1920, 100 years ago: The Osakis Telephone Company’s new directory is out and being distributed to subscribers. The book has 40 pages, contains over 700 names, including patrons of the farmers’ lines that have direct connection with Osakis. Nearly every business house in town is represented in the advertising pages, and the book is a credit to the head operator, Miss Mildred Schleppegreil, who solicited all the advertising, arranged the pages and furnished the copy.

1970, 50 years ago: Superintendent A.O. Hafdal announced that the Alexandria Public Schools have opened the 1970-71 year with a three-day workshop for the entire faculty. Through recent consolidation procedures, a part of Miltona School has become part of Independent School District 206. Grades 1-6 will be taught there as part of the Alexandria Schools.

A group of some 30 Alexandria summer residents met at the Colonial Club at Nelson and organized a lakeshore owners association which is “concerned about the pollution problem in the Alexandria lakes.” Alexandria Improvement and Development Assoc. (AID) consists principally of summer residents who are “vitally interested in the area, but because they do not vote here, and live here only in the summer, do not now have an effective vehicle for participation in community development and improvement.” James P. Swift, Texas, a resident who summers on West Lake Carlos, was elected chairman of AID and the association has retained Ralph Tillitt, an Alexandria attorney, to keep members informed of legislation and events that may affect their property.

1995, 25 years ago: A major building expansion is underway at Douglas Machine in Alexandria. Another 29,000 square feet will include an addition to manufacturing, office, and metal finishing areas. This is the 10th expansion at Douglas Machine since the company moved to the Airport Industrial Park in 1970. When completed, total square footage at the plant – which employs 467 people – will be 220,000.

Work at Carlos State Park by “Sentence to Serve” (STS) prisoners has saved taxpayers at least $15,000 this summer. Under STS, people convicted of breaking the law are assigned to work projects in order to work off fines owed to the county. Park manager Ron Kuschel noted that crews put in a total of 1,193 hours on various projects including fence removal, barn demolition, horse camp improvements, painting of buildings, landscaping, beach improvements and trail resurfacing.

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2010, 10 years ago: According to Dale Buchholz, secretary of the Douglas County Agricultural Association, the organization in charge of running of the Douglas County Fair, an estimated 49,000 guests attended the fair this year. Buchholz noted that Thursday/Friday numbers were quite high, but the scorching heat of the weekend may have impacted attendance and there were several heat related health issues.

Just for fun 1970 – 50 years ago: Lavish stage designing, choreography and costumes are all part of the musical extravaganza “Oklahoma” to be performed at Jefferson High School in Alexandria in September. More than 100 area residents are taking part, including Clem Stumpf of Glenwood and Jenny Haaven of Alexandria, who have the lead roles of “Curly” and “Laury.” The musical will be presented by the Area Chorus and Orchestra.

Sports trivia 1970 – 50 years ago: The Brandon Warriors, under Coach Pat Garrison, are in a rebuilding year. They lost the rushing threat of All-state honorable mention Tom Zieglemann from last year’s squad that piled up a 6-2 record. Returning lettermen are quarterback Ron Lanners, halfback Royce Kloehn, and guard Ron Buse. They open their season against Tintah.

Also – 50 years ago: Len Johnson, son of Mr. and Mrs. Wilfred Johnson of Alexandria, is back in the Minnesota Vikings training camp at Mankato. Len was a member of the taxi squad last year but is still considered a rookie this year.

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