Alexandria Citizen News 1934 – 86 years ago: Three Civil War survivors from the community were pictured. They were the only survivors left and included J. S. Alger, Luther South and Thomas Cooper. (Douglas County had not been officially established when the Civil War began. The 1860 census records 138 people, including women and children, living in the county.)
1970, 50 years ago: What is hoped to be the largest reunion ever held by the group, National Guard Unit members of Alexandria Battery “C” 217th Club will meet. The unit was called out of Alexandria into active duty in February 1941 and left for Camp Haan in California. In August 1942, Battery “C” 217th became Battery “B” 494th and was shipped to Iceland and took over English guns of which they had never seen before. Battery “B” 494th with its sister 495th were among the first anti-aircraft units shipped to the European theater.
That piece of land on old Highway 29 North near the Alexandria Golf Course (the old automobile graveyard) has been cleaned up and leveled off. The county commissioners purchased the property last fall with plans to turn it into a recreational park with a federal grant of $6,600 and a state grant of $3,300 from the natural resources fund by the Minnesota Legislative Advisory Committee.
1995, 25 years ago: The Knute Nelson Home Corporation will begin construction on an assisted living facility in Alexandria. Assisted living is a term used to describe a building that combines both housing and services in one package, designed for seniors in need of services. There will be 32 alcove apartments and four one-bedroom apartments. When completed, this will be the only building in Alexandria specifically designed and operated as an assisted living option.
2010, 10 years ago: A deep drone permeated Central Avenue in Brandon as an ominous cloud of bees descended upon the town. According to Lewis Struthers, a local bee-keeper with 60 years of experience, this phenomenon is the natural way that bees reproduce. During June and July, strong hives will sometimes produce swarms. When this occurs, the queen and about half of the bees will leave their native hive in search of a new home, sometimes traveling as many as three miles, and resting on the way. In Brandon’s case the resting spot was Central Avenue. One witness, Randy Buker, watched as thousands of bees gradually left and clustered around one particular area, probably the location of the queen. Buker noted that the bees were not violent or aggressive. Struthers noted that swarming bees are not aggressive because they have no hive to protect and the sheer number of bees that came out of nowhere is an indication that they came out of a beekeeper’s hive.
Just for fun 1970 – 50 years ago: Mr. Bill Flaig was among 37 students selected among Moorhead State College students and faculty members to be listed in the forthcoming edition of “Who’s Who in American Universities and Colleges.” The 37 were selected from 111 students who have been leaders in academic and extra-curricular activities. Bill, son of Mr. and Mrs. Darrel V. Flaig, is majoring in business and hospital administration at Moorhead and presently an administrative resident at St. Joseph Hospital in Mitchell, South Dakota. He will return to Moorhead State College in the fall as a senior.
Sports trivia 1995 – 25 years ago: From Larry Halvorson’s “People in Sports” column: Dave Harris, Alexandria girls golf coach and educator, recorded a rare double eagle on the par-5 No. 12 hole at the Alexandria Golf Club. Harris used a driver and 1-iron on the hole for a deuce.
Rachel Barduson of Alexandria is a regular contributing columnist to the Echo Press Opinion page.