From the Echo Press archives, 1988: Douglas County Hospital bans tobacco use

This week in history in Douglas County.

Picture of Rachel Barduson
Rachel Barduson

This Week in 1948 – 75 years ago: The Kensington Runestone has been on display at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. It was presented to that group by R.S. Thornton, local attorney. The stone will be returned to Alexandria after six months.

1973, 50 years ago: The new Alexandria Area Chamber of Commerce manager is a young man from Windom, Minnesota who just last week was named that city’s Outstanding Young Man of the Year by the Windom Jaycees. He is James Richard Clayton, 34, presently the executive director of the Windom Chamber of Commerce. He also holds down a similar position with the Windom Industrial Development Corp. Clayton will assume his new duties May 1 when he officially replaces long time chamber executive Harvey Hammergren who announced his retirement last month.

School District 206 will have seven new 72-passenger buses next year following an action of the board. The board agreed to advertise for bids to retire seven of the district’s 46 vehicles and replace those units with 72-seat units. All of the units proposed to be replaced have over 100,000 miles, the average being 140,000 miles. The proposed trade-in with the highest mileage is a 1953 Ford with 158,457 miles on it.

1983, 40 years ago: Based on lodging receipts, Douglas County was the most popular tourist area of the Vikingland region in 1981 according to yearly statistics from the Minnesota Tourism Division in St. Paul. Lodging receipts are considered a key indicator of how many tourists vacationed in any given area. In 1981, the county reported $8,640,000 in receipts, compared to $7,676,000 in 1980. That was an increase of 12.6%. Tourists from all over the United States are making plans to visit Douglas County, according to Jim Clayton, executive vice president of the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce. He bases his bright outlook for tourism on inquiries by prospective tourists. In 1982, there were 617 inquiries from 29 states and 1,906 inquiries from over 281 Minnesota cities. Clayton pointed out that total income revenue from yearly tabs on tourist spending amount to $21 million in Douglas County per year.

1988, 35 years ago: Starting July 4, 1988, smoking, or any other use of tobacco will be completely forbidden at the Douglas County Hospital. A hospital-appointed “Smoke-Free” committee recommended the policy, which was passed by the hospital board at its January meeting.


1998, 25 years ago: Janet Karvonen, one of the most widely recognized female athletes in Minnesota, will be the featured speaker at the Alexandria Area Chamber of Commerce annual banquet. The Business Expo, social hour and dinner will be held in the Holidome at the Holiday Inn. A graduate of New York Mills, Karvonen set the high school scoring record of 3,129 points in 1980 and held that record until 1997. Awards and messages will be given by outgoing chamber president Todd Sipe and the 1998 president, Jill Blashack.

2013, 10 years ago: A long-time local and regional law firm Pemberton, Sorlie, Rufer and Kershner, with attorneys in four different locations in Alexandria, Fergus Falls, Detroit Lakes and Wadena, announced the addition of four new attorneys: Paul Johnson, Julie Haseman, Amanda Hanson and Sarah (Tuel) Duffy.

Just for fun, 1898 – 125 years ago: The new creamery in Evansville has started up and 2,100 pounds of milk was received from eleven persons.

Sports Trivia, 1973 – 50 years ago: Mark Olberding, the 6-6 junior center for the Melrose Dutchmen, had himself quite a night. The Dutchmen beat Howard Lake 64-43 and Olberding had just as many points as the whole Howard Lake team, 43. He also pulled down 20 rebounds. Melrose is now 12-2 for the season and looking for their fourth straight trip to the state basketball tourney.

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

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