From the Echo Press archives, 2011: Jefferson High School to be sold to Brent and Sally Smith

This week in history in Douglas County.

This week in 1971, 50 years ago: Construction is underway on the new Jansen Pontiac building on South Broadway near Northland Mobile Homes in Alexandria. Part of the building will be Gil’s Repair Shop. Wally Jansen has been in the automobile business for over 16 years and in Alexandria since 1968. Gil Moe brings to Alexandria over 35 years of mechanical and front end alignment and radiator experience.

1971, 50 years ago: Gov. Wendell Anderson announced the award of $38,154 grant to the Alexandria Area Vocational-Technical School by the Upper Great Lakes Regional Commission. The funds will be used to purchase equipment for a variety of job training projects at the school.

Season tickets are now on sale for this summer’s productions at Theatre L'Homme Dieu, Alexandria’s summer professional theatre. Now affiliated with Augsburg College of Minneapolis, the theatre will open with Ibsen’s GHOSTS. Season tickets will come in booklets of six tickets and will cost $13.50. Individual tickets cost $2.50.

1996, 25 years ago: Alexandria has been invited to promote the lakes area during the 14th annual “Taste of Minnesota,” the state’s largest free outdoor food festival. Alexandria has been selected as one of four “guest cities” for the event, which means it will be provided a booth free of charge to promote and market the community during one day during the five-day festival. Despite last year’s rain, the festival drew more than 325,000 people.

A $2.5 million Douglas County Courthouse renovation will begin this fall. It will be a two-phase project. Phase I begins with the construction of what will be called a “mechanical penthouse,” a new room on the top floor for all of the county’s mechanical equipment. It also includes installation of new fire sprinkler systems, renovation of office space on the first and second floors and making the courthouse handicap accessible. Phase II will begin in 1998.


2011, 10 years ago: Alexandria hosted the 22nd annual Minnesota State Harley Owners Group (HOG) Rally with more than 650 motorcycle riders in attendance. One of the rally’s highlights was a parade of motorcycles that cruised along Broadway. The HOG riders lined up at Apol’s dealership and traveled a 10-mile route.

Jefferson High School is in the process of being sold. After a closed session to discuss the merits of two offers, the board unanimously approved a purchase agreement for the JHS property from Brent and Sally Smith.

Central School pool in Alexandria will soon become a cherished memory for some as the aging structure is demolished to make room for a larger parking lot next to the Douglas County Services Center.

Just for fun – 1971 - 50 years ago: One of the most popular beaches operated by the Alexandria Recreation Department is now the beach known as Kiwanis Beach on the south end of Lake Le Homme Dieu. The beach is now guarded daily and has a roped off swimming area. The department has two other beaches that are guarded, the beach on the north end of Lake Latoka and the City Park Beach.

Sports trivia 1971 – 50 years ago: Rick Banke pitched his first no hitter of the 1971 season for the Alexandria Legion team in a 5-0 win over Villard at Knute Nelson Memorial Field. The young right hander was in control of the game from the beginning despite a lead-off walk by Jeff Gaffaney in the first inning. Banke walked only the one batter and struck out 12 Villard batsmen on the way to the victory. Only two other runners reached base for Villard but they were the result of two Alex errors. Banke also helped offensively as he drilled a double to center with the bases loaded and drove three big runs home in the sixth inning.

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

What To Read Next
Get Local