1919, 100 years ago: Archie D. Wilson and Geo. W. Weatherwax, both Douglas County young men under the firm name of Wilson & Weatherwax, will open a new garage and repair shop in the old Peterson building on F Street, south of the ball park. The name of the shop will be “Runrite.”
1969, 50 years ago: The latest Alexandria firm to expand is the Dairy Queen, with the new outlet on south Broadway now open. Fifteen persons will be employed on a year around basis, and a regular food menu will be served, in addition to regular Dairy Queen features.
In “Caps Comments” by Cap Paciotti: Alexandria fans will be surprised and pleased to see that the football field at Knute Nelson Memorial field has been changed. The field will run east and west in order to better utilize the permanent seating and better crowd control. The change will also enlarge the baseball playing area.
A drive for $8,500 for new Christmas decorations for Alexandria appeared to be going well over its goal, according to Dr. E.K. Karnis, chairman.
1994, 25 years ago: A referendum to combine the districts of Kensington, Hoffman, Elbow Lake-Wendell and Barrett overwhelmingly passed in three of the four districts. The vote was much closer in Elbow Lake-Wendell, but the measure still passed there, 674 votes to 571. Residents in all four districts, known as West Central Area Schools, needed to vote in favor of the consolidation in order for it to proceed, and that’s what happened.
Rural Cellular Corporation (RCC), the provider of Cellular 2000 phone services, has merged with Northwest Minnesota Paging, Inc. (Tel-Page), to provide a state-of-the-art paging service to area residents. RCC is marketing its paging service under the name of KEYPAGE.
2009, 10 years ago: Life Link III received approval from the Alexandria City Council for a ground lease from which to operate a medical transport helicopter base. One operational air ambulance will be kept at the Alexandria Airport hangar, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A back-up air ambulance may be added to the service. Life Link III was formed in 1985 and is now a leader in ground and air medical transportation.
A new angle on the Runestone hits national airwaves, putting Kensington on the map for history buffs. “The Holy Grail in America” will be on the History Channel, produced by Maria Awes, a former WCCO producer. Local footage includes a reenactment of the discovery of the stone at the Kensington Runestone Park with Corey Okonek playing the role of Olaf Ohman and Michael O’Loughlin playing the role of Ohman’s neighbor.
Just for fun 1969 – 50 years ago: The First National Bank in Alexandria plans to construct a new building at the former Alexandria Hardware Company location across from the post office, on Lots 4, 5 and 6 of the original town of Alexandria, recently obtained by the Bank from M. C. Wedum. The site provides an excellent opportunity for drive-up service, in addition to free parking adjacent to the building and a completely modern banking structure.
SPORTS TRIVIA 1969 – 50 years ago: In Cap’s Comments: “There are a lot of people responsible for the change in the football field. Athletic Director, Tom Connor and the coaches desired the change for crowd control and because of the seating. Sports Incorporated, with President Dale Serum, was the driving force in both of the changes. Dean Melton took hold and engineered the project. Talking about Dean Melton, he and his assistant Irv Jensen, really do a fine job in keeping the field in good condition.
Rachel Barduson of Alexandria is a regular contributing columnist to the Echo Press Opinion page.