From the Echo Press archives, 1962: 11 miles of new I-94 open near Fergus Falls

This week in history in Douglas County.

Picture of Rachel Barduson
Rachel Barduson

This Week in 1962 – 60 years ago: Eleven miles of the multi-million dollar Interstate 94 near Fergus Falls has opened. Paving is near completion in a section between Moorhead and Dalton.

1987 – 35 years ago: After spreading 3,000 gallons of paint, workmen are putting the final touches on the Williams Pipeline’s huge storage tanks. The project, including installation of a valve manifold block, cost $43.3 million.

1997 – 25 years ago: Crime doesn’t pay in Douglas County. That’s the message Sheriff Bill Ingebrigtsen hopes to send. He recommended charging a new $10 fee to prisoners as they are booked into the county jail. The fee won’t cost anything to collect and it could generate up to $10,000 a year. The County Board of Commissioners approved the fee.

1972, 50 years ago: New owners of Viking Book and Stationery are Lee Foshaug and Ken Nelson. The two have purchased Viking Book from Paul Scheffel and will continue to handle books, office supplies, artist’s supplies and school supplies as well as office equipment. Nelson comes to the firm with seven years of office equipment sales, most recently with Gaffney’s of Fargo.

The new Country Kitchen restaurant, located one mile south of Alexandria on Highway 29, near the interstate junction, will open its doors on Sept. 14 and will remain open 24 hours a day all year round. Among Country Kitchen’s features will be a 24-hour breakfast menu available and carry-out.


1982, 40 years ago: The second phase of a runway renewal project at Alexandria’s Municipal Airport will begin this fall. It will involve a partial resurfacing of runway 4-22 by Mooney Incorporated of Granite Falls, according to airport manager Lon Levitz. The first phase, a total overhaul of runway 13-31 began in August and is expected to be completed by October. Both runways, built during World War II, had deteriorated badly with networks of cracks and sprouting weeds.

1997, 25 years ago: The Church of St. Mary held an open house to showcase its completely refurbished building. The new church seats 1,500 – more than double the room it previously had. After many years of planning, the church broke ground on the project in May 1996 and dedicated the building in June of this year.

More than 100 cast members, most of them playing the denizens of London’s lower depths, will make Charles Dickens’ London come alive on stage later this month when Alexandria Area Arts Association presents the musical “Oliver!” at Jefferson Senior High School. The sheer number of costumes and the necessity of giving them a 1840s London slum look are special challenges for Becky Ballard, costume director, and her 10 assistants. Tom Akenson is glad to have the opportunity to direct the musical, a play he has wanted to stage since 1972. Joe Capistrant is production manager.

2012, 10 years ago: The Alexandria Area Arts Association will kick off its 2012-13 season this month with the Tony award-winning musical "The Secret Garden." It is “a complex tale that explores not only loss, but ultimately hope,” said production director Ben Klipfel.

Just for fun, 1962 – 60 years ago: The Alexandria public schools opened their doors to 2,773 students last week, surpassing last year’s number by 76. A classroom shortage has resulted in one art class conducting classes in a hallway. The carpentry class will build summer homes that will temporarily serve as classrooms when completed.

Sports Trivia, 1972 – 50 years ago: In 1963, several Alexandria women got together to form the Women’s Horseshoe League. To our knowledge, this is the only women’s horseshoe pitching league in Minnesota. There were ten teams the first year. In 1964 they went to two nights of pitching. This year there are 16 teams with 32 women participating every Tuesday night. In 1963 Arlene Bosek was president of the league.

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

What To Read Next
Get Local