Column - 1987: JHS marching band is Aquatennial grand champioinJuly 1962 Dr. Jack Clifford won the men’s Alexandria Golf Club championship, his second in three years. Margaret Perino captured the women’s award…
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 “Sontag” building, owned by Anderson Furniture and perhaps the oldest building in town, will be torn down. When built in the 1860s, Chris Oppel’s repair shop and “bachelor’s hall” occupied the second floor. Later, Mr. Sontag operated a tailor shop and clothing store on the lower level. The second floor was used as a hall, the first in the city… Secretary of State Julius Schmahl has sent all county auditors the sample ballots for state and county officers. The one-sheet ballots are about three feet long for each of the possible five parties: Republican, Democratic, Prohibitionist, Public Ownership and Social Labor and one sample ballot for non-partisan candidates. They are a curiosity and will make the average voter weary of voting at the primary.
50 YEARS AGO
A freakish spot hailstorm about 3:50 p.m. Sunday wiped out everything growing on the John Pommerenke and Harold Johnson farms in Spruce Hill Township. Pommerenke had 260 acres of corn, oats and alfalfa and the storm “didn’t leave a blade of grass standing more than an inch tall.” Hail and high winds on Tuesday ruined crops near Garfield and broke glass at Anderson’s Northside Floral… The maiden flight of the new Bellanca Bravo is scheduled for later this week… Dr. Jack Clifford won the men’s Alexandria Golf Club championship, his second in three years. Margaret Perino captured the women’s award… The old Alex Boat Works is being razed to make room for the new Alexandria liquor store and lounge.
25 YEARS AGO
They did it! On Wednesday, Jefferson High School Marching Band became Grand Champions of the Aquatennial Parade and won $5,111. On Saturday, they placed first in the Torchlight Parade… The 1911 fire that reduced the Geneva Beach Hotel to a “smoldering ruin” is pictured in the newly released Douglas County in Pictures. Blame for the fire was quickly placed on “those new-fangled electric lights”… “Pecos Bill” was enticed away from his chuckwagon somewhere out West to take charge of cookin’ the chicken and pork barbecue that served 960 hungry hombres at Shalom Church’s second annual event… Tammy Dittberner of Parkers Prairie was crowned Miss Minnesota in the Minnesota American Pre-Teen Pageant.
10 YEARS AGO
Tom Schmitt of Alexandria began donating blood in 1956 when it was still being collected in glass jars. He continued the practice throughout life, and estimates he has given freely about 26 gallons, to-date… Don Kingston was pictured as he celebrated the completion of 35 years at Juettner Motors. The camera caught him dancing with Pete’s County Market chicken at the Beetles game… Erik Anderson and Andy Wubbels took a break from their coast-to-coast bicycling adventure with a stop at Lake Miltona at the home of Erik’s parents, Jack and Edith Anderson… Matt Lindemann, who just completed his junior year, emerged as national champion in the USA-VICA mechatronics competition this week… A fitting tribute to a hero was held at the Alexandria Technical College at the memorial service for Max Beilke who was killed in the terrorist attack at the Pentagon on September 11.
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Marge Van Gorp of Alexandria is a regular contributing columnist to the Echo Press Opinion page.