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Friday, October 9, 2015

The Sound of Music

Hohner accordian in the display at the Rolfe Library

Creating your own entertainment was a must on the prairie, and music was a big part of that entertainment. Next time you're in Rolfe, check out the latest museum display entitled "The Sound of Music." A Hohner accordian is front and center in the display. It belonged to Anna Anderson who emigrated from Sweden in 1889. According to the museum's information, Anna did not play the accordian very often, but when she did her nephew Carl admired it. When Anna died in 1911, she left the accordian to Carl. It would be so much fun to hear it again, but the bellows have dried up so we can only admire it with our eyes.

Immigrants to the United States often brought instruments that were dear to them when they came to America. This is the case with this wooden instrument in the display that was  brought to America by Joseph Stoulil when he came from Bohemia.

One hundred years ago there were plenty of town bands to provide local entertainment. We even have photos of two bands from Havelock, the cornet band and the concert band. One of these is in the Rolfe display.You'll also see a photo of Frank Jonas' band. Frank Jonas was from Laurens and he had a band for 33 years that played in every ballroom in Northwest Iowa, including The Ridotto near Havelock.

Does anyone remember the Pocahontas Cadets? This group of youngsters was organized in the late 1950's as the Junior Police. Their drum unit grew to include a swinging bass and twirling symbols. They participated in parades and street performances, fairs, and celebrations throughout the area. A photo of the group as well as a shirt from their uniform on display. 

So check it all out. You might be humming a tune or tapping your toes before you're finished. And remember, we don't have to drive miles for entertainment. We can make our own!