Instrumental in Elkhorn history
ELKHORN — Paul Niemisto wants the human stories of Frank Holton & Co. to be more than just side notes in the once-booming firm's place in Elkhorn history.
Niemisto, an associate professor of music at St. Olaf College in Minnesota, is researching the Holton instrument operation and plans to present a paper this summer in Germany.
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The Holton instrument factory operated in Elkhorn from 1918 to 2011, producing brasswinds, percussion instruments and more. The building still stands on North Church Street.
“I want to follow up on the story of how many instruments they produced and what was the alloy formula for their brass and where they got their design models. That's all been documented, but the human story hasn't been told,” Niemisto said during a recent research trip to Elkhorn. “I want to tell the story of what was the dynamic of this company in this community.
“Who blows the horn for a company that blows its own horn?"
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