1919, 100 years ago: Early Tuesday morning, just before 7 o’clock, the gasoline stove at the restaurant on Main Street exploded from too high pressure causing a very bad fire. The fire department was called immediately and they succeeded in putting out the fire in a very short time but a great deal of damage was done from both the fire and water. This is a very discouraging outcome for the proprietors of the restaurant who are new people in our city, having bought the establishment from James Walker. Considerable damage was also done to Unumb’s grocery on account of smoke and water.
1969, 50 years ago: Final approval of the city of Alexandria’s annexation of 1,468.7 acres of land, lying just south of the south city limits, was given this week by the Minnesota Municipalities Commission. This tract is the area from the south city limits to I-94 and from the west side of the airport to the Soo Line right-of-way. Included are portions of Lake Mary, Alexandria, Hudson and LaGrand townships.
Kolstad’s Clothing store is holding a grand opening of its newly remodeled store. Karl “Bud” Kolstad, along with Kurt Kolstad, and Archie Danielson, manager, invite everyone to “stop in and look it over.” There will be drawings for prizes, ranging from socks to suits, plus discounts on regular merchandise.
1994, 25 years ago: Runestone Electric Association received a statewide award for the Caring Members Program. The 1994 Award of Excellence from the Minnesota Department of Public Services is given to “encourage energy efficiency in business while also reducing energy costs and negative environmental impacts.”
In order to accommodate more people, the public hearing to review the City of Alexandria’s Comprehensive Plan has been moved from the Douglas County Public Works Center to the new Discovery School auditorium.
2009, 10 years ago: Alexandria was one of eight Minnesota cities to receive funding from the Minnesota Public Facilities Authority for improvements to drinking water and wastewater plants. A total of $10.8 million was awarded in the state. Alexandria’s package consists of a $3.8 million loan at 2.4% interest over 20 years. That money will help pay for rehabilitating the city’s water treatment plant and adding three filters. The loan will save the city about $640,000 compared with market-rate financing.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency hosted a public meeting at Alexandria Technical College about the proposed expansion at the waste-to-energy facility on Jefferson Street in Alexandria. The expansion will reduce Municipal Solid Waste sent to landfills, as well as help to fulfill Minnesota’s renewable energy objectives.
Just for fun – 1969 - 50 years ago: Kolstad’s Clothing came into existence as Eagle Clothing Company in Alexandria in 1911, founded by C. A. “Spot Cash” Kolstad in the building presently housing Fab N’Trim and Douglas County Insurance. Bud Kolstad came into the business with his father in 1931 and the name was changed to Kolstad Clothing Company. In 1937, Kolstad moved into its present location and in 1958, the store increased by one half to meet a growing need. Kurt Kolstad returned from New York in 1967 and joined his father in the business. Store manager Archie Danielson started with the firm in 1940, did a hitch in the service and then returned to join the firm.
Sports Trivia – 1969 – 50 years ago: Gary Johnke has taken over the head basketball coaching reins at Evansville, welcoming six returning lettermen with good size and could have an inside track to the Little Eight Conference hoop title, depending on the play of his back court. Seniors Glen Olson and Keith Englund, Al Holtberg, Mark Johansson, Mike Anderson, Doug Holmgren return along with juniors Doug Bah, Brad Larson, Larry Englund, and Harold Meissner.
Rachel Barduson of Alexandria is a regular contributing columnist to the Echo Press Opinion page.