This week in 1971 – 50 years ago: Over 5,200 students will fill schools on Monday, Aug. 30, as the new consolidated Independent District 206 begins instructional operations for the 1971-72 school year. The number of students is up about 500 from last year. The jump is directly attributable to the number of students who formerly attended districts which joined District 206 effective July 1. For the first time, the district will operate five elementary schools compared to two last year. Miltona (which joined in 1970), Carlos and Garfield will join Lincoln and Washington.
1971, 50 years ago: The Alexandria Rotary Club’s Corn and Chicken Feed was termed “one of the best ever” as 1,543 meals were served using some 3,000 ears of corn. Some of the corn – about 200 dozen ears – were sold “unshucked.” The proceeds will be used by Rotary for their numerous financial contributions to such worthy projects as Project New Hope and Camp Courage.
An assistant will be hired for the manager of the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce as a result of a meeting hosted by the chamber and attended by representatives of the Resort Association, Runestone Museum, Alexandria Developers and Chamber of Commerce Board. The new hire will assist Harvey Hammergren and begin training for when and if he retires. Hammergren has held the chamber post for 11 years and does not openly admit any retirement plans although says it will be “sometime in the next 20 years.”
1996, 25 years ago: The Alexandria City Council enthusiastically supported the idea of the city-owned utility, Alexandria Light & Power, and Runestone Electric Association to join forces to bring the internet to Alexandria for a cheaper rate than subscribers now pay through the private sector. As soon as next month, residents in virtually all the telephone exchanges in the Alexandria area will be able to sign up for unlimited local access to the internet at a cost that is expected to be less than the $25 a month currently charged by the private sector.
An estimated 58,000 people attended the 1996 Douglas County Fair in its four-day run. That eclipses the previous record of 50,000 set in 1994.
2011, 10 years ago: Ron Pease and DuWayne Nelson were inducted into the Viking Speedway Hall of Fame for 2011. Nelson served as crew member for the late Wayne Kluver and was track maintenance manager, earning the reputation as one of the best blade operators in the area if not in the state. Nelson got involved in racing when Kluver approached him in 1967 and asked him if he would be interested in being partners in building a race car. Pease competed at the Viking Speedway for six seasons and was also was on the board for nine years, beginning in the 1973 season and served as the president the last three years of his time on the board.
Just for fun 1911 – 110 years ago: After selling his 80-acre farm for $4,000, Robert Schmidt of Leaf Valley has paid $2,509 for three lots with house and two barns on 4th and H Street in Alexandria.
Sports Trivia 1996 – 25 years ago: Sixteen sailors raced in the Lake LeHomme Dieu Regatta on Aug. 23 which completed the Triple Crown competition for the 1996 season. Greg Dahlgren of Alexandria was the Triple Crown winner in the Sunfish Class while Eric Jorgenson of Alex was the Open Class Triple Crown champion. The Triple Crown is determined from events at Starbuck (Heritage Days Regatta) and Glenwood (Waterama) and the Le Homme Dieu Regatta. Sailors throw out their worst time from one of the Minnewaska races.
Rachel Barduson of Alexandria is a regular contributing columnist to the Echo Press Opinion page.