Column - 1913: Pumpkin is stamped and tagged; eggs are mailed to MinneapolisJANUARY 1988 Steve Nelson of Brandon luckily escaped possible death when his 10-ton tractor equipped with a rotary snowplow crashed through the ice on Lake Chippewa.
By: Marge VanGorp, Alexandria Echo Press
The following is a collection of stories and other items that were included in Alexandria newspapers over the years.
100 YEARS AGO
The Lake Jesse schoolhouse with its huge library and organ burned to the ground. It was insured for $800… William Hendrickson and P.A. Johnson of Hendrickson Auto Company, are agents for Reo and Overland cars… The Forada State Bank with Henry Daniels as cashier received its first deposits on January 15… The second annual Interstate Ski Tournament is scheduled for February 11 at Glenwood Ski Hill, the site that holds last year’s state record for the longest jump of 143 feet… In the opening week of Parcel Post, the local post office stamped and tagged a pumpkin, someone shipped eggs to Minneapolis, a 4-foot tilling fork came in to Alexandria Hardware and an 11-pound accordion was sent to Chicago for 68 cents plus 10 cents for insurance.
50 YEARS AGO
Hjalmer Holand, age 90, has authored a book entitled A Pre-Columbian Crusade to America. It contains the Nicholas of Lynn evidence of past years and specific rebuttals to Runestone critic Eric Wahlgren of California… Three members of the Minnesota State Board of Hairdressing and Beauty Culture Examiners met with Chamber Manager Harvey Hammergren to explain why the board feels Alexandria is not ready for a hairdressing and beautician school… Rotary Club presented an orchid to Margaret Leuthner for her contribution to the Runestone Year observance. Another was given to her husband Walter who was honored for his trip to Antarctica in 1928 as baker for the first Byrd expedition, and later back in Alexandria as a fishing guide and operator of the first significant bait shop, fish cleaning, freezing and shipping station in this area.
25 YEARS AGO
Steve Nelson of Brandon luckily escaped possible death when his 10-ton tractor equipped with a rotary snowplow crashed through the ice on Lake Chippewa. He managed to escape the crashed cab, but only after it had plunged into 23 feet of water. He was able to swim to the surface to get help from Chippewa Resort, 50 yards away. Nelson described the harrowing experience as “happening so fast, where split seconds were stretched into hair-raising lengths.” A scuba diver has determined the position of the submerged vehicle and plans are to bring it to shore with the help of a steel cable and giant wench truck owned by Alex Towing. Friends and neighbors of the Nelsons have started a “Retrieve the Tractor” fund in Brandon.
10 YEARS AGO
Outside of John Muzik’s wood shop near Forada hangs a sign that reads: “Fish stories told here.” Inside is the master wood carver with a pocketknife, sitting amid a display of fish decoys, transforming a piece of wood into another fish decoy. He started carving when he was 10 and sold each one for 75 cents. Now, 60 years later, a decoy takes eight hours to complete and often sells for $40… The restoration of the Garfield Creamery building by the Douglas County Housing and Redevelopment Authority is complete and its six two-bedroom apartments are ready for occupancy. The stately structure was built in 1920 for $55,000; the cost of renovation was about $500,000.
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Marge Van Gorp of Alexandria is a regular contributing columnist to the Echo Press Opinion page.