(Above) Santa’s helpers, 1966 - Eldon Vine, left, and Ken Smith, helped Santa Claus distribute Christmas gifts to needy boys and girls in 1966. The toys were mended and painted by Jaycee members after being given to them by Clear Lake residents.
25 Years Ago
Ventura voters issued a resounding “yes” to the question of building a new library and post office in their community. On the heels of three failed bond issues in the North Iowa area, 70 percent of Ventura voters approved of the city issuing up to $145,000 in general obligation bonds for the construction of the new facilities. Official totals show 226 Ventura residents voted. The margin was 165 yes to 61 no. The vote outcome also means Mayor Bob Wolfram will complete his term. Wolfram had submitted his resignation to the city earlier, discouraged by the delays in deciding on the issue. He was encouraged by townspeople to stay on as mayor and finally announced he would remain in office if the issue passed.
Senator Alvin Miller (D-Ventura) has announced he will not seek re-election to the Iowa Senate District 10 seat. The announcement by Miller prompted another longtime North Iowa legislator to throw his hat into the District 10 race. State Representative John Groninga (D-North Iowa) will make a bid for Miller’s senate seat. That sets up a race between Groninga and Republican State Representative Merlin Bartz.
“The Surf, the newest amusement center of Clear Lake, built in record time, has the same informal atmosphere that endeared the old Surf to its thousands of patrons, but has a setting of beauty and charm undreamed of in years past.” This excerpt was taken from the Mirror-Reporter in July 1948 and heralded the reopening of the Surf Ballroom at its present location. Today, work has started in the stage area of the Surf to restore it to its original 1948 appearance. Stage curtains are being replaced and stage remodeling is being completed.
Marian Tompkins, of Clear Lake, was the winner of a grandfather clock given away by Clear Lake merchants participating in the Chamber of Commerce’s “Dickens of a Christmas” promotion. Tompkins’ name was drawn from among all those registering at the local stores.
Mark Kerr has resigned as club pro and manager of All Vets Golf Course to take a similar position at a course currently under construction in Coralville, Iowa. This ends and eight year association with All Vets and the golfers of the area.
The Clear Lake wrestling team won its second tournament of the season, successfully defending the Northwood-Kennett Invitational title. The Lions crowned Bob Monson, Jason Salge and Jesse Kaiser as champions.
The Clear Lake boys basketball team finally found what it takes to win a tight game. The Lions came from behind to defeat a good Iowa Falls squad, 73-70. A big reason for the victory was junior forward Paul Bruns, who had 32-points for the Lions. The team scorched the net in the fourth quarter, scoring 33 points on perfect 13 for 13 shooting from the field.
Steph Jacobs is a returning starter on the Luther College women’s basketball team. Jacobs is a 1988 graduate of Ventura High School.
50 Years Ago
Authorities are becoming more and more concerned about the number of fires on the south shore. The latest in the series of fires in the area occurred when a blaze destroyed a boat converted into a summer cottage. The structure, known as “The Arawanna,” was one of the earlier boats on Clear Lake. Fire Chief Don Huey said the possibility of arson is being investigated.
Snow, lots of it, moved into the Clear Lake area. Larry Keith, Supt. of Public Works, reported that 7 1/2 inches had fallen.
The Surfer Lounge’s new restaurant and catering service is now in full operation, according to Carroll Anderson, manager of the Surf Ballroom. The Surfer Restaurant is open from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for noon lunches, serving complete dinners or hot sandwiches and soups, and from 5-11 p.m.
The donkey figure is back in the Nativity scene at City Park after wandering off. It was reported missing two weeks ago, but Mason City police found it by a church in Mason City. The donkey is valued at over $100.
Zsa Zsa Gabor turns on the charm and Tony Curtis eagerly responds in the deftly witty, “Arrivederci, Baby!,” now playing at the Lake Theatre.
75 Years Ago
John Osnes gets a yield of 111.45 bushels of corn to the acre. He won the 10 acre corn yield contest sponsored by the North Corn Belt Seed growers.
Several young men have enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. Robert Chizek, Kenneth Post, Kenneth Knutson, Charles Thomas, Reinhardt Andersen and Walter Cookman.
Clear Lake’s population is 3,764.
Dr. Bemis, of Garner, and C.A. Knutson, of Clear Lake, went to Chicago to interview a Arthur Macintosh relative to purchase the 60 acre wooded tract on Highway 18. It is hoped to secure this property for a state park.
A judge recently acquitted a boy accused of stealing a dog. Everyone knows a boy never steals a dog, it was more likely the dog stole the little boy. It was probably love at first site for both the boy and the dog.
Ice on the lake is not reported safe for skating or ice boating according to local police and Mayor A.B. Phillips. Water is pouring over the outlet under the ice and all persons are asked to stay off.
About 40 members and guests of the Lake View Club met for their 25th anniversary at the City Hall. Members came dressed in the fashions of 25 years ago.
100 Years Ago
Ice harvest will soon begin. The ice is 10 inches thick.
Real holly is 25¢ a pound at Peterson’s Drug Store.
It was 25 degrees below zero this morning.
About 2,000,000 eggs or 5,000 cases were mailed to France for her army from the territory around Sioux City.
Mrs. John Paul received a big box of pineapple from Hawaii. Mrs. Paul said “Aloha” to the special, sweet treat,
James Pester recently lost a good, young horse as a result of it getting caught in a fence.