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Observations from the archives, 1964: Kensington Runestone monument requested

1914, 100 years ago: Brown Bros. and Chapin (Strandberg’s old place) advertised the latest in farm implements: “Practically every farmer needs a good cultivator. Anyone can operate a single Dutchman Cultivator. All the parts are conveniently arranged and are sensitive to the operator’s movements, giving him perfect control of the machine at all times.” … Try the new limousine seat, the “swellest” seat ever, and used exclusively on Henney Buggies. Every buggy bearing the name Henney is guaranteed first-class material and workmanship.

1964, 50 years ago: The Douglas County Board of Commissioners, by formal resolution, has asked Governor Karl Rolvaag and the Minnesota Historical Society to initiate the necessary action on behalf of the state of Minnesota to acquire the site where the Kensington Runestone was discovered, and to establish a monument there commemorating the location as a Minnesota historic site. … Alexandria’s Our Lady of Mercy Hospital has become the only one of its size in Minnesota, and perhaps the Upper Midwest, to have an image intensifier fluoroscope for its X-ray department. The unit is $25,000. … Services and dedication for the new $850,000 addition to Bethany Home will take place. … At the Algon Ballroom, Mayor Marvin Hansen and Chamber of Commerce Manager Harvey Hammergren welcomed more than 600 members of the Minnesota Township Officers Association Convention to Alexandria.

1989, 25 years ago: Working with the Minnesota transit office, Kathryn LeBrasseur, director of the county senior citizens department, is organizing a new public transportation system in Douglas County. Designed to provide affordable transportation primarily to the elderly and the handicapped in rural areas, the state program is called the Heartland Express. … More than 800 people attended “Celebration of the Arts” at Jefferson High School, involving teachers and students throughout District 206 who displayed and demonstrated every sort of art activity from mask-making to pottery, music to painting. … A night inspection of airport lighting at 123 of the state’s municipally-owned airports was completed by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), Office of Aeronautics. The Alexandria airport received a 100 percent rating.

2004, 10 years ago: Hobby farms make up about 20 percent (16,461 of 80,865) of the state’s total farming operations, according to Larry Zilliox of the Douglas County Extension Service. In addition, the state added more than 4,400 hobby farms since 1997, easily making farms between 10 and 49 acres the fastest growing segment. … Jill Blashack, president and CEO of Alexandria-based Tastefully Simple, Inc., is the winner of the 2004 Entrepreneurial Success Award, given by the U.S. Small Business Administration. … The ice left Lake L’Homme Dieu April 7. It’s the fifth earliest ice-out date in the last 60 years.

Just for fun – 1914, 100 years ago: Notice: You are hereby requested not to use sidewalks for roller skating between 4th and 7th avenues on Main Street and between 7th and H Street on 6th Avenue. Also, do not congregate in crowds on the outlying sidewalks and force people to leave the sidewalk to pass. If this notice is not obeyed, the Council will be obliged to pass an ordinance prohibiting roller skating on any of the sidewalks in the city, as there have been several complaints. Signed, L. Ginther, Mayor.

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