From the Echo Press archives, 1972: Alexandria toasts Arctic Circle settlers

This week in history in Douglas County.

Picture of Rachel Barduson
Rachel Barduson

This Week in 1972 – 50 years ago: Bud and Martha Helmericks accepted the “Key to the City” of Alexandria from Chamber of Commerce Secretary Harvey Hammergren and Chamber President Marv Frieberg. The Helmericks were in town to promote the film “Edge of the Arctic Ice” which opens at the Andria Theatre as part of a “World Premiere” showing. They spent the day visiting with radio, television, newspaper and official city personnel about the movie, which is about their life living (and raising their three sons) in a truly remote area, deep within the Arctic Circle, in a two-house compound on the banks of the Arctic Ocean 185 miles east of the United States’ northernmost community, Barrow, Alaska.

1972, 50 years ago: Record election turnouts in several county townships were the result of high voter interest, but incumbent officials in most townships retained their posts. Sunday liquor was approved for two townships: Carlos and LaGrand. The greatest activity was in the four townships Alexandria, LaGrand, Carlos, and Hudson, which are members of the Alexandria Area Sanitary District, and of which the board’s plans and proposals were the subject of campaign platforms. The greatest voter turnout of all townships was LaGrand, which tallied 616 where the big issue was Sunday liquor for Arrowwood Lodge. Defeated last year at this time, the issue passed with 398 yes votes to 218 no votes, a 180 vote margin.

1997, 25 years ago: As part of yet another chain-link connection to the big wide world, the Douglas County Library will soon be electronically hooked into other libraries and schools. The “Learning Network of Minnesota” will connect 17 libraries, two regional library systems and 15 schools. The “Links” project of Northwestern Minnesota received a grant for $352,000 from U.S. West Communications to make the electronic connections; a collaborative effort of 87 school districts and 35 libraries in northwest Minnesota, including the Douglas County Library.

Earl Anderson of Ollie’s Service in Alexandria presented a 1996 Ski Doo Formula III snowmobile to Mark Lindermann of the Alexandria Technical College to be used to help instruct the students in the ATC’s marine and small engine department. Ski Doo, a division of Bombadier Motorized Division, donated the snowmobile to the college.

2012, 10 years ago: The Otto Bremer Foundation, majority owner of Bremer Bank, recently awarded $45,000 to the City of Evansville. The city is in the process of a major renovation to its outdoor athletic facilities. The funds will be used to install new playground equipment, fix existing turf problems, build new dugouts, fix and replace fencing, build a new backstop and help to replace the worn out bleachers.


Vikingland Builders Association melded the worlds of construction and fashion when it presented “Construction Couture” at the Broadway Ballroom in Alexandria. Twenty-four models showed creations by Alexandria Area Technical and Community College’s fashion management, interior design, marketing, and construction site management majors.

Just For Fun, 1947 – 75 years ago: Harold and Lorna Anderson, proprietors of Travelers Inn, are celebrating their third anniversary of business in the Alexandria area. Mr. and Mrs. Anderson came to Alexandria from Detroit Lakes in 1944 after purchasing the Travelers Inn from Mrs. Tom Rose. The interior of Travelers has recently been repainted and redecorated.

Sports Trivia, 1997 – 25 years ago: Sarah Ekdahl of Alexandria, Christine Moen and Missy Kath of Minnewaska, and Gwen Greiner of Hancock are area players recently named to their respective class All-State basketball teams. Ekdahl was a member of the State Class AAA championship team which stopped the Minneapolis North Polars 52-43; Greiner of the Class A title squad which defeated Red Lake Falls 56-50. Moen and Kath were on the Class AA runner-up Minnewaska team, which fell to West Central South Conference foe New London-Spicer 55-51.

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

What To Read Next