North Iowa Times

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Tue
20
Aug

'Ghosts of McGregor's Past:' Guided tours will bring legendary characters to life


“Ghosts of McGregor’s Past” guided historical walking tours will be offered from 6 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 31, then again from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 1. The tours will leave from Triangle Park roughly every half hour and take attendees to locations in downtown McGregor, where community members will act out short vignettes highlighting seven of the town’s most legendary characters. Emma “Virgin Em” Eastman (right) is pictured here getting close to her brother-in-law, Jacob Klotzbach, while sister Louisa is seated on the left. (Photo courtesy of McGregor Historical Museum)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

McGregor’s unique history will soon come to life through “Ghosts of McGregor’s Past,” a guided walking tour based around seven of the town’s most legendary characters.

Offered from 6 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 31, then again from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 1, the tours will leave from Triangle Park roughly every half hour and take attendees to locations in downtown McGregor, where community members will act out short vignettes.

Tue
20
Aug

Pikes Peak featured in byway art project


An original painting depicting a birds eye view of Pikes Peak State Park was unveiled at McGregor City Hall last week. It was created by well-known Decorah artist Mary Ann Gloe as part of an art project to capture and promote the beauty of the parks and natural areas in Iowa scenic byway corridors. Pictured with the painting are (left to right) McGregor councilman Charlie Carroll, mayor Lyle Troester, city administrator Lynette Sander, Jared Nielsen with Northeast Iowa RC&D, McGregor deputy city clerk Duane Boelman and McGregor-Marquette Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ashley Kishman. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

An original painting depicting a birds eye view of Pikes Peak State Park was unveiled at McGregor City Hall last week. It was created by well-known Decorah artist Mary Ann Gloe as part of a promotional project called “Capturing the Beauty of Iowa’s Natural Areas Through Art.” 

The Pikes Peak painting is one of seven new pieces of art that were commissioned by Northeast Iowa Resource Conservation & Development, local scenic byway boards and other local sponsors, including the city of McGregor, as a way to capture and promote the beauty of the parks and natural areas in Iowa scenic byway corridors. Marquette and McGregor are located along the River Bluffs Scenic Byway, with Pikes Peak being one of visitors’ favorite stops.

Tue
20
Aug

Brodie-Fitzgerald resigns from Marquette City Council

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Marquette has an unexpected seat to fill on its city council, following the recent resignation of Pamela Brodie-Fitzgerald. The move, effective Aug. 6, was announced at the Aug. 13 regular council meeting.

“I want to thank Pam for the time she spent on the council. She did a lot more than people realized,” stated councilwoman Cindy Halvorson.

Brodie-Fitzgerald has served for nearly four years; her seat is up for re-election this November. Due to the timing, the council unanimously approved a notice to fill the position by appointment.

Tue
20
Aug

Small town pride will be on full display at Luana Daze


For the second year, a parade will be part of Luana Daze. The annual celebration will take place Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 24 and 25. (North Iowa Times file photo)

Luana’s small-town pride will be on full display Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 24 and 25, for the annual Luana Daze celebration. 

Sponsored by the Luana Community Club, events will kick off Saturday morning, with a pancake, egg and sausage breakfast from 8 to 10:30 a.m. Bloody Mary’s and mimosas, courtesy of Luana Tap, will also be available.

The second annual Luana Daze parade will begin at 11 a.m. Line-up starts at 10 a.m. at Cherry Valley/Zieman’s Shop, on Dolphin Avenue. From there, the route will head to Main Street, then on to Church Street and Truman Street before ending on Burges Street.

Tue
13
Aug

Thinking outside the box


Woodworker Gerald Clymer, pictured in his Monona shop, creates intricately-crafted wooden boxes that have made him one of the most sought-after artists at McGregor’s Left Bank Shop and Gallery. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

At the beginning, there’s no indication of what the box will look like. That only forms when Clymer is well into the process. “I’m like a sculptor who chips away at the outside until he finds what he wanted inside,” he shared.

No piece is considered too small to incorporate into one of Clymer’s boxes. “Those little tiny pieces can be just what [the box] needs to make it pop,” he said.

Clymer, who started his woodworking hobby by making furniture, began creating boxes in 2006. This first one was made from a lilac bush.

Over the years, Clymer's boxes have become larger and more complex.

Clymer’s boxes are rarely assembled using metal fasteners. He prefers glue to join the pieces, occasionally reinforcing joints with dowels or splices.

Monona artist lets wood speak for itself

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

“As you can see, very little goes to waste,” said Gerald Clymer, spreading his arms wide as he steps into his Monona woodworking shop. There’s oak here, walnut there. Larger pieces of wood rest against walls and benches while smaller remnants—some cubes barely an inch wide—cover most surfaces. No piece is considered too small to incorporate into the intricately-crafted wooden boxes that have made Clymer one of the most sought-after artists at McGregor’s Left Bank Shop and Gallery.

Tue
13
Aug

Iconic symbol returns to McGregor's Main Street


For the first time since the July 19, 2017 tornado, the well-known mortar and pestle is hanging outside the McGregor Pharmacy. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

Although the original was too damaged to repair, local resident Mike Sloan was able to create a replica mortar and pestle, which was hung outside the pharmacy building on Main Street Aug. 5. (Photo courtesy of Larry Brummel)

Using the original mortar and pestle as a guide, Sloan cut out large pieces of styrofoam as a template for the mortar and attached them to a tube. (Photo courtesy of Mike Sloan)

He filled that in with more styrofoam to build the shape. The structure was then plastered and coated in polyvinyl alcohol and, later, fiberglass, before being painted. (Photo courtesy of Mike Sloan)

The pestle, formed using another construction tube with a simple rubber ball on the end, was moulded as a separate piece and joined to the mortar later. (Photo courtesy of Mike Sloan)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

For the first time since the July 19, 2017 tornado, the well-known mortar and pestle is hanging outside the McGregor Pharmacy.

The move has generated quite a bit of attention. Within minutes of the mortar and pestle’s installation on Aug. 5, social media was flooded with photos, racking up hundreds of likes and shares. Larry and Maria Brummel, who own the pharmacy building at 230 Main St., said they haven’t gone anywhere the past week without hearing about it.

Tue
13
Aug

McGregor Home Tour: Part 4

Schultz Home, 15483 Jasper Ave.

The Turner Park: Fitness for All Ages Committee is sponsoring a tour of four unique McGregor homes on Sunday, Aug. 18, from 1 to 4 p.m. Tickets can be purchased the day of the event at each participating property. All proceeds will go toward adding a splash pad at Turner Park. Over the past few weeks, North Iowa Times editor Audrey Posten has been featuring each home included in the tour.

Jim and Maggie Schultz’s stately red-brick home on Jasper Avenue has a historic feel, but only dates back to 2002, when it was constructed on land outside McGregor where Jim grew up.

Tue
13
Aug

McGregor Home Tour: Part 3

Hallberg Home, 812 Walton St.

The Turner Park: Fitness for All Ages Committee is sponsoring a tour of four unique McGregor homes on Sunday, Aug. 18, from 1 to 4 p.m. Tickets can be purchased the day of the event at each participating property. All proceeds will go toward adding a splash pad at Turner Park. Over the past few weeks, North Iowa Times editor Audrey Posten has been featuring each home included in the tour.

Lynn and Gay Hallberg built their “forever home” 15 years ago at 812 Walton St., around the corner from St. Mary’s Catholic Church, after a lot of time spent searching for the perfect location.

Fri
09
Aug

Tristan Close

Tristan Levi Close, 21, passed away peacefully on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019, at Gundersen Hospital in La Crosse, Wis. Tristan Levi “Flip” Close, the son of Raymond Close and Cindy (Eilers) Fritz was born Jan. 31, 1998, in Prairie du Chien, Wis. He attended school in Waukon and later graduated from NICC. 

Tue
06
Aug

McGregor Home Tour: Part 2


(Photo by Audrey Posten)

(Photo by Audrey Posten)

The Turner Park: Fitness for All Ages Committee is sponsoring a tour of four unique McGregor homes on Sunday, Aug. 18, from 1 to 4 p.m. Tickets can be purchased the day of the event at each participating property. All proceeds will go toward adding a splash pad at Turner Park. Over the next few weeks, North Iowa Times editor Audrey Posten will feature each home included in the tour.

“It’s kind of a hodge podge of ideas,” Linda Witter said of the home she and late husband Roger built nearly a decade ago on their farm outside McGregor. “As I’ve gotten older, my style has changed. It’s very eclectic.”

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