Marietta, Minnesota & Yesterday’s Dreams

The first time I’d heard reference to Marietta, Minnesota, I was a college student living in a large, North Mankato, MN, rental house  – 1976, I believe. (The summer of “Afternoon Delight” to add a music reference)   A room was available and in moved a recent high school graduate to the top floor of the old Range Street house.
Me:  Where are you from?
Her:  Marietta, Minnesota
Me:  Hmmm… never heard of it. Where is it?
Her:  East of Watertown, South Dakota and west of Madison, Minnesota
Me:  That doesn’t help – haven’t heard of them, either.

MariettaCoopbw11x14blog

Main Street Marietta, MN 1999
BW medium format film / processed in darkroom / hand colored
Bronika ETRSi medium format camera
scanned as digital file / dirt texture added in Photoshop CS5

As fate would have it, 7 years later I would find myself living 7 miles west of Marietta, Minnesota and would soon learn the geographical locations of villages and towns that could have been part of the wild west.

By the time I arrived,  Marietta was a quiet little village with very little commerce.  Not always so, according to local historians (AKA relatives).

Circa 1967:

  • Why Go Restaurant: (Kids hangout)
  • Hardware store
  • Millie’s Popcorn Stand
  • Johnson’s Chuckwagon Cafe.
  • Nelson’s Jewelry Store
  • Maas Recreation Hall
  • Carl Raetz Marietta Produce
  • Forest Ward Standard Oil
  • Dahle’s Value Mart
  • Bank
  • Orpheum movie theater
  • Red Owl Grocery Store
  • Elevator
  • Coop station
  • Telephone Office
  • Silvernale’s Drug Store & soda Fountain
  • Don Russell’s Barber Shop
  • Roth’s Cafe
  • Post office
  • International dealer
  • Bud’s Station
  • Kanthak’s Auto Service
  • Idle Hour: bar/pool hall
  • Lily Mills Thread Store
  • American Legion
  • Les Hoium’s Butcher Shop
  • Creamery
  • Hotel
  • A 2nd grocery store?
  • Laundromat
  • Pool Hall
  • Red Owl Store
  • Shackelfords Lumber Yard
  • K-12 High School
  • Three churches

Imagine my surprise as they reeled off such an extensive list  of establishments that have been part of the history of Marietta, Minnesota during the years of love, peace and the Vietnam War ~ the1960’s.

What happened?

The talented Charlie Roth featured Marietta, Minnesota in his music video, Broken Ground, and tells the story well.

Can this town be saved?  Technology and the work ethics of its people may be the ticket to help this town and other typical rural communities.  Living in a slower paced, small  town or rural location may be a lifestyle dream someday for those tired of the traffic and rush that urban living requires.

As Mr. Rogers said so well:  Won’t you  be my neighbor? 

 

Advertisements

78 thoughts on “Marietta, Minnesota & Yesterday’s Dreams

  1. A friend sent me a link to this, thanks for writing about Marietta! I grew up here and moved back a few years ago after 35 years in the cities. I remember every one of the businesses you listed. Sad to see most of them gone.

    Like

  2. Thanks Joyce that is an old video now a fellow Madisonite John Overby did a fine job editing the images to match the lyrics. This video pretty much started everything for me in Europe. The song got another spin in the Netherlands yesterday as well. As you can imagine this kind of stuff never gets old for me. I am super proud to be from there as the song says.

    I like that your post is trying to persuade people to consider these little towns as a possible place to relocate. I keep telling folks that you can pick up a fine house dirt cheap out there if you can think of some way to make a living and having and internet based business can totally be that ticket. Thanks again for sharing this.

    Like

  3. My Great Grandparents were from there (Edward & Martha Hoium), and many family members are from there and still live there today. Just thinking of Marietta warms my heart. Many a family member went to school there and my dad graduated from there. I went to school there several years there before it closed. I remember the year the school was going to close (we were all dreading it)… The day before the final school annual was to be mailed for printing a storm hit and lightening hit the bell tower burning down a portion of the school… and the annual with it. Many good memories of Marietta. Playing at the park, getting treats at the grocery store and restaurant or the gas station, a great basketball team, football games, parades, etc……. many memories…. never forgotten.

    Like

  4. I remember going to the movies there. My first husband graduated from Marietta. Lots of good and fun memories of Marietta. Thanks for the blog.

    Like

  5. Wow! What a rush of memories. This was forwarded to me by former classmate Chuck Eidem – thanks Chuck. Just a shout out to Larry Nelson, classmate from 1965. I could probably add to the list of businesses, but most are there. When I have to occasion to drive through the town, I get a bit melancholy remembering what a fun and vibrant town it was. Go Cardinals!

    Like

    • Hi Duane, you probably don’t remember me but I graduated with Anita Dohrer! What fond memories of Marietta! I loved Mildred Zankes popcorn stand!

      Karen Johnson Drake

      Like

      • Good to hear from you Karen. Anita is my youngest sister and she is 5 years older than me. Are you in touch with her? Your name rings a bell, but I am struggling to recall the details. I recall several Johnson families from the area, maybe you can remind me which “clan” was yours.

        Like

  6. I have fond memories of Marietta growing up. Both sets of my grandparents lived there (Paul & Alice Seefeldt, & John & Malinda Dohrer) and my great uncle Bud Ohm ran the gas station on the edge of town. We had so much fun going to the movie theater, and the drug store where you could go to the soda fountain for cherry colas made right in front of you.My grandpa Paul would take me to the pool hall for a strawberry soda while he had a beer and visited his friends My uncles Duane Dohrer and Roger Seefeldt graduated from high school there, and I have memories of them at the school. It was a great and booming little town and I loved visiting there! Loved your article!

    Like

  7. I lived not far fom Marietta in the rural area of Rosen. I went to my first real movie there, “Jumbo” with Martha Raye, Jimmy Durante and Doris Day. Love that small town feel and live right outside one now and have for the last 38 years!

    Like

  8. What a cool video and history….I grew up in Marietta , Just a miler East of town …What great memories of all the family functions are there and my 1st 6 grades of school……Would love to hear from some of those school friends also……

    Like

  9. My grandma owened Dahle Value Mart. I remember drinking malts from her soda fountain eating candy from her HUGE candy counter after watching the parade. A big parade if you can beleive that. Then heading to the movies after if it was not to late !!

    Like

  10. I was a farm girl from Nassau and remember how much fun it was to play my saxophone in Banker Anderson’s band. We played on the west side of Main Street on Wednesday nights. I remember David Stoick on trumpet and Henry Grube (Marcia’s Dad) on trombone. Can’t recall who else played, probably Eddie Dahle on baritone was a member. Also remember going to the movies in Marietta after the Nassau theater closed, and the ice skating pond south of the movie theater. Great memories of gathering at Ablei’s (sp) Cafe after the basketball games and listening to the newest recording artists, Elvis Presley and Pat Boone. I graduated from Marietta High School in 1958.

    Like

  11. I was a farm girl from Nassau and remember how I enjoyed playing in Banker Anderson’s band on the street in Marietta. Also remember going to the movies in Marietta after the Nassau theater closed and the ice skating pond south of the theater. Great times at Ablei’s Cafe after basketball games listening to Elvis Presley and Pat Boone. Graduated from Marietta High in 1958.

    Like

  12. A business missed: Kanthak Auto Service – it was connected to the Idle Hour – it was owned by my Dad until the late 80’s – he sold it and started Kanthak’s Small Engines at a different location – love this – let’s keep this going…………

    Like

  13. This is really great to see, my aunt owned the Y-Go Cafe and laundromat.where I learned how to make corn dogs and crinkle fries!

    Like

  14. I attended Grades 1 – 3 from 1965-1968 when my father was the Superintendant. My class was the Class of 77 and included John Gearman, Robin Ruth, Allen Longhenry, Dawn Willis, Rebecca Young, Nancy Oinim?, Tom Stava, Loren ???, Maria??? and others I whose name I can no longer recall, I think Mrs Nelson was First Grade, Mrs Redipenning? Second Grade, but can’t remember the Third Grade teacher. I vividly remember Ruth and Irvie Dahle and just had a good visit with the former secretary at the school, Marion Goetsch. Excuse me if I misspelled many of the names.

    The popcorn stand was open once a week IIRC and I attended a number of movies at the theatre. I was sad to see the school was gone due to a fire and many of the houses are now gone. It has probably been a couple years since I was last there and it was sad to see Bemis Implement falling down into a heap. At least our house is still there across the street from the American Legion (which was a spooky abandoned house when we lived there)

    Marietta will always have a place in my heart and I still remember the school song sung to the tune of On Wisconson. I’ll have to post some of my dad’s home movies from Marietta on You tube.

    Like

    • I, Cathy Harstad, maiden name Kanthak, we used to carpool to CCD – my brother Mike and a sister Pam………………do you remember us……….I married Marion’s brother Milo

      Cathy

      Like

      • Ahh, yes I now remember riding with you and i think it was your Dad that drove us…Back then I remember calling it catecism (sp?). It was in the old school in Nassau. I also remember the old church and then the building of the new church. And it looked the same when I drove by a couple of years ago. But the old school was long gone.

        I also remember getting out of class early and not finding anyone outside waiting for us. Like a stupid kid, I started walking back to Marietta. Thankfully, someone saw me, picked me up and took me back to Nassau where the rest of you were just getting out of CCD and I found the rest of you. I can’t believe I did that.

        Oh the memories……….

        Like

    • Hi David, I don’t know if you remember me or not I was older but your mom and dad would spend alot of time with my folks out on the farm. Are your parents still around? Nancy Eidem (John and Bernice Eidem were my parents.) I remember your mom giving my mom a little German doll.

      Like

      • Nancy, I do indeed remember you and going out to the farm. If I recall, I also fell off of a horse for the first time at your place. And for some reason, I remember your mom having brownies in the freezer.

        Yes, both of my parents are still alive. Dad is approaching 84 years and Mom is 76. Both of my sisters also live here in town. I am working on a video of Dad’s old 8 mm films that I’ll post in a few days. Be sure to check back here for a link. You may recognize some of the people!!

        Like

      • Yes, you remember well, mom always had brownies or fresh bread around. And my middle sister had the horses. I look forward to seeing your video. What town do your folks live in? Please give them my best.
        Nancy

        Like

  15. Boy, this blog really opened the memory floodgates for me. Thanks for doing this project. I grew up in Marietta and remember 1967 well. My folks, Herb & May Gieseke, owned the Y-GO Café and Marietta Laundry (notice correct spelling of Y-GO). They always said, Y-GO to Madison when you can eat here in Marietta. The perpetual special was the “Y-GO” which was a hamburger and french fries for 50 cents. We lived in the same building as these two businesses, in the ‘back room.’ In fact my dad died there in 1967. It was the beginning of my senior year at MHS, my sister Betty was beginning her sophomore year. Our buildings were located exactly where the Marietta State Bank is now located.
    Other business in town that I remember: right to the west of us was Mead’s Dairy Home Delivery. There were two over the road trucking companies in Marietta. Curtiss “Beeky” Johnson and Vern Putzier. Vern’s wife operated Vi’s Beauty Shop out of the west end of their home for many years. Others were East Side Lumber, R.F. Clark & Co. did road construction and maintenance. Builders and carpenters were the Dahle Construction Co., Byron Redepenning and Slim Bohnsack. Herman Frantz Plumbing was operated out of the back of the Hardware Hank store. There were several blacksmithing/welding/repair shops in town. Fred Fuoss Monument Sales and Cemetery Services. Paul Cushman did local grain hauling. Leon Bresson delivered coal to people who still used coal fired furnaces and he did custom on the farm butchering.
    Some of the ladies in town were also business people. Martha Hoium and others were involved in Avon, Tupperware and other party plan type of sales. Mildred Harstad did domestic work all over Marietta.
    There were several newspaper delivery services. Daily papers delivered in town at that time were the Minneapolis Morning Tribune, Minneapolis Evening Star & the Watertown Public Opinion. There was also a Minneapolis Tribune Sunday Paper motor route operated out of Marietta and The Grit was delivered door-to-door.
    I see a question mark after A 2nd Grocery Store? The 2nd store was Hoium’s Meat Market in 1967. They had a full line of groceries. The Fairway Foods
    Store and Ransom’s Market were both closed a few years earlier. I don’t remember a Hotel though. There was a Masonic Lodge Meeting place on the second floor of the Baker Block.
    There were a lot of businesses in Marietta at that time. There was always something to do there. For the town boys, there was always plenty of low talent and no talent farm work in the area, such as weeding soybeans, helping with hay/straw baling, shelling corn, picking rock and pitching manure.
    Just a closing remark. Great musical video by Mr. Roth. I worked in that elevator building that he used as a background during high school and at the Orpheum Theatre also. I think it was cool that Mr. Roth included the old footages and some footage of Nassau in his musical video also.
    Thanks for letting me remember.

    Ernie Gieseke
    MHS, Class of 1968

    Like

  16. Ernie – Thank you for the detailed information and I will correct the spelling. My husband, Randy, really enjoyed your comments and reflection of growing up in Marietta, MN. His sisters are Coleen and Diane and he remembers Betty spending time at their farm. As a transplant to the area, I am amazed at the number of Marietta businesses located there in previous years.

    Like

  17. After reading my cousin Ernie’s recollection of businesses made me remember that there was a telephone company that was across the street from Vi Putzier’s beauty shop, In later years that telephone building became a beauty shop called His and Hers Beauty shop and was owned by my sister-in-law Coleen Eidem,

    Like

  18. I’m not sure where all of you live…(we still live in Marietta) and there are all school reunions held every 5 years (I think) Wouldn’t it be great to have all your memories voiced in person??? Let’s make the next reunion the best!!!

    Like

  19. I remember many happy memories in Marietta Minnesota. We use to go and stay with Grandma and Grandpa Johnson and hang out at the Chuckwagon Cafe. on Saturday night you could go watch a movie at the Town Hall for 50 cents, the Sheriff and his wife would run the movie. My cousins and I spent time playing in the old junk yard. are you still up to going to the dime store or go play pool at the pool hall with my cousins even though we weren’t even old enough to be in there. What a great place to go visit as a child I will always have fond memories of Marietta.

    Like

  20. Don’t know how I stumbled on this site, WOW! What memories. Hope to be in touch with you again. Please contact me – would love to hear from all of you.

    Like

  21. As a young girl in the late 70’s I spent quite a bit of time in Marietta because of my fathers work and family friends (we lived in Canby). I have memories of a butcher/meat market on Main Street?? Also remember being in town for a parade. This past fall I drove around Marietta and sadly didn’t find any of the buildings from my memories. Fond memories of that little town.

    Like

  22. I remember going to the Marietta school would of graduated 86-87 loved the small town wonder what ever happened to some of my classmates

    Like

  23. Daughter of the late Kent & Lola Gearman. Love hearing old memories of Marietta & Nassau. Thanks everyone for sharing. I still love to go back and visit with everyone!

    Like

      • Hi Stewart…marlys johnson Brainard…some of Karen’s and my best memories were at the state line station..huge ice cream cones…we loved your mom…she was a very kind lady..loved Marietta..just love to hear from so many…so many wonderful memories..God is good😊where are you living now?

        Like

    • Brook, is John your brother? I was in his class and used to come out to the farm and played with him.

      Dave Voeltz (who moved away after 3rd Grade.)

      Like

  24. My dad Palmer G Eidem owned State Line Station out on Hwy 212. I attended Marietta Public School from 1st through 11th grade. Great site and interesting comments. Thanks to everyone.

    Like

    • So many good memories of the State Line station too! Great ice cream cones.. And your family was wonderful, so inspirational. Many fine memories of Marietta. So sad to see all the businesses gone.
      Marlys Johnson Brainard …

      Like

  25. My dad Palmer G Eidem owned State Line Station out on Hwy 212. I was with the class of 63. This is a great site and interesting and informative comments.

    Like

  26. My dad Palmer G Eidem owned State Line Station on Hwy 212. I was in the class of 63. Great site with interesting and informative comments. Thank you.

    Like

    • Wonderful memories of State Line Station too! Huge ice cream cones..what a treat and your Mom and Dad were very inspirational to me. Just loved them. Great memories of good ol Marietta. Sad to see so many businesses on Main Street and the school gone..we had a very good life the years I was there…..where do you live now Stewart? So good to see your response😊

      Like

  27. Moved from Marietta in the 3rd grade to Bellingham then to Madison. Marieeta is still home. I remember summer days going to Marietta Wed and Sat evenings. Millie’s popcorn. Sunday school practice for Christmas and then off to see Santa at the theater. Pop at Buds. Playing dice at the pool hall. Still have a few nick knacks from the hardware store. Living on a farm across from Ernie and Betty Geiske. Running around town with Ruth Streich. Buying a bag full of candy at Dahle’s for a nickel. My kids and grandkids coming out to see my parents Con and Leota Wood. Going to church at the Congregational church. Marietta is still home.

    Like

  28. Very lucky to stumble on this. My name is Randy Ohm I lived a mile East and about a half North on that little hill. Duane Dohrer and Ron Ohm are cousins. My grandpa’s were Albert Ohm Sr. and Jay Ruby. I remember so many of the names and most of the older places. I went to first and part of second grade here. One favorite memory grandpa Ruby took Mary Beth and me to a free show one night dropped us off and we found out we had to buy two dime bags of popcorn to get in and we had no money. I still drive thru every few years when we get close.

    Like

  29. Our family moved away in 1968 from Marietta to Kalispell, MT. The Red Owl Store was on the east side of Main St and Merlin Johnson”s Store was across the stree from it. Johnny Silvernale owned the pharmacy/drug store that Dahle’s later owned. I can’t remember the name of the little cafe that sat on the corner nort from the gas station. Was there a hotel in that building?

    Like

  30. In my travels I have visited with several folks from the cities. I would ask if the ever drove to SD to buy fireworks? Did the drive 212? Stop at the first place in SD? That was my Uncle Wimpy’s stand.

    Like

  31. My husband, Randy Djonne grew up in Marietta. We were so happy to find this site. He was excited to see all the info. His family still lives there, and he goes ” home” at least once a year. He has so many wonderful memories of his home city. Thank you.

    Like

  32. Don and I remember Margrafts cafe, George (sailor) told many stories. I graduated in 65 and Don in 63. Play with Strattons,Andersons, Nelson, Erdman, Taylor kids, in neighborhood.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We use to sell snapping turtles when Wimpy Schmidt had the store. I was in the class of 65. Remember taking Freshman kids to the cemetery in Nassau and leaving them. In the winter time there was two Christmas trees at each end of Main Street {One block}

      Like

  33. I remember a quaint small town with a good school having exciting sports, a great band, and terrific classmates. My neighbors were Eugene Eilers, Harold Sorkness and Wayne and Sonja Schmidt.

    Like

  34. Thanks Joyce, after living in the Gary Area for many years, Teresa started doing her family genealogy only to find some of her family had homesteaded and Mehurin township was named after her family.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s