From the Echo Press archives, 1997: Minnesota gas prices drop to $1.26 a gallon

This week in history in Douglas County.

Picture of Rachel Barduson
Rachel Barduson

This Week in 1997 – 25 years ago: Motorists traveling for the Fourth of July holiday can expect to pay less for gasoline than they did last year, according to AAA Minnesota/Iowa. A recent survey shows the average price of unleaded self-serve gasoline is $1.26 per gallon, 3 cents lower than last July 4. In Alexandria, unleaded gas is selling for $1.27 a gallon, about a penny higher than the state average.

1972, 50 years ago: Tubby and Barb Schurman and family have sold their bakery to Duane Braun of Sauk Centre. Tubby, Barb and family will still work at the bakery, which will still be known as Tubby’s Bakery.

The Alexandria Area Chorus and Orchestra will again sponsor an area wide musical theater production of “Fiddler on the Roof,” America’s most acclaimed musical. Auditions for parts will be held in the music department at Jefferson High School. Interested area residents are encouraged to participate in that a large cast and crew are required for a successful show.

The Chamber of Commerce Welcoming Committee, The Scrollers, paid a visit to the new Scandia Gift Shop and presented a welcoming plaque to the co-managers Steve and Gary Oppel.

Effective July 1, motorists will be permitted to make a right turn on red signals, after stopping, at Minnesota signalized intersections unless specifically prohibited. The driver must yield to all traffic at the intersection, both pedestrian and vehicle, in making the right turn.


1982, 40 years ago: The law firm of McCarten & Tillitt has announced that Steven J. Drummond has joined the Alexandria law firm. Drummond joins John J. McCarten, Ralph S. Tillitt, Paul V. McCarten and Paul R. Johnson. John McCarten has practiced law in Alexandria since 1946. Tillitt joined the firm, then known as Dell & McCarten, in 1956. Paul MCcarten joined the firm in 1976 and Johnson was added in 1980.

1997, 25 years ago: The new Work Force Center-Alexandria will be located in the First Bank building on 7th and Broadway. It will contain three of the area’s busiest job-related agencies. Jobservice of Alexandria and Rehabilitation Services will both be moving from offices on 3rd Avenue, and the Rural Concentrated Employment Program (CEP) will be moving from the Marian Building on Cedar Street.

2012, 10 years ago: Panther Distillery, Minnesota’s first and only legal whiskey distillery, is now open for business in Osakis. Founded in 2010 by owner Adrian Panther, the distillery officially started cooking distilled spirits in May. It took two years of planning and applying for permits to receive the license. To make their line of distilled spirits, Panther Distillery uses a 500-gallon copper still and fresh, local ingredients from area farmers.

The Alexandria School District has been chosen to receive a $16,000 grant to encourage walking and biking to school safely. The Minnesota Department of Transportation awarded grants to 92 Minnesota schools totaling $768,000 through the Safe Routes to School program.

Just for fun,1972 – 50 years ago: Over 3,700 people registered for prizes and over 2,000 meals were served during Grand Opening celebrations at Alexandria Federal Savings and Loan, according to Savings and Loan President Hugo Nelson. The event, which was six hours long, attracted thousands who came to view the new facilities. A serving area for meals was set up behind the new building on a concrete pad which is also the base for the new drive-in depository.

Sports Trivia, 1972 – 50 years ago: Work has begun on grading and leveling the area behind the Alexandria Area Technical Institute and Jefferson Senior High School for practice football fields. The work is part of the project by the Community Recreation Development Council to upgrade athletic facilities without spending tax dollars.

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

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