Celebration does double duty

ROLFE – One hundred and fifty years, a town was formed. It was named Rolfe.

The community Saturday celebrated its sesquicentennial Saturday with a parade, with its history and especially among family and friends.

Joni Ham, Rolfe Betterment Inc. president, said the day was “wonderful.”

“This is our 150th birthday,” Ham said. “RBI is in charge of the celebration, with many volunteers, many committees underneath. There are just lots of events going on, weather’s perfect. Lots of family and friends in town.”

The sesquicentennial doubles as the town’s annual Greater Rolfe Days event, Ham said.

“One of the main things we’re doing this year is an all-school reunion. They are graduates from here,” she said. “I believe the earliest is the class of 1938. And the last graduating class here was 1990.”

Ham said it was “amazing” to be celebrating the town’s 150th year.

“It’s fun to visit with people and hear their memories. It’s hard to describe,” she said. “It’s uplifting, it’s very sentimental. We remember people who are no longer here, family and friends we’ve lost over the years. It’s just quite a celebration for us.”

Its main street lined with its citizens and visitors, the pride for the small town was evident.

“This has been a project in the making for the past three years,” Ham said. “Our citizens have bent over backward to try and spruce our town up and spruce up our properties and make things look good for our visitors.”

Dolores “Dee” Pederson wore to the sesquicentennial a special dress.

“It was a dress that I had made back in 1963 for the centennial. And in 1988 I wore it for the bicentennial. And I wore it today,” she said.

Pederson said she enjoyed seeing history take place in her town.

“It’s wonderful,” she said. “It brings back a lot of memories.”

The sesquicentennial, like the town, filled her with pride, Pederson said.

“I love Rolfe,” she said. “I’ve lived here since 1948. I was 14 years old, started high school. And I’m very proud to be a Rolfe-ite.”

A historic day, the sesquicentennial was also celebrated with a look into the past. At Rolfe Public Library, historical materials were displayed and made available to visitors.

“We’re providing all the old yearbooks and we have newspaper clippings and old pictures here for our people coming back to visit,” Dee Cooper Sindergard, Rolfe Public Library board member, said.

Sindergard said it was “fun” to be able to celebrate the town’s history.

“I was a teacher in the school district. I moved here in 1980 from Fort Dodge and taught in the school here,” she said. “So a lot of the people I’m seeing here are former students of mine and parents who have left the community and come back for the celebration.

Not only was the fact of Rolfe’s long history celebrated, the personal history was celebrated as well.

“My husband and I were in charge of the 125th celebration, so 25 years later we’re able to do this again,” Sindergard said. “It’s always fun to see a lot of people in our town.”