The Historical Society is featuring two photos from a Story City Federated Women's Club (FWC) meeting that was held on January 16, 1950. Mrs. Stanton James presented a program on "antiques" in a unique manner. From the January 19, 1950 Herald article on the program: "She began with an original poem, in which she invited her neighbors in for a cup of coffee and to preview the trousseau of her daughter who was about to be married and was planning a year's honeymoon trip, so the garments were from every season of the year." Many beautiful costumes dating back several years were modeled. Photographed here are the summer and winter costumes. Mrs. James also had variety of wedding gifts on display and gave the history of many of them, including a music box, a framed hair wreath, Battenberg scarfs, Haviland china dishes, copper from Norway, etc. The Story City FWC was officially organized on September 19, 1938. Regular session meetings were held in the Community Hall (now known as Grand Viking Hall). This club had one of the largest memberships of any of Story City's women's organizations. At the time of the 1950 meeting, the membership totaled 128. We would like to thank Katherine Munsen for donating these photos to the Historical Society.
The historical photo of the month features Sylvian Skeie as Santa in a sleigh with ponies by Story City's Municipal Christmas tree. Skeie was born in 1902 in rural Story City. The photo was taken around 1950. Story City has celebrated Christmas with a municipal Christmas tree for over 100 years as the first tree was put up in 2014.
In honor of Veterans Day our photo of the month for November shows Story City men leaving in 1917 to go off to war. The photo is looking west down Broad St, the old depot was on the north side of the street. Just over 200 people from the Story City area served in WWI. Next year will mark the 100th anniversary of the United States entering WWI. To mark this anniversary, the Historical Society is researching and planning an exhibit that will share the history of Story City’s involvement in the war. We are putting a call out for any Story City related WWI memorabilia. If you have items that you would like to donate or loan to the Historical Society for this exhibit, please contact us. Also if you have any family stories about WWI you’d like to share, we’d love to speak with you. We'd like to thank all of the men and women from Story City who have served and who are currently serving in the armed forces. We are truly grateful for your service.
This year is the 80th anniversary of the 1936 Works Progress Administration (WPA) projects being completed in Story City's South Park. Our historic photos this month feature two of those projects, the swinging bridge and the shelter house. These photos are from Katherine (Jacobson) Munsen's 15th birthday party in 1936. Katherine's mother had planned a brunch in the new shelter house that included cantaloupe with red raspberries, bacon and eggs, cinnamon rolls and fudge squares. Record temperatures were set that July with eleven consecutive days, from July 4- July 16, where the temperature reached 100 degrees F and above. The Historical Society would like to thank Katherine Munsen for sharing these photos and her memories with us.
This month we are featuring two historic photos from the Story City Maid Rite. It was located at 519 Pennsylvania Ave. These photos have been recently donated to the Historical Society by Gerry Anderson. Gerry’s parents, Johnny & Lucille Egenes, owned the Maid Rite for about 19 years from early 1950s through the 1960s. There were 11 stools around the counter. Maid Rites cost 24¢ each or 5/$1, pie was 15¢, bottle of pop 10¢, and a cookie was 5¢. Thanks to Gerry for donating these photos. If you have old photos of former businesses in Story City that you’d like to share, please contact the Historical Society.
By John Valen
It is the 11th year and the 11th hour of the Story Festival! The Story City Historical Society, the Bertha Bartlett Public Library, and the Greater Chamber Connection have teamed up in super-hero fashion to bring to you the 2016 Story! Festival. Volunteers from all three organizations make up the twelve member planning committee. The festival will take place September 15-17, Thursday through Saturday. The committee is excited to present Pippa White and La’Ron Williams as the featured storytellers.
On Thursday of the Festival, the “Dinner and a Story” will combine a satisfying meal from Dinners by Dawn with the enticing stories of Pippa and La’Ron. Guests will dine in the Fairview Lodge while listening to their stories for a relaxing evening. Tickets for this event will be pre-sale only so make sure to grab your tickets early.
During the day on Friday, the tellers will visit the schools carrying on the tradition of oral storytelling. That night, kids and adults can be spooked in the “Fright Night” of scary stories. There will be a first round of stories for younger audiences, followed by a second round of stories not for the faint of heart. Prepare to be scared!
Saturday will feature workshops with Pippa and La’Ron. Unlike past years, the workshops will not be held concurrently, but will be held at separate times. Anyone wishing to go to both workshops will be free to do so. “Storytelling 101: Improving Your Public Speaking” will be presented by Pippa, and “Changing our Stories Will Change our World” will be done by La’Ron.
Following the workshops, there will be a Story Slam, which welcomes stories and poetry alike. The event is free and open to all ages. That night there will be two concerts featuring our storytellers.
As events and times are finalized, there are several ways to keep up-to-date on the latest news. You can visit their website: www.storycity.net/story-festival/, or you can visit their Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/StoryFestivalSC/. Tickets, sponsorships, and ticket packages are available for sale directly on the page.
The historical photo this month features one of the Museums of Story City. The Bartlett House Museum is a Queen Anne style home built in 1903 for Henry Torkel Henryson and his family. H. T. was the son of Torkel Henryson who brought early settlers from Norway to this area in 1855.
H.T. was born in Story City in 1865. He worked in various trades - farming, shoe store clerk, and had an interest in the S.R. Corneliusen store. H.T. became president of the First National Bank in 1908, continuing there until his family moved to St. Paul, Minnesota in 1913.
This home was purchased in 1996 by the Story City Historical Society with a generous gift from Dr. Frances Bartlett Kinne. It has been restored and furnished from the 1903-1920 era. The museum is dedicated to Dr. Kinne's parents, Charles M. and Bertha Bartlett and her brother Charles. The home was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005. All of the Museums of Story City are open extended hours during the summer, Sundays from 1-3 pm.
Its that time of year, graduation in Story City is almost here. This photo is one of the oldest Story City High School graduation photos we have in our collection. This is Bertha (Olson) Bartlett's high school graduation photo. Bertha often told her daughter, Frances Bartlett Kinne, that the class was upset when a man joined the class in the 12th grade. Back row: Inger Grotness, Carrie Larson, Bertha (Olson) Bartlett, Alonzo Donhowe, Edith Ericson, Martha Gravdahl. Front row: Ellen Jorgenson, ___, Hagen (teacher), Neah Paulsen.
From the June 2, 1905 Herald: Commencement exercises of the high school were held in the opera house last evening and a class of seven girls and one boy finished the course. They have been hard and enthusiastic workers the past school year and are deserving of much credit. The orations were well delivered with fine elocutionary effect, and in a manner that displayed excellent training. The efforts of the class were highly appreciated by the large audience present and each oration was loudly applauded.
In honor of spring and the baseball season beginning, the Historical Society's photo of the month for April is of Hank Severeid. Hank was born in Story City in 1891 and grew up playing on the local teams. He went on to play on a few minor league teams in the Midwest and in 1911 he made his major league debut with the Cincinnati Reds. Hank played for three other major league teams after the Reds including the St. Louis Browns, Washington Senators, and the New York Yankees. During his time with the Yankees, Hank played with big names like Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth. Hank's last season in the majors was in 1926. This photo is of Hank and his wife Adele visiting Story City after he finished his last season. The sign on the back of the car reads "Welcome Home Hank" and the two boys in the back seat of the car are Harris and Charles Hill. Join us at the Carriage House Museum on April 28th at 5:30 pm for a ballpark themed dinner and a presentation by Don Doxsie on his recently published book Iowa Baseball Greats, which includes Hank Severeid.
In the early 1900s Julia and Anna Mathre opened a millinery shop which was located on Broad St about where the Post Office is today. In this photo the sisters are posing with some of their millinery products. Their hats were made out of felt or straw – materials that were malleable and could be molded. The material chosen would be shaped over carved wooden hat blocks – different blocks for different head sizes. Once dry, they would hand stitch the brim and hatband on and add adornments of ribbons, flowers, feathers and bows. The Mathre sisters were probably quite busy this time of year with spring just around the corner and Easter fast approaching.