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New town hall for Whalan


By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Jan 25th, 2013
Posted in Whalan Features

Whalan, Minnesota has just 63 people within its borders. Sixty-three people with a lot of heart and a desire to protect and revitalize a part of the town’s heritage.

The town hall, a modest, two-story building, was constructed in the late 1800s. It is the oldest building in town and has been used sparingly due to its deteriorating condition. Seated on a bad foundation, it had begun to show its age. Like other century-old architecture the question over its fate loomed with the community and it began to take massive amounts of time and energy to maintain.

“We weighed the options,” says Whalan resident Larry Johnson. “There are not a lot of resources for a town this size. We knew it was going to take a lot of money.” Johnson notes that there was some conversation about demolishing the building and putting up something new, but that those involved pretty quickly came to the decision to preserve the piece of town history and make it useable. Their biggest concern though was whether or not they’d find the funding.

A renovation group was organized, comprised of 12-15 concerned citizens and outsiders. “It was people from the community, people who once lived there, and people from the area,” adds Johnson stressing the phenomenal amount of help that poured in. Funds also poured in. With only one Picture It Painted grant, the group was able to secure $20,000 in funds from the city and over $30,000 in private donations. Another big donation is still anticipated.

The process began in 2011 with an Amish crew pulling the building off of its foundation. A new slab foundation was then poured and the building set back in place. Volunteer offered countless hours of time to gut the interior, as well as scrape paint and repaint the exterior. To date, the new plumbing and electrical is completed and walls are currently being put up in the lower half of the building.

Johnson credits the entirety of involved people, but notes that Donna Novotny and Jim Gustavson were very instrumental in the process. Novotny, a current Chatfield resident that originally hails from Whalan, led the renovation group while Gustavson took charge of setting up contractors for the work.

“That’s the cool part of this story,” enthuses Johnson. “It’s local people digging in with hard work and generosity. It was an avenue for people to step up and do something nice for the community.” While he a .....
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Hoffman Stables

City of Whalan

Fri, Sep 21st, 2012
Posted in Whalan Legals

Public Hearing is scheduled for the City of Whalan Monday, October 1, 2012, at 4:30 p.m. The topic will be 1) City Comprehensive Land Use Plan and 2) City Zoning Ordinance The location is at the Whalan City Hall Publish 17,24

Larry E. Nielsen

Mon, Aug 27th, 2012
Posted in Whalan Obituaries

Larry E. Nielsen, 78, of Whalan and formerly of Rushford, died on Saturday, August 25th at his home, surrounded by his family, following a 22 month battle with cancer. Larry was born on April 5, 1934, in Albert Lea, Minn. to Niels K. and Dennise (Pe ..... 
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Free wagon rides along the Lanesboro-Whalen State Trail

Fri, Aug 24th, 2012
Posted in Whalan The Great Outdoors

The Annual Wagon Ride along the Root River is scheduled for Wednesday, September 5, 2012, beginning at the Sylvan Park in Lanesboro. Tractor pulled wagons will carry participants from the Sylvan Park in Lanesboro then travel to Whalen and back to ..... 
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Outdoor movie and music night in Whalan

Fri, Aug 10th, 2012
Posted in Whalan Commentary

How did it all begin? In June, 2010 the Whalan Hall Restoration Committee was formed. Our goal: To renovate the old town hall that was built in 1898 and in bad repair. The City of Whalan started things rolling by earmarking $20,000 for the projec ..... 
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Dorothy Blagsvedt

Fri, Aug 3rd, 2012
Posted in Whalan Obituaries

Dorothy Blagsvedt Dorothy Marie Blagsvedt, age 86, of Sacred Heart, died Monday, July 30, 2012, at the RenVilla Nursing Home in Renville. Dorothy Marie Blagsvedt was born on October 13, 1925, on the family farm near Whalan, Minnesota to Martin ..... 
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Whalan special meeting

Mon, May 21st, 2012
Posted in Whalan Legals

Whalan special meeting The city of Whalan will be holding a special council meeting on Monday, May 21 at 5:00pm at City Hall. They will be discussing the garbage contract and the well service fee. Publish 14,21

Whalan Stand Still Parade

Mon, May 7th, 2012
Posted in Whalan All

On Saturday, May 19, at 11:00 the Whalan Stand Still Parade is on the move again. Meet Vincent, the Gypsy horse, bred to pull the colorful, historic Gypsy vardos (wagons). He is handsome, strong and gentle and will bring along some folks to tell yo ..... 
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Solid Gold at Whalan Stand Still parade May 19

Mon, Apr 30th, 2012
Posted in Whalan All

“Solid Gold” is returning to Whalan for the Standstill Parade on Saturday, May 19. Terry McKinley on drums, Ron Johnson on keys and sax, Paul Musikov on bass and keys, and Wayne Leibhard on guitar. The parade is 11:00 to 12:00 noon. “Solid Gol ..... 
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