1920, 100 years ago: Efforts of the Christmas Seal Committee are centered upon providing such a thorough sales organization that this county will far exceed their quotas. The determination of the officials of the Douglas County Public Health Association is to have sufficient funds to curb disease and reduce the number of deaths so this will be the healthiest county in the state.
1970, 50 years ago: Jim’s Discount Market, near Interstate 94 and Hwy 29, celebrated its first anniversary in Alexandria. The Market covers a 50-mile radius and employs 10 people, with an approximate gross payroll of $38,000 and gross volume of $1 million.
Fleet Farm has added a 101-by-120 foot section to their present building, giving them nearly twice as much space as before.
The new Viking Towers, the low-rent high-rise apartment building in Alexandria, will be occupied before the end of the month, according to Earl Lamb, executive director. The 13-story federally financed structure, at 8th and Fillmore, has 106 units, including 70 single and 36 double apartments. The rent is based on 25% of the renter’s gross income.
1995, 25 years ago: Aggie and Florian Ledermann have opened the Cedar Rose Inn Bed and Breakfast on the corner of Cedar and 7th Avenue West in Alexandria. The property has a well-known history in this city and is on the U.S. Dept. of Interior’s “National Register of Historic Places” and will have five guest rooms for travelers, history buffs and “getaways.”
The Messiah Chorale, comprised of singers from Alexandria and the surrounding area will present selections from Handel’s “Messiah” at the Alexandria Area Arts Association Theatre. The director of the chorale is Mary Morken of Alexandria, and her husband, Randy Morken is the featured organist.
Randy Spoden, owner of Randy’s Mens Wear in Alexandria, was elected president of N.W. Buyers & Jobbers, Inc. Founded in 1920, N.W. Buyers is a menswear buying group consisting of 330 independent men’s stores located primarily in the Midwest.
2010, 10 years ago: The Alexandria Police Department recently received a grant of $16,419 to purchase four in-car cameras for its squad cars. They were among 620 in-car cameras awarded to 134 Minnesota law enforcement agencies, including the Osakis and Parkers Prairie departments, with one camera each. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety announced that the cameras were provided to law enforcement agencies around the state as a result of $2.9 million in federal funds administered by the DPS Office of Traffic Safety. Alexandria Police Chief Rick Wyffels noted that this is the first time his squad cars will have cameras.
Just for fun 1970 – 50 years ago: Judging from the number of big-ticket household accessories that Douglas County families have been acquiring during the past few years, living standards are on the rise locally. Their purchases of dishwashers, air conditioners, stereophonic equipment, cars and other high-priced equipment have been climbing steadily since 1969. Approximately 93.3% of the households in the local area now have television sets, as compared to 81.8% in 1960. Similarly, more homes are equipped with washing machines; ownership in Douglas County’s regional area is placed at 74.4%.
Sports trivia 1970 – 50 years ago: Alexandria snowmobile drivers, Robert Fairbanks, Jerry Freitag, Luverne Buerman and John Bosek, have been accepted as entrants in the 1971 Winnipeg to Saint Paul International Snowmobile Race. The four men will be competing for a first prize of $7,500 and a total prize of $17,500 in this grueling 500 mile-plus test of men and machine. This is the longest, toughest snowmobile test in the country. Temperatures can and do fall to 40 degrees below zero and blizzard winds can produce blinding conditions. Out of 225 starters last year, 61 finished the race in St. Paul.
Rachel Barduson of Alexandria is a regular contributing columnist to the Echo Press Opinion page.