1940: A girl was born Feb. 10 to Mr. and Mrs. John Martinek; a boy was born Feb. 8 to Mr. and Mrs. Maurice Hover; a boy was born Feb. 7 to Mr. and Mrs. Harold Sersland; and a boy was born Feb. 6 to Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Anderson.

…The Pleasant Ridge Telephone Company from the Castalia area held their annual meeting last week. Rates are $9 per year, with a $2 discount if paid up by July 1st on shared telephones. 

…There is a Big Carnival Dance coming up at Haugen’s Ballroom. The public address system will bring dancers the latest jazz and jitterbug recordings from such master bands as Jan Garber, Kay Kyser, Ted Weems, Freddie Martin and others. Come and enjoy the night for only THIRTY cents.

…The Ridgeway Basketeers won a doubleheader over Waucoma the other day. Gerald Gunderson had a high-team 11 points for the boys. The Ridgway girls also won their game with Waucoma the same evening. Hovden saw little or no action due to her knee injury. Drew had 22 points for Ridgeway in the game.

…The Burr Oak Community will have another opportunity to ice skate over at the Decorah rink next Saturday. After skating, the group will meet at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Ward for lunch. Each person is required to bring five cents for their transportation to the ice-skating rink.

…The Decorah High School cornet trio of Howard Owen, Robert Ostenson and Orville Danielson, missed first place in the Glendora Talent Contest at Waterloo last week by only three points. That is a good showing indeed.

…Cliff Natvig and Al Weis won first in doubles in the big Decorah Bowling Tournament last Sunday night. H. Olson and Harry McAndrews were second; and third place went to Dutch Rubie and N. Nilsson.


EVENTY YEARS AGO: The well-known chef Ben Sande is taking over the management of the Haymarket Restaurant here in town. He has purchased the business from Olaf Olson.

…According to the Decorah School Superintendent Fjelstad, the coal supply over at Decorah’s East Side grade school and at the high school building will not last for more than two weeks. Unless more coal can be obtained, drastic steps will have to be taken to conserve the remaining coal.

…The Iowa State Conservation Commission has approved an option to purchase 50 acres of land west of Coldwater Spring in Fremont Township to be added to the expanding preserve.

…The first four girls have moved into the new Brandt Hall at Luther College over the weekend. A “lighting up” ceremony took place, following a reception for Luther faculty, college employees and female students. The first new girls at the dormitory were Dolores Aasgard of Sunberg, Minn., Delores Ask of Lanesboro, Minn., Elaine Ahrens of Rudd, and Ann Holverson of Soldiers Grove, Wis.


IXTY YEARS AGO: Decorah now boasts so many wonderful places and wonderful prices and wonderful food. Here’s the list: Mabel’s Lunch at 201 Leiv Eriksson Drive, M&M Café at 112 Washington Street, Hymer’s Dairy Bar at 207 ½ Leiv Eriksson Drive, The Barb at 311 Leiv Eriksson Drive, the O.K. Café at 117 East Water Street, the Maid Rite Shop at 216 West Water Street, the Green Parrot at 300 Leiv Eriksson Drive, Ronnie’s Café on Winnebago Street, The Spring Hotel Café at 208 Washington Street, the Hotel Winneshiek Coffee Shop at 104 West Water Street; Ostrander’s Café at 317 W. Water Street, and Frederick’s at 213 West Water Street.

…The congregation of the Methodist Church here has approved a $112,000 building program for construction of a new education building. The structure will be built on the site of the present parish house and the old parsonage, next to the church.

…Some sly safecrackers made their way into two Ridgeway businesses and got away with $700. The dials on two safes were knocked off, one from Rue Lumber and the other from the Farmers Co-op Elevator.


IFTY YEARS AGO: Local members of the school board were treated to a talk on the recent dress code squabble. After considerable debate, board members agreed that good appearance of students has a positive effect on the educational atmosphere and morale at the school. The present code will remain in force.

In other school board news, the board learned about the growing drug use problem. It is believed that drug and narcotics education should begin at an early age. Some young people of age 18 are even known to have experimented with drugs.

…One lucky girl will soon be named North Winneshiek Homecoming Queen. Festivities are this Friday night at the high school. The queen will be either Lynee Kruse or Clarian Richert. Junior attendant is Marsha Emery. Sophomore attendant is Colleen Sutton. Freshman attendant is Arletta Emery. Five senior boys will serve as escorts: Richard Bently, Robert Ellingson, Harold Rosendahl, John Schnitzler and Dwight Seegmiller.

…Maynard Newhouse is now serving as president of the NE Farm Service Board of Directors.

…Area One over in Calmar is hosting its 1970 homecoming festivities this weekend. Theme is “The Shape of Things to Come.” Queen candidates are Sherry Kolaas of Postville; Nancy Moellers of Ossian; Joan Soland of Decorah; Roxi Wessel of Elkader; and Cathy Blake of Cedar Rapids.

…The Decorah boys wrestled well in several weight classes at the Class AA sectional wrestling tournament here last week: Paul Cote, Bill Varner, Craig Faldet, Dave Muether, Steve Hove and Craig Hovden had wins. The only tourney championships went to Cote and Varner.

…An attractive new Sunday School wing has been completed at Canoe Ridge Lutheran Church. The wing can be divided into three separate rooms by means of fold-back walls.

…Kjome Hardware is having a sale on Indian baskets, made by descendants of Chief Decorah. Priced at $4.75 and up.


ORTY YEARS AGO: Complaints by deputies of the Winneshiek County Sheriff’s Department about not being paid for overtime work were brought before the Board of Supervisors last week. Deputies currently make $1,160 per month.

…The Steyer Opera House in Decorah, once the meeting place for hundreds of operas, plays, concerts, socials, benefits, home-talent shows and lectures, back in the late 1800s, has now been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The structure currently houses Darling Drug and Wards on its first floor. Mrs. Frank Miller owns the building. The opera house was built in 1870 by Joseph Steyer. The hall on the third floor was designed to hold up to 800 people, with a fine auditorium and stage. The second floor has been converted to apartments.

…Following the trail of the stork from Feb. 12, 1980: to Mr. and Mrs. Charles Gipp, Decorah; a girl was born to Mr. and Mrs. Lowell Corlett, Castalia; and a boy was born to Mr. and Mrs. Earl Ellingson, Decorah.

…Luther College’s interim class called “Scuba specialties” was highlighted when sophomore Lindy Weilgart of Decorah and 11 other members of the class donned their wet suits and took chilly plunges into a frozen limestone quarry near Maynard. The divers swam circular patterns and held onto tenders at the surface. Instructor is Jay McGrew.

…The ninth grade Decorah boys’ basketball team just finished an impressive season with an 11-3 record. A new individual record was set this season by. Paul Ruffridge who shot 57 percent of his field goal attempts for an 11.4 points-per-game average. Steve Topping had an average in double figures for Decorah with a 10.8 average for 14 games. Coach is Jere Vyverberg.

…Luther College President E.D. Farwell has decided to resign as president in August of 1981 after completing 18 years as an educational leader here.


HIRTY YEARS AGO: Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce Ball is April 7 at Oneota Country Club. President of the Chamber this year is Erik Anundsen. His assistants on the planning committee are Jim Lillibridge, Maureen McConnell, and Linny Emrich.

…A new lumber industry is being proposed over in Frankville. Brothers Mark Henning of Waukon and Ron Henning of Castalia, along with Dale Dougherty of Decorah, propose to establish Henning Wood Products in a leased building there.

…Leon and Ruth Miller recently celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary. Ruth says there is a secret to their long marriage “He does his thing and I do mine,” she smiled.

…From the society pages of 1990: The engagement of Diane Wicks and Doug Osborn of Decorah has been announced. They will be married March 10 at Decorah Lutheran Church.

…The Department of Natural Resources is holding a public information meeting considering the designation of the Upper Iowa River as a Protected Water Area. The meeting is Feb. 21, 1990, at the Interstate Power meeting room.


WENTY YEARS AGO: The Marc Frana Band is playing Feb. 20 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Matter’s Ballroom in Decorah.

…The South Winn Warrior boys’ basketball team are conference champions with a 11-1 record. Coached by Chuck Ehler and managed by Mitch Brincks, the team members are Mike Johnson, Jamie Leifker, Marcus Henning, Travis Anderson, Andy Martin, Derek Taylor, Lee Schissel, Nathan Hollar, Mark Kleve, Charlie Boeckenheuer, Landon Holthaus, Paul Bakewell, Mark Huber, Tim Spalla, Josh Bentley, Aaron Meyer and Chad Bohr.

…Jessica Halverson is the new director of the Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce.

…North Winneshiek School officials received an anonymous holiday donation of $15,000.

…The Family Support Network will hold nurturing parenting classes here starting in late February. The classes will run for 10 weeks.

…Renee Lensing is the new South Winneshiek FFA Sweetheart. She was crowned Feb. 12.


EN YEARS AGO: The Winneshiek County Board of Supervisors has approved locating a new Veterans Administration community-based outpatient clinic on Winneshiek Medical Center property.

…Cecilia Mitchell from St. Benedict’s School and Rebecca Alcock from Decorah Schools finished well at the local Mathcounts Competition held here recently.

…Stop at Cho Sun Chinese Restaurant for the Valentine’s Day buffet – served from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. $9.95. Reservations recommended.

…Seniors on the Decorah Girls’ basketball team this winter are Rachel Burras, Amanda Twait, Karli Ramstad, Kelsie Larson, Megan McDonough, Sam Cuvelier and Lineke Oegema. Team managers are Jenna Rockweiler, Alexis Kuennen and Megan Tappe.

…Mr. Groovy’s is a new store in Decorah offering a variety of entertainment options for buy, sell or trade.