1905, 115 years ago: In the winter, Austin and Nellie Halstead travel from their farm on the south shore of Lake Mary across the lake to Alexandria, as the lake was easier to traverse than the roads. When he spotted a wolf on the lake, Austin would chase it with his team of horses, Blackie and Babe.
1970, 50 years ago: A total of 441 Douglas County men are now currently on active duty with U.S. military forces, according to Lucille Bjerke, clerk of Douglas County Local Board 21 of the Selective Service System. Of the 441, 71 had been inducted in service and 370 had enlisted.
The new First National Bank in Alexandria will inaugurate a Time-Temperature Service for the citizens of Alexandria. Telephone users are now able to call to find out the correct time and temperature, 24 hours a day. This service is made available with the cooperation of the Alexandria Telephone Company and is made possible through the leasing of precision equipment from the Audichron Company of Atlanta, Georgia. This service is made available, toll free (with the number provided), to about 7,500 telephones, including those listed in the Alexandria, Carlos, Holmes City and Nelson exchanges.
1995, 25 years ago: Someday, the hybrid poplar tree might be as popular a crop as corn and soybeans in Douglas County. The county is already a leader in the growing of poplars, with almost 2,000 acres of trees planted on various “plantations” within a 50-mile radius of Alexandria. One of the plantations, east of Carlos, has row after row of five-year-old hybrid poplars. Foresters from Australia have toured the Alexandria area poplar fields.
At least 20 Douglas County resorts volunteered to participate in a recycling program this summer. It was organized by the Office of Environmental Assistance and from Memorial Day to Labor Day, nearly 9,500 pounds of plastic, glass, aluminum, tin and newspaper were collected from 14 resorts, while others opted to redeem recyclables on their own.
Christmas trees will once again be recycled by the Jefferson High School Earth Day Committee in Alexandria. Bring your tree(s) to the west side of the Douglas County Fairgrounds. Trees will be chipped into mulch and used on area environmental trails. Residents should remove all plastic and tinsel.
2010, 10 years ago: Lakes Area Recreation in Alexandria is about to open a brand new, 15,000 square foot gymnastics center on Jan. 3, 2011. The new state-of-the-art facility is in the old Fingerhut building at 1910 Aga Drive – also the former home of Alexandria School District 206 administrative offices.
This month’s United Way Mobile Food Drop helped about 175 families stock up on food. The average family at the food drop receives about 70-100 pounds of free food. This month’s event took place at the New Life Christian Church in Alexandria.
Just for fun 1995 – 25 years ago: Some say there will come a time when the Internet is as essential to our everyday life as the automobile, the interstate highway and the telephone. More than 76 million people have used the Internet (the Information Superhighway) so far, and the number is growing every day. Some say the ability to use the Internet will be the difference in the future between the “haves” and the “have nots.”
Sports trivia 1970 – 50 years ago: Members of the Viking Sno-Flyers Snowmobile Club in Alexandria are urging drivers to study and observe all regulations governing the use of snowmobiles. There is an ordinance covering the Municipal Airport which prohibits snowmobiles within a 50-foot minimum of any runway. Reportedly, the machines are getting to be not only a nuisance but also a hazard to landing aircraft.
Rachel Barduson of Alexandria is a regular contributing columnist to the Echo Press Opinion page.