100 years ago, November 24, 1921

• Close Call for Swanson’s Elevator

Tuesday night, at about eleven o’clock, a fire was discovered in C. J. Swanson’s elevator by Earl Soule. The fire was down in the pit and was just burning through the floor when the firemen and others got there. A bucket brigade carrying water and some chemicals subdued the fire before it got much headway. Had the fire not been discovered at the time it was, there would have been no hopes of saving the elevator. Considerable damage was done to the pit and by chopping holes in the floor in order to get at the fire. 

Mr. Swanson had been running the elevator up to about five o’clock, and evidently, a bearing at the bottom of the pit had become overheated, which caused the fire.

75 years ago, November 28, 1946

• Temperance Meeting Held In Auditorium

Sunday night, a temperance meeting took place in the high school auditorium with a good-sized audience from the village and country.

The meeting was sponsored by the Civic Morals League, and the outside speaker was Mr. C. Carlson of Minneapolis, who represents the United Temperance Union. He gave facts and figures showing how Pelican Rapids, which has been a dry town for 45 years, compared with a wet town of the same size in regard to bonded indebtedness, tax rate, accidents, and improvements made. The comparisons were in favor of Pelican Rapids in every instance. Mr. Carlson also showed a moving picture, showing auto wrecks with liquor as a contributing cause.

W. W. Sherman, as president of the Civic Morals League, read a paper summing up his views of the situation, which will be up to the voters to decide next Tuesday.

• Gifts For Hospitalized Veterans

In years past, it has been customary to see that every hospitalized war veteran receives a Christmas gift. This year our hospital population is greater than ever before, so if you are interested in making some hospitalized veterans’ Christmas a little brighter, you may do so by leaving your gift at the City Meat Market.

Suggestions: gifts may range in value of up to $5.00. They should be wrapped in Christmas wrapping if possible with your name inside. Please do not send food, candy, or ashtrays.

It is important that these gifts be turned in before December 15 to reach the boys by Christmas Day – Victor Cornell Post No. 17, American Legion and Auxiliary

50 years ago, November 25, 1971

• Late Construction

The last week of November is not generally included in the “construction season” here, but Asp Construction crews were busy on the 18-unit apartment building scheduled for completion by mid-1972. The three-level structure is being built a block east of Broadway between Mill and First Avenue SE on ground cleared by razing the Utility Feed Mill and the Oil Store. About two-thirds of the apartments were reportedly spoken for before construction began. It has also been reported that another large apartment building is being proposed for the village under a program through which low-income families could receive Federal rent supplements. A site for the proposed building unit has not been purchased. 

Author’s note: This is the site of the present-day Mill View Apartments.

• Taking Shape

The new J. P. Wallace State Bank building at the intersection of Mill and Broadway is going up despite some problems with the weather. Bricklayers used heaters Monday to keep warm, but milder temperatures Tuesday permitted the contractor to pour concrete for the sidewalks. The building is set back from the street and is slightly above street level. Ramps will lead from sidewalks to entrances, and brick retaining walls will encircle the landscaped area between the sidewalks and the building. John T. Jones Construction of Fargo is the general contractor. The bank occupies the site of the Oil Store, and the weeping birch which graced the corner for several years has been retained.

Author’s note: This is the former Wells Fargo Bank building, now occupied by the Bell Bank.

25 years ago, November 20, 1996

• “Oklahoma!” to be Performed This Weekend at PRHS

Rogers and Hammerstein’s well-loved musical, “Oklahoma!” will be presented this Thursday, Friday, and Sunday at the Pelican Rapids High School fine arts auditorium. Performance times are 7:30 PM on Thursday and Friday and 2 PM Sunday.

Set in Oklahoma Territory just after the turn of the century, the high-spirited rivalry between local farmers and cowboys provides the colorful background against which Curly (Adam Bell), a handsome cowboy, and Laurey (Laurel Ellison), a winsome farm girl, play out their love story. Another love interest between Will (Josh Boese), a determined young cowboy, and Ado Annie (Sherisse Johnson), a flighty farmer’s daughter, is complicated by the not-so-innocent interests of Ado Hakim (Josh Nelson), a traveling peddler.

Over 70 PRHS students are involved in this production, including cast and crew members and the pit band.

“These kids have worked hard, and I am real proud of them,” said director David Brown. “We’ve had to overcome a lot of other activities to schedule rehearsals, but I believe their hard work and dedication will pay off this weekend.”

Musical direction is handled by vocal music teacher Gladys Hovland and instrumental music teacher Sean Fitzsimmons.