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Observations from the archives, 1963: Stock campaign launched in Alexandria


1913, 100 years ago: The great attraction of the county fair was James J. Hill of the Great Northern Railroad. A large number of people were present to see him, some from curiosity and others from a desire to learn what the old empire builder had to say on farming. He began by narrating some of his early experiences in securing control of the Great Northern Railroad. He and some Canadian friends financed a deal to take up $27 million of bonds and then they needed some legislation to secure valid title to some lands belonging to the company. At the time, Senator Knute Nelson and a couple of other gentlemen from Otter Tail County were in the Legislature and they stood up for what was right and he and Knute Nelson have since been good friends. A railroad is never finished, Hill said, “At first it required only a couple trains each way to take care of the traffic, now many more are required.”

1963, 50 years ago: An intensive stock sales campaign will be launched by Alexandria Developers, Inc., Alan Graves, president of the new industry group, announced. The stock campaign follows on the heels of a highly successful public meeting, held to determine public sentiment about improving the economic climate of this community. At that time, hundreds of people at the meeting signed cards indicating their willingness to purchase Alexandria Developers stock to finance a major effort to attract industry to Alexandria and to help local business and industry expand. The developers hope to sell $60,000 in stock, used in this manner: $25,000 to pay off existing liabilities of the developers; $10,000 on industry near and far to encourage location in Alexandria; $25,000 could be used to build a new building, remodel an old one, and secure suitable land sites for industrial development.

1988, 25 years ago: The nephew-uncle combination of Jim and Floyd Bosek teamed up to win The Wharf’s Northern Fishing Tournament. The Alexandria anglers hooked three northern (the tourney limit) weighing a total of 14-pounds, 15-ounces. They also nabbed the biggest fish in the tourney, a 6-pound, 4-ouncer. The pair received $150 for first place and another $50 for biggest fish. In other news, the Thompson Twins missed the chance (just barely) for TV roles. Sherry and Shelly Thompson learned they were third in line, out of the seven sets of twins being considered for the roles in Sweet Valley High, a movie about the misadventures of identical twins.

2003, 10 years ago: The Runestone Museum announced that the Kensington Runestone will be traveling to Stockholm, Sweden later this month. It will be part of an exhibit of Swedish rune-stones. The invitation by the Statens Historiska Museum in Stockholm was prompted by the museum’s review of extensive new research conducted on the stone. In other news, Rudy’s Red Eye Grill recently opened in the space formerly occupied by Adventures Nightclub, adjacent to the Holiday Inn in Alexandria. The Rudy’s concept is a hybrid of the popular Twin Cities Axel’s and Bonfire restaurant locations.

Just for fun – 2003, 10 years ago: Arrowwood Resort and Conference Center will host the annual Holiday Ball with proceeds being used to fund projects supported by the Douglas County Hospital Auxiliary. Raffle tickets to win a round of golf with Tom Lehman at the Country Club at D.C. Ranch in Arizona will be drawn the night of the ball.

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