Hastings Marina Experienced Geysers in Boat Harbor in 1965

The Hastings Gazette, April 15, 1965

Ice created havoc in the Hastings Marina the fore part of the week with the collisions of ice blocks causing “geysers” like the Old Faithful above. By Wednesday, the floodwaters were over the high bank along the north side of the boat harbor, and the large ice blocks were floating past the harbor.

The flood gauge at the U.S.  Lock and Dam here Wednesday night showed a water level already four feet over the 1952 crest, and two feet short of the crest expected here Saturday. Dakota County was one of 39 flood-devastated Minnesota counties to be declared a Federal disaster area, eligible for emergency aid, by President Jonson on Sunday.

Local authorities are warning Hastings residents that they should not drink from private wells. Warnings have also been issued to downtown businessmen and residents to cover all floor drains in the event of sewer back-up.

Cornerstone Layed in 1900 for New Trier School and Hampton Church

June 9, 1900, Hastings Gazette

The laying of the cornerstone of the new schoolhouse  in New Trier on Monday was a notable local event, with an unusually large attendance and two brass bands. Solemn high mass was celebrated by the Rev. Leopold Haas, assisted by the Revs. William Lette, of Vermillion, and the Re. F. X. Gores, of St. Paul. The address was delivered by the latter.

The laying of the cornerstone of St. Mathias’ Church at Hampton Station last Sunday afternoon was an important event, attracting a large gathering of people from Hastings and the adjoining towns. The Rev. Leopold Haas, of New Trier, was in charge of the services and the sermon was delivered by the Rev. William Lette, of Vermillion.

Earlier Years of Rosewood Bed and Breakfast Inn

Latto Hospital

The Hastings Gazette, January 24, 1914

Our city council has nearly completed the Latto Hospital, a handsome, well equipped building which promises to be, for years to come, a safe and comfortable home for the sick of our city and this vicinity. May we not ask the city fathers to go a step farther and see to it that the patients at the Latto Hospital are to be provided with pure ice?

The Hastings Gazette, February 14, 1914.

Patients were received at the institution on Thursday also those form the Adsit Sanitarium. Miss Helen Stevens, of Minneapolis, is superintendent, Miss Martha J. Fickling, Owatonna, day nurse and Miss Theresa Miller of Hastings night nurse. The hospital has been fitted in modern style and will be conducted in a satisfactory manner.

The Hastings Gazette, January 8, 1932

At the regular meeting of the city council Monday evening two resolutions were adopted offering the Latto Hospital property and hospital equipment for sale as the city, since the closing of the hospital, has at considerable cost and expense employed a night watchman to protect the property which is of no use of benefit to the city and its taxpayers.

The Hastings Gazette, January 22, 1932

Dr. H. A. Fasbender was declared the successful bidder at the sale of personal property used in the Latto Hospital and in the nurses’ home at the meeting of the city council last Monday night. The consideration was $525.

The Hastings Gazette, January 10, 1941

The Latto Hospital was reopened the first part of the year after it had been closed for the past three months. Previously the hospital was operated as a general hospital by Mrs. Frank Schmitz, who now in reopening, plans to operate it principally as a Rest Home. Before closing three months ago Mrs. Schmitz operated the hospital continuously for seven years.

Hastings Star Gazette, May 5, 1988

Work on restoring the former Latto Hospital to the grandeur of a 19th century home has begun in earnest after the Hastings Heritage Preservation Commission give its blessings to plans by owners Deck and Pam Thorsen to turn the mansion into their second bed and breakfast.

Hastings-St. Paul Bus Line Discontinued, 1932

March 14, 1932

On Wednesday, February 24, 1932 the bus line operated by E. R. Princeton between Hastings and St. Paul was discontinued. Although there had been rumor that the line would be discontinued, the announcement of the definite suspension was unexpected.

The bus line had been in operation since October 28, 1928 when the first bus traveled over the route between Hastings and St. Paul replacing the abandoned St. Paul Southern electric line.

When the line was first established, residents of Hastings and other communities along the route to St. Paul supported it generously and proved to the owner that a transportation facility of that nature was appreciated. However, high operating expenses, which included taxes and licenses, and a competing line and changes in route due to road improvements, and the increased use of private owned automobiles cut he receipts to the point where the line began to lose heavily .

Memorial Hospital Corner Stone Laid October 7, 1953

The Hastings Gazette, October 9, 1953

The dedication including the laying of the corner stone into which were placed many valuable documents, including a record of the signing of the contract with the architects, the letting of the bids for the hospital itself and the account of the first spadeful of earth for the construction.

Showing some skill with the trowel, Archbishop John G. Murray, D. D. is here seen laying the corner stone of the new Salve Regina Memorial Hospital in ceremonies at 4:00 p.m. October 7, 1953. Left to right, Rev. H. B. Hacker of St Paul, Archbishop Murray, Rev. J. J. Quinlan, Chaplain at the Hastings State Hospital, Rev. George H. Galles of Miesville, Rev. Lambert Weckwerth of Hastings, and the Rev. Fr. Ferguson of Hastings.

The Hastings Star Gazette, August 8, 2002

While working on a project for the future, the staff at the Regina Medical Center uncovered a piece of its past in the form of a time capsule last month. The time capsule was apparently buried in the building in 1953, as there is a letter dated Oct. 7 from that year from the Sisters of Charity who helped raise money from the first facility. Maria Reis, public relations director said the most exciting items were a collection of 44 Catholic medals and a list of “Our Honored Dead,” featuring 44 names of soldiers from Hastings “who did not return from three great wars.”

The letter from the Sisters of Charity shows a mix of satisfaction about the completion of the hospital and concern about the military conflicts in other parts of the world.

“At last the big day has arrived for the Sisters of Charity and the people of Hastings after a most strenuous time to accumulate funds for a modern, up-to-date hospital. With all hands working together and also with the aid of government funds, success has been achieved.” The letter ends with this more grim statement: “The world seems to be in a turmoil with the Koran War and outbreaks in several counties.” The letter also provides a sense of how the hospital has changed several times through the years, as one of the sisters on the letter went on to witness seven groundbreakings in her lifetime.

 

 

 

A Sorry Christmas in 1899 in Hastings

This appeared in The Gazette on December 30, 1899. This early Christmas morning fire was the most disastrous fire Hastings had experienced in years.

One of the most disastrous fires for many years visited this city early Monday morning, and in less than four hours nearly three blocks of business houses were burned, together with a large portion of their contents. The weather was bitter cold, with a strong northwest wind, and for some time a general conflagration seemed inevitable. Most of the loss outside of the mill and planning factory was caused by cinders, property over half a mile distance having to be carefully watched for the burning brands which came seething through the air as though hurried by some demoniac force. It was a sorry Christmas Day for Hastings. The loss is roughly estimated at upwards to $120,000 with an insurance of about $15,000, and the injury to our business interests is far reaching in its present and future aspects.

The fire originated in the sawmill of R. C. Libbey & Co., and when discovered shortly before two a.m. it was under full headway. From there it quickly spread to the barn, lumber piles, office, planing factory, warehouses, etc., and east to St. John’s Hotel and saloon of Kleis & Grub, where it was checked by the Emerson brick warehouse. Crossing Second Street the large warehouses filled with hardwood lumber, building paper, etc., added additional fuel to the flames, taking the whole of the block  to the east and south, the only building remaining being Theodore Schaal’s on the alley, in a badly damaged condition. In the rear of the warehouses was the dwelling occupied by Matt Reuter, which shared the general fate.

The remaining half of this block escaped as by a miracle, but the next one on Vermillion Street was burned over up to the brick shops of G. W. Morse, corner of Fourth. The large barn of W. R. Mather was set on fire by cinders, which soon communicated to adjoining building, gaining such headway that the department was entirely unable to save them. Good work was done on Joseph’s Cavanaugh’s barn and the sheds of the St Croix Lumber Company, or there is no knowing how far the flames would have reached in that wooden district. The towers of the courthouse were on fire a number of times, but a few of our citizens rallied with buckets and made a victorious fight against the elements. The roof of the Church of the Guardian Angels and their parochial school building received a fiery visitation, which a little water soon extinguished.

The cause of the fire will probably never be known, but it is supposed to be due to carelessness upon the part of someone. The mill had been shut down six weeks, and the watchman says that everything seemed al right an hour previous to its discovery.

Battle of the Bugs in 1957

The Hastings Gazette, July 25, 1957

Those are bugs, or fish flies if you will- piles and piles of ‘em in the most infamous battle of bugs in Hastings history. They stalled cars which, like the auto above, skidded sideways on the bridge.

And the cars, stalled just as surely as if they were in snow drifts instead of bug drifts bottled up fish-fly fidgety motorists for at least a mile back of the  bridge.

The cops were called. The Fire Department was called. State highway sanders were useless against the combined efforts of the millions of fish flies who piled up their little bodies against all human efforts. Meanwhile the deck of the bridge became as slippery and slimy as grease, stalling cars that had to be moved to release the motorists stalled and steaming in cars with all windows closed against the bugs.

For over an hour a group of strong-backed youths, who volunteered their help, pushed and tugged cars through the 2 1/2 ft. bug-drift in the center of the bridge. Some were members of the very commendable teenager Cavalier Auto Club, supported by the Greater Hastings Association. The young men did a terrific job, some wearing bathing trunks, as they waded through the piles of bugs to help motorists. They pushed, advised, sweated with flies in ears, mouths, eyes. Look at those spots in front of the camera lens. They’re bugs…. stacked up on the car hood, piled up in drifts. How prolific-the hatch was terrific.

 

 

Hastings Fire Department is Older than the City

Hastings Star Gazette, March 4, 1982

Hastings Fire Department

The first Hastings Fire Department was a volunteer group which met in 1856. The Hastings City Council refused to furnish a fire house for the apparatus the department had purchased at its own expense. The group disbanded and burned the hooks and ladders. Following that action, the City Council passed an ordinance in 1857 whereby funds were appropriated for the purchase of two engines and hoses. Several independent fire companies were formed following the adoption of the ordinance. The last independent fire company was the Vermillion Hose Company No. 2. The city assigned them a steam engine and a hose cart. A two-story brick fire house was built in the 1880s before construction of the Hastings City Hall. It was located on Sibley Street between Third and Fourth streets. That fire house remained in operation until the present fire hall on West Fifth Street was built in the early 1960s.

This is a photo of The Hope Engine Co. as they show off the fire engines and teams they used for fighting fires in the late 1880s. Their constitution only allowed Germans to become members of the company. (photo courtesy of the Hastings Fire Department).

Hastings Independent, February 5, 1863

Fire Company. The Germans of our city, with their accustomed energy and zeal for the welfare of mankind and the protection of their property, have organized a fire company. We are glad to see this movement, for we have long felt its need, and how powerless we should be in case a fire should break out. We trust that our citizens will not withhold their aid in procuring the necessary apparatus for the organization, thereby making it a fixed fact, and not merely a thing to talk about. 

Hastings Independent, February 26, 1863

As a Fire Company has been organized in this city, the next question is what kind of machinery shall be procured. We say let it be a STEAM FIRE ENGINE. To get a hand engine involves the necessity of two machines, and a number of cisterns, to make them effective. one hand machine will force water but six hundred feet, while a steam machine has the capacity of 5,000 feet. It will be seen by this that the steam engine can be made effective in almost any part of the city without additional facilities for water, while the hand machine will do its work but poorly on Second Street. Two hand machines will cost at the lowest calculation $1,000 each, while four cisterns (less we could not do with) would cost $500 each. To sum up then, the expense of hand machines, would be: Two engines, $2,000, four cisterns 2,000, total $4000. One Steam Fire Engine will accommodate our wants without other outlay and will cost but about $2,500, making the purchase of the Steam Fire Engine a matter of economy, and saving to the city at the outset of $1,500. We vote for the Steam Fire Engine.

Bud Grant pitcher for Hastings Spirals in 1956

The Hastings Gazette, May 10, 1956

Bud Grant’s debut in Spiral uniform was marked by his noted coolness and daring under fire and the fine instinctive responses of a great natural athlete. Working carefully, and searching for the corners, Grant lost Ken Yackel on a walk, bringing up left hand hitting Ken Staples who had already poled two solid homers over the short right field wall. With the estimated 300 American fans yelling for blood, Grant fed Staples two way outside slow balls then offered up his hard fast one, with the change of pace, Staples in his timing lofted a high fly to deep center instead of hitting to right, his fly ball was easily gobbled up by Pinky McNamara.

July 5, 1956 issue of the Hastings Gazette.

Here they are- The ‘Apple of Hastings Ball Fans Eyes’, Manager Bob McNamara’s league leading undefeated Spirals, toast of the loop where their diamond antics have raised the question in seven cities and points around the state:” Who is going to stop then?” Above, a quartet which is a headache to all pitchers- The Big Four in the Hastings batting order, any one whom can put the ball out of the park and break up a ballgame. From left: Harry Bud Grant, ace Hastings hurler; slick fielding shortstop Alton Johnson; third sacker Roy Horsch, always one of the toughest hitters in the Suburban; and finally Manager Bob NcNamara, the loop’s leading slugger. Pinky McNamara, who makes it the Big Five, is on military duty. How would you like to be the pitcher facing these men in batting order?