In honor of the 100th anniversary of the United States entering World War 1, our photo of the month for April is of Alfred Jacobson during his time stationed in Hawaii. This photo of Alfred was recently donated by his daughter Katherine Munsen. It shows Alfred, who is second from the left, in Libby's pineapple fields.
Several Story City men were stationed at three different forts in Hawaii. This group of seven men volunteered for service shortly after the U.S. declared war on April 6th. A total of 16 men from Story City had volunteered for service during April of 1917. Fred Jensen wrote a letter to the editor of the Herald on June 23, 1917 which was printed in the July 12, 1917 edition of the Herald. In his letter, Fred writes of their travel aboard the U.S. Transport Sherman to Honolulu and their time in quarantine as several cases of measles broke out on the trip. Here is an excerpt:
"So far we have been lucky in staying together. Alfred Jacobson, Elmer Wendel, Andrew Matson, Milton Olson, Will Peterson and myself are here in the same camp. Oscar Dale is in a camp at Fort De Russey, which is six miles from here. We will be released from quarantine next Saturday, and will be assigned to our respective companies. Elmer Wendel, Milton Olson and Will Peterson will go to Ft. DeRussey; Andrew Matson will stay at Ft. Kamehameha. and Alfred Jacobson and myself to Ft. Armstrong."
The Historical Society will have the Story City in WWI exhibit installed for our Spring Dinner and Presentation on April 27th. The community is welcome to attend. If you are not able to visit on the 27th, the exhibit will be up through 2018. We also look forward to sharing Story City's WWI history over the next two years via our website and Facebook page.
This photo was taken on March 23, 1923. In order to establish road connections between Story City and Roland, Mayors Jacobson and Skromme organized shoveling crews to clear away snow from a twenty-foot drift on the Roland road three miles east of Story City. Seventeen men from Story City took part in the shoveling bee. Pictured are O.L. Ose, John Lee, Ben Holm, Q.T. Sande, Lester Swenson, Ed Charlson, Ding Larson, Tom Matson, Chris Lekness, Chris Johnson, Bernt Egenes, Otis Sevde, Fritchoff Larson, and Bill Peterson. We hope March 23, 2017 has far less snow than that date 94 years prior.
For the month of February we are featuring one of the Historical Society's vintage valentines. This valentine was donated by Dave and Rosemary Osheim. The card was given to Dave's uncle Clifford Wierson by a Miss Bohling. Clifford was born in Story City in 1919. This valentine is probably from the late 1920s. The card was printed in Germany as it has "Germany" printed on the front in the lower left corner. Goods from other countries were required to bear the name of the country in which they were made. In the 1930s this was expanded to require more precise wording such as "made in..." or "printed in...". Since this card bears just the word "Germany", it would therefore date to prior to the early 1930s. Many of the most desirable valentines of the late 19th century and early 20th century were created in Germany. The phrase on the card states "I'll be glad not sad, if you will be my Valentine." The head of the girl is movable and rotates between a happy face and a sad face. The Historical Society would like to wish everyone a happy Valentine's Day.
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.