Passengers disembarking from the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad (always called the Milwaukee Road), sometime in the early 1900s; note the electric light poles installed about 1893; the drayman with his blanketed horse waiting to take passengers and baggage to their destinations; the water tanks for filling the steam engine boilers. Built in 1870 and taken down in 1978, the brick platform was taken to the city dump, but many of us saved bricks (locally made?) for souvenirs. The depot sign and a few bricks are on display at the Methodist Church Museum.
Passengers disembarking from the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad (always called the Milwaukee Road), sometime in the early 1900s; note the electric light poles installed about 1893; the drayman with his blanketed horse waiting to take passengers and baggage to their destinations; the water tanks for filling the steam engine boilers. Built in 1870 and taken down in 1978, the brick platform was taken to the city dump, but many of us saved bricks (locally made?) for souvenirs. The depot sign and a few bricks are on display at the Methodist Church Museum.
Any readers out there who graduated 35 years ago? The year 1978 brought all kinds of "happenings" of interest. By the month, these were events that caught the attention of the local residents. Land values had tripled in value in the past five years to an average $727 per acre. Home Federal was paying 5-1/4 percent interest on passbook savings. Dave Oftedahl and Linnette Mundfrom won top honors in the FFA Salesmanship and Job Interview judging team at Region 8 competition the month before. Boy Scout Troop #55 conducted their paper drive for recycling and held a chili feed; their Pinewood Derby winners were Keith Williams, Jeff Ryan and Ricky Carr. In February, Paul Ness at the Soil Conservation Service in Preston reported that their activities were readily seen in Fillmore County, as they are yet today. Fire destroyed the Frontier Room restaurant on South Section, and the Gundersons planned to take over the Four Winds Cafe. The Tamarack Diner on South Broadway posted new daily hours, including Sundays. Other young people in FFA and 4-H seen in print included Dan and Deb Terbeest, Cindy Bernard, and Linda Sample.

The Kwik-Trip opened in March (their 31st store) at the old Jertson Feed Store location, where they are yet today. The girls basketball team gained district and regional titles, coming in third at the state, which prompted a big celebratory parade when they returned home. Photographer Lowell Welke held a household auction prior to the family moving to Florida. Seven bowling leagues and countless teams plied their recreation fun at the local bowling alley. A big fight ensued this year over the abandoned railroad right-of-way between the DNR and adjacent property owners since the DNR wanted the land for a statewide trail system. Meeting regularly with summaries on the social pages were the D&L Club, VFW and American Legion Auxiliaries, Jaycees and Mrs. Jaycees, Hospital Auxiliary, Historical Society, Garden Club, B.I.Club, 40 members of the Senior Citizens Club, and more clubs: Etna Girls, Sew & Study, Up-to-Date, and the Sunshine Helpers.

April brought sad news when the Bremseth home on North Section burned. The Tribune donated their venerable linotype machine to the historical society. Kris Kofoot was going to Girls' State, thanks to the Legion Auxiliary; Robert Blahnik and Larry Terbeest were elected to the school board. K & K Builders (Dick Krom) purchased 11 lots for development in the Westfield Addition (West High Street). The historical society hosted the first of nine Sunday Specials, a slide show of early business places. The Jaycees installed a new slide and merry-go-round at the Kiddy Park.

Summer news? The hospital listed 21 "releases" in just seven days. Came this announcement: 1951 graduate Dr. Tom Healy was appointed director of the Downtown Campus of University of No. Florida. Spring Valley hosted Festival Days in July with the Wizard Oil Troupe, People's Market, Horseshoe Tournament, Art Show at the Museum, plus family games and contests. The Four Winds was to open as Prok's Family Restaurant, and sad to say, the 1870 Milwaukee Depot was being demolished (now O'Connell's location.) Both railroads were removed in the 1970s. In August, we learned that cable television would be available for the first time, beginning next year. St. Ignatius Catholic Church celebrated their 100th anniversary with notable events. The trout farm was getting a new lease on life with Swope & Kvanli, who had high hopes and big plans. Started in 1946, the trout farm had been through many owners and changes, and today awaited an ambitious and successful owner. A program at Forestville State Park was presented by naturalist interpreters, including Dave Dathe of Spring Valley and Joe Gartner of Preston. There were daytime and nighttime hikes, slide shows, discussions and special events for the public and for scouts, and they attracted over 2,000 eager participants.

Half the city's elm trees were condemned due to disease. Bloomfield Mutual Insurance constructed a new building on South Section. The new Spring Valley High School 400 meter track, with six lanes, was to "last forever" thanks to the quality of materials, location, bedrock, steel curbing, slope and drainage. At Cherry Grove airport, 500 admirers of Bernard Pietenpol gathered to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his first flight. Our city also honored T.O. (Steffie) Steffensrud for 40 years of "interior decorating" homes with his painting, wallpapering and woodworking. The new Sears catalog store/office building was put up across the street from the post office. At Faith United Methodist Church, members held a mortgage-burning ceremony, many years after the merger of three congregations. The A.F.S. was very active this year on the domestic exchange program with the latest student coming from Connecticut to the Jack Kenning home.

This fall, Joseph Mlinar was honored as Kiwanis Citizen of the Year. In October, the hospital reported a capacity "crowd" of eight babies in their nursery at one time. At the new S & H Stamp Redemption Center were Linda Kruegel and Kathy Conner. Another step in its impressive growth, Good Earth Village announced the dedication of their new Barr Lodge Conference & Retreat Center in November. Really Big News: after a year of being in the news for one reason or another, Hillside Homes on Hudson Avenue, "apartments for the elderly," opened with 37 units Dec. 1.

Back at school, pictured was the first male cheerleader, Tom Hinze, who joined the team of Tammy Olson, Sherry Lund, Maureen Davids, and Lisa Barcel. The "wolf" in costume was Deb Peleaux. A Native American, Marcia Vickmark, showed her beadwork and told stories to the kindergarten classes. Former mayor Harold Smith was again elected to the position of mayor. Of course, R.S.V.P. opened the doors to Santa's Workshop for disadvantaged children. Harry Solt, Art Larson and other volunteers had worked diligently all year in the basement of the community center to prepare a wondrous assortment of toys. Don Lanning, recent new owner at IGA, offered transportation from Hillside Apartments to the store every Friday for residents to shop for groceries, with Hugh Willmarth as the trusty driver.

Over the year, an amazing list of at least 10 new businesses were opened in town, a sign of a thriving community.