This week in honor of Christmas we are featuring a few of the vintage Christmas cards in our collection. The card above was sent out by Mr. & Mrs. Charles Bartlett. Our Bartlett House Museum was named in honor of Bertha & Charles Bartlett. Bertha was the librarian in Story City from 1927 - 1964. Charles was a businessman and also worked for the Story City Herald.
These two cards were sent out by Rev. & Mrs. L.L. Orth of Story City in the early 1920s. Rev. Orth was the pastor of Grace Evangelical Church.
We hope you have enjoyed seeing these vintage Christmas cards. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the Historical Society!
This week we are featuring an envelope from the Viking Cracker Factory. The factory was located just south of Broad St on Elm Ave. Rev. Lars Sherven opened the Viking Cracker Factory in the middle of August of 1896. Prior to opening the factory, Lars was a pastor in Wisconsin and South Dakota as well as here in Story City at St. Petri Lutheran Church from 1883-1888.
In May of 1897 the factory was in full operation, making all kinds of cakes, crackers, and breads. Sherven was employing from six to a dozen people. In June the exterior of the factory was painted red.
Notices were placed in the Heralds that you could purchase broken crackers. Here's an example from the Dec. 2, 1898 issue: "Broken crackers, cookies, etc., can be bought at the Cracker factory at great bargains, every Saturday. They will only be sold on Saturdays, and when you go for them take a box or sack or something to carry them away in as Mr. Sherven does not keep anything of the kind."
By Feb. 3, 1899 the Cracker factory was using a train car load of flour per month. And the production capacity of the factory was 3,000 pounds of crackers per day. The census of 1900 shows that Sherven's sons, Rambert and Gustav, baked and worked in the cracker factory.
According to the August 27th, 1897 edition of the Herald, Sherven leased the factory to Mr. Jondall and Mr. Larson. In June of 1906 the company was sold to the Independent Biscuit Company. In the 1910s there is reference in the Heralds to the cracker factory being remodeled into apartments.
Wouldn't it be great this holiday season if we could stop by the factory and pick up a box of freshly baked crackers!
We are happy to announce that the Bartlett House Museum is a free bonus stop on this year's Tour of Homes. Our Queen Anne style home will be fully decorated for Christmas with vintage ornamentation.
Visitors to the Bartlett House will also be able to partake in a 12 Days of Christmas themed scavenger hunt. Images representing the gifts in the song will be placed throughout the house. Participants who find all 12 images will be entered in a drawing. The winner will receive a Story City themed gift basket. Thanks to Romsey Art and Gifts and the Story City GCC for their donations to the gift basket.
Complimentary refreshments will be served. A variety of gift items will also be for sale, including commemorative items for the 100th anniversary of the municipal Christmas tree, note cards, rosemaling, and books. Please stop in for a visit and try your luck at the scavenger hunt!
Info on Tour Homes & Tickets:
Homes featured this year include Rocke & Angela Rahfeldt, 1109 Pennsylvania Ave (sponsored by Hook & Eye Questers); Steve & Miriam Skartvedt, 1039 Eighth Street (sponsored by P.E.O Chapter FZ); and Chuck & Cheryl Semler, 319 Grand Ave (sponsored by Praeri Rail Trail Questers).
Tickets are $6 each and may be purchased at the Chamber Office, 524 Broad Street, NuCara Pharmacy, 621 Broad Street, from any Quester or P.E.O. Chapter FZ member or at any of the homes on tour days.