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1919: Winter proves unusually mild

1919, 100 years ago: In Spruce Hill: In speaking of things "unusual," this winter surely can be classed as such. Pioneers who have been here the past 30 years or more say it's the mildest winter they ever experienced in Minnesota. Never before in the history of this vicinity has an automobile ventured to take a 12- or 14-mile trip into the country this time of the year. This happened Jan. 22, when a car coming from Eagle Bend passed thru this vicinity.

Private William Lusty has been mustered out of the service and arrived home from an eastern camp where he was sent upon his arrival in New York from France. He has a German field gun, also some shells which he brought as souvenirs from Germany.

1969, 50 years ago: Paul V. Anderson, Minneapolis, and his brother George B. of Alexandria have announced a $1 million building program which will expand their Darling Ranch Resort to also accommodate a year-round tourist and convention center. Construction will begin in February with a 50,000-square-foot addition for housing, indoor recreation, restaurant and convention facilities on their present 350-acre site on Lake Darling, 3½ miles northwest of Alexandria. Darling Ranch Resort was founded in 1946 by the Anderson brothers and has operated on a summer basis.

After 13 years at 413 Broadway, Saar Motors has moved south on Broadway across from the new 3M manufacturing plant. The new Saar structure will provide garage space for working on six cars at once and also has a new car showroom.

1994, 25 years ago: All-time demands for electricity were reached at both Alexandria Light and Power and the Runestone Electric Association during the recent cold snap. Demand for ALP's electricity hit 33 megawatts on Jan. 17, when temperatures plunged to -30. It was the highest 30-minute demand for power in ALP's history. REA also reported a record peak of 34,000 kilowatts on Jan. 17, easily beating the previous peak of 30,000 kilowatts.

Over 50 students at Lincoln Elementary School joined over 1,084 students from 95 schools in five states in co-authoring the publication of Grodylooks and the Tree Bears, a book project that was illustrated, compiled and edited by children's book author/illustrator Max Haynes.

2009, 10 years ago: A "Big Air" competition at Andes Tower Hill ski resort, located near Kensington, featured both snowboarders and skiers. The event was organized by the Frozen Chosen, a newly formed local grassroots snowboarding organization.

The Echo Press website earned first place honors (weeklies over 5,000) in the Minnesota Newspaper Association 2007 -2008 Better Newspaper Contest. In all, the Echo Press received seven awards in the contest, which were presented during the MNA's 142nd annual convention.

Just for fun 1969 — 50 years ago: Dennis Johnson, pool administrator for the recreation department, has announced that a ladies afternoon swimming club has been organized which will have as its goal the development of personal physical fitness through regular swimming.

2009 — 10 years ago: Every wrestling team that has ever competed for Alexandria has a team picture on the walls in the wrestling room. The Cardinal Wrestling Hall of Fame is also posted on the walls with the select group of wrestlers who have placed in the state tournament or have achieved 100 career wins over their career.

Sports Trivia 2009 — 10 years ago: The very first Alexandria wrestling squad, 1959-60 included: A. Esterberg, R. Divine, A. Goodrich, D. Gulseth, L. Nelson, W. Zimara, G. Schulke, G. Hafdal, K. Schulke, H. Chounard, C. Bergner and P. Johnson. Eight coaches have passed through the Cardinal program from Dick Greengo in 1959 to current head coach Tom Ellison. Alexandria has amassed 436 dual wins in its history. The Cardinals have also put 122 wrestlers into the state tournament with 41 placers and seven state champions.

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

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