From the Echo Press archives, 1972: Most want Alexandria stores open on Friday nights

This week in history in Douglas County.

Picture of Rachel Barduson
Rachel Barduson

This Week in 1997 – 25 years ago: A project to extend city water to all unserved properties in Alexandria is now estimated to cost $3 million - $700,000 more than planned two months ago. Costs have increased because the project now includes soon-to-be annexed areas and new sewer connections. The council remains strongly committed to the project, however, and voted unanimously to call for bids.

1972, 50 years ago: A survey conducted by the Jefferson High School retailing class under the direction of Elsworth Holm and requested by the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce following a survey conducted by the Alexandria Technical School students, showed that 63% of those surveyed give overwhelming support for having stores open on Friday nights. Monday nights came in second with 56%. Of those surveyed, 66% said that newspaper advertising had the most influence on their buying decisions. Students selected names at random from the telephone directory, surveying 514 people on a variety of questions.

1997, 25 years ago: Two local theater groups will participate in a play festival at the Central Lakes College Theatre in Brainerdth, the 13th biennial Play Festival of the Minnesota Association of Community Theatres. The Alexandria Area Arts Association will present a part of “The Daughters of Edward D. Boit.” Cast members include Lindsay Watts, Alyssa Petefish, Kim Johnson and Melissa Jones. The Prairie Wind Players of Barrett will present a part of “A Piece of My Heart.” Cast members include Dany Peterson, Heidi Boes, Betsy Ostenson, Sharon Brutlag, Gina Ehlers, Brenna Jones and Danni Nelson.

2012, 10 years ago: A building on Alexandria’s North Nokomis that has housed many businesses over the years, from used car dealerships to Cowing Robards rental center, was recently torn down. It’s being replaced by a 12,000 square foot office, showroom and service center for Boomerang Marine and Sports. The project is expected to increase the market value of the land from slightly below $600,000 to $1.14 million.

Doege Precision Machining has changed its name to Alexandria Precision Machining and is now a division of Alexandria Industries. This name change reflects the ability of the Alexandria facility to offer their customers an expanded scope of products and services from the four divisions of Alexandria Industries, all with a single call.


Just For Fun, 1962 – 60 years ago: Jerry Rud served aboard the destroyer USS NOA that retrieved the “Friendship 7” spacecraft that carried Marine Lt. Col. John Glenn on his three-orbit flight around earth. The crewmen brought the shuttle aboard and assisted the astronaut in leaving it. The Mercury-Atlas 6 spacecraft, named Friendship 7, was the first American orbital spaceflight, which took place on Feb. 20, 1962.

1897 - 125 years ago: A new departure has been made at Fifield’s lumber yard. To compete with native lumber, they are selling good dry siding at $11 per thousand. Come and see it.

Sports Trivia, 1972 – 50 years ago: Jefferson High School’s star cager Rick Banke was one of 33 Minnesota school cagers selected to WCCO Radio’s All-State Basketball Team of the Week on Thursday, March 9. Honors were given on “Prep Parade,” devoted for 16 years to the coverage of high school sports and band news.

Also in 1972: Two hundred and sixteen boys have turned out for the fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade wrestling program started by Jefferson High School’s head wrestling coach Ron Pfeffer. Coaching programs are going on at Carlos, as well as Lincoln and Washington elementary schools and it has been necessary to enlist the aid of high school varsity grapplers as coaching assistants. Weights of the boys vary from 50 pounds to 150.

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

What To Read Next