Dusting off the old ones: Feb. 3, 1988; Happy birthday, Solberg’s

Taking a weekly glance through the Pioneer archives, be it 25, 30 or 50 years in the past, always gets me excited. As a history buff myself, flipping through archives of old newspapers has always been a little hobby, when time permits. 

A couple years ago, my wife and I visited my grandmother during a pretty bad winter storm. We had gone to see her for an assignment I was working on in college, and we happened to head over to an historical museum that kept the archives of major newspapers from around the state, dating back to before 1900.

The town, Marble Rock, Iowa, wasn’t home to more than a few hundred people. Yet, here I found myself fully entrenched in the archives of years’ past, reminiscing as if I had lived those days in the 40s or 50s. 

So, despite the terrible weather, and the need to return home that afternoon, I found it hard to pull my eyes out of those leather-bound books and get my nose away from the intoxicating smell of musty old newspapers. 

If you haven’t left me yet, let’s take a trip back 30 years to 1988 in Big Timber, Mont.

Happy birthday, Solberg’s

Noted as “one of Montana’s first retail stores,” and “Big Timber’s oldest business,” Solberg’s celebrated 100 years of business this week. The storefront was dressed up like the old-time mercantile it used to be.

John S. Solberg, for whom the store was named, was born Dec. 29, 1863 in Arnetvet, Norway. At 15 years of age, he left home and became a shoemaker not long after. 

John’s cousin, Martin, sent him a ticket for $6 and when John reached Black Earth, Wisc., he had just $1.25 left in his pocket. It wasn’t until 1887 that John reached Montana. 

Herders win big battle

Sweet Grass County High School took down Harlowton 69-60 after the Herder defense forced 30 turnovers to come away with the win. 

Jason Schwers posted 26 points, followed by Houstin Finn with 26. As a team, the Herders shot 21-for-32 from the free-throw line. 

The following night, the Herders fell 64-63 to Absarokee after a slow start in the first half. 

“Overall, our effort is getting better and better,” said coach Al Buerkle. “Hopefully, we can kick the flu bug and get healthy this week for two tough opponents.”

Dusting off the old ones

The Pioneer was “dusting off the old ones” in 1988, too. In this edition, they first stepped back 70 years to Jan. 24, 1918. 

Glen Parker, the chairman of the board of commissioners, represented the county at an annual meeting in Missoula. Misses Sadie Bailey and Nelle Lamb returned from seven weeks in Portland, Seattle and Camp Lewis. They said they had a rainy but “delightful time.”

Twenty years later, on Feb. 3, 1938, Addie Hoem had a big birthday party. Meanwhile, Ivar Hoglund of the Lewistown hatchery had a “rough and tumble” with a pet deer, which tore into him and his clothes. Hoglund was reported OK, it seemed. 

PHOTO CAPTION: Some Cub Scouts take a look at their cakes, which helped raise more than $2,000 for Pack 521.

Stephen Kalb-Koenigsfeld, Pioneer Editor



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