HAMBERG Hamberg's fundraising idea for its centennial this summer capitalizes on the one thing for which the tiny town has no lack: single men.
The 14 residents of the Wells County community include two couples and 10 bachelors. The 2012 calendar features a dozen bachelors ranging in age from 27 to mid-70s who live in the town or its outskirts. Proceeds from the $5 calendars will help fund Saturday's centennial celebration.
"There's people who want to buy 10 of these," Mayor Eric Johnson. "It's a conversation piece."
This photo from Hamberg’s early days shows the grain elevators and railroad depot.
"Tons of people have been asking for them," added Carol Schneider, another of the centennial planners. She said the photos either were submitted or taken specifically for the calendar. The photos show the men in their natural, everyday poses.
Johnson, who is Mr. January, said he twisted a few arms to persuade some of the bachelors to participate in the good cause. Organizers were successful in getting nine of the town's 10 single residents into the calendar.
The calendars are part of an event that Hamberg is calling its "Last Hurrah."
Johnson said he was warned that these community celebrations are a lot of work for a small town. But he wanted this last chance for the community to celebrate and have a good time.
"I just wanted to have a big, big party. We are calling it our last hurrah because I really doubt in 25 years Hamberg is going to be there anymore. We are going to go out with a bang," he said.
Saturday begins with the opening of a flea market and food stands at 10 a.m. Hagen Blacksmithing will be giving demonstrations.
Bremen Bar will set up a beer garden at noon, and a parade is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Local entertainment will take place throughout the afternoon. There will be a photo gallery with old pictures and souvenirs.
Class A Music, a Fessenden disc jockey, will provide music for a street dance that night.
People are invited to bring their lawn chairs and spend the day.
According to a town history, Hamberg was founded in 1911 as Viking. The railroad came through in 1912, bringing many people, new buildings and a name change to Hamberg in 1913.
The school was built in 1915 with an enrollment in 1917 of 135 students. The Hamberg Opera House was built in 1916 and the church dedicated in 1925.
The only remaining operations are a locker plant and a grain elevator that is a branch of the Fessenden Co-op Association.