1920, 100 years ago: At Alexandria on July 3: Dedication of the new Park Region Echo Building and unveiling of Hon. Carl Wold Memorial Tablet. Ceremony in front of the new building at 11 o’clock. Afternoon program at the Court House Grounds. Speakers are Governor Lynn J. Frazier of North Dakota, former Mayor Thomas Van Lear of Minneapolis, Captain George H. Mallon, World War Veteran and Hero, Professor O. O. Stageberg of Red Wing, N. S. Randall of Alexandria. The Holmes City Band, under the leadership of Prof. Paul W. Hanson, will provide music all day.
1970, 50 years ago: With inflation stopping many Douglas County families from buying new homes, they are turning, to a greater extent than usual, to improving their present ones. Much of the money that would have gone toward the purchase of a new home is going, instead, to additions, alterations, replacements and repairs. In the past year alone, they spent no less than $1.7 million in this direction, it is estimated, based upon the latest nationwide sampling survey conducted by the Department of Commerce.
Alexandria is one of five cities selected as a good example of current industrial development for the second annual Tour of Industrial Progress by the Minnesota Association of Commerce and Industry. Purpose of the tour is for leaders of the metropolitan business community to see representative examples of the 612 new and expanded industrial projects reported for 1969. Nearly 60% of the investment of $309 million and about half of the 15,000 jobs created were in outstate locations in Minnesota. Other communities on the tour are Albert Lea, Worthington, St. Cloud and Duluth.
1995, 25 years ago: During the first week of July, hundreds of people are expected to return to Luther Crest Bible Camp to celebrate its long history of ministry and service. For 50 years, children, adults and families from Minnesota and across the nation have been coming to the camp, located on the west shore of Lake Carlos north of Alexandria. The location where Luther Crest is now situated was originally the Lake Carlos Boys Camp, built and operated by the Olympic skater and Ice Follies star, Heine Brock in 1931. This camp came under hard times during World War II and stood vacant for several years. During the same time the “Bible Camp Movement” began to gain momentum in the Lutheran Church. Groups of congregations would rent spaces at State Parks or other camp settings to provide a week of Bible Camp for their young people. In 1945, Pastor Carmen Thronson, who is recognized as the founder of Luther Crest Bible Camp, rallied the support of the Milaca, Glenwood and Fergus Falls circuits of the Evangelical Lutheran Church to purchase the camp at a cost of $25,000 and to form the Luther Crest Bible Camp Association. Luther Crest is owned and operated by 132 Lutheran Congregations of the ELCA located in west-central Minnesota.
2010, 10 years ago: Disc golf has returned to Alexandria with the city council’s approved 10-year agreement with the Alexandria Area YMCA to use a 30-acre piece of its land on the northwest corner of the property for a disc golf course.
Just for fun – 1920 – 100 years ago: $5 in gold will be given to the family coming the longest distance for the Park Region Echo’s new building dedication ceremony on July 3. If two families come the same distance, the prize will go to the larger family.
Sports trivia 1979 – 50 years ago: The summer county Red Cross swimming lesson program is in full swing with over 450 registered for lessons to date.
Rachel Barduson of Alexandria is a regular contributing columnist to the Echo Press Opinion page.