Spring Valley highlights, happenings from 1968
Tuesday, April 24, 2012 11:00 AM
Facebook - are you tuned in? The other day a note was passed to me - it seems members of the Class of '68 are active on Facebook and enjoying my history columns in the Spring Valley Tribune.
Sportsmen Club members are lowering the first building onto their property southeast of town. President Ed Buss said all of the work was done by volunteers, both truckers and laborers. (Submitted photo)
Thanks, guys and gals, for the incentive to keep writing. So what was happening in town the last year you were in school here? The face of Spring Valley changed as readily then as it does today. Following are some highlights plucked from local news coverage.
After 25 years and stripping 5 million tons of iron ore from open pits in the area, Hanna Mining officially closed, affecting 150 people. Most visitors to the museums can't believe Ostrander was second only to Duluth as a shipper of iron ore where rail cars were loaded and sent south to blast furnaces in Illinois.
A new Sunray DX station was operating at 221 North Section with Bud Kent and Len Rentschler. The Cliff Reed family opened the Tamarack Diner on South Broadway. IGA grocery offered Gold Bond stamps. Mr. and Mrs. Dave Horsman rented the Valley Hotel from the city and were getting it ready for tenants. The Jaycees sponsored "Coffee Day" at six local restaurants as a "fundraiser for Camp Friendship to send handicapped kids to camp."
To our dismay, Erich Kehrberg, longtime Our Own Hardware man (34 years), was quitting business in the Leuthold building. The old 4-Winds Cafe was burned down for a new one to be built on site. Al Determan Drug opened the "Annex" with Jack Blink in charge; an open house was held at Koebke Ready Mix, Feed & Fertilizer.
Alinks, on Broadway for 18 years, expanded with a new women's clothing store in the old Peoples Store location; IGA Foodliner was sold to Duane "Squeak" Seeley, and in December, Thor Jorgenson and Roy Nelson purchased Alink's Store, and renamed it Jornels.
It was 1967 when NFO farmers dumped their milk in protest, hoping to get 2 cents more per quart by their holding action. At the creamery, butter makers showed off the new Danish continuous churn, which could turn out 4,000 pounds of butter in an hour. Albert Hatlestad had been on duty for 42 years. Co-workers were Al Kemmer, John Fenstermacher and Webber Littlefield.
The fire department boasted a new rural truck, and two-way radios were added to the police department system. Hillcrest Drive was torn up all summer to complete a new street; Don Krom was mayor this year. Believe it or not, there were plans to explore the possibility of building a dam at the old Lake George site to control flooding, but apparently the plan failed to materialize. The city did receive a grant for an adult center to meet in the library basement.
In summer rec, the Babe Ruth Team recorded 14 straight wins and no losses. In October the Batmobile of television and movie fame took a spin on Bernard Pietenpol's airstrip near Cherry Grove and the Dathe boys, Dave and Gene, got to ride with Chris Egsgard, the stunt driver.
A youth center was established in the former NW Aluminum/Gamble Store building on North Broadway, and shares were being sold. Ken and Curt Hadland were touring the country with their H & H Wildlife Mobile Museum, which contained 370 specimens of North American and European critters. Of course, young and old were enjoying the swimming pool and various summer rec programs at South Park.
The hospital had been opened in 1962 and a change in administration brought in Harold Nickell. Did you ever make a trip to the E.R. with a broken bone? Dr. Roland Matson and family were settling in their new barn home; Dr. Norbert O'Keefe left Spring Valley Clinic for a practice in North Dakota, and Dr. Lee Podoll came on staff.
The school board set teachers' salaries: beginning - $5,350 and maximum $9,095 after 11-step advancement. The track team won the Maple Leaf Conference title, three years in a row - great going! The first P.T.A. meeting was held, but died a quiet death (apathy?) two years later. The 1885 Molstad School bell was put on exhibit at the elementary school.
The Letterman's Club voted in a conduct code to promote interest and pride in interscholastic athletics. A cheerleading clinic was held in Lewiston with SV gals attending. 4-H Clubs collected black walnut seeds for the Conservation Department at a dollar a bushel.
"The Sportsmen's Club purchased 15 acres with two ponds on an old iron mining site with plans for a clubhouse, archery and rifle ranges, plus trap and skeet shooting areas. That fall the club released black pheasants, a project headed by Ed Morine and Gordon Dathe. And back at school, a joint venture of six churches was to show films for the religious released time classes for a few months. To be held at Our Savior's Lutheran, students in grades 7 through 12 from Methodist, Our Savior's Lutheran, United Church of Christ, Evangelical United Brethren, First English Lutheran and Assemblies of God would be participating."
S.V. graduate, class of '57, Terry Jorris made headlines. Capt. Jorris was awarded the Legion of Merit for outstanding service to his country while assigned to the Air Force Avionics Lab at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. He was recognized for his skills in engineering and design with the development of a space Stadimeter, which was used by astronauts on three Gemini space missions.
If you graduated from Spring Valley High School, why not stop by the museums this summer and show your grandchildren your picture in the alumni display? You are indeed part of Spring Valley history. See you there.