From the Echo Press archives, 1972: Brandon Fin and Feather Club releases 800 pheasants

This week in history in Douglas County.

Picture of Rachel Barduson
Rachel Barduson

This Week in 1997 – 25 years ago: The Alexandria Festival of the Lakes will celebrate its fifth birthday this August. The series of four chamber music concerts featuring internationally renowned artists will be held at the Alexandria Area Arts Association Theatre, 618 Broadway. The Festival also features Masterclasses, giving area artists the opportunity to work one-on-one with professionals. This year’s Masterclasses include direction in piano, strings, flute and clarinet.

1972, 50 years ago: Ron’s Railroad Salvage has moved to a new location on Highway 29 North across from Great Plains Supply. The “New Ron’s” has more room which allows not only damaged railroad shipments but stocks of goods bought from insurance companies as claims settlements. Plans for the future include a wholesale furniture outlet.

1982, 40 years ago: Water tests have been performed monthly on Lakes Henry and Agnes during the past two summers by the Alexandria Parks Department. The tests have fallen within the standards of the Minnesota State Department of Health each time. Testing was suggested by Sam Schultz, chairman of the Alexandria Park Board. Lakes Winona, Henry and Agnes were “literally” slew holes because of the “old sewage plant,” said Schultz. He has hopes that someday the old Lake Henry Public Beach in the Alexandria City Park will again be used.

1997, 25 years ago: A more conclusive traffic study is needed to determine whether traffic lights are needed at the intersection of county roads 22 and 82, and the entrance to the Douglas County Fairgrounds. The City of Alexandria has been working with Douglas County to see if the busy intersection warrants traffic lights. The city is involved because it is responsible for 3rd Avenue West, which becomes County Road 82. Because a state highway is not involved, the project would have to be funded entirely with local funds split between the city and the county. The cost of the project will be about $100,000, which is why local transportation officials want to make sure the lights will do some good.

2012, 10 years ago: Construction is underway for a new building on the lake front of the Lake Geneva Christian Center campsite. The building will consist of a dining hall and kitchen on the upper level and a meeting space for ministries on the lower level. The previous dining hall was built in 1973. Construction is projected to cost $4.5 million, and approximately $3.5 million has been raised thus far. The center relies on donations to continue the renovation, so if funds run dry, construction comes to a halt. Planning for the new building began more than 10 years ago.


Just for fun, 1997 – 25 years ago: If a traffic light is built for the intersection of County Roads 22 and 82, and the Douglas County Fairgrounds entrance, it would be the only signal-controlled intersection in Douglas County that is not on a state highway. The lights on Broadway are part of State Highway 29 and the new lights on McKay Avenue are part of State Highway 27 East.

Sports Trivia, 1972 – 50 years ago: State Representative Jon Haaven participated in the pheasant release sponsored by the Brandon Fin and Feather Club. Working closely with sportsmen in the Brandon, Millerville and Leaf Valley area and with members of the FFA chapter, the Fin and Feather Club has released approximately 800 young birds. In its effort to improve the region’s pheasant population, the group has also banded each bird. Club member Paul Strom, a graduate of the Natural Resources program at Brainerd Tech, urged cooperation from the public. Anyone finding a dead pheasant should return the band to the club along with the date, location, and possible cause of death.

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

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