Bluebird Day 1996

A lot of bluebird houses were nailed together April 13, 1996, when Gopher Campfire Club hosted its annual Bluebird Day and Nature Fair at its grounds on Lake Byron, northeast of Hutchinson. Well-known wildlife artist Les Kouba, center, donated an original painting depicting the annual Bluebird Day. Pictured with Kouba is Virgil Voigt, Gopher Campfire member and Hutchinson veterinarian.

125 YEARS AGO: 1896

The open season for shooting ducks and geese ended April 15.

Recently the sun shown with midsummer heat and was 70 degrees in the shade.

The public square (Library Square) will have a finer growth of grass this summer from a rich dressing of compost, which has been spread over it.

The Hutchinson School Board has accepted the resignation of Bert Russell, superintendent of the Normal department. He has decided to attend the state university. George Lancaster was made second assistant principal at a salary of $500 per year.

Recent rain and melting snow raised the Crow River 2 feet and the lakes about 6 inches. Due to the influx, the Hutchinson mill was run by water power.

100 YEARS AGO: 1921

Rep. A.C. Welch of this county became the storm center of a most tense and sensational situation of the present legislative session when he gave an interview to the Minneapolis Daily Star and said that he had been approached by another member of the house with an offer of a bribe to line up the nonpartisan league vote for the street car bill. The bribe, according to Welch, was a tentative offer of a large sum of money for the league campaign treasury.

75 YEARS AGO: 1946

Joan McGraw, 13-year-old Hutchinson eighth-grader, won the county spelling bee contest conducted by A.F. Schauer, county superintendent. Her teacher is Mrs. Alice Gilcrest and she is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ray McGraw.

McLeod County's five-year program for the eradication of tuberculosis, which will be resumed this month, will place heavy emphasis on the testing of the adult population. Testing will include several age groups in the school, but an attempt will be made to reach the adult population, much of which has never been tested.

50 YEARS AGO: 1971

The new 3M recording and video tapes now in production at the Hutchinson Magnetic Products Plant will allow the company to maintain leadership in the sound and recording tape field, company officials said. The new products will allow 3M to be the first firm to market both sound and recording tape and video tape.

The Lake Marion Pavilion has been remodeled and enlarged and will be known in the future as the Lake Marion Ballroom. Zavoral, Griebie and Lohrenz are operators of the property. With the additional space this will become one of the largest amusement centers in the Northwest, with comfortable seating for more than 600 people.

Waterskiing on the Crow River with the temperature of 50 degrees were local enthusiasts Carl Bretzke, Greg Popp, Scott Prochnow, Scott Carlson and John Brinkman. They claim to be the first skis on the river this year. Their April 14 debut was only three days earlier than their April 17 appearance last year. All used only one ski.

25 YEARS AGO: 1996

At least 26 residents of Country Club Terrace Mobile Home Park have had enough. The 26 signed a petition that asks the city of Hutchinson for help in correcting health and safety hazards they say exist in the privately owned trailer park, and Mayor Marlin Torgerson has promised to help. "The city will be doing everything possible within the law to address the health and safety issues in Country Club Terrace," Torgerson said during a recent City Council meeting. One option being considered is to base a police officer in an open trailer at the park.

Travis Barrick has done it again. He's won another poster contest. Barrick designed the nation's winning poster for students in grades nine through 12 in the 10th annual American School Food Service Association contest. Barrick received $100 for his efforts and his poster will travel to the national convention in Texas.

Dave Smith may be the most overqualified vendor at Minnesota professional and major University of Minnesota athletic events. Smith graduated from HHS in 1974, earned his accounting degree from St. Thomas in 1979, his master's degree from St. Thomas in 1985, and his law degree from William Mitchell in 1994. Currently, you won't find Smith calculating figures as an accountant or fighting any battles in the court of law. The HHS grad is indeed crunching numbers, just of a different kind — in sales. Ever since he followed his dad around at football games in Memorial Stadium 20 years ago, he was intrigued. So as a teenager, he sold football programs with his dad. Now, while he looks for a job in law, he sells souvenirs ranging from baseball cards to baseball bats and sweatshirts to sweatbands.

Looking Back is a weekly column by Kay Johnson, arts and special projects editor, that highlights Hutchinson history. Photo submissions with captions are welcome. Contact the Leader by calling Johnson at 320-753-3641 or email