From the Echo Press archives, 1997: Deformed frogs found near Lake Mary

This week in history in Douglas County.

Picture of Rachel Barduson
Rachel Barduson

This Week in 1997 – 25 years ago: More deformed frogs have been found near a resort at Lake Mary southwest of Alexandria this week. Frogs and tadpoles with malformed body parts have also been found in Winona County in southeastern Minnesota. Last week an Iowa boy vacationing at Sportsmen’s Paradise Resort on Lake Mary found a five-legged frog in a drainage ditch near the resort. The next day a research professor from the University of Minnesota Morris came to the resort to collect 100 frogs. Of that sampling, 10 more showed some deformities, including one with only one eye. Biologists are studying the frog deformities, trying to determine if the malformations are the result of chemicals in the environment, parasites, or some other cause.

1962, 60 years ago: The worst storm in 25 years ripped through Douglas County, leaving in its wake a damaged roof over 10 rooms of the Viking Motel, two flipped-over airplanes at Chandler Field, uprooted trees and damaged buildings. The Alex Habaala farmhouse in Moe Township was ripped from its foundation, causing injury to two of its occupants.

1972, 50 years ago: The new 30-by-50 foot Children’s Barnyard building is to be opened for public enjoyment at the Douglas County Fair. The Barnyard has been managed by the Evansville Future Farmers of America since 1966 in conjunction with the county fair. The Barnyard has grown from its first year when it was housed in a canvas tent, to the steel bus garage, which was shared with the poultry division for the past five years. Major attractions in the past have been the hatching of baby chicks from eggs in glass incubators. The Barnyard will also feature, if possible, a dairy cow and calf, a beef cow and calf, goat and kid, horse and colt, sow and litter, and sheep and lamb, as well as a duck and goose pond.

1987, 35 years ago: The District 206 School Board voted to seek a $4.5 million bond issue to build a new elementary school. The school would be built on 16 acres already owned by the district and will hold grade levels from kindergarten to sixth grade.

1997, 25 years ago: After many months of construction, the new Alexandria Clinic will be open for business. The $5.3 million project includes many rooms flooded with light, plenty of parking and heated in-drive that will remain ice-free in the winter.


Thanks to a $755 donation from the Sunrise Lions Club of Alexandria, the Douglas County Library was able to purchase many big-print books for the visually impaired.

2012, 10 years ago: Max and Lyla Radil have been honored as the University of Minnesota’s 2012 Farm Family of the Year at Farmfest. The Radil family, just south of Alexandria, was recognized as a Century Farm in 1998 for being in constant family operation for more than 100 years. Max and Lyla are the fifth generation to own it. The farm is a dairy, beef and crop operation.

Just for fun, 1912 – 110 years ago: Fashion Editorial: What has become of the mother who taught her daughters to dress in simple, sweet girlish clothes? Not long ago the press hurled innuendos against the girls whose dresses did not even reach the ankles – how would they label the skintight waists of today?

1972 – 50 years ago: If you can’t go to Munich for the 1972 Summer Olympics, a magnificent Magnavox Portable Color TV is the next best way to go, with an 18-inch screen and automatic fine-tuning. Only $299 at Carlson Magnavox Home Entertainment Center, 630 Broadway in Alexandria.

Sports Trivia, 1987 – 35 years ago: Wayne Elton became the first local golfer to win the Executive Division in the Resorters Golf Tournament.

1997 – 25 years ago: The Minneswaska High School board approved the addition of boys swimming to its schedule. It will be on a two-year trial basis.

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

What To Read Next
Get Local