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Observations from the archives, 2004: City Park Beach closed since 1971

1914, 100 years ago: The dedication of the Swedish Mission Church of Evansville took place. The beautiful structure is well built and modern. It cost about $3,000, in addition to the lumber used from the old church. … One of the saddest things that has happened to this county occurred when George Youngner lost his life by drowning in Lake Geneva. He with two companions, Louis Johnson and Earnest Jacobson, went to the lake to swim. George ran into the lake and had hardly gotten in before he began calling for help. There is a drop-off at that place and it is thought he lost his bearings because of high wind. The other boys rushed for a boat to help him but he sank before they reached him.

1964, 50 years ago: The Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors authorized President Bob Davis to appoint a committee to investigate the possibility of selling the present Chamber of Commerce Runestone Museum building and seek a new location for a larger building. The chamber and museum have occupied their present home since its dedication at the 1958 Centennial year celebration. The building has about 3,200 square feet and is so crowded, a new and larger building is considered a near-future must. … Sandra Hvezda, 18-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Reuben Hvezda of Alexandria, was crowned Douglas County Dairy Princess. Bonnie Vacek, 19-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Vacek of Alexandria, and 17-year-old Patricia Hanson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Hanson, Evansville, were named as attendants.

1989, 25 years ago: Residents of Bethany Home, Bethel Manor have a new 15-passenger mini bus, which will provide transportation to stores and special events around the Greater Alexandria area. The air-conditioned bus is equipped with a lift to load residents in wheelchairs. Funding for the bus was made possible through a federal grant from the Minnesota Department of Transportation. … Jill Blashack has opened her Care and Flair Gift Baskets at 1002 Broadway in Alexandria, specializing in gift baskets individually tailored with a variety of products, stationery, candles, gourmet foods, teas and more, and also provides delivery and mail-order services. … A fire shortly after 5 p.m. caused about $10,000 worth of damage to the Interlachen Inn restaurant north of Alexandria. Officials suspect that a gas range in the restaurant caused grease inside a hooded vent to catch fire. Except for two employees who were preparing to open for the dinner hour, no one was inside the building.

2004, 10 years ago: The Alexandria-based Cellular 2000/Unicel company’s gift to Phase I of the Alexandria City Park beach project will help with installation of a weed barrier, bring in sand, marker buoys and signs. The company will match the first $2,000 in donations received in June and it plans continued support for Phases II and III to help bring the City Park Beach back to its prime. A volunteer committee is working with the Alexandria Park Board to re-open the beach, which has been closed since 1971.

Just for fun – 1964, 50 years ago: Now showing at the Andria Theatre in Alexandria: Muscle Beach Party starring Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon. Admission is adults, 75 cents; juniors, 60 cents; and children, 30 cents. … Man in the Middle, starring Robert Mitchum, is showing at the Sunset Drive-In, one mile north of Alexandria. The show starts at dusk. Children are always free admission.

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