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Observations from the archives, 1963: Housing needed for students

1913, 100 years ago: T.A. Emerson and daughter, Miss Edith, left last Saturday for Minneapolis where they will visit for a short time with his son, Byron. Mr. Emerson came to Douglas County in 1867 and hearing him tell of conditions as they were then and comparing it to the way things are now, we cannot but wonder at the change. Mr. Emerson owned a large farm near Brandon and he practiced diversified farming, rotation of crops, raising of stock, dairying, etc., years before they began teaching the scientific ways of farming.

1963, 50 years ago: Alexandria's Area Technical School will open its first partsmen's class under the Manpower Training Program on July 29. This course is being conducted jointly by the Minnesota Employment Service and the school. It is the first such class started in Minnesota and its purpose is to train men to enter the occupation of parts selling in the automotive and implement field. Fifteen students are enrolled. In other news, Housing Needed for Students: More than 100 post-high school youth have enrolled in the technical school classes starting this fall. Many of these students will need rooms during their school training. Each year as enrollments increase, available rooms are needed in greater numbers. All persons in the community that would like to rent rooms to these students are urged to contact the Area Technical School office. In sports, Shorty Johnson and Peggy Powers wound up as the top two golfers in this year's Ladies' Club Tournament. Shorty copped the championship while Peggy finished second.

1988, 25 years ago: For the second consecutive year, the 148-member Jefferson High School Marching Band was named Grand Champion of the 1988 Aquatennial Torchlight Parade in Minneapolis. As champion, the band received $5,111. Judges also gave the Alexandria band top honors for Color Guard and Percussion. The Torchlight triumph followed the band's victory as Grand Champion of the Aquatennial Grand Parade, the fourth year in a row the band nabbed that honor. An ear-to-ear grin appeared on the face of band director John Anderson when his band was announced as winner.

2003, 10 years ago: High water levels under bridges on the Alexandria chain are making it harder than ever for boats to pass beneath. Ken Froemming, Douglas County Water Patrol deputy, said, "The Victoria-Geneva bridge is passable, but if you have a tall boat you might have to take off your windshield to get through." The Geneva-L'Homme Dieu channel is passable only by using the Highway 29 bridge. Large boats may have trouble crossing under the Carlos-Darling bridge but the Carlos-L'Homme Dieu bridge is fine. This is the first year in Froemming's three years with the water patrol that channels on the chain have been impassable.

Just for fun - 25 years ago, 1988: A house rolled down Fillmore Street to its new location at 9th Avenue and Elm Street. Known as the Dr. Steen house, the structure was moved to make room for Alexandria Clinic's $1.5 million expansion and remodeling project. For decades, the house sat at the corner of Fillmore Street and 7th Avenue. The front-page news picture (taken from the top of the Alexson Apartments) in the Lake Region Echo was taken by Dennis Dalman.

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Rachel Barduson of Alexandria is a regular contributing columnist to the Echo Press Opinion page.