From the Echo Press archives, 1971: Grand opening for new Herberger's store

This week in history in Douglas County.

This week in 1971, 50 years ago: A strike of AFRTA (American Federation of Radio and Television Artists) has caused the cancellation of the WCCO “fish opener” day broadcast from Alexandria. A WCCO official told Chamber of Commerce Manager Harvey Hammergren that the relative uncertainty that the strike could be settled by Saturday caused the cancellation. WCCO annually follows the fishing opener, which was to be headquartered this year at Shor-wood Resort, owned by Bill Howard. Cancellation of the broadcast in no way affects the “Going Fishing” promotion sponsored by Alexandria merchants.

1971, 50 years ago: The Alexandria City Council heard from the Board of Public Works which is proposing that the city spend $275,000 for a new power substation south of Alexandria. The substation will be needed to meet the growing amount of electricity brought into the city. In connection with the substation the city would increase its purchases of power generated by the Bureau of Reclamation and carried by Ottertail Power Company.

Herberger’s, now with two stores in Alexandria, is having its grand opening festivities, featuring the newly opened store at 601 Broadway which specializes in fabrics and domestics. The move to 601 allowed room for expansion of clothing sales areas in the main store at 522 Broadway which has also been completely remodeled. Robert Christopherson was named store manager last June after the death of Elmer Hanson, former manager.

1996, 25 years ago: Douglas County will spend approximately $2.56 million this year on road and bridge projects. Funding for road and bridges in Douglas County comes from federal, state and local taxes. The largest source is the Minnesota Highway Fund, which comes from gas taxes and the sale of license plates.

1995 was the best year financially in the Douglas County Hospital’s 34-year history. According to an audit presented to the Douglas County Hospital Board, the hospital in 1995 earned $1,965,000 in revenue after expenses.


Most of the 60,000 items at the Douglas County Library have now been bar-coded, ready for a computerized check-out system that should be in place by fall. 180 volunteers helped the library staff affix the bar codes to the upper left fronts of books, tapes, etc. So far the children’s collection and adult fiction sections are done. Trish Conroy, library director, said that by fall library users will be issued new bar-code library cards at no charge. And, with these new high-tech changes, new county library bar-code cards can be used anywhere in the state.

2011, 10 years ago: A plan to build an $8.8 million housing facility for students at Alexandria Technical and Community College (ATCC) was revealed at an Alexandria City Council meeting. The college is asking the city to act as a conduit to receive $7.5 million in industrial revenue bonds. There would be no cost to the city and it wouldn’t assume any debt. The 150-unit facility would be located on the parcel where the ATCC bookstore stands – the northwest corner of the intersection of 17th Avenue and Jefferson Street.

Just for fun – 1961 - 60 years ago: The men of Forada are building an amusement park for the young folks that includes a tennis court, croquet field, swings and turning poles. Also in 1961: Joe Hustad, Alexandria Coca Cola employee before WWII, is the new district manager of the Coca Cola Export Company in Guam and Saigon.

Sports trivia 1996 – 25 years ago: Dave Hartman, Alexandria Activities Director, has been recognized by the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association as a Certified Athletic Administrator. Also in 1996: Lori Mork has joined the Echo Press sports staff as a reporter/photographer. Mork has served as sports editor and as a composition/computer operator at the Pope County Tribune in Glenwood for a number of years.

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

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