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Lidtke Mill in Lime Springs a historical treasure


Fri, Aug 3rd, 2012
Posted in All Arts & Culture

By Jade Sexton

Lime Springs is a small town in Iowa, right near the Minnesota border that is home to something big. The Lidtke Mill has been there since 1857. At one time, there were 13 mills along the Upper Iowa River, and the Lidtke Mill is the last one standing.

According to Jerry White, member of the Lidtke Mill board, the mill and the miller’s house next to it were restored in 1974. In 1976, they were put on the registry of National Historic Sites.

The home next to the mill, where the miller would live with his family, has been restored to what it would have looked like with a family living in it in the late 1800s, complete with wood stove, furniture, clothing, kitchen stove and cooking utensils, photographs, and chamber pots in the bedrooms. Phyl Stevenson is one of the volunteers that give tours of the home, and describes what life was like for the people who lived there. There is also a gift shop for visitors who wish to take home a souvenir.

Melvin Monroe Marsh first built the mill in 1857. Various other people owned and ran the mill during the years that it was running. D.W. Davis bought the mill in 1915. Herman Lidtke married Davis’s daughter, and took over ownership until 1960, when he closed up the business. When he did that, he merely locked the doors, leaving everything behind. He left tools, machines, and even paperwork behind, and all of that still remains.

“At first they sawed timber to build homes here, and it was a saw mill,” said White. “At first they used the water wheel, then later the turbines.”

Water from the Upper Iowa River was used to run the mill, and the hydroelectricity ran power to the towns of Chester and Lime Springs. “The electricity would be on from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day,” explained Stevenson. She added that at 10:45 p.m., they would flash the lights quickly to warn people, and then it would be turned off right at 11:00.

Herman Lidtke purchased special French burr grinding stones from Iowa Governor Larabee in Clermont, Iowa and brought them all the way to Lime Springs. White explained they eventually changed the way they ground the grains, and stopped using the stones. One of the stones can be seen built right into a house on the property owned by the Lidtke family.

The most common wheat ground at the mill was buckwheat. On a tour of the mill, there are samples of what the grain look .....
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Chatfield last concert in the park of the season

Fri, Jul 27th, 2012
Posted in Chatfield Arts & Culture

Back by popular demand, The Swing Street Big Band will perform for Chatfield’s “Music in the Park” concert series on Thursday, August 2 at 7:30 p.m. in the Chatfield City Park Bandshell. The 17-piece big band is made up of some of the top m ..... 
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Houston County Fair seeks talent show contestants

Mon, Jul 23rd, 2012
Posted in All Arts & Culture

The Houston County Fair is seeking individuals and groups to showcase their talents at the annual talent competition held on Wednesday, August 15 at 6:30 PM in the Entertainment Tent on the fairgrounds. Contestants may be entered in one of three cat ..... 
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Watercolor classes at Grace Place

Mon, Jul 23rd, 2012
Posted in All Arts & Culture

Joyce King is returning to Grace Place to share her love of nature through watercolor painting. We will be offering two adult classes, one in Winona on Friday, August 10 from 7-9:30pm and one in Rushford on Saturday, August 11 from 9am-11am. A childr ..... 
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Rehearsals begin for The Last Boy in Blue

Fri, Jul 13th, 2012
Posted in Chatfield Arts & Culture

Wits’ End Theatre is pleased to announce that the 2012 Western Days play The Last Boy in Blue has been fully cast and is in rehearsal at the Chatfield Center for the Arts! The Last Boy in Blue is a new play that tells a story of the first 24 hou ..... 
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Space Commando and other odd hobbies at DreamAcres Farm

Fri, Jul 6th, 2012
Posted in All Arts & Culture

The Dreamery Rural Arts Initiative on DreamAcres Farm welcomes David Harris and his one-man, acrobatic, autobiographical show “Space Commando and Other Odd Hobbies” on Friday, July 13 at 8:30pm. This is the second of three shows in the Play! in ..... 
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“Protest!” will showcase songs of the 1960s in this month’s “Over the Back Fence” Community Variety Show

Fri, Jul 6th, 2012
Posted in Lanesboro Arts & Culture

A full cast singing “Marching Up To Freedom Land” a capella will open this month’s “Over the Back Fence” community variety show. “Protest!” is the theme, and the show will feature a variety of music and historical and cultural referenc ..... 
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Call for artists: June 30 application deadline for Lanesboro residency program

Mon, Jun 18th, 2012
Posted in Lanesboro Arts & Culture

Lanesboro Arts Center in Lanesboro, Minnesota announces a Call for Artists for the Lanesboro Residency Program. Applications are due annually on June 30 (postmark deadline), and residencies are scheduled October–April. The Lanesboro Residency ..... 
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Miss Harmony Scholarship Pageant

Mon, Jun 18th, 2012
Posted in Harmony Arts & Culture

This is the 13th year of the Miss Harmony Scholarship Pageant; we have three candidates vying for the title. They will be seniors at Fillmore Central High School in the 2012-2013 school year. Along with the title of Miss Harmony, there will also be ..... 
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