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Langbehn recounts 70 years in Dysart

July 12, 2018
CJ Eilers - Editor ( , Dysart Reporter

For nearly 70 years, Harold Langbehn has lived and worked in Dysart, and on Sunday, July 8 he recounted the old days of the city during a presentation at the Dysart Historical Society.

"I just want people to see how this old town changed over the past 70 years and a lot before then too," Langbehn said. "Main Street has certainly changed over the years with the businesses. It's not hardware, plumbing or anything like that. Farmers don't come into town as much. It's a lot different."

Over the course of fourty minutes, Langbehn talked through Dysart as her arrived 70 years ago from Green Mountain for work. A former member of the Dysart Fire Department and city employee, Langbehn could remember old businesses and how current buildings came to life or how some even changed over the years. He counted three groceries stores and several taverns on Main Street alone at one point, along with tradesmen including blacksmiths, plumbers and other businesses long gone from town.

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"When I worked for the city, we did everything ourselves, and now 90 of the work is hired out," Langbehn said. "It's a different ballgame now, but that's the way the world turns."

A capacity crowd of more than 60 people huddled into one of the Historical Society's buildings to reminsce about the Dysart of the past and ask questions. Despite the population increasing slightly since the late 40s and 50s, the town has lost businesses once considered vital for the rural area's survival.

"I liked how Dysart was a nice, clean town and big enough for me to live and shop here," Langbehn said. "There was entertainment here and we grew up going into town each night. It's a nice community with nice people."

Today, Dysart consists of between 1,200 to 1,300 people and has seen efforts to draw more visitors into town.

"We have some go-getters out there trying to get business into town and painting a big hole on Main Street," Langbehn joked. "So long as people want to keep the town going, they will do it."

After speaking on everything from the old train depot to the former mobile bandshell, attendees included food and refreshments as they continued to discuss the Dysart of old.



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