From the Echo Press archives, 1971: Nonstop Alex-Minneapolis bus route replaces train route

This week in history in Douglas County.

This week in 1971, 50 years ago: In the wake of Burlington Northern’s decision to drop rail passenger service through Alexandria, Greyhound Lines West has announced a special nonstop run from Alexandria to Minneapolis.

1971, 50 years ago: Construction has started on a 50-room addition to the Alexandria Holiday Inn, according to innkeeper John Grussing Jr. The addition will bring the total number of rooms available to 150 and expected to open in June of this year.

Bellanca Aircraft Corporation has cancelled plans to move its Osceola, Wisconsin plant to Alexandria. The decision was announced by Bellanca President Robert DePalma, who said that the Osceola plant, which had been destroyed by a fire in March, would be rebuilt. Prior to the fire, Bellanca had planned to move the Osceola plant to Alexandria. Osceola had been the production site for the aerobatic Citabria for the past 16 years. According to Douglas McConnell, director of sales and marketing for Bellanca, the Alexandria plant will continue to manufacture Bellanca aircraft.

1996, 25 years ago: Officers at the Alexandria Police Department will be going “high-tech” this year with new laptop computers in every squad car. Police Chief Chuck Nettestad announced that his department would receive a $17,678 federal grant from the U.S. Department of Justice through the federal COPS MORE program. That money, along with approximately $4,000 in matching funds set aside by the Alexandria City Council, will be used to purchase six laptop computers, at least a few installed with internal fax modems, and at least one will be carried with a portable computer scanner.

Alexandria Antiques on Broadway has opened for business and is in the former and newly renovated Kolstad building in downtown Alexandria. Manager Judith Ann Zellner has had experience working in several antique stores as well as assisting at antique shows.


2011, 10 years ago: Three young men from Alexandria, Dylan Hauer, 22, Kevin Koep, 23, and Landon Lien, 16, are World War II re-enactors, and over the course of five months, put their skills to the test while filming scenes for the movie "Souvenirs." The movie is expected to be released sometime in May. It is the story of two generations and two wars. It was Hauer, an avid history buff who began re-enacting while in high school, who got the trio involved, not only in re-enacting, but in the war movie.

Sheryl Bakewell, broker associate with RE/MAX Lakes Area Realty, was presented with the RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Award. Bakewell has been working in the real estate industry for 31 years, of which 20 have been with RE/MAX.

Just for fun 1971 – 5 0 years ago: About 4,000 visitors were in attendance for the Anderson Florists and Greenhouse open house on Palm Sunday. They had the opportunity to tour and view the many displays with an abundance of lilies, which had been arranged by the staff, including MarLynn Eastlund, who has assisted Lorraine and Ardyce Anderson for the past 18 years. Vicki Eckdahl also worked on displays. She has been a designer’s assistant for the past two years and plans to make working with flowers her career. Ken Anderson of the nursery department, and Gerald Brown, grower, arranged the courtyard display.

Sports trivia 1971 – 50 years ago: Stan Kaess, Evansville, was one of 10 men recognized for outstanding service to high school athletics for the past 25 years. The citation is made annually and is co-sponsored by the State Coaches Association and the Minneapolis Star and Tribune.

The Alexandria Golf Club opened for the 1971 season on temporary greens on the back nine with plans to place pins on the front by next week, weather permitting. John Basten, golf pro, says that there is more interest in the club than ever before with quite an influx of new members locally and several from the Minneapolis area, bringing the club membership close to 400.

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

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