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Observations from the archives, 1988: Residents toast Rosewood Lane project

1913, 100 years ago: Few people realize the large industry a plant like North American Cold Storage is. This company has large warehouses at Alexandria, Paynesville, Willmar, Oaks, ND and Watertown, SD, besides several buying stations at other points and distribution stations at some of the large Eastern and Western cities.

1963, 50 years ago: “The Brandon Warriors football team will be a very young and rather inexperienced ball team,” announced head coach Glen Peppel. It will be “a team which will lack depth, but a team which will be able to place eight sound ball players on the field. This will be strictly a rebuilding year at Brandon, for we have a number of first year boys reporting.” Returning senior starters are Gary Buse and Bob Jones. Junior starters are Mike Ziegelman and Jerry Roers. Other returning lettermen are Lynn Rossum, Charles Haabala and Pat Shea. Peppel said he expects conference favorites will be Ashby, Evansville and Barrett.

1988, 25 years ago: At the Bill and Betty Anne Voller residence on Rosewood Lane, neighbors celebrated the surfacing of their Alexandria Township road by christening the lane with exploding red spumante. Rosewood Lane is a winding, one and one-eighth mile stretch of road that connects Lincoln Avenue East with Highway 23. Four blocks of the road is in the city limits, the rest is in Alexandria Township. John Lueck, who christened the newly-paved road, has lived at the edge of it for 62 years. “Rosewood Lane was a buggy trail back then, only enough room for one car to pass,” he said. “When they graded the road in 1937, oh boy, what a thrill it was.” Dust and gravel was a problem and after years of efforts, the residents of the lane succeeded in getting the township, the county and themselves together for a solution: Paving. The project cost about $80,000. Douglas County chipped in $15,000, but the major portion of the cost was split about 50-50 by the residents and the town board.

2003, 10 years ago: Al Crowser feels pretty good about the chances that Alexandria won’t experience the type of catastrophic blackout that shut down the East Coast. The general manager of Alexandria Light and Power (ALP) can’t say that for a fact, but thinks the power supply is safe. That’s because ALP gets its power from three different places: dams on the Missouri River, a coal-fired plant in Wyoming and a gas turbine plant in Watertown, South Dakota. The power from those three plants goes into a grid and transmission lines carry power to the various utilities.

Just for fun – 1963, 50 years ago: “Alexandria’s public school enrollment may hit the 3,000 mark for the first time in history when school opens at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, August 29,” Superintendent of Schools Arthur Hafdal announced. Lunch prices will be the same as last year with the exception of sixth grade, where students will this year pay the same as the junior and senior high students: 30 cents daily or $1.25 weekly. Grades one through five pay 25 cents daily or $1 a week. The public schools will open with a staff of 208 persons, including 148 teachers and administrators and 60 other employees, bus drivers, secretaries, cooks and custodians.

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