1919, 100 years ago: Walker’s Café, popular Alexandria restaurant on Main Street, has been sold and James Walker, who enjoyed a very heavy trade, especially amongst the farmers, thereby retires from the business. F.A. Thielen and D.E. Gustafson of Fargo, North Dakota, are the new owners.

In Pocket Lake news, C.A. Wesen had the best crop of wheat in the neighborhood. Wesen’s wheat ran twenty bushels per acre. It must be due to his good hired man, S.G. Jones.

1969, 50 years ago: Jim Perdue, representing the Alexandria Teachers Association, presented LeRoy Meyer and E.C. Beliveau, representing the committee for the Alexandria Christmas Decoration Fund drive, with a $200 check from the teachers. The fund, with an original aim of about $8,500, is approaching $12,000, with money still coming in.

The Alexandria League of Women Voters, observing their 50th anniversary of the organization, started their annual campaign for soliciting funds in the city.

Jim’s Warehouse Market, a new food market, will open at its newly completed building east of south Highway 29 on Freeway 94. The new all-metal building contains 13,000 square feet of floor space devoted to foods, meats, and bakery. Jim Schneiderhan, store manager, said purchases can be made on single items as well as by the case.

Christmas Eve Red Cross boxes for men in Vietnam were packed by Grey Ladies at First Congregational Church in Alexandria. Mrs. Marvin Hansen, Mrs. Olga Glade, Mrs. August Lorsung, Mrs. E.A. Bormes and Mrs. Connie Siemssen filled 35 “ditty bags” for the Red Cross, each containing wash cloths, nail clippers, combs, writing paper, pens, socks, playing cards and other items.

1994, 25 years ago: The public is invited to a dedication and open house for Discovery Middle School. Located in northeast Alexandria along McKay Avenue, the $15.8 million school is attended by 1,129 students.

The renovation of Douglas County’s existing jail could cost up to $62,000 more than originally planned. Director of Information Systems Tom Reddick announced that because of the Americans with Disabilities Act, because of the Department of Corrections, and because of changes in the State Building Code, the preliminary plans that were made two years ago would now not meet standards.

2009, 10 years ago: Former Alexandria football coach Denny Kalpin will be honored with the George Haun Award at the annual Minnesota State High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame Awards. The Haun award is presented yearly to coaches who have exemplified leadership and commitment to the association, strengthening the profession of coaching and mentoring new young coaches into leadership roles.

Steinbring Motorcoach in Garfield hosted its second annual Quarsite North Rally as more than 40 motorhomes and families attended from Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Wisconsin and Iowa.

Maid-Rite Diner, famous for its fresh ground beef, loose-meat sandwiches, has targeted Alexandria as a priority city for its 2009 Franchise Growth Plan, and wants to open one of its restaurants here because of the city’s population of about 11,481 residents, along with its location just off I-94, its role as regional shopping hub and its major employers such as Douglas County Hospital, the Alexandria public schools, and Douglas Machine.

Just for fun 1969 – 50 years ago: Alexandria Police Chief George McKay introduced the new “head of the complaint department” at the Alexandria Police Station. The new department head is Little Joe of Switzer, a 160-pound purebred St. Bernard. The gentle 3-year-old was purchased in Park Rapids by Chief McKay.

SPORTS TRIVIA 1969 – 50 years ago: Jenny Heegaard, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. William Heegaard, was crowned the 1969 Alexandria Homecoming Queen at the Jefferson High School to kick off Homecoming festivities. The Cardinals showed their most explosive offensive performance of the season as they defeated Montevideo 42-26 in their Homecoming game at Knute Nelson Field.



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