historichappen

Historic Happenings was a monthly column of expertly researched, engaging local history, written for The Entertainment Guide by Susan Hvistendahl from 2007 to 2016. Hvistendahl halted her column to focus on researching and writing her latest book, Milestones & Memories of The St. Olaf Band 1891-2018 with co-author Jeffrey M. Sauve, former archivist as St. Olaf College. The Entertainment Guide staff is working diligently to publish as many of these fascinating historical columns as possible. Please enjoy, and check back later to find even more wonderful local history!

“Look, Up in the Sky!”

“Look, Up in the Sky!” Originally Published in the November 2007 Entertainment Guide “It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s…Schiller!” On Nov. 10, 1962, a…

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“Party Like It’s 1899”

“Party Like It’s 1899” Originally Published in the December 2007 Entertainment Guide You may remember Prince’s song, “Party Like It’s 1999,” which was popular as…

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Medicine Man Mania

Medicine Man Mania Originally Published in the January 2008 Entertainment Guide “Anyone who thinks Northfield is not a good show town should have seen the…

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Northfield, A Temperance Town?

Northfield, A Temperance Town? Originally Published in the February 2008 Entertainment Guide Northfield, a temperance town? Well, sort of… “No intoxicating drinks shall be sold…

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Early Music in Northfield

Early Music in Northfield Originally Published in the March 2008 Entertainment Guide Law books or piano? There was not room for both when John and…

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Firsts in Early Northfield Basketball History

Firsts in Early Northfield Basketball History Originally Published in the April 2008 Entertainment Guide The March Madness of the high school and college basketball championships…

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Marilyn Sellars and Johnny Western: Our Hall of Fame Performers

Marilyn Sellars and Johnny Western: Our Hall of Fame Performers Originally Published in the May 2008 Entertainment Guide Dundas residents got an early glimpse of…

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Hey, Hey, We’re the __________!

Hey, Hey, We’re the __________! Originally Published in the June 2008 Entertainment Guide If you filled in the blank with the word “Monkees,” this story…

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St. Olaf Musicians Conquer the Big Apple

St. Olaf Musicians Conquer the Big Apple Originally Published in the July 2008 Entertainment Guide Prior to embarking on a tour of Norway, Denmark and…

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Local College Alums Ringham and Rhyne Star on Stage

Local College Alums Ringham and Rhyne Star on Stage Originally Published in the August 2008 Entertainment Guide When Nancy Ringham (St. Olaf Class of 1977)…

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Wayne Eddy Recounts 40 Years of KYMN History

Wayne Eddy Recounts 40 Years of KYMN History Originally Published in the September 2008 Entertainment Guide “You’re listening to the new sound in town, KYMN…

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Betty White’s 1992 Visit to St. Olaf

Betty White’s 1992 Visit to St. Olaf Originally Published in the October 2008 Entertainment Guide When I lived in New York and told anyone that…

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Drop Back Ten Meters and Punt: The 1977 Metric Football Game

Drop Back Ten Meters and Punt: The 1977 Metric Football Game Originally Published in the November 2008 Entertainment Guide Dad, why doesn’t Carleton play metric…

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Barack Obama’s 1999 Visit to Carleton

Barack Obama’s 1999 Visit to Carleton Originally Published in the December 2008 Entertainment Guide “Speaker Ushers in Black History Month.” So read the headline of…

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Eisenhower Greeted by 10,000 at Laird Stadium in 1952

Eisenhower Greeted by 10,000 at Laird Stadium in 1952 Originally Published in the January 2009 Entertainment Guide The largest crowd ever assembled for an event…

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John North’s Ties to Abraham Lincoln

John North’s Ties to Abraham Lincoln Originally Published in the February 2009 Entertainment Guide President Abraham Lincoln never set foot in Northfield. Nevertheless, as the…

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Odd Fellows/Three Links Mark 110th Anniversary in Northfield: A Look Back

Odd Fellows/Three Links Mark 110th Anniversary in Northfield: A Look Back Originally Published in the March 2009 Entertainment Guide On June 16, 1899, more than…

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Today’s “Jeopardy!” Answer: Hillemann, Crippen and Soule

Today’s “Jeopardy!” Answer: Hillemann, Crippen and Soule Originally Published in the April 2009 Entertainment Guide Question: Who Are Northfield’s Quiz Show Aces? This year the…

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Northfield’s Oldest Building: The Lyceum (Est. 1857)

Northfield’s Oldest Building: The Lyceum (Est. 1857) Originally Published in the May 2009 Entertainment Guide In 1855, at the age of 40,  John Wesley North…

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There’s a Long Tradition for Singing in Northfield

There’s a Long Tradition for Singing in Northfield Originally Published in the June 2009 Entertainment Guide Northfield’s rich musical heritage can be traced back to…

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Northfield’s First Flag Flew July 3, 1861

Northfield’s First Flag Flew July 3, 1861 Originally Published in the July 2009 Entertainment Guide Within six years of the founding of Northfield in 1855,…

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A Unique Collaboration of Leads to “Jesse” in 1976

A Unique Collaboration of Leads to “Jesse” in 1976 Originally Published in the September 2009 Entertainment Guide The Northfield Arts Guild will kick off celebrations…

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Bryan Moon: A Life of Art, Aviation and Adventure

Bryan Moon: A Life of Art, Aviation and Adventure Originally Published in the September 2009 Entertainment Guide As I drove into the driveway of the…

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The Unsinkable Professor Holbourn, Founder of Carleton’s Art Department

The Unsinkable Professor ­Holbourn, Founder of Carleton’s Art Department Originally Published in the October 2009 Entertainment Guide Although individual instruction in art was present from…

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Early College Football in Northfield, 1883-1917

Early College Football in Northfield, 1883-1917 Originally Published in the November 2009 Entertainment Guide It’s not too likely that the University of Minnesota will book…

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Early College Football in Northfield, 1918-1950

Early College Football in Northfield, 1918-1950 Originally Published in the December 2009 Entertainment Guide No doubt fans of football at St. Olaf looked enviously across…

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Northfield’s 1941-42 Winter Carnivals

Northfield’s 1941-42 Winter Carnivals Originally Published in the January 2010 Entertainment Guide Those of you who have been amazed at the magnificence (and length) of…

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Carleton’s Fabulous (Fictitious?) Joe Fabeetz

Carleton’s Fabulous (Fictitious?) Joe Fabeetz Originally Published in the February 2010 Entertainment Guide It isn’t often that Minneapolis’ major newspaper, the Associated Press and the…

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Carleton’s Sayles-Hill Celebrates Centennial

Carleton’s Sayles-Hill Celebrates Centennial Originally Published in the March 2010 Entertainment Guide Sayles-Hill Gymnasium, now used as Carleton’s Campus Center, was dedicated on Jan. 26,…

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April 1910 – Talk of the Town: Comet, Library Dedication and Abduction

April 1910 – Talk of the Town: Comet, Library Dedication and Abduction Originally Published in the April 2010 Entertainment Guide I guess I am easily…

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I ❤ Hiram Scriver: A Look Back at Hiram Scriver

I ❤ Hiram Scriver: A Look Back at Hiram Scriver Originally Published in the May 2010 Entertainment Guide I never thought I would fall in…

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The Night Crawlers: Carleton’s ‘60s Rock Favorites

The Night Crawlers: Carleton’s ‘60s Rock Favorites Originally Published in the June 2010 Entertainment Guide Way back in the historic mid-1960s, when I was attending…

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Northfield’s Popcorn Wagon: A Beloved Tradition Since 1979

Northfield’s Popcorn Wagon: A Beloved Tradition Since 1979 Originally Published in the July 2010 Entertainment Guide Well, yes, we do have the smell of Malt-O-Meal…

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“We’re All in This Together”: Memories of Mity and the 1966 St. Olaf Band European Tour

“We’re All in This Together”: Memories of Mity and the 1966 St. Olaf Band European Tour Originally Published in the August 2010 Entertainment Guide “It’s…

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Jimmy Gillette – Carleton’s Famed Band Director, Composer and ­Organist

Jimmy Gillette – Carleton’s Famed Band Director, Composer and ­Organist Originally Published in the September 2010 Entertainment Guide “Noted Organist Accepts Offer: Carleton Secures James…

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The Illustrious Life of L.K. Hanson

The Illustrious Life of L.K. Hanson Originally Published in the October 2010 Entertainment Guide L.K. (Larry) Hanson, creator of a popular St. Olaf comic strip…

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Farewell to Froggy Bottoms, 2001-2010

Farewell to Froggy Bottoms, 2001-2010 Originally Published in the November 2010 Entertainment Guide “Rising Waters Cause Concern” was the headline. “Recent heavy rains have pushed Cannon…

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Serendipitous Finds Enrich ­Lyceum Book

Serendipitous Finds Enrich ­Lyceum Book Originally Published in the December 2010 Entertainment Guide Researching historic happenings can be time-consuming. It can also be as easy as…

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Ax-Wielding Settlers Promote Temperance in Northfield

Ax-Wielding Settlers Promote Temperance in Northfield Originally Published in the January 2011 Entertainment Guide A clause inserted into every deed of land by Northfield’s founder John…

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The Best Historic Happenings Northfield Style

The Best Historic Happenings Northfield Style Originally Published in the February 2011 Entertainment Guide “Northfielders Have Forever Found Fun, Even in the Frigid Days of…

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Carls-Oles Fight Over Old Goat Since 1913

Carls-Oles Fight Over Old Goat Since 1913 Originally Published in the March 2011 Entertainment Guide Carleton and St. Olaf have had a hot basketball rivalry…

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Rotblatt – A Springtime Tradition at Carleton

Rotblatt – A Springtime Tradition at Carleton Originally Published in the April 2011 Entertainment Guide “What most typifies spring?” asked a writer in the Carletonian…

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Maggie Lee: Northfield’s Purple People-Pleaser

Maggie Lee: Northfield’s Purple People-Pleaser Originally Published in the May 2011 Entertainment Guide When I moved to Northfield from New York in 2004 and took…

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Community Bands: A Northfield Tradition

Community Bands: A Northfield Tradition Originally Published in the June 2011 Entertainment Guide “As we felt the necessity of the civilizing influence of music in…

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Bridge Square Post Office, Pride of Northfield

Bridge Square Post Office, Pride of Northfield Originally Published in the July 2011 Entertainment Guide The headline of the Northfield News ran across the top…

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Archer House: From Grand ­Opening (1877) to Open House (2011)

Archer House: From Grand ­Opening (1877) to Open House (2011) Originally Published in the August 2011 Entertainment Guide Last month (July 2011) an open house…

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“Robbery & Murder!” in Northfield, Sept. 7, 1876

“Robbery & Murder!” in Northfield, Sept. 7, 1876 Originally Published in the September 2011 Entertainment Guide “Robbery & Murder!” screamed the headline of the Rice…

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Sutton’s Artfulness Conquers NYC (and Beyond)

Sutton’s Artfulness Conquers NYC (and Beyond) Originally Published in the October 2011 Entertainment Guide It’s been a good year for New York City artist Ward…

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“Way Down Upon the Cannon River:” The Norths’ First Year in Northfield

“Way Down Upon the Cannon River:” The Norths’ First Year in Northfield Originally Published in the November 2011 Entertainment Guide Plans were made in December…

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Ken Jennings, Third Director of St. Olaf Choir

Ken Jennings, Third Director of St. Olaf Choir Originally Published in the December 2011 Entertainment Guide Kenneth and Carolyn Jennings are my neighbors at Village…

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Whittemore Remembered: Carleton’s Poet Laureate

Whittemore Remembered: Carleton’s Poet Laureate Originally Published in the January 2012 Entertainment Guide Northfielders reading Reed Whittemore’s memoir Against the Grain: The Literary Life of…

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“Electric Theater” Early Cinema in Northfield

“Electric Theater” Early Cinema in Northfield Originally Published in the February 2012 Entertainment Guide On Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012 Northfielders had a chance to experience…

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The Bundgaard-Finholt Era of Basketball in Northfield

The Bundgaard-Finholt Era of Basketball in Northfield Originally Published in the August 2012 Entertainment Guide The opening game of the 1965-66 basketball season of the…

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Who Was Laura Baker?

Who Was Laura Baker? Originally Published in the April 2012 Entertainment Guide Northfield could hardly have been more welcoming. It was front page news when…

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Batty Carleton Centennial om 1967

Batty Carleton Centennial om 1967 Originally Published in the May 2012 Entertainment Guide It all started with an extraordinary invitation by Minnesota Twins’ owner Cal…

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Yosh Murikami: Beloved ­Northfield Vocal Music Teacher

Yosh Murikami: Beloved ­Northfield Vocal Music Teacher Originally Published in the June 2012 Entertainment Guide “Until Dec. 7, 1941, I thought I was a normal…

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Tel Budd, Northfield Character and Oldest Barber

Tel Budd, Northfield Character and Oldest Barber Originally Published in the July 2012 Entertainment Guide I wrote two paragraphs about Henry Telford Budd, known as…

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Gary Briggle (St. Olaf ‘75) – Happy Ever After

Gary Briggle (St. Olaf ‘75) – Happy Ever After Originally Published in the August 2012 Entertainment Guide An almost palpable air of excitement has hung…

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Jesse James – Movie Star

Jesse James – Movie Star Originally Published in the September 2012 Entertainment Guide Let’s get this out of the way from the start. You can’t…

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John Maakestad: A Life of Art and Action

John Maakestad: A Life of Art and Action Originally Published in the October 2012 Entertainment Guide “We were built and now stand on the shoulders…

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1997 Northfield Raiders: State Football Champions

1997 Northfield Raiders: State Football Champions Originally Published in the November 2012 Entertainment Guide The Northfield Raiders won their one and only state football championship at…

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Larry Gould: Carleton’s Rock Star President

Larry Gould: Carleton’s Rock Star President Originally Published in the December 2012 Entertainment Guide Carleton College archivist Eric Hillemann has a colorful poster from the…

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Larry Gould: Carleton’s Rock Star President, Part 2

Larry Gould: Carleton’s Rock Star President, Part 2 Originally Published in the January 2013 Entertainment Guide Last month Carleton College published A Beacon So Bright:…

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Unforgettable Sid Freeman

Unforgettable Sid Freeman Originally Published in the February 2013 Entertainment Guide “No matter where you go in the United States, it has been said, you…

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History Matters at NHS, CFAHS and DHS

History Matters at NHS, CFAHS and DHS Originally Published in the March 2013 Entertainment Guide Next month I will have written 75 “Historic Happenings” for…

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History Matters: Featuring RCHS

History Matters: Featuring RCHS Originally Published in the April 2013 Entertainment Guide It is not surprising that Susan Garwood, executive director of the Rice County…

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Carleton’s May Fete Tradition

Carleton’s May Fete Tradition Originally Published in the May 2013 Entertainment Guide Early in the 20th century, Carleton College students eagerly awaited an ice cream…

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Northfield’s Laura MacKenzie: ­Celtic Music Wizard

Northfield’s Laura MacKenzie: ­Celtic Music Wizard Originally Published in the June 2013 Entertainment Guide You cannot be much more of a “townie” than Laura MacKenzie,…

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Judge Buckham’s Legacy: Faribault’s Library

Judge Buckham’s Legacy: ­Faribault’s Library Originally Published in the July 2013 Entertainment Guide The name Thomas Scott Buckham is most likely associated today with the…

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The Band Days of F. Melius Christiansen

The Band Days of F. Melius Christiansen Originally Published in the August 2013 Entertainment Guide Visitors to Northfield’s third Vintage Band Festival this month may…

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In Northfield, Sept. 7, 1976, “Robbery & Murder!”

In Northfield, Sept. 7, 1976, “Robbery & Murder!” Originally Published in the September 2013 Entertainment Guide “Robbery & Murder!” screamed the headline of the Rice…

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Chainsaw Artist Curtis Ingvoldstad: Carving out a Career

Chainsaw Artist Curtis Ingvoldstad: Carving out a Career Originally Published in the October 2013 Entertainment Guide Some people look at cut-down trees and think “Firewood.”…

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Bruce Smith: Minnesota’s Only Heisman Trophy Winner

Bruce Smith: Minnesota’s Only Heisman Trophy Winner Originally Published in the November 2013 Entertainment Guide If you are living in Faribault, you probably have heard…

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Dear Santa: Mama Wants Hat Pins, Papa, One Mule

Dear Santa: Mama Wants Hat Pins, Papa, One Mule Originally Published in the December 2013 Entertainment Guide Need a suggestion for a stocking stuffer? Well,…

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Dean Margaret Evans of Carleton

Dean Margaret Evans of Carleton Originally Published in the January 2014 Entertainment Guide “Married, Happy, Going to Honolulu.” This was the telegram that Margaret Evans,…

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Dean Gertrude Hilleboe of St. Olaf

Dean Gertrude Hilleboe of St. Olaf Originally Published in the February 2014 Entertainment Guide When I spent my freshman year at St. Olaf in Hilleboe…

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Three Memorable Northfield Depot Happenings

Three Memorable Northfield Depot Happenings Originally Published in the March 2014 Entertainment Guide Here in Northfield, insomniacs hear the freight train horns late at night,…

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Max J. Exner: Basket Ball and Beyond

Max J. Exner: Basket Ball and Beyond Originally Published in the April 2014 Entertainment Guide Basket Ball. Yes, two separate words, so chosen because a…

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The Early Bicycling Craze

The Early Bicycling Craze Originally Published in the May 2014 Entertainment Guide “Do you remember your first bike?” This is the question KYMN radio’s Wayne…

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Doc Evans: Jazz Master with Carleton Roots

Doc Evans: Jazz Master with Carleton Roots Originally Published in the June 2014 Entertainment Guide The late Dan Freeman (known as “Mr. Northfield”) had treasured…

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Faribault’s Tilt-A-Whirl

Faribault’s Tilt-A-Whirl Originally Published in the July 2014 Entertainment Guide   What memories do you have of the Tilt-A-Whirl? I think almost everyone has a…

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Lions in Northfield

Lions in Northfield Originally Published in the August 2014 Entertainment Guide No, I am not writing about the Northfield Cannon Valley Lions Club. Nor am…

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(Defeat of) Jesse James Days

(Defeat of) Jesse James Days Originally Published in the September 2014 Entertainment Guide With a menacing stare and a big ax, Smoke Shop proprietor Stanley…

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David Allen – Northfield Nostalgia and More

David Allen – Northfield Nostalgia and More Originally Published in the October 2014 Entertainment Guide   I have two David Allen paintings in my two-bedroom…

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For and Against Foot Ball

For and Against Foot Ball Originally Published in the November 2014 Entertainment Guide This was the giant headline in the Northfield News on Nov. 9,…

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Malt-O-Meal – Thriving in Northfield Since 1927

Malt-O-Meal – Thriving in Northfield Since 1927 Originally Published in the December 2014 Entertainment Guide You won’t find too many interviews with John S. Campbell,…

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Historic Happenings, The Book

Historic Happenings, The Book Originally Published in the January 2015 Entertainment Guide I have occasionally been asked, “When will there be a book of your…

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Carleton’s Beneficent Fred B. and Deborah Sayles Hill

Carleton’s Beneficent Fred B. and Deborah Sayles Hill Originally Published in the February 2015 Entertainment Guide Today’s Carleton College students know the names Fred B.…

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Granny Basketball Recalls Bygone Era

Granny Basketball Recalls Bygone Era Originally Published in the March 2015 Entertainment Guide The Wanamingo Bulldogs and the Faribault Hot Shots have just completed a…

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The Sensational and Strange Saga of Anna Dickie Olesen

The Sensational and Strange Saga of Anna Dickie Olesen Originally Published in the April 2015 Entertainment Guide Two years after the Nineteenth Amendment granted women…

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Betty White’s May 1992 Visit to St. Olaf College Revisited

Betty White’s May 1992 Visit to St. Olaf College Revisited Originally Published in the May 2015 Entertainment Guide On April 26, 2015, Betty White received…

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The Sensational Gary Rue

The Sensational Gary Rue Originally Published in the June 2015 Entertainment Guide Gary Rue was in his 9th grade algebra class in Tracy, Minnesota, in…

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The Rice County Fair: Northfield vs. Faribault

The Rice County Fair: Northfield vs. Faribault Originally Published in the July 2015 Entertainment Guide In September of 1868, a mere 13 years after Northfield…

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Northfield’s W.F. “Old Bill” Schilling

Northfield’s W.F. “Old Bill” Schilling Originally Published in the August 2015 Entertainment Guide “Old Bill” Schilling would have loved this August Historic Happenings column. That…

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Henry Wheeler, Hero of the Failed 1876 Northfield Bank Raid

Henry Wheeler, Hero of the Failed 1876 Northfield Bank Raid Originally Published in the September 2015 Entertainment Guide If you are a visitor to Northfield…

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Riki Kölbl Nelson, Mastering Art

Riki Kölbl Nelson, Mastering Art Originally Published in the October 2015 Entertainment Guide Riki Kölbl Nelson has been part of the local art scene since…

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Historic Happenings at Carleton and St. Olaf Colleges

Historic Happenings at Carleton and St. Olaf Colleges Originally Published in the November 2015 Entertainment Guide In the spring of 2015 the Northfield Historical Society…

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Dancing Duo: Sostek and McClellan

Dancing Duo: Sostek and McClellan Originally Published in the December 2015 Entertainment Guide When Brian Sostek and Megan McClellan won the Ivey Award, which recognizes…

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Winter Pastimes in Times Past

Winter Pastimes in Times Past Originally Published in the January 2016 Entertainment Guide No one that I knew when I attended St. Olaf in the…

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The Early Years of the St. Olaf Band

The Early Years of the St. Olaf Band Originally Published in the February 2016 Entertainment Guide The year 2016 marks the 125th anniversary of St.…

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Early Photographers Ira Sumner and E.N. James

Early Photographers Ira Sumner and E.N. James Originally Published in the March 2016 Entertainment Guide On March 24 the Northfield Historical Society will open an…

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It’s April. Time to Celebrate Walking!

It’s April. Time to Celebrate Walking! Originally Published in the April 2016 Entertainment Guide   Whan that April with his showres soote The droughte of…

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Thwack! Nineteenth Century Base Ball

Thwack! Nineteenth Century Base Ball Originally Published in the May 2016 Entertainment Guide   No, I wasn’t there, but I can imagine “Thwack!” was the…

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Mike Hildebrandt: He Fiddles When He Can

Mike Hildebrandt: He Fiddles When He Can Originally Published in the June 2016 Entertainment Guide   Mike (“Doc”) Hildebrandt has a motto, taken from John…

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History of The St. Olaf Band

The History of The St. Olaf Band 1891-2018 Originally Published in the December 2019 Entertainment Guide   From February 2007 to December 2016, I wrote…

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Paul Niemisto: Never Retiring from Music

Paul Niemisto: Never Retiring from Music Originally Published in the July 2016 Entertainment Guide When I heard that Paul Niemisto was retiring this year, I…

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Myrna Johnson and Northfield Musical Theater

Myrna Johnson and Northfield Musical Theater Originally Published in the August 2016 Entertainment Guide   “The overture is about to start. You cross your fingers…

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10,000 Greet Eisenhower at Laird Stadium in 1952

10,000 Greet Eisenhower at Laird Stadium in 1952 Originally Published in the September 2016 Entertainment Guide   Since the 2016 election season is in full…

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Carleton College Celebrates Its Sesquicentennial

Carleton College Celebrates Its Sesquicentennial Originally Published in the October 2016 Entertainment Guide   “We’ve already started three colleges and have the logs cut for…

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“Hey, Hey, We’re the _______!”

“Hey, Hey, We’re the _______!” Originally Published in the November 2016 Entertainment Guide   If you filled in the blank with the word “Monkees,” this…

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Catching Up with Celtic Music ­Wizard, Laura MacKenzie

Catching Up with Celtic Music ­Wizard, Laura MacKenzie Originally Published in the December 2016 Entertainment Guide   When I last wrote about Laura MacKenzie for…

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