Popcorn Stand
An Iowa Falls Tradition

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This is downtown Iowa Falls showing dirt streets and wood walk-ways near the buildings. This image is from the 1870s and shows a "groceries and crockery" store. At the far right is a popcorn stand that also sells roasted nuts and sweets.  The photographer is standing in the middle of Washington Avenue about 20 yards east of Main Street and is pointing the camera to the SW. 

Photo and description courtesy of Richard Gaulke, Administrator of The History of Iowa Falls Facebook Group.

A Burch popcorn machine inside a stand in Iowa Falls. 
September 1939.  Located on the SE corner of Washington Avenue and Stevens Street.

Photographed by Arthur Rothstein for the U.S. Farm Security Administration.

The following history was provided in part by Richard Gaulke, Administrator of The History of Iowa Falls Facebook Group.

Feb. 25, 1892: The Popcorn Stand on the corner of Washington avenue and Main street has passed into the hands of the Soper family. (William H. Soper died in Eldora in 1947).
April, 1927: Mr. Ira Mackey purchased the necessary equipment and opened the National Peerless Popcorn Bungalow next to the Ellsworth building on Washington Avenue.
1929: Mrs. Louie Knudson (former Ethel Hopkins) decided to start a popcorn business. She persuaded her carpenter/contractor husband to build a stand. The first one stood across from the post office and did good business on band concert nights. 
May, 1931: Ira Mackey is having his popcorn stand repainted, getting ready for the summer's business at the corner of Oak Street and Washington Avenue.
April, 1933: M. E. Whitcomb has opened a popcorn stand on Stevens Street just east of Aborn's drug store (corner of Washington and Stevens).
October 1933: L. S. Knudson asked the Iowa Falls city council permission to operate a popcorn stand on the SE corner of Washington Ave. and Oal St. The council granted permission and the permit was set to expire April 1, 1934.
Nov. 23, 1933: Two eight-year-old boys broke into the Ira Mackey popcorn stand at Stevens Street and Washington Avenue. They broke the back window with a stone and unlatched the door. They took 30 cents in pennies, candy and chewing gum and destroyed some popcorn for damages amounting to $4.50.
1941: Mrs. Ethel Knudson dies and then World War II started for the United States. "Louie's Korn Krib" was very busy during the war and the Knudson children Joan and Jack helped operate the business.
May, 1943: The popcorn stand operated by Louis Knudson on the corner of Stevens and Washington caught on fire with damage to the interior and the windows. The clerk on duty stepped away and left the switch on and the butter got too hot and burst into flames. Persons in Aborn's store called the fire department, and water from the hand pump was used to extinguish the blaze.
October, 1946: After Ira's death, Mrs. Mabel Mackey operated the lighted stand until she retired at the end of the summer in 1946. That stand was taken to Wellsburg by its purchaser.
May 29, 1948: Louie's Korn Krib installed their new stand brilliantly lighted with bulbs and neon sign and twin popping machines. The modern metal clad stand was built by the Manley company in Kansas City. ***This is the current stand that is now located on the NW corner of Stevens Street and Estes Avenue.*** 
May 1, 1953: After 23 years on the SE corner of Washington and Steven street Louie Knudson was forced by a city street widening project to move his stand to the east side of Main Street at 324 Main just south of Estes (SE of the post office).  There were rumors that the owner of the Metropolitan theater "influenced" the move to improve their popcorn sales.
April, 1957: Louie Knudson who operated popcorn machines with his wife and children in Iowa Falls for 27 years sold his business to Darwin Dougan.
July 1, 1958: Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Musson of Alden have taken over the popcorn stand that was owned and operated by Darwin Dougan. The Mussons change the name back to "Louie's Korn Krib."
Early 1959: Louis Musson dies. By April, 1959, Mrs. Musson advertises Louie's Korn Krib for sale.
May 13, 1959: John and Edna Ellefson retired from farming 19 years and buy the popcorn stand from Mrs. Harriett Musson Chapman that was at 322 Main street. It is now renamed  "Jack and Eddie's Popcorn Stand." 
Sept. 1967: John Ellefson leased the SE corner of Estes Park for one year at $16 a month for the popcorn stand.
March, 1974: The lowest priced bag of popcorn at Ellefson's stand doubled in price from a nickle to a dime. Mrs.Ellefson said, "We hated to raise it." 
May 13, 1984: Jack and Eddie's Popcorn Stand celebrates 25 years of business with Free Popcorn Sunday afternoon from 5-6 p.m. and free gum to the kids.
June, 1993: Bill Riley (whose name is on the Estes Park band shell and bronze statue nearby) said that as a boy of 11 years, "Mr. Knudson [who ran the popcorn stand] would give me baskets of regular and caramel popcorn to sell during the summer.  Each basket would hold 12 or 14 sacks. The popcorn sold for 5 cents a bag and I would get a penny. On a good day I could make 80 cents or a $1. When there were band concerts at the park I could make $1.25 or $1.50. That doesn't sound like much now, but back in those days, [ca.1931] it was a lot of money.  I must have been the wealthiest 11 year-old around."
1995: John Ellefson dies. Mrs. Eddie Ellefson later sold the stand to Shirley Welden who bought the stand and said, "I was so afraid it would go out of town." Shirley Welden went to great lengths to renovate and repair the stand and she was grateful for the volunteer help of many persons.
June 25, 2003: Jack and Eddie's Popcorn Stand has been sold to Dave and Lynette Evans by Shirley Welden. Evan's three teenage daughters plan to help operate the stand.
January 2008: Francis Fritz purchase The Popcorn Stand from the Evans.
April to June 2009: The popcorn stand is removed from it's current location to be renovated by Francis Fritz, with the help of Marvin Fritz, and John Taylor.  All of the lower skeletal structure had to be removed do to wood rot, and was replaced with modern "treated" lumber.  The Popcorn Stand is returned to it's familiar location in late  June 2009.
June 26, 2010: Sharie and Dennis Bruflodt purchase The Popcorn Stand, with the help of their sons, Alan and Bret. They have a Facebook page for the business where you can view some photos and get information about the business and hours of operation.
December 1, 2014: Anthony and Lisa Senne bought The Popcorn Stand, and see it as an opportunity to show their two children and other young relatives how to operate a business.