100 years ago, January 26, 1922

• Juvenile Band Concert a Great Success

The Juvenile Band, consisting of 32 members, gave a concert at the Orpheum Friday night and a very creditable audience turned out to hear them.

The quality of the concert was a great surprise to all as they did not anticipate anything so good and the unanimous verdict of all when they left the hall was, “wasn’t that great.”

C. A. Hanson organized the band a little over a year ago and has worked faithfully with them ever since, and his faithfulness has been rewarded, as was evidenced by the way the boys played Friday night. They played some rather difficult music and their time was excellent.

The editor hopes that the Juvenile Band will receive the hearty support of the community in the future in order to encourage them in the good work they have thus far so earnestly and faithfully performed.

75 years ago, January 23, 1947

• “Apple of His Eye” To Be Presented

A sparkling two-act comedy titled “Apple of His Eye” is to be presented by the senior class of Pelican Rapids high school on February 6. Directed by Jean Kjorlie, the play is a comedy of charm and glorious characterization.

The story is about the behavior of a middle-aged man who falls completely in love with his housekeeper, Lily, who is young enough to be his daughter. Lily, however, is quite unaware of Sam’s affections. Sam then decides to do something about this, and sends for hair dye, hides his glasses, and asks Lily out to a chop suey dinner. Tude, Sam’s hired man and confidant, backs Sam wholeheartedly in all his attempts. However, as usually happens in all true love, it has to be halted temporarily, mostly due to Sam’s scandalized neighbors and relatives.

The play is realistic and seems actually to be going on in the household of real human beings.

• Farm Income to Slump In 1947

1947 will be a year when West Otter Tail County farmers should think through every move they make, according to County Agent Carl R. Gustafson. The years of record incomes are passed, and now farmers will face lower prices and higher costs. Farm income is expected to be at least 15 percent lower in 1947 than in 1946 but still comparatively high.

1947 will be a year in which to sell freely, buy cautiously, and avoid purchasing items that are scarce and available only at inflated prices. It will be a year in which better returns are expected for those who sell earlier in the marketing season.

During World War II, farm production in the U. S. increased 30 percent. In West Otter Tail County, farmers have increased their production even more, and they will continue to produce more and more efficiently in 1947, and the years to come, Carl R. Gustafson predicts.

The big problem facing agriculture is how to use this large production. Net farm income will probably slip 15 percent or even more if there is a decided industrial slump.

50 years ago, January 27, 1971

• Storm Disrupts Travel in Area

The second blizzard of the month struck the area Monday, bringing 62 inches of total snow, blocking roads, and forcing the closing of schools.

Six inches of snow fell during the early morning hours Monday, but it was not until about mid-day that strong northwesterly winds whipped it into blizzard conditions. Visibility was reduced to zero and drifts formed to block most area roads and highways.

Pelican Rapids school buses left on their normal rounds Monday morning, but at least two returned empty, and others had difficulty in completing their routes. School officials decided later in the morning that classes would be dismissed and pupils sent home.

Classes were canceled Tuesday as many roads remained blocked. A basketball game with Perham scheduled for Tuesday evening was postponed until last night, Wednesday.

Postmaster Ray Kratzke reported that mail service to Pelican Rapids was also disrupted by the snowstorm. No mail was dispatched from the post office here Monday night, but the truck arrived at about 9:00 a.m. Tuesday to make the pick-up. Only a small amount of mail arrived Tuesday morning.

25 years ago, January 29, 1997

• Wind Generator Harnesses the Power of Winter Storms

Dave Ellison is all smiles when news of an impending winter storm reaches him in his rural Pelican Rapids home.

“I make $30 to $40 a blizzard,” said Ellison, who with his wife Joan recently purchased a wind generator.

Visible up on one of the highest hills on their 80-acre farmstead, the generator is at the top of a 120-foot tower. With a blade span of 29 feet, the generator is a 20-kilowatt model – a small to medium size, according to Ellison.

Buried cable connects the generator to the transformer in the basement of their home where the DC output from the generator is changed into 60-cycle AC:

The investment wasn’t made without a considerable amount of research, however. Ellison started measuring the wind with an anemometer on a 30-foot pole and recording the data years ago at their farm home three miles southeast of town.

From his calculations, he figured the generator would pay for itself in about 20 years, provided the equipment needs only minimal maintenance – changing the oil and greasing the bearings.

Ellison admits investing $20,000 elsewhere might make more sense economically, but his intentions were to demonstrate the feasibility of a wind generator as an environmentally sensitive alternative to fossil fuels.

“It generates clean electricity,” he said, explaining that wind is a “totally renewable” energy source that doesn’t release carbon dioxide into the air.

The Ellison wind generator isn’t the first in the Lake Region Electrical Cooperative service area. There are four or five others generating electricity from the wind.

“Lake Region has been very cooperative,” said Ellison.

The electrical cooperative had to install a bigger transformer on their power line.

In addition, a federal law requires the electric company to purchase its excess power at a fair price. His household uses the wind-generated electricity first, with an average usage of one kilowatt per hour. A good wind can generate 20 kilowatts per hour, so the extra 19 kilowatts are fed back to the power company.