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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Times Gone By

Friday, October 12, 2012

100 years ago

Paving has started in Cherokee and may it never end till every important street in town has been paved. Paving the alleys first looks like starting at the wrong end but that does not matter much since it has started, for now it is going it will not be hard to keep in motion.

At the Depot - Here is a look back at the hustle and bustle on any given day at the historic Cherokee Depot.
The alleys look fine now in their new coating but the streets will look just as nice inside of two years. Taking a long guess you say! Perhaps so but it is a safe one.

The objectors have given us a taste and nothing will be able to stop the rest of the work being done. The first alley laid is the one between the Marble works and the Democrat office.

The new one now being put in is the one back of this office running to Railroad street, near C. W. North's office. Everything is also in readiness to start the work on the two corresponding alleys south. It is remarkable with what rapidity the concrete is being laid it taking only seven hours to put in one alley.

From now on till our streets are paved let every booster talk and boost for paving the main streets.

The editor and family returned Thursday afternoon from their overland trip to Thornton in Cerro Gordo county where his mother and other relatives live. The crops there are good and in fact they appeared good along the road between here and there.

On our way we encountered the roughest roads in Buena Vista county that we have ever seen at this time of the year. On our return the mud from Belmond to Clarion was something fierce but upon leaving Clarion the roads were drier and instead of coming through the center of Buena Vista county we went south to the Hawkeye highway, getting on that road at Newell.

From there to Cherokee the roads were fine and while we severely condemned the lax methods employed in keeping up the roads through Buena Vista county we were pleased to see how well they maintain the Hawkeye highway. Another commendable thing is the splendid way they have marked the road making it easy to follow and especially through Storm Lake and Alta.

For the plainest and best signs used, Aurelia leads us all and is far ahead of even Cherokee. The man who could not follow the road near Aurelia would certainly be blind.

As we observed the roads through this section of the state we were more firmly convinced than ever, we will never have respectable roads in this state until we adopt some sane methods in grading and keeping the roads in repair.

In some places we saw men working out their poll tax that should have been prosecuted for malicious mischief for no man with intelligence would plow two or three furrows on each side of a track and then roll them onto the middle of the road leaving them in great rolls and piles making the road almost impassable, if they were interested in their work. In other places the track had been graded into a sharp ridge so that when it was slippery it was positively dangerous to pass over them.

Our system by which we use every farmer and teamster to build and repair our roads, is as ridiculous as it would be to take these same men and put them to work building a frame house just because they can hack a post in two with a buck saw.

When we adopt the system of contracting our road work we will have good roads and not before. A man with experience can make good roads out of our Iowa soil without gravel or crushed rock although these help a great deal.

The older countries contract their road work and the talk often heard that we cannot get men to work on the roads is all rot.

We can get men to contract for ditching and in many places plowing, bridge building and other like work and we can get them to contract for road work, once there is a disposition to let them do so.

The boards of supervisors should advertise for bids for the work of keeping up the roads in the different townships and let each take as many miles of road as he can keep up and let him hire what help he needs and devote his entire time to the work.

In this way road work would be in experienced, competent hands to the satisfaction of everybody. Auto owners are paying enormous sums for the upkeep of the roads and they should see that they get something for their money.

50 years ago

Mrs. Edith Meloy, Red Cross Chapter head, announced these committee leaders: Sandra Vander Wilt, Mrs. C. E. Broderick, Mrs. Walter Fuhrman, publicity; Mrs. Warren Curtis, service; Mrs. Fran Morris, Mrs. C. E. Williams, Junior Red Cross; Mrs. P. S. McCollister, home service; A. I. McClintock, water safety.

Also--Jack Sandvig, first aid and disaster; Gordon Steele, Mrs. Jay Yaggy, Virginia Herrick, Fund drive; Mrs. Sam Mangold, home nursing; Mrs. Martha Buddenhagen, Gray Ladies.

Mrs. Buddenhagen, reporting for the Gray Ladies, said she and Mrs. Delia DeRoos, Hull, had put in 36 hours and remarked that there is a great need for more women to help in this area.

Mrs. Meloy reported that over the past four months nine Gray Ladies worked 164 hours.

It was announced that county areas had surpassed their Red Cross fund drive quotas the past year. They are Grand Meadow and the town of Quimby.

Mrs. Meloy reported that over $50 was spent by the Red Cross for hypodermic syringes for inoculations of the public during the 1962 spring flood in Cherokee.

Eighteen were in attendance at yesterday's session. Dr. G. D. Gerdes presided in McClintock's absence. It was also announced that James Haritage's name had been previously omitted from the list of Red Cross board members.

Guest speakers at the Quimby and Washta Churches Sunday morning worship service, October 14, will be African students from Morningside College.

Marcus T'Oleia from the Congo, a sophomore majoring in chemistry, will speak at the Quimby church at 11 a.m. He will visit the high school church school class prior to worship hour.

Bringing the morning message at 9:30 at the Washta church will be Lazarous Mandisha of Southern Rhodesia. His wife and their two year old daughter Hope will accompany him.

He is a history and English major at the college and his wife is a student in home economics. A potluck dinner will be served at noon at the church.

Question. In what ways does Sanford Museum benefit Cherokee?


1. The museum brings many people to Cherokee. The average attendance at the Museum is 16 people per day.

2. The Sanford Museum is a free museum. Anyone may visit the museum free of charge. Both children and adults may attend planetarium demonstrations and take tours of the museum is regard to natural history, archeology, historical displays and other special traveling exhibits.

3. The museum offers special reference and library facilities. Groups of bound magazines in special fields, such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Reports, Natural History, Science and Art Magazines which can be used by students and people doing research.

View of downtown - Here is a stunning look at downtown Cherokee from the old Cherokee County Courthouse. Information on the back of the photograph suggests that the photo was taken sometime in 1903.

Garfield Elementary School will observe Parent's Night Tuesday, October 16.

The program will begin at 8 p.m. and include introduction of teachers, visitation of classrooms and open house.

All parents are urged to attend the annual program.

Various committees in charge of the evening include: Dr. and Mrs. John Rebareak, program; Mrs. and Mrs. Kenneth File, Mr. and Mrs. Hal Scott, Mr. and Mrs. Loren Bechtel; Mr. and Mrs. Conley Anderson; Mr. and Mrs. Paul Taylor, food committee.

Mr. and Mrs. Gene Dorr and Mr. and Mrs. Don Green, courtesy.

25 years ago

The Meriden-Cleghorn School Board of Education has decided it will send a letter to district parents by the end of next week outlining all of the options for the district in sharing with either Marcus or Cherokee schools.

"This letter should go out by itself and not be attached to a school menu or such," said President Don Blackstone.

"We need to let our patrons know of all the options and then hold a public meeting and let them ask any questions they may have."

The informational open meeting for district patrons at attend is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 10.

The board also has planned to send out a second survey to help them make their final decision on whether to do anything toward sharing with another district or to do nothing.

"Maybe after the second survey we will still find half our district wants to go to Marcus and the other half to Cherokee," Blackstone said. "If that is what they want then we want to allow them to do that."

In scheduling the Nov. 10 informational meeting the board is hoping to be able to have a public hearing on the sharing proposal the first week in December. That will also let the Cherokee and Marcus districts know that they will have to schedule their public hearings.

The movement toward informing the public is because the board feels that this is the year to do something and not to wait any longer.

A difference of opinion is evident among the board members themselves on where the sharing agreement should take place. Board member Howard Rupp has concern about going in the right direction for future considerations of size and distance, and favors Cherokee. On the other hand, Mark Wilcox feels the Marcus district would be an adequate size and feels the board cannot look too far into the future and try to determine the way the state is going to go in regards to size.

Superintendent LeLand Anderson issued a statement early in the regular board meeting saying, "Our teachers are doing a good job and there are a lot of things to take care of in a sharing agreement which I won't have time to do. Our whole program is based on what is best for the kids and I just don't want us to rush into anything, but you will not be able to satisfy everyone."

Bruce Eckenrod, faculty representative, reported to the board that 85 percent of M-C's graduates went on to some type of schooling after graduation and the ACT test score averages were consistently average and above average and he attributed that to the smaller classes receiving more individual attention. He asked the board, "Why do we need to change now?"

He also said if a change were imminent it was the recommendation of the faculty that the board choose the Marcus plan. He cited teacher choice, expanded curriculum, student adjustment and facility use as favorable factors for the plan.

"We as teachers feel you need to look at the benefit a sharing plan will give to the average of the below average student and not be concerned with the above average student, because they will make the adjustment."

The district letter will go out toward the end of next week. The Marcus School Board was expected to act on their proposed offer to M-C Monday night and the Cherokee Board will act on theirs at the Oct. 19 meeting.

"The board shouldn't and probably won't decide," said Wilcox, referring to the public input for the decision and not the actual board action. "Once we send the letter, hold the meeting and send the second survey we will know where the community stands on the issue."

Its streets were only mildly occupied; its rides half-full at best. The ding of the train, the rattle of the big coaster, and the spin of the ferris wheel are all here. The time is just before Labor Day, 1987, as the shadows lengthen, as the amusement park in Arnold's Park, Ia., enters its twilight.

The park, which got its start in the late 1980's and early 1900's closed after Labor Day, and reconstruction work began soon afterwards. Its new owner, Long Lines Ltd of Sgt. Bluff, Ia., plans a four-year renovation of the facilities. Under Long Lines Ltd., many of the park's attractions will be torn down. This list included the Roof Garden dance hall and probably the large roller coaster as well.

Traditions abound in this park, and fond, past memories are kept fresh by people like Hellen Jordan, who helped to operate the Black Walnut Candy Shop in the park for many years.

"My father started this (shop) in 1919, and he was in this small building then. There wasn't an arcade like there is now."

Her favorite period was in the 1930's. "It was the big band era. Even though it was the depression time, I think people pulled together more. And there wasn't a war going on. And I think because people were looking for a good time, they would come to the park."

These are the years from which she provided some of her fondest memories of the park.

Next to her father's shop at this time was a stall where chances were sold on blankets for 25 cents.

Besides the blankets, "There were also bath houses. They rented cotton suits for 25 cents...They had a big washing machine on the porch, and they washed the suits several times a day." Near one of the bath houses, there was a toboggan slide that had its end in West Lake Okoboji.

Jodan also mentioned a popular hamburger stand owned by the Rickman family where, "People would come from across the lake (West Lake Okoboji) ... and (the owners) would sell sacks full of hamburgers...

"There was an outside dance hall in the back of the park, where they were Japanese lanterns, and people would dance on a cement slab," added Jordan.

Another popular attraction, according to Jordan, was a fresh orange juice stand. "There was a man who had a machine that crushed oranges and made juice. It was very innovative for the day, and people would come and watch him make it." Jordan said that the man later watered it down, and she described it as a "gimmicky thing."

During later years, the original Black Walnut Candy Shop was relocated to a building under an arcade, where it has remained.

One of the things for which the park was famous was the Roof Garden, which was built in 1923, and was at one time billed as Iowa's largest ballroom. Many big band stars, such as Lawrence Welk, and rock 'n roll bands have performed to the delight of the crowd.

Mr. Steve Schroder, art instructor at WHS, was a member of the Sensational Soul Company for two and a half years, which played their brand of music at the Roof Garden many times during the '60's.

"For the parents out there, we were patterned after a midwest band called the "Flippers." For kids nowadays, the closest thing to what we were would be the Blues Brothers."

Things have changed quite a bit at the dance hall, according to Schroeder.

"The Roof Garden of today is different from the remembered past. Different because the times are different, and because the building is different." The building that existed up until the reconstruction was preceded by another Roof Garden, which was damaged in 1969.

"We were the last band besides the Boxtops to play at the old Roof Garden. A couple of days later, a tornado took the roof off."

"After they rebuilt the top of the Roof Garden, it had a totally different feel. It turned into an unfeeling room, it had no character anymore. Before '69, it had been a relic of the '30's and '40's, but it was a classy place," said Schroeder.

"It was a major thing for teens to do. I'd miss having that opportunity there for my children."

As the new owners of the park begin their work, hoping for a July 1 opening in 1988, a new chapter will begin in the history of the amusement park in Arnold's Park, Ia.

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