EIGHTY YEARS AGO: Rumors are flying around town that Norway’s Crown Princess Martha and her three children may take up temporary residence in Decorah. They have been guests of President and Mrs. Roosevelt for several days. Decorah is reported to have been the small American city which most impressed the Norwegian royal couple when they toured America a year ago. Could they possibly return to Iowa? The home of the crown princess and princess has now been taken over by the German war lords under Hitler. The Crown Princess and children are currently refugees without her husband.

…A series of events which sound almost like a movie script caused an accident involving one of the local Nehi

Bottling Company’s trucks last week. As Harold Olson left Marquette to come to Decorah, a nice-appearing young man hailed a ride. Olson says he seldom picks up hitch-hikers, but he made an exception. They had not driven far when the young man said “I’ve got you covered Bud! Give me your money!” Instead of handing over any money, Olson socked the 28-year-old hitch-hiker in the jaw. A fight ensued. All this time the truck was traveling at a speed of about 30 miles per hour. The vehicle left the roadway, overturned and plunged into a ditch. The hitch-hiker escaped. Olson walked six miles to Marquette and returned to Decorah after being checked out at the hospital. Investigation continues. Olson was relieved that the thief did not get away with any of his money – which amounted to about $13 in all.

…A group of Winneshiek County farmers representing 17 townships voted in favor of establishing a. Soil Conservation District and also favored the inclusion of the entire county as the boundaries of the district under the newly-enacted Iowa Law at a meeting here at the Fairgrounds Community Building.

…The program of renovation and modernization of the Grace Episcopal Church here in town is now under way.



SEVENTY YEARS AGO: Good news for the area! There were no new polio cases reported for a full week here in Decorah.

…Lawrence Welk and his Orchestra are coming to Spillville! The show is planned in late September at the Inwood. This is Inwood’s super attraction of 1950! Tickets are $2 per person (tax included). Couples may purchase tickets for $3. Send orders to Mrs. L.A. Sobolik, Spillville.



SIXTY YEARS AGO: Now showing at the Decorah Drive-In Theatre: “Samson and Delilah” starring Victor Mature and Hedy LaMarr; and “The Sheepman” starring Glenn Ford and Shirley MacLaine. Shows are 60 cents for adults. First show starts at dusk. Kids free when in car with paying adult.

…The main speaker for this year’s first meeting of the Decorah Quarterback next week is Tait Cummins, sports director for WMT radio and television in Cedar Rapids.

…There were 1,800 school children in the Decorah School District reported for classes for the first time this fall. The district boasts 100 teachers and 19 school buses and three station wagons. The children come from all corners of the district, which measures 165 square miles of farmland plus land in Decorah, Hesper, Nordness, Freeport and Locust. To cook hot lunches for all these hungry students, six cooks are employed in Decorah and two are employed in the Hesper Center. And with all the new schedules, only one student missed the bus the other morning!



FIFTY YEARS AGO: Here are some deals from Jack & Jill in Decorah this week: sliced beef, four packages for $1; California peaches, $2.39 per crate; pork roasts, 79 cents each; fresh frozen orange juice, 6-oz can for 15 cents; and real chocolate chips, 39 cents for the large bag.

…Plans for improving Decorah’s Mary Christopher Park, formerly known as the Rock Island Park on East Water Street, were outlined to the Decorah City Council. Bob Hunt, Director of Decorah Parks and Recreation, reports the long-range plan for the park is to promote its use by senior citizens of the area.


FORTY YEARS AGO: Much ado about the new Susan B. Anthony dollar coin in this area! Decorah banks and merchants are concerned for the “Susie” coins because of its similarity in size and features to the George Washington quarter coins.


THIRTY YEARS AGO: More than 2,000 students moved into Luther College residence halls over the weekend, bringing with them everything but the kitchen sing. Among those moving into Brandt Hall was Susie Cole, a 1990 graduate of Decorah High School. She brought along a sampling of her collection of Teddy Bears. Another DHS graduate, Carmen Christopherson, also moved into Brandt Hall. She and her roommates were creative in making additional space in their room by stacking all three beds - one on top of the other. She admitted that the roommate who is to sleep on the top bed hadn’t arrived yet and wasn’t aware of their new bunking situation.

…A new bus service linking Luther College, the downtown area, Centrum Mall and Winneshiek County Memorial Hospital is being proposed for the city. Fare may be as low as 25 cents per ride! A 22-passenger bus is being considered by proponents of the bus plan.

…Town & Country Jewelers at 113 West Water Street is celebrating its 5th anniversary this week. Free carnations to the first 100 customers!

…Dental Associates of Decorah has opened a new building at 501 Sanford in Decorah.

…The Decorah High School Football Team trounced the Blackhawks from Prarie du Chien in an impressive 48-8 home debut victory last week. Mitch Running racked up 254 first-half yards, 83 of which came on the opening kickoff and 72 on an option run for paydirt.

…Decorah’s Tom Hovey continued his winning streak as he won his third-straight hobby stock A feature at Nordic Speedway last Sunday.


TWENTY YEARS AGO: A group calling themselves “The Decorah Dancers” are raising funds for a December trip to perform at the Outback Bowl. Members of the group are Andrea Stevenson, Jessica Anderson, Jade Mason, Stephanie Cline, Valerie Cline and Ashley Ryan.

…Greg Brown, whose folk CD called “Covenant” is being released soon, will perform at the Seed Savers Exchange benefit concert soon.



TEN YEARS AGO: A “Walk to School” practice day was offered here last week. The Decorah Walking School Bus participants were organized by the Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative. Among the children participating were Chloe Reiser, Nathan Rhodes, Mary Moore, Margaret Rhodes, Andrew Rhodes, Dannika Reiser and Brayden Reiser.

…Digital Dog Pound, a new movie rental business, is now open at 801 Short Street in Decorah.

…The people and parishioners of Spillville and St. Wenceslaus Church invited the public to their sesquicentennial Sept. 3-5. Storytelling, concerts, a church-to-church 5K run/walk, food stands, beer tent, raffle, beard judging and more are planned.

…Local veteran Bob Hunt, 91, of Decorah, was recently honored in Washington D.C., where he attended a special book signing event for his book “We Were Pirates” by Robert Schultz and James Shell. The book outlines Hunt’s 12 war patrols as a crewman on the USS Tambor submarine in the Western Pacific.