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Observations from the archives, 1914: American Beauty corsets on sale at 69 cents

1914, 100 years ago: The pupils of the Carlos school, under the direction of Miss Madge Nichols, will perform a cantata at Reuter’s Hall. Cast includes Adolph Stedje as King Zenas, Minnie Dahlstrom as Queen Eulalia, and Anna Beheng as Thalia, rival of Eulalia. … Martha Johnson, commonly known as School Martha, died at her home in Holmes City after a brief illness. She was born in Vermland, Sweden in 1829 and came to Holmes City in the early 1870s, settling on a homestead of 40 acres. … The Peoples Store in Alexandria has the American Beauty corset for sale. “Worn by millions of satisfied women, they are within reach of all pocket-books.” We sell them at $1.98, $1.44 and 98 cents, according to grade and quality. Special bargain: 69 cents!

1964, 50 years ago: 69-mile-an-hour winds battered the area when one of the worst late-winter storms hit. Four airplanes at the Alexandria airport were tossed about. One was thrown atop a hangar and one was flipped and rolled a quarter mile into a swamp. Huge evergreen trees were uprooted along Sixth Avenue. A barn was flattened near Kensington. The storm started with rain, and ended with five inches of snow. Hundreds who work in Alexandria, but live outside of town, stayed overnight. Restaurants, motels and the hotel were filled. … Industrial Credit Company became the owner of the Alexandria Viking Motel. Bill Martin, manager, said that the company’s assistance in the financing of the motel and the decision to become its owner, shows his company’s “confidence in the future of Alexandria and the surrounding area.”

1989, 25 years ago: Phil Pfeffer of Osakis and Bob Thoennes of Brandon are proud gas station owners, but sometimes see the future swinging toward them like a wrecking ball. Both are certain of one thing: State pollution-prevention requirements will knock many owners of small gas stations out of business. It’s the mandatory insurance that worries Pfeffer. By 1990, gas stations with 12 tanks or fewer must carry $1 million in liability insurance. … A survey conducted in Douglas County shows that 53 percent of the people want the Library in Alexandria to be open on Sundays; 28 percent want Friday evening hours to extend to 9 p.m. and 18 percent said the library should open earlier than its present weekday time of 10 a.m. At present, the library is open 59 hours per week.

2004, 10 years ago: Coni McKay, director of the Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce, told the city council that a new “parade fee” could spell the end of the Vikingland Band Festival. The council created the new fee to help offset deep cuts the Legislature made in local government aid (LGA). The chamber is the sponsor of the parade, which draws about 25,000 spectators. … Sam Steidl of Alexandria is hitting .382 for the U of M Gopher baseball team. He has started all 22 games this spring and has 34 hits in 89 at bats. He was named Big Ten Player of the Week for April 12.

Just for fun – 2004, 10 years ago: “Let’s Go Fishing,” a non-profit group based out of Willmar, may be coming to Alexandria. The group provides a variety of services to seniors. Its mission is to enrich the lives of senior citizens through fishing and boating activities that build relationships and create memories.

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