Column: Here’s a happy song boosting a place called Albert Lea

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 10, 2006

Ed Shannon, Feature Writer

Special thanks go to Kevin Savik who found the words to an original song created over 80 years ago which was intended to create pride in this city. He found this song while doing research on various aspects of Albert Lea’s history at the Freeborn County Historical Museum Library.

The words for the this creation, &8220;Albert Lea Booster Song,&8221; was printed in the Oct. 12, 1922, issue of the Freeborn County Standard. This news article said:

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&8220;We are in receipt of the words and music of a new song, &8216;Albert Lea.’ It was written by Paul T. Hagen of Rural Route Four, and he has gone to considerable expense in having it published.

&8220;The author is in hope that the song will prove popular here and will act as a booster advertisement for the city.

&8220;Following are the words of the song:

&8220;Now I am going back, for I find that you lack

The beauty and the loveliness, the spirit and the friendliness,

That crowns the people of my old home town;

So farewell old town of


Here is my farewell to thee,

For I am going to my good old Albert Lea.

Chorus &045;

Hello Lucy, Hello Lucy, so you are still in Albert Lea,

Well it is the only place to be and it sure is a treat

When you met &8216;em on the street

For a smile that long you’re sure to see,

It is the style in Albert Lea.

&8216;Tis Skinner takes the lead, and Enderes tool you’ll need

The Albert Lea flour is the best, while Payne’s Investments leads the rest,

In music Tarvestad has what you want

And the Wilson brands

are quite famous,

Try the Albert Hotel, grand

The Palace of Sweets dainties lead all the others in the land.

The Motor Inn’s divine and Red Crown gas is fine

While Western groceries taste like more,

While Brett’s creations girl adore.

In knowledge Luther’s Academy lead,

Buy your drugs at Lueck’s, they’re the purest,

Broadway’s got the hits so rare,

While the American Gas will always treat &8216;em on the square.&8221;

Right about here some further updating and information is needed for this song.

First, I have no idea as to what or where Nokoma is.

The Skinner name is a reference to Skinner Chamberlain, for decades the area’s premier department store. Albert Lea Flour is obvious. Payne Investment was the selling agent for

Hollandale and Maple Island development.

J.C. Tarvestad had a music store at 127 E, Main St. The Hotel Albert was located at the corner of South Broadway Avenue and East College Street where U.S. Bank is now situated. The Palace of Sweets, a candy store and possibly a soda fountain, was at 106 S. Broadway Ave.

Red Crown was the brand name for gasoline sold by Standard Oil Co. of Indiana. Western Grocer Co., a wholesale firm, was located on East Pearl Street where the Freeborn County Government Center is now. Brett’s was a firm which had a big store in

Mankato and a branch in Albert Lea for several years. Luther Academy was a parochial high school on East Third Street until 1928. Lueck’s Drug Store was located at 228 S. Broadway Ave. 80 years ago. Broadway is an obvious reference to the theatre. And American Gas was then located where the City Center is now.

Only two of the firms mentioned in this song are still a part of Albert Lea. They are Enderes tool and Motor Inn.

A piano music copy of this song, which sold for a quarter in 1922, is now part of an exhibit at the Freeborn County Historical Museum.

(Feature writer Ed Shannon’s columns appear Fridays in the Tribune.)