Spring Planting – May 16, 2016

2016_05_16_013For the 150th year of Pope County History, we are diligently capturing what life is like in Pope County TODAY so Pope County residents and historians can look back at us 150 years from now.

This blog post is a little glimpse into the on-going research.
If you are willing to share information on your industry/occupation/life with us, please contact the museum.

Today (May 16, 2016) I had the privilege to ride along with Brannon Lange as he planted corn on the field he rents from my father southeast of Glenwood. As we rode around in the John Deere 8360RT, I quizzed him about farming in Pope County in 2016.

Brannon has been farming for about 23 years and specializes in corn while also growing a little bit of wheat and alfalfa. His family has some cattle, which he refers to  with a laugh as a “hobby gone bad.”
He plants 5,000 acres of corn. Yep – 5 THOUSAND. This is a big change from the days of 160 acre homestead farms that I research at the museum.2016_05_16_017
Corn needs to be planted within a small window of time. Too early – and farmers risk it being destroyed by a late frost, too late – and it may not be ready to harvest before the weather turns in the fall. To plant 5,000 acres in that tiny time frame takes big equipment. Brannon started planting this year on April 21. He did have a few plants nipped off with Saturday’s frost, but they were small enough that they will be able to re-grow.
The planter Brannon used planted 36 rows at one time. Each seed was dropped into the ground at perfectly timed intervals in rows 22″ apart with a little shot of fertilizer and micro nutrients to get the sprouting corn off to a good start.2016_05_16_004

The thing that amazed me the most was the bank of monitors in the cab of the tractor. The tractor itself was guided by GPS and programmed to drive due east and west and align itself with the previous path. Brannon would turn it around and get it started, and the tractor would do the rest. We drove along at a brisk 7-8 miles an hour. If he was steering by hand, he would drive about 3 miles an hour. At 7-8 miles an hour, he can do 50-60 acres an hour. (5 thousand acres at 50 mph is still 100 hours of planting – not counting travel time to and from the fields, re-fueling, re-loading the seeder, or dealing with any breakdowns.)2016_05_16_006
We could see the guidance system on one monitor, while a second screen displayed  statistics such as miles per hour, seed distribution etc. My favorite screen showed a wide green line following a little tractor icon. Dots of blue appeared on the green – that is where the seeder accidentally dropped 2 seeds instead of one. Luckily there were no red dots – places where no seeds dropped – while I was riding along. If a problem occurred with one of the seeders, Brannon would know immediately and could take action.
If the tractor were to break down, it is connected wirelessly to John Deere and technicians can often diagnose the problem over the phone – or send technicians prepared to deal with the exact issue.

2016_05_16_018The cost of planing an acre of corn is about $600. That includes the seed, fertilizer, irrigator and the cost of the land. Much of the land is rented, such as the field we planted today. The average yield per acre (depending on the weather) is about 205 bushels per acre. Seeds cost about $285 per bag and a bag will plant about 2.2 acres of land. The seeds we planted were DeKalb hybrids. The seed technology changes every 2-3 years. “About the time you get used to the seeds, they want you to buy something else.”

The field we planted has an irrigation system, a giant sprinkler that will guarantee that the thirsty corn gets enough water. Brannon can control the irrigator with his iPad or iPhone from anywhere. Since we have an older irrigator, his remote control is limited to off and on. (It is very useful to be able to shut off sprinklers in the rain without needing to drive to each field to do so.) For the newer irrigators, the remote systems can also control the speed and the end gun. The irrigators generally piviot in a circle from the center of the field. Using a powerful “end gun” can spray water farther into the corners of the square field, but you need to turn it off when the end of the irrigator reaches a point where the edge of the circle is near a road. We don’t want to waste water sprinkling the road – and passing motorists.

Brannon markets his own corn rather than using the elevator. Most of his corn is sold to local feed mills in Hancock or Willmar or to the ethanol plant in Morris. He spends his winter delivering the corn to his customers.

When I asked him about the biggest changes he has seen in farming, he talked about the incredible inflation of prices. 23 years ago it cost about $100 per acre to plant corn.
The technology is, of course, another significant change. For example, he said he resisted auto steer for a long time, feeling that he couldn’t justify the cost, but now it is everywhere.  The rate of change is mind boggling.

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We are a long way from this horse drawn, two row planter that spaced the plants out far enough to weed with a cultivator. And THIS was a huge improvement over the original hand planters.

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Glenwood Paint Company

Glenwood 150th logoThis post is part of a collection of posts written in 2016 for Glenwood’s 150 year celebration. To see the map and full list of locations included in the walking tour, click here.

Glenwood Paint Company – 11 2nd Avenue SW.

06b IMG_0545 Glenwood PaintThis apartment building was once the home of the Glenwood Paint Company which manufactured paint and stain from 1956-1962.

 

 

 

 

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Glenwood Paint Company

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Kaldahl (Appel) House

Glenwood 150th logoThis post is part of a collection of posts written in 2016 for Glenwood’s 150 year celebration. To see the map and full list of locations included in the walking tour, click here.

Kaldahl / Appel House & Ice Creamery, 28 2nd Avenue SW.  

It was built in 1916 and finished in stucco and field stone. The back building was an ice cream factory. Edwin Kaldahl’s sons were expert ski jumpers. His son Oliver “Tuddy” Kaldahl managed the Lakeside Ballroom for many years.

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Edwin Kaldahl  in 1916 – owner of the house and the Ice Cream Factory.

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Wagner House

Glenwood 150th logoThis post is part of a collection of posts written in 2016 for Glenwood’s 150 year celebration. To see the map and full list of locations included in the walking tour, click here.

Calmeyer / Wagner House – 128 2nd Avenue SW. 4a 04 IMG_0530 Wagner

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Fred Calmeyer 1916

Built in 1896, for Fred Calmeyer by contractor Jake Wallen, the home features oak woodwork and hard maple floors. The turret on the third floor was originally used as a workout room by the first owner’s son.

An article in the Glenwood Herald in September 1897 describes this house as follows:

“On the south and west is a wide veranda supported by substantial posts and opening in the north into the dining room and into the vestibule on the west. From the vestibule one enters the reception hall, the outer and inner doors being fitted with a handsome bronze vestibule set of locks and opened with one key. Opening off to the right of the reception hall is a convenient alcove, while large folding doors separate the parlor on the left from the reception hall. A dining room, kitchen, pantry and two closets, one for china and the other for post and kettles completes the list of the rooms in the first story, all of the floors being of hard maple, while the woodwork is of polished oak. The reception hall and parlor have each a large imported rug in the center, the parlor being furnished with unique upholstered cherry furniture. In one corner of the parlor is a handsome fireplace supplied with paten ash dump and surmounted by a mantel and fine mirror, while opening on the veranda are several large windows.

In the kitchen the walls are finished in oil, and an improved range supplied with a coil and tank for heating water is the pride of Mrs. Calmeyer.

From the reception hall, stairs lead to the second story, where are found four bedrooms, a linen closet and bath room. Every room is provided with one or more closets and is fitted up according to the individual taste of the occupant.

Perfect ventilation is insured by ventilation tubes from each room to chimney. The garret in the third story afford plenty of storage room and there Johnny (Fred Calmeyer’s son) also has his gymnasium, with a hammock, punching bag and boxing gloves.

The house is provided with electric lights, with handsome globes in the reception hall and at the head of the stairs, and an abundant supply of heat will be furnished by and improved furnace, located in the basement, which has the capacity to heat one-third more space than is demanded of it here. The registers are patent electroplated and all in the walls of the various rooms.

In the choice of wallpaper, good taste was shown in selecting patterns suited to the different rooms, no two patterns being alike. All the details in the construction of the house show thought and care not to get something showy but by the use of the very best quality of everything to make it a substantial and durable home in which Mr. and Mrs. Calmeyer may enjoy the latter years of their life, and they have succeeded admirably in their endeavor.

The house barn and out-buildings are painted alike in light gray trimmed with straw color, which makes a very pleasing combination. The exterior beauty of the house is enhanced by a turret in the south west corner, while the gables are finished off with diamond cedar shingles. Altogether it is a residence of which Mr. Calmeyer may well feel proud, and which is a credit to Glenwood as well.”

It was also called the Hershman house. George Hershman had a department store at the

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George Hershman 1916

corner of Minnesota Avenue and Franklin Street, in the building currently (2016) occupied by Trumm Drug.

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“She Who Waits”

Glenwood 150th logoThis post is part of a collection of posts written in 2016 for Glenwood’s 150 year celebration. To see the map and full list of locations included in the walking tour, click here.

“She Who Waits” Node near Glenwood’s City Park

03a IMG_0535 SheWhoWaitsLocal fictional hero “Princess Minnewaska,” the main character in Alice Thorson’s 1901 romance novel The Tribe of Pezhekee stands and waits for her love to return from Duluth. The bronze statue, entitled “She Who Waits”, was a gift from Glenwood State Bank to the community in 2011 and was created by Linde Egle of Thedford, Nebraska.

This Node along the lake is one of a series of lovely spots to rest and enjoy the surroundings. The nodes are a project completed by Glenwood and Beyond.

Glenwood & Beyond was first organized to prepare for the Minnesota Design Team (MDT) visit in June 2006.  At the conclusion of the visit, the group transitioned to implementing some of the projects that the MDT recommended, as well as other community improvement projects that arise.03c IMG_0538 SheWhoWaits

Glenwood & Beyond consists of many local volunteers that serve on the Executive Committee, Coordinating and Implementation Committee (CIC) and Project Committees – all who meet on a regular basis.

 

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Glenwood Bandshell

Glenwood 150th logoThis post is part of a collection of posts written in 2016 for Glenwood’s 150 year celebration. To see the map and full list of locations included in the walking tour, click here.

Bandshell in Glenwood’s City park

02a IMG_0531 Bandshell

The bandshell was built in 1925 for $4000. For many years a community band held weekly band concerts all summer long. Today it is used for occasional outdoor concerts, Waterama events, and Sunday morning church services.
It was built by Albert Wollan, who also built the first ski tower and the Bickle House.

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Lakeside

Glenwood 150th logoThis post is part of a collection of posts written in 2016 for Glenwood’s 150 year celebration. To see the map and full list of locations included in the walking tour, click here.

Lakeside Pavilion / Ballroom / Restaurant.

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1885 open air pavilion

The first open air pavilion on the lake was built in 1885.  It was a popular gathering spot for visitors, locals and especially students at the nearby Glenwood Academy – a high school for young Lutherans.

 

 

 

 

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J.H. McCauley in 1916

 

In 1908, J.H. McCauley built a replacement pavilion with a dance floor, with the understanding that he would manage it for ten years, then turn it over to the city of Glenwood. The Pavilion opened in May 1909.

 

 

 

 

 

Lakeside from Lake

1909 Lakeside Pavilion with Ice Cream Parlor

It immediately became a draw for dances, conventions and large community get-togethers. The entire complex included the dance building, an ice cream parlor, beach facilities and a toboggan slide.

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Toboggan slide at Lakeside Bathing Beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ballroom continued to grow in reputation and size under the management of Tuddy Kaldahl and Harold Brundin, especially through the big band era, when it hosted such bands as the Andrews Sisters, the Everly Brothers, the Glen Miller Orchestra, Lawrence Welk and Louis Armstrong.
Click HERE to see a collection of posters from Lakeside attractions.

Brundin and Kaldahl oversaw several expansions of the building. In the late 1930s, wooden shutters and wood stoves were added to allow year round use. The Ice Cream Parlor and lounge were fully attached in 1947, and in 1953 they held a grand opening to show off a major expansion that created a larger dance floor, a new stage, more lounge space and more restrooms.Lakeside Ballroom

As the popularity of ballroom dancing declined, managers Kaldahl & Brundin along with later managers Duane Peterson and Arnold Moe were able to keep the Ballroom in operation by adding other events to their calendar, including roller skating, Rock and Roll bands, country western bands and private functions such as wedding receptions.04 16 2016 010

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When it was destroyed by fire in 2003 there was an immediate cry to rebuild.  The new Lakeside Ballroom opened in 2005, and includes a full restaurant and meeting rooms in addition to the ballroom and bar. Today it is managed by Jill Solmonson and is a popular place for parties, wedding receptions, and community events.  The Lakeside Dance Club meets regularly and the dance tradition continues.2016_03_28_126

Click Here to read about and see a TV program featuring Lakeside and the Ballroom Dance Club.

 

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