Echoes of the Past: Gasoline is 16.6 cents per gallon in town

By Roz Weis


ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO 1923: The price of gasoline is still 16.6 cents here in Decorah.

…Two bootleggers were captured out at the brickyards at the south end of Decorah the other day. Officers Tavenir and Rima are credited with the arrests. The duo has been fined $350 each, and they will serve up to 8 months in the jail of Winneshiek County at hard labor. This strong sentence should alert all bootleggers to steer clear of Decorah. The bootlegger’s car also was confiscated and sold, with all proceeds going to the school fund.

…Elling Fretheim has sold his house on East Water Street, formerly the B.O. Marsh residence, to J.J. Grose for $2,000.

…Five Decorah boys explored the Glenwood Cave and report it is considerably more than 1925 feet down. Vern Cooley, Alex Berg, Albert Smedsrud, Leonard and Arthur Noecker traveled down into the cave to its end. They carried string with them to measure the distance.

…Mr. and Mrs. Gunder Lundvedt of Glenwood Township are proud parents of a boy boy, Gilman Julian Lundtvedt, born Aug. 19, 1923.

…Connor-Knight has all the school supplies for the kids’ needs. Children’s garters, 10 cents; hair bow fasteners, 10 cents; good black ink, 10 cents per bottle; large ink tablets, 10 cents; large box of Crayolas, 5 cents; jersey bloomers for 50 cents; and union suits, all kinds for 49 cents. Don’t forget a trusty handkerchief for the boys and girls – 5 cents each.

…FRONT PAGE NEWS: The grandest scenic drive in this part of the country will soon be one of the priceless possessions of Decorah. The right-of-way on the crest of Pleasant Hill is being arranged for. Building of the scenic drive started about two years ago. The drive will be 75 feet wide from property line to property line. The enchanting view includes Luther College, the city landscape, the bluffs and the valley below.

…FOR SALE: A 120-acre farm about a mile from Decorah city limits. Excellent public highway. Only drawback is the lack of good road from the highway to the land. $7,500.

…L.J. Vogel of Calmar has shipped the balance of his stock of general merchandise to Strawberry Point and will now conduct business there.

…Fred Womeldorf, who carries a rural route, isn’t worried about his potato crop. He investigated the spuds the other day and found one that weighed a strong 1 ¾ pounds.

…The Equity will stage a picnic on Labor Day at the Nesset place in Glenwood Township.

…Luther Football starts practice Sept. 6.

…I. Dorrum, one of the new members of the Luther College faculty, has purchased the Rossing home for $7,000.

…A fine baby boy was born Aug. 14 to Mr. and Mrs. Will Jirak at Spillville.

…Joe Becvar sold a cow to John Hosting of near Calmar one day last week.

…Vernon Springs Dance Pavilion will host The Famous Players Novelty Six featuring the latest singing and comedy acts next Friday night.

…The chickens were a big draw at the Winneshiek County Fair earlier this month. Fair-goers were treated to a show of about 275 head of poultry – some of the finest ever shown here.

…Public School in the area opens Sept. 3 with a number of changes and improvements made in the courses both in high school and in the grades locally. Miss Torrison will have the first grade and kindergarten classes. Miss Cora Lee will have 2nd and 3rd grades and Miss Gellerman (the principal) will have 4th and 5th grades.

…Big Canoe’s well-known congregation will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the parish Aug. 25 and 26.

…Decorah City Park Commissioners have purchased 10 acres from the Henry Lubke place just west and adjoining the present city park to add to the park system here. The park now owns practically all of the land the entire length of the Dugway. The latest purchase was made possible through the will of the late Mr. and Mrs. George Phelps, who gave $5,000 each for the purpose of buying more park land.

…Rev. Fred Fisher and his Decorah congregation are holding services in celebration of the big remodeling of the Methodist Church here. A new pipe organ will be dedicated.

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