(Above) 1889 Schoolhouse - This red brick school house stood where Central School was once located. It was built in 1889 at a cost of $40,000 and was completely destroyed by fire on Saturday, Jan. 6, 1912, while men were trying to thaw out some frozen pipes. The night, during the Christmas vacation, was bitterly cold, cinders blew through the air for miles. Professor Henry W. Check was superintendent then. During the rebuilding, pupils were housed in church basements and the City Hall. Wooden partitions and screens were placed between grades. Central School was dedicated in 1914.
25 Years Ago
The first-degree murder trial of a Las Vegas man accused of killing a North Iowa woman 26-years ago has been postponed until Dec. 1. Cerro Gordo County Court Judge Gilbert Bovard granted the defense an additional two and one-half months to prepare their defense. The man was charged in July with the murder of Norma Jean Horgen, a St. Ansgar woman found floating dead in Clear Lake on Sept. 10, 1966.
The Surf Ballroom will celebrate the 45th anniversary in about the same way it celebrated its opening day - with a big band playing music to dance to. The Surf Ballroom opened Thursday, July 1, 1948 with Ray Pearl and his Musical Gems. Surf Ballroom managers Sue and Bruce Christensen have introduced a new logo for the 45th anniversary. The celebration will include a large buffet, dancing and romancing.
A new Clear Lake event has been planned to celebrate the fall with an old-fashioned family fun day. Clear Lake’s first Fall Festival will be held Saturday, Oct. 17. Proposed activities include children’s games, a pumpkin carving contest, scarecrow making contest, pumpkin and apple pie contests, music and much more. Wagon rides will allow visitors to park and ride between downtown and the Iowa Trolley Park, where more activities will be led by trolley volunteers. A grand finale will take place at sunset.
Kendra Berge, of Clear Lake, earned $200 as a result of her fifth place performance in the 33rd Annual Bill Riley Talent Search Championship held at the State Fair. Berge, 17, presented a tap dance in the talent show championship. She is the daughter of Dr. Don and Nicky Berge.
The Clear Lake Volunteer Fire Department will host its annual Firefighters Dance at the Holiday Motor Lodge in Clear Lake. The music and entertainment will be provided by Harry “O”.
Renovations have begun on the Best Western Holiday Lodge in Clear Lake. The renovations will include: 60 hotel rooms (80 rooms were renovated in 1988); pool area; dining area and lounge will receive a new light garden atmosphere and relocate dance the lobby entrance; exterior will receive new colors, landscaping and signage; plus a “Club Room,” a new concept in lodging for Clear Lake.
The third-rated New Hampton Chickasaws defeated Clear Lake in the season opener Friday night, 27-14. Dan Hansen led the ground attack for Clear Lake with 103-yards. Quarterback Paul Runs have an outstanding performance in his first varsity start. He completed five of nine passes for 98-yards and two touchdowns.
The Clear Lake volleyball team was 76 for 76 from the service line as they defeated Green, 15-9, 15-11 and 15-5 in the season opener. Annalisa Hopper was 16-16 and Sara Leonard was 15-15.
The Ventura Vikings came up short in the final seconds of a close contest with Alden, 18-12. Bret Paulson scored Ventura’s first touchdown of the year on a three yard run. Matt Wireman used his speed to carry a Matt Dillavou pass 70-yards for Ventura’s second touchdown.
50 Years Ago
The Surf Ballroom, which has fought an uphill battle for survival for more than a decade, has surrendered to “overwhelming” financial pressures and will close its doors Sept. 1. Its future as a social center is uncertain. Mortgages totaling $165,000 on the building and equipment, are controlled by an insurance company and rumors are the company has no plans of continuing a ballroom operation in the spacious building. The Chamber of Commerce was informed that the fixtures in the ballroom and adjoining Surfer Lounge would be auctioned off in early September,
The Clear Lake community welcomed the Richard R. Lashier family Sunday at a reception at the high school student center. He is the new superintendent of the Clear Lake schools. Richard was joined by his wife, Arlene, and their four children, Jan, 21, Jack, 19, Sue, 18 and Bob, 5. The family moved to Clear Lake from Jefferson, where Richard served 10 years as superintendent.
Much of the success of Clear Lake High School’s 1967 football season will hinge on eight returning letter winners: Barry Moen, Pat Dillavou, Bill Kennedy, Doug Martin, Denny Lincicum, Al Ashland, Doug Doss and Denny Amundson.
60 Years Ago
Dr. Dean Clapsaddle’s 1957 Mercury was stolen from its parking place behind the Medical Group. It was recovered in Ventura. A 15-year old youth admitted to the police he took the car and he was turned over to authorities.
Clear Lake luckily has escaped the rash of burglaries and break-ins that have flared up in surrounding towns lately.
The summer outing whist club plans to disband after a 38 year old history in Clear Lake.
City Beach lifeguard, Chuck Conrad, spend five hours in Clear Lake Sunday, when he swam a total of eight miles from the beach to the island, west to Dodges Point Lone Tree, coming out at the Fin and Feather, Ventura. He was accompanied in a rowboat by Chuck Walker.
Mason City and Clear Lake bus line has been sold to Robert L. Fletcher, of Mason City. The bus line was set up in 1937 when the interurban trolley car was abandoned.
100 Years Ago
Cornstalk shoes have turned up in New York. They were introduced by a man from Storm Lake. They retail for $2.50 and outwear leather.
S.J. Clausen is making extended repairs on his elevator buildings. He tells us market conditions are very unsettled between the war condition and food controls.
The ladies aid of the Catholic Church will hold a bazaar in the basement of their church. Supper will served for 35¢ and will consist of creamed chicken, mashed potatoes, carrots, beet pickles, cabbage salad, ice cream coffee and cake.
Dr. and Mrs. A.A. Joslyn are the parents of a son.
Miss Allie McCabe is taking a week’s vacation from Sondrol’s Store and will spend it with her parents in the country.
CL Fire Depart. gets motorized truck
A glimpse back to 1917
The first motorized unit of the Clear Lake Fire Department led the parade in 1917. It was a beautiful model “T” truck with rear wheel chain drive and hard rubber tires. A large crowd gathered on the south side of Main Street in front of Clark’s Restaurant, Frank Bryant’s Soda Fountain and the Willet Taylor Smoke Shop. Phil Mench had the honor of driving the new truck in the parade. Other members of the fire department at that time included Jack Runs, Art Johnson, Leland Peterson, Walter Jensen and John Smith.