Homecoming Research Continued #1

Thank you to all who have responded to the Homecoming Survey, please be patient and I’ll share the results in the future.

It’s the stories behind the names that become valuable. Your help is welcome and appreciated as we continue the research on the High Schools of: Atwater, Cosmos, Grove City, Atwater-Grove City & Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City.

Click on this link to participate: Homecoming Survey

Survey Results 
Homecoming Royalty Survey
Many Generations of Royalty
Alumni Board Meeting

The Alumni Association of Atwater High School, Atwater-Grove City High School and Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City High School will hold an Alumni Board Meeting on Thursday, February 23, 2012, at 6:15 p.m. at the Atwater Community Center small meeting room.

The 110th Alumni Association gathering will be held Saturday, July 14, 2012.  For more information contact Alumni president Tami Tagtow at 320-974-3388, by e-mail at association.alumni@yahoo.com or by mail at Alumni Association, P.O. Box 388,Atwater, MN 56209.  Alumni Web Site

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Survey Results

It would be wonderful if you would help me with the research on the High Schools of:   Atwater, Cosmos, Grove City, Atwater-Grove City & Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City.   Thanks!

To learn more about how I discovered some of the following information click on: Homecoming Royalty Survey Blog Post  and Many Generations of Royalty Blog Post.

Click here or on the link below to get started:

Homecoming Survey Link

Here are some of the Survey Results:

The 1952 Atwater High School Panther Yearbook listed the names under the King and Queen as:  Bunty and Genie.  Gary Broman, their Senior Class President knew the names of the King and Queen:  Gene Anderstrom and Christine Munson.

In 1957, there was a Sock Hop in the Atwater Gym and Disc Jockey Bill Armstrong of the Radio Station WDGY was there.

Denise Buer was a Crownbearer as a 1st Grader and was crowned Queen as a Senior in the Atwater Gym.

The first Homecoming for the ACGC Falcons was in 1993. New traditions were started.  Instead of  having last year’s royalty march back and forth behind the candidates, each girl candidate was given a box with a rose in it.  Only the queen got a red rose; all the other candidates received a white rose.    Likewise, the king candidates all got footballs, but only the king’s was teal.

Bridget and Brandon Mortenson were two of the 1991 AGC Blazer Homecoming Attendants.  Their father, Doug Mortenson, was homecoming king for Cosmos 1969-1970

The 1984 AGC Blazer Homecoming Queen was Anita Gratz.  Anita’s father, Dale Gratz was the 1960 Atwater Homecoming King and Dale’s brother (Anita’s uncle) Gerry was the 1959 Atwater Homecoming King.

During the 1960 Homecoming Coronation at AHS, Dale Gratz was crowned the new Homecoming King by his brother Gerry Gratz the outgoing 1959 Homecoming King.

Three Sets of Twins have been King and Queen Candidates:                                                        *** Erik and Loretta Whitcomb were King and Queen Candidates for ACGC in 2011         *** Courtney and Chritine Malvin were Queen Candidates for ACGC in 2008                      *** Brandon and Bridget Mortenson were King and Queen Candidates for AGC in 1991

School Homecoming Year Homecoming King Homecoming Queen
Atwater Panthers 1949-1950 Peter Holseth Pauline Bergquist
Atwater Panthers 1951-1952 Gene Anderstrom Christine Munson
Atwater Panthers 1955-1956 Ed JoAnne
Atwater Panthers 1956-1957 Lloyd Kragenbring Carole Hanson
Atwater Panthers 1957-1958 Jerome Larson Mary Ann Nelson
Atwater Panthers 1958-1959 Rob Paulson Jackie Nelson
Atwater Panthers 1959-1960 Gerry Gratz Janet Whitcomb
Atwater Panthers 1960-1961 Dale Gratz Mareda Bach
Atwater Panthers 1961-1962 Ron Everson Sarah Walsh
Atwater Panthers 1962-1963 Steve Norine Mary Olson
Atwater Panthers 1969-1970 Tim Elton Terry Larson
Atwater Panthers 1972-1973 Phil Slinden Emilie Boll
Atwater Panthers 1974-1975 Kendall Kragenbring Denise Peterson
ACGC Falcons 1993-1994 Adam Behm Stacia Boll
ACGC Falcons 1994-1995 Travis Thomas Angie Goehring
ACGC Falcons 2008-2009 Micah Larson Beth Nelson
Atwater-Grove City Blazers 1984-1985 Joel Dilley Anita Gratz
Atwater-Grove City Blazers 1991-1992 Nick Rossell Jennifer Witte
Atwater-Grove City Blazers 1992-1993 Paul Drange Amy Linden
Grove City Eagles 1982-1983 Greg Schultz Shannon Wold


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Homecoming Royalty Survey

One of the best ways I know how to do research is to make contact with people who remember something that happened in the past.  Since I wrote my blog post Many Generations of Royalty, I have been curious about the Homecoming Royalty history of our local schools.

It would be awesome if you would help me with the research on the High Schools of: Atwater, Cosmos, Grove City, Atwater-Grove City & Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City.

Each year requires a different form.  If you only know a few answers,  submit what you know.

Have fun, talk to others, get out your old yearbooks.  Thanks in advance for helping with this research.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Click here or on the link below to get started:

Homecoming Survey Link

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We Welcome the Light of the World


Here are some beautiful photos my friend Bruce Berg took following our Christmas Eve service this year at my “home” church ~ Atwater United Methodist.

Click here and here to reflect more about this wonderful season.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


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Thank You Veterans!

Thank You to All of Our Veterans!! Thank you to those who are presently serving our great nation, the United States of America!! Thank you for your courage and dedication. Thank you for our freedom. THANK YOU & GOD BLESS!!

Photo from the Past / Journal Pratriot Newspaper / Eden Valley, MN / April 30, 1997

Caption in Journal Patriot:                                                                                                                Ole Iverson and James Pinch, 1919:  Ruth Swenson of Atwater submitted this photo of her grandfather James Pinch, a former resident of Eden Valley who died in 1923.  James Pinch (on right), according to Ruth, built the Eden Valley Creamery, Assumption Church and the Soo Line Depot, along with several barns in the area.  Ruth’s father, Ole Iverson, is the doughboy on the left.

My mom, Ruth Swenson (November 12, 1919 – March 1, 2004) was born in Burbank Township north of New London, MN, her parents were Ole and Mabel Iverson.  My Grandpa and Grandma Iverson were proud American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary members at three different posts during their lives: New London, Cosmos and Atwater.

U.S.A. Flags at ACGC South Elementary, Cosmos, MN / Photo: Tami Tagtow

Atwater American Legion Honor Guard at Union Cemetery, 2010 / Photo: Tami Tagtow

Veteran’s Day Program at ACGC South Elementary, Cosmos, MN,                                   November 11, 2010 ~ West Central Tribune Video by Carolyn Lange & Edited by Jannet Walsh ~ Minnesota Native Daughter

God Bless the U.S.A. by Lee Greenwood  YouTube Video by Jul 10, 2007

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Many Generations of Royalty

Lorraine Larson Kragenbring~Jon, Colin and Kendall Kragenbring~Kendall Kragenbring

As I watched Colin Kragenbring being crowned the 2011 ACGC Homecoming King, I was also remembering the night his Great Uncle Kendall Kragenbring was crowned the 1974 Atwater HS Homecoming King during my own high school years.

My dad graduated from Atwater High School in 1936 and he used to talk about Watermelon Days.  Kendall’s mom and Colin’s great grandmother Lorraine Larson Kragenbring was crowned 1936 Miss Watermelon Days in Atwater.  So, of course I thought of Lorraine when Colin was crowned also.

The day following coronation, I congratulated Colin.  That’s when Colin told me that his dad Jon Kragenbring was Homecoming King at Atwater HS in 1981.

Just to add to the trivia:  Ryan Larson was the 2010 ACGC Homecoming King and Ryan’s grandfather is Gary Larson.  Gary and Lorraine were brother and sister.

I was a sophomore in high school when Kendall became our King.  Homecoming has always been a lot of fun and it is one of the memories we seem to keep.  As our local High School Alumni President it is fun for me to observe how classes recall who their Homecoming Royals were during their reunions.  It doesn’t seem to matter whether they graduated 70 years or 50 years ago, they can name their own Homecoming Royalty.

Atwater ~ Cosmos ~ Grove City High School (ACGC) continues to carry on the traditions of Atwater High School, Cosmos High School, Grove City High School and Atwater-Grove
City High School.  The mascots were:  Panthers, Royals, Eagles and Blazers.  Today ACGC’s mascot is the Falcon.  Go Falcons!!

There is still a lot of Panther, Royal, Eagle and Blazer blood coursing through our Falcon veins ~ that’s what makes the ACGC Falcons so powerful.

“Memories Are Forever”  ~ Grove City High School Homecoming Reunion, Fall, 1983

Football Game Announcer:  Terry Miller

Photos by:  Jean Kragenbring, History of Atwater, MN (John Holm), Atwater HS 1975 Yearbook, Grove City HS 1984 Yearbook

Videos by:  Tami Tagtow

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Atwater Threshing Days

The 25th Annual Atwater Threshing Days ~ “Silver Anniversary” ~  will be held again the first weekend after Labor Day ~ Sept. 10 & 11 ~ it’s located on the Kandiyohi ~ Meeker County line.  I grew up on the farm bordering the Threshing Show property.  It’s a great show, I hope to see you there!  I’m usually in the County School House, so stop by and say hello.

We were excited last year when some of the members of the Nowthen Threshing show brought their 65-horsepower, 1911 Steam-powered Baker Tractor to the Atwater Show.  So, this year we had to go visit their show in August.  We look forward to their return to Atwater this year.  I took a short video of their Steam Tractors in the Nowthen parade of power in August.

Of course, I’m excited about the Bolstad & Nordlie Jack Sprat Food Store Sign being on display this year too!  To read more about the history of this sign go back to previous entries in the Look At This AreaVoices Blog:  Jack Sprat Food Store Sign ~ A New Home for Jack Sprat ~ Jack Sprat Newspaper Ad ~ Jack Sprat Food Store in Fillmore

In front of the Wetter Display of Steam Tractors at Nowthen Threshing Show, John Wetter is visiting with Lloyd Swenson from Atwater Threshing Show.

Steam Tractors from NowThen Threshing Show coming to Atwater Threshing Show again!

Jack Sprat Food Store Sign ~ come on out to see it at Atwater Threshing Days!!

Click here for more information about Atwater Threshing Days.

Steam Tractor Photo and General Store Photo:  Tami Tagtow

Nowthen Tractor Parade Video:  Tami Tagtow

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Silver Anniversary Antique Car Run

It seems like yesterday when my husband Dale invited me to go with him to see the old cars go through Manannah (Meeker County) in 1987.  The second year we brought my Grandma Iverson and Marv Otto with us back to Manannah and then into Litchfield, where Sidney Strong was sitting in his 1915 Pierce Arrow in Fenton’s car lot.  His car was too new!

In his youth, Marv started working at the Strong Gas Station in New London.  He used to pump gas for my Grandpa and Grandma Iverson when they lived in New London also.  The Ottos and Iversons later lived in Atwater at the same time too.  If you are from the Atwater area, you know that Marv worked for Sidney many years and later became a partner with others at the Ford Garage in Atwater.  The Antique Car Parade also goes by the former Strong Gas Station each year in New London.

After the second year of going to Manannah we found out there was a parade in New London the night before the 120 mile car run to New Brighton.  Of course we started going to see the parade.  We have always stopped at the New London Legion parking lot to see the display of cars.  The past three years we have been able to follow the cars all the way to New Brighton.  However, we take the main roads for safety reasons, rather than the roads the Antique Cars travel on.

This year was extra special, not only because it was the 25th Car Run.  But on Tuesday,       August 9, about 25 cars came to Atwater as part of the Pre-Tour.  I rode my bike down to see the cars with my camera.  As I turned the corner by Sidney and Katherine Strong’s old house, I couldn’t help think to myself how happy Sidney would have been to see all the old cars sitting in the Atwater Clinic parking lot.  If you look at my photos in Flickr, you will see in the background what once was the Strong House, the Strong Motor Company Garage and Strong’s Storage Shed for Antique Cars. David Strong’s 1977 Ford Thunderbird is also there.

Sidney Strong’s son David attended the driver’s meeting at the ArtMeyerson Building (Former Strong Garage) and gave an Atwater Automobile History Lesson that day.  He talked about how his Grandfather James H. Strong (at age 25) established the Pioneer Livery in 1878.  In 1905, his salesman wanted cars, so he licensed Cadillac, Glide and Halliday.

The first section of the garage was built in 1908, which is now the ArtMeyerson Building.  Also in 1908, James H. Strong became a licensed Overland and Studebaker dealer and became an exclusive Ford Dealer in 1909, as Strong Motor Company.  There is more history, but I will stop here, because David Strong gave me his notes and they are now in a folder at the Atwater Historical Society if you would like to read more.

My husband Dale worked in the old Strong Motor Company building washing cars.  Dale also took part in the move in 1975 to the building on Hwy 12.  That’s when the name was changed to Atwater Ford.  After college and a few other jobs, Dale has sold cars at Atwater Ford for 25 plus years.  I think it’s cool that my husband is part of the Atwater Automobile History.

The rest of the week was awesome as more and more cars started showing up in Spicer on Thursday, New London on Friday and then Saturday morning we went over to Grove City to see the cars come into the Trinity Lutheran Church parking lot.

Saturday afternoon we watched the Antique Cars arrive at the Buffalo school.  Finally, New Brighton where the cars drove over the Finish Line at Long Lake Regional Park. Of course both Mayors of New London and New Brighton welcomed the cars at the Finish Line.

I would like to thank a few special people (you know who your are) for making this Silver Anniversary Antique Car Run a very memorable time for Dale and me.

Please enjoy the video and photos of the 2011 New London to New Brighton Car Run that Dale and I had fun filming.

Click here to see photos of the Antique Cars in Atwater.

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New London to New Brighton Antique Car Run

The 25th Annual New London to New Brighton Antique Car Run is Saturday, August 13, 2011 ~ ”Silver Anniversary Run”

Click here to read about the elegibility, history, schedule and map of this event.

My husband Dale has been a transport tow vehicle driver for the past two years.  We are looking forward to this adventure again this year.  Here are some videos from the 24th Run in 2010:

Finish line in New Brighton, MN.  Dale’s comment at the end of this video ~ “the only thing you don’t get is the smell!”

1904 Ford Model C

1906 Buick Model F

Check out more videos of the 2010 Antique Car Run at Tami’s YouTube Channel here.

Here is what is happening on Saturday, August 13 – The 25th Anniversary Grand Tour:

The antique autos will begin to leave New London from Peace Lutheran Church at 7 am.  There are hospitality stops at Grove City, Litchfield, Kingston, Buffalo, and Crystal.  The finish line is in New Brighton at the Long Lake Regional Park, site of the City’s Stockyard Days festival.

Videos by:  Dale and Tami Tagtow

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Century Farm Award at 2010 Kandiyohi County Fair

Last year at the Kandiyohi County Fair, my family ~ Swenson Dairy ~ was one of the recipients of the Century Farm Award.  It was an honor for me to be a part of the recognition on the stage.  We were eight family members present for the award.

That day was also emotional in both happy and sad ways.  I remembered family and friends who are no longer here with us.  However, I celebrate the people in our life today.  100 years is a long time.

My brother Lloyd is a proud Dairy Farmer, representing Swenson Dairy, Atwater, MN.  Look At This picture on the right.

AgWeek information click here.                         More than 200 honored ~ MN county click here. Century Farm recognition information at Minnesota State Fair click here.


Video: Dennis Baker, Minnesota State Fair President and Phil Hoffer, Farmer’s Union Representative at 2010 Kandiyohi County Century Farm Award Ceremony.

Farm History Pamphlet Designed by:                                                                                   Victoria “Swenson” Fett & Valerie “Swenson” Werner

Farm History Written by:  Lloyd Swenson & Victoria “Swenson” Fett

Photo and Video by:  Tami “Swenson” Tagtow

Follow my brother Lloyd Swenson on twitter click here ~ Minnesota Farmer living on a Century Farm.

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