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Shattuck, S. F., et. al (ed.) / A history of Neenah
(1958)

The 1920's,   pp. 97-[108] PDF (2.5 MB)


Page 99


THE 1920'S
C. B. Clark in 1922, and, with other individuals, added to the gift to
increase the size of the recreation center. The park was formally dedi-
cated in 1928, after dredging of the lagoon had been completed.
  An out-of-door dramatic production, "Prunella," directed by Miss
Ruth Dieckhoff, signalized the opening of this beauty spot to the
public. It was from this performance that the Winnebago Players
took off, and for several years put on outstanding productions in the
parks of Neenah and Menasha.
  The year also marked the purchase by the National Manufacturers'
Bank of the site on which stood the historic Russell House. Razing
of the hotel to make room for the present banking edifice was com-
pleted, and the new building occupied on June I5, 1923.
  The costly Baptist Church fire occurred in 1922, but the building
was promptly restored. In 1925 the name of the church was changed
to "Whiting Memorial Baptist Church," further gifts having been
made by the late George A. Whiting to the church.
  The Edgewater Paper Company, located in Menasha as a convert-
ing mill, in 1922 installed a machine for the manufacture of duplexed
waterproof papers.
,Neenah's Disastrous Sleet Storm
  Many Twin City residents can recall the disastrous sleet storm
which struck the valley shortly before dawn of February 22, 1922,
tearing down power and communication lines and all but isolating
Neenah and Menasha for the better part of a week. Trees still bear the
scars of the unprecedented ice deluge.
  Radio was then in its infancy, and all messages sent on the "air"
waves were in code. Quinn Bros., pioneers in the retail radio field, im-
provised a station on the top floor of the Bergstrom Paper Company
mill, and made this city's first post-storm contact with the outside
world. The station was established in the Bergstrom Mill, because its
own power plant furnished the alternating current necessary to oper-
ate the radio transmitters. The station continued in operation for six
days, its time being chiefly devoted to coding orders to railroads for
coal for Twin City industries, and dispatching trains. Permission for
temporary operation of the station on a commercial basis was obtained
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