Ron Bergerson: Strum As I Remember It

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Going south and across the street were two old buildings containing machinery and in the back of them was Strumís Baseball field (the first was likely the one by the old Creamery) with a runway running NW and SE about a hundred yards past centerfield.  Lars Olson had a Cessna and a PT 19 here and Sunshine Swendby, and I think Arup Eide and several others pooled on a Piper Cub.

Chet Peterson built one of the first houses on the north side of the street in back of the town hall. 

Across the street from the town hall, on the east side of the street, was a Pure Oil Station owned by Orrie Olson and at one time run by Wes Nelson.  East of that was Johnsonís plumbing garage.  Nig Johnson, Whiskey and their dad, Sever, with a real old flatbed truck with a plethora of pipe served the community. 

Going north on the east side was a shed housing the 66 oil drums.  Then a vacant space and on the corner was Carl Leeís huge Chevrolet Garage which had a large display front room, probably at one time a car dealer.  I donítí remember who ran the shop in the back but it was dark and big.  Going up the street and east, you had a feed mill next to the tracks, then sort of a small stock pen, Ellifsonís trucking, and across the street and next to the tracks, Tab Ericksonís Feed Mill.  Rob Durbin, Ted and Clayton Amundson worked there.  East of that was the Creamery, run by Willard Gunderson.

Going back to main street and on the north side of the tracks, was the depot managed by Bill Kromroy; a cinder street, George Petersonís storage shed, a small building housing the harness maker, Harry Jacobson; a space; Nysvenís Farmer Store, with Oscar Nysven.  Adjacent was the Strum Hotel and Dr. Henry, later.  I donít recall at the time what was in it; another space; and then Johnsonís Barber Shop.  Upstairs of the barbershop at one time was Dr. Winterís office.  

Then an alley, Lars Olsonís bar and restaurant with Marshall Christensonís Barber shop below.  Then an open area where they used to show free movies on Tuesday night.  Then T.M. Olsonís building with the bowling alley below and apartments above.  One family that lived there was the Gloverís, Jim, Johnny, a baby brother and the mother, the father showed up time to time and after a year or so, they moved away.  There was also roller- skating later on the top floor. 

Another open space and then the locker plant, which came later as my grandmother lived for a time in the lower apartment and various other families lived above.  Next to the locker plant was Rob Jones Grocery. He took over from Tommy Thompson. On the corner was the cafť.  I remember Spike Bjornstad had it before it became Oleís Cozy Corner. 

Going east from the corner and at the end of the block was the library and Town of Unity hall.  South of that was the fire station.  Across from the cafť and on the northeast corner was the church.  Rev. Berntson, some interns, then Grimstad, Olson and Blom. 

Across the lake, a white Lutheran church stood with tension cables connecting the walls to keep them from folding out.

Last, but not least, I remember the nice trees that were on main street.  One was near the steps leading to the upper level of Robbeís store.  Another was an apple tree on the southeast corner of the Ford garage.  Another was next to the locker plant.  People used to sit in and under these trees on Saturday night.

There are other things I remember that went on but this is the layout of main street as I knew it then. 

By the way, a group we called the Free-frees had the small building by the tracks south of Marshall Robbeís house and I think they are the ones that built the church on Hwy. 10 out near where the dump used to be.  They used to gather on Saturday nights by Jacobsonís hardware store and sing.  I used to listen to them as I liked their music and they usually had some good-looking girls with them.  Which of course, being Norwegian and naturally shy, failed to learn their names.

Ron Bergerson
January 7, 2008

Posted by Fred Matson
March 1, 2008

If you can add or improve on this account, EMail me, Fred Matson from the top of this page. If you have your own account for this period of time or another that you might want to share with others, Email it to me. I will be happy to post it.
Strum, As I Remember It (About 1948 to 1954)
by Ron Bergerson
January 7, 2008