(Above) Park Hotel fire, 1969 - Fireman Ken Priest headed up the ladder to smoke-filled second floor of Park Hotel as Don Huey mans the hose reel on the truck in 1969. Smoke poured out of room 214 and through second and third floors of the hotel, hampering efforts to reach a blazing mattress in the room. The fire was contained to one room however, preventing flames from spreading to other frame buildings on the block. The 68-year old hotel has 29 units and only two or three guests were in their rooms when the fire broke out.
by Michelle Watson
25 Years Ago
Clear Lake will be the site to two new fishing tournaments in 1994. The Clear Lake Fishing Club has announced plans to hold a muskie tournament Aug. 26-28. The club already is one of the sponsors of the Annual Walleye Classic Fishing Tournament, entering its sixth year. The walleye event is set for May 21-22 this year. Team Walleye Tournament trail has also released details of another new tournament in Clear Lake. Team Walleye has made Clear Lake one of the stops on its 1994 schedule Sept. 10.
It was no April Fool’s Day joke when Chad Hubacher, age 14, of Clear Lake, tested Clear Lake’s water Wednesday when temperatures rose to the 70s. The water wasn’t as warm as the air however, so Hubacher kept his early season swim brief.
Cerro Gordo County Supervisor Chris Nannenga, of Thornton, has announced officially he will seek re-election for the Republican nomination of the 2nd Supervisor’s District. Ivan Good, of Clear Lake, has announced he will challenge Nannenga for he Republican nomination in the 2nd District.
Clear Lake has four State of Iowa Scholars: Laura Enabnit, Elizabeth McNamara, Hilary Reynolds and Lesley Simmering.
Ventura hosted the Conference Speech Contest on March 10. Over 75 students from Alden, North East Hamilton, CAL, Dows, SC/MT and Ventura competed. Lisa Johnson, Brenda Pueggel, Jesse Hyde and Jennifer Rockow earned ribbons.
“Free at Last: is the title of the 7th Annual Easter production presented by the Agape Christian Family Church and the Open Bible Church. This production is under the direction of Tammy Perry. Greg Schmidt will portray Jesus in the production.
Army Sgt. Steven Von Wald has arrived for duty in Seoul, South Korea. Von Wald is a 1991 graduate of Clear Lake High School. He is the son of Leola M. Von Wald, of Clear Lake.
The Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce has undergone a huge staff transformation in recent months. The new staff is in place and ready to help businesses, residents and visitors. The staff includes Pat Wagler, secretary/receptionist, Maureen Williams, Main Street Clear Lake consultant; Kristin Kollbaum, administrative assistant; David Collins, executive director; and Wendy Blomberg, administrative assistant.
One can only sense that NIACC Men’s Basketball Coach Dan Mason has found a diamond in the rough in the shape of Clea Lake’s Paul Bruns. The 6’6”, 190 pound freshman swing-man has produced significantly more than Mason had expected going into the season, due primarily in part to his ability to play several positions on the court.
Russ Gibson, owner of Christensen Jewelry in Clear Lake and Hampton opened the Clear Lake store in the fall of 1993. Russ, 29, is a Swiss trained watch-maker/jeweler and a successful businessman.
The Cerro Gordo County Conservation Board has tentatively scheduled re-opening of the Trolley Trail (bike trail) near Highway B-35 in mid-April. Before the trail can open it must be cleaned of gravel and dirt.
50 Years Ago
An increase of $189,872 will be paid by property owners to support Clear Lake school and governments this year, according to tax figures released this week by Cerro Gordo County Auditor Shirley Easton. Clear Lake’s new mill levy total 92,773, an increase of 10.563 mills. The school’s mill levy is 48.829, up 7.832 mills from last year. The Clear Lake municipal levy is 27.886 mills, up 1.721.
Salary increases for the top administrators in the Clear Lake Community School system were approved. New salaries for the administrators are as follows: Supt. R.R. Lashier $21,250; G.R. Smith, high school principal, $16,232; Joe Lambert, junior high principal, $14,518; Grace Anderson, Lincoln elementary principal, $12,730; Orin Holstead, Central principal, $13,863; and Armand Oetken, Sunset principal, $11,675.
Clear Lake’s Lions placed two players on the All-North Central Conference basketball first team. Steve Grabinski and Wolf Meier were named to the top team. Named to the second team was Paul Hankenson. Doug Ward earned honorable mention.
60 Years Ago
The month of March is living up to its reputation providing the area with a surplus of blustery, inclement, snowy weather.
Clear Lake firemen were called to twice to the site of the new high school building to extinguish burning tar pots being used by roofers.
St. Andrews Episcopal Church members held a potluck supper at the City Hall Sunday evening. Mr. and Mrs. Don Tarr told of their trip to Florida and the Dewey Smiths told of their trip to Mexico for the program.
Marshall Friest, who was taken by Wilcox ambulance to Mercy Hospital, is improving from an injured back.
An ice storm, one of the worse in recent years, heavily damaged electric and telephone lines throughout Clear Lake. A deluge of calls during the storm caused a heavy drain on the batteries at the telephone company according to Harold Thompson, company manager.
100 Years Ago
Monday morning at 2 a.m., thieves entered the rear window of the S.J. Clausen elevator office and proceeded to blow up the safe. The safe was left a complete wreck, but nothing was taken. The thieves then went to the Milwaukee Depot, wrecked the safe and secured about $18 in small change.
James Pester’s public sale went very well. Hogs sold as high as $90. The house was sold for $625.
A new bandstand is to be erected in Clear Lake soon. We surely need one.
Friday night the city council will hire a man and team to work on the city streets. Put in your bid if interested.
Muriel Hanson, while on the teeter board on the school grounds, fell off striking her unconscious. She was unable to be in school Friday.