1919, 100 years ago: Arrangements for a mammoth Victory Celebration at Alexandria on Labor Day are almost complete and it’s apparent that this will be the biggest day in the history of our beautiful city. The Holmes City band of farmer boys under the leadership of Paul W. Hanson, will furnish music all day long.
1969, 50 years ago: Donald R. Hansen, president of Alexandria Developers, Inc., and Bud Thoen, president of Douglas Machine Company, announced that ground was broken for the new building to be constructed by the developers for Douglas Machine Company. The 13,000 square-foot building, costing $100,500, will be located on the Developers Industrial Park on Highway 27 south of the airport. Douglas Machine, now on South Broadway in Alexandria, was organized three years ago by Bud Thoen, Vern Anderson and Paul Anderson to design and manufacture packaging and production machines.
Flying members of the Civil Air Patrol Squadron, based in Alexandria, purchased a Cessna 172, which will improve the services made available throughout west-central Minnesota. Radio equipment, night flying equipment, plus flight instruments for flying in weather, are all included with the newer plane. The L-4 Piper Cub, which the CAP has been flying, will be retired and soon advertised for bids.
1994, 25 years ago: Coffee prices have doubled after news that a frost in July wiped out half of Brazil’s coffee crop. Although the Brazil coffee crop won’t arrive in stores until next year, the certainty of shortages immediately affected worldwide commodity markets. At Holiday Foods, Kevin Loken, assistant manager, said a can of coffee “on special” that once sold for $3.99 could now sell for $10.99.
A thunderstorm swept through Douglas County, devastating some farmers’ fields. The Evangelical Covenant Church, 4005 Dakota St. near Target in Alexandria, sustained the heaviest damage locally, when strong wind gusts blew down all but four of the rafters on a new fellowship hall-gymnasium addition that the church is building. Officials estimated the damage at $20,000.
The parochial New Testament School in Alexandria will participate with District 206 in Minnesota State High School League activities, specifically, football, band and speech. The school is part of the new Testament Church.
2009, 10 years ago: An estimated 2,000 people attended the community open house at Alexandria School District 206’s newest school, Woodland Elementary School. There are 510 students enrolled for 2009-2010 with four sections of kindergarten and three sections of grades 1 through 6. There are 80 staff members, including 41 teachers. There are 165 students registered for the preschool program at the Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) Center.
Just for fun 1969 – 50 years ago: Attendance at the Douglas County Fair for 1969 totaled 27,137 to top the record of 25,427 set in 1968. Grandstand attendance was up from 6,260 to 7,067.
1994, 25 years ago: The 1994 Douglas County Fair broke all attendance and revenue records with over 50,000 people attending – 10% more than last year – which translates into an increase in revenue of 20% over last year’s figures. Due to the growing success of the local fair, Bud Greenquist, fair secretary, said the fair board is considering a five-day-long fair.
SPORTS TRIVIA 1994 – 25 years ago: A free ski show will be held at City Park in Alexandria by the Lake Darling Skiers. It will include 18 acts and is sponsored by the Alexandria State Bank, Olson’s Super Market, Coca Cola Bottling Co., Wayne Lee Construction, Sports Craft, Inc., and the Darling Ranch Resort. Members of the skiers, who have been presenting shows at the Darling Ranch for the past three years, are Tom Akenson, Linda Engstrom, Steve Tessmer, Kim Thompson, Dennis Spaulding, Bob Harpster, and Bryce Lundeen. Drivers are Ed Torguson and Howard Akenson.
Rachel Barduson of Alexandria is a regular contributing columnist to the Echo Press Opinion page.