I noticed something interesting when I checked our web site traffic numbers for April. See the three big spikes? Those those coincide with our blog posts on the Hornettes
and the Santrizos family
of the Convention Grill.
(The blue line shows web traffic (number of visits) for April 15-29. To compare, the orange line shows traffic for the same period the previous month, March 15-29.)
We received the most comments about those three posts as well the most visitors. Usually, I post reader comments on Monday but you can easily go back and read them this week, as compared to other weeks when I get comments from posts that are several weeks or months past. Instead, I thought I'd give you a behind the scenes look at our web site.
A few museum visitors and board members have asked me how much information I know about our web visitors. To assure anyone with fears of "Big Brother" type tracking, I don't know anything about individuals. Google Analytics doesn't report any personal information; your name, email, location, and demographics remain private.
However, I do see information about our visitors as a whole, in terms of how they interact with our site. The numbers show how many are first-time visitors, what pages are visited the most, and how visitors access our site (through a search, by typing in our address or from a link on another web site).
This helps me see what kinds of posts attract the most traffic, and whether publicity efforts actually reach the public. Facebook is the top referring web site, by the way. Because of that, I figure updates to our Facebook site are worth my time.
I do see the number of visitors from each country, but not towns or even states. This data might be more important for multi-national companies, but not for us. As one would expect for an organization focused on a single Minnesota town, we attract visitors almost exclusively from the United States. I would love to know if they're all Edina folks but Google Analytics doesn't provide that detail.
A few other countries bring a handful of visitors per month (with the most from the English-speaking countries of Canada and Australia), but I imagine our foreign visitors as the ones who send us strangely worded spam emails. Or perhaps we have some Edina expats reading of home?
In any case, I don't spend a lot of time interpreting the numbers. I'm just glad we have visitors and that the numbers are growing. Otherwise, I'm just talking to myself here and what would be the point of that?
To give you an idea of the web site's growth, see the difference between April 2012 (blue line) vs. April 2011 (orange line). It looks pretty dramatic, doesn't it?
In reality, we're still pretty small. Even with a record number of visits last month, our web site had just 2,200 visits in April. I'm OK with that. We still reach a far bigger audience than we could with our limited hours at the Edina History Museum and our web site helps us achieve our mission of educating the public about the great history of Edina.
Thank you for being one of our 2,200-plus visitors this month!
a. Edina-Morningside Junior and Senior High School, as it was called when it opened in 1949?
b. Edina High School, as it was called after the villages of Morningside and Edina merged in 1966?
c. Edina East, as it was called after Edina West (below) was built in 1972?
d. Edina Community Center, as it is now?
Careful, your answer will no doubt reveal your age -- or at least your longevity in Edina. People often tell me to go to the high school, when they mean the Community Center. Believe me, I was confused the first few months on the job here.
Here's a circa 1990s aerial of the original high school.
Looking south at Edina's first high school, built in 1949. The photo, taken in the 1990s, shows the building next to Highway 100 on the right. Lake Cornelia is visible on the upper left. Other large buildings are: Concord Elementary (upper center) and South View Middle School (lower left) Kuhlman Athletic Field is the oval in the center.
A recent Photo Friday featured the Ernie Davis farm
, site of the new Edina West High School below. (Excuse me, that's now just "Edina High School." I guess I'm revealing my age a little.) So this week I thought I'd give you a closer look at the high schools, both old and new.
I should have noted in the original post that Edina West was the second school building constructed on the Davis farm. Valley View Middle School (square lighter building at left) was built in 1964. West was built in 1972. (See current map of buildings here
.)Happy Friday, everyone! Reminder: Free tours of Edina's historic buildings: St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, Minnehaha Grange and Cahill School on Tuesday, May 8. For more information, see our home page. Hope to see you there!
The City of Edina holds a volunteer recognition event every spring to give the community's many service groups an opportunity to publicly thank an outstanding volunteer from their organization. I love seeing what good people have done for this community. (I also dread my public speaking part of the evening.)
This was what I had written down to say about our honoree Frank McGoldrick. (What I actually said, I don't know. It's all a blur, thankfully.)
Every year, when I sit at this wonderful Volunteer Awards ceremony, someone comes up to me and says, "Next year, you should nominate Frank." A few years ago, Frank McGoldrick was our very deserved award winner from the Edina Historical Society, and the next year, people still
came up to me and said, "Next year, you should nominate Frank." Every
year we could nominate Frank because does so much for the Edina Historical Society. He volunteers at the museum at least six hours per week, and works even more outside the office. Frank has served as membership chair for more than 7 years and has been instrumental in more than doubling our membership dollars in that time
This year Frank has gone above and beyond his usual level of above and beyond
by taking on our first fundraiser concert
. (featuring the Peterson Family on Thursday, June 14.)
We gratefully inherited the successful 10-year concert tradition started by the Golden K Kiwanis and their fearless leader Herb Telshaw who established a winning formula. Even so, we had some second thoughts about taking on this big project: we didn't want to be the ones to mess this one up.
Once Frank stepped up to chair the event, I never once worried about our concert being a success. He knows exactly what needs to be done and does it. Frank has sold ads, negotiated contracts, figured out logistics and is now selling tickets. (Talk to him after the ceremony and he'll be happy to sell you yours.)
That is on top of his usual membership chair duties, as well as pitching in and helping at everything from prepping mailings, running errands, helping researchers, answering phones… the list is too long to recount here. I can summarize his role by saying he is my right arm.
Moreover, Frank is perhaps the nicest man you'll ever meet. He somehow finds that line of being proactive without overstepping his role, of getting sponsorships without being pushy, of thinking creatively and still being practical.
He's a great guy. Everyone will tell you that. I'm even certain that next year
, as I sit at the volunteer awards ceremony, more than one person will come up to me and say, "Next year, you should nominate Frank."Thank you to all our volunteers!We can honor only one volunteer at the city award ceremony, but I want to acknowledge the work of all our volunteers, who do everything from assisting with exhibits, helping researchers, selling merchandise, transcribing documents, painting and cleaning, conducting oral history interviews, and much more.
I work 30 hours at the museum as the only staff person. We also have four part-time interpreters who present living history programs at the historic Cahill School and Minnehaha Grange Hall. We couldn't do nearly as much without the time and talents of our volunteers. Thank you!Mayor's Award winners:
We were also proud of Edina Historical Society volunteers who were presented with awards from the City.Marshall Schwartz won the Mayor's Award for Senior volunteers for his work on the city's Veterans' Memorial Committee. He spent more than 1,000 hours of research
through records at the museum, other historical societies, area churches, online records and more to identify and document the lives of 32 veterans who died in service to their country. We got to know Marshall from his many hours at the museum and I am happy to say that he is now serving on the Edina Historical Society Board of Directors. Elizabeth Montgomery
won the Mayor's Award for Youth volunteers for her work with the Heritage Preservation Board, as well as her many other volunteer commitments including volunteering at our summer day camp
at historic Cahill School. Elizabeth has been a joy for our school marms and we appreciate her finding time in her busy school and volunteer schedule to assist at camp.
If you are interested in volunteering at the Edina History Museum or at our living history programs at Cahill School and Minnehaha Grange, please contact me
This article first appeared in the Spring 2005 issue of the Edina Historical Society newsletter. I thought of it again after my seven-year search for the Santrizos of the Convention Grill came to fruition. Here's the back story on how this journey began.
I’m no Indiana Jones. I don’t travel the world, swing over pits of poisonous snakes, and machete my way through a jungle to find ancient artifacts. But nonetheless, I am a treasure hunter.
Sure, many times people just walk in our door and give us great things. But sometimes, we have to hunt down things we want. Okay, so I’m never in any danger… I just search the Internet or the Edina directory, pick up the phone and simply ask (or sometimes gently nag) to get treasures for our collection.
To get items for our (2005) Morningside exhibit, we sent out flyers to the Morningside neighborhood, made personal pleas at Edina-Morningside Women’s Club meetings sent emails, and called dozens of people.
In response, we got several photos, Boy Scout and Edina-Morningside Church items (on loan), a Morningside phone book, papers from the re-annexation vote, and Constable George Weber’s handgun. (That's George with the gun in the photo at left. Yes, I know the quality of the photo is horrible. I scanned it from an creased newspaper clipping, undated and unnamed, but I'm guessing the source is the Minneapolis Tribune.)
While it seems un-Minnesotan to be so forthright, I also ask exhibit visitors to add to our collection.
As a result, Susan Linhoff Peck (whose parents started Linhoff Photo in Morningside) brought in a 1914 Morningside color map she found at a St. Cloud auction, and Betty Helmerichs O’Neil donated her 1939 Morningside Girl Scout uniform. Wendy Anderson sent us the mayoral badge and a photo of her grandfather Oscar Seidemann, former mayor of Morningside who “never left the house without his hat.”
We knew we wanted more information and photos about the Morningside businesses, so we tried to find the original owners. Finding women is especially difficult because their names change with marriage; some names like Carlson are just too common to be useful.
EHS volunteer Martha Johnson went to school with Marilyn Carlson, whose mother ran Carlson’s Odd Shop on Sunnyside and France Avenue. After some digging Martha found her, back in Edina after living in other states for several years. Marilyn was happy to share her photos with us.
I also wanted childhood photos of Curt Carlson, (not related to the Carlsons of Carlson’s Odd Shop) one of Minnesota’s wealthiest men who started his business career as a Morningside paper boy. I called Carlson Companies and was promised a call back. When I didn’t hear anything, Martha contacted the Carlson family, her former neighbors in the Country Club neighborhood. We got a photo of Curt and neighborhood friends at one of his birthday parties (see below), as well as his parent’s wedding photo.
Carlson’s parents ran a Morningside grocery store that they later sold to Lars Belleson.
(Belleson's grocery is now the new co-op, but you might know the name from the 50th and France men's clothing store founded by son Wes Belleson.)
And yes, sometimes great stuff just walks in the door. One man asked why we didn’t have any photos of Joyce’s Bakery.
When I said we were looking for the former owners, he said, “Well, that’s me.” Stan Rice bought the bakery from the Joyce family in the 1950s, and kept the name because of its fame in South Minneapolis and Edina. He turned out the same great breads and little cherry pies as his predecessor. He’s going to sort through his business stuff and return with items for our collection
.Flash forward to today: I spoke (wrote) too soon regarding Joyce's Bakery. Stan did not return with photos and it should come to no surprise to you after reading this post that I didn't leave it at that. I called him and found he had been having health issues. Understandably, looking through old business files didn't fall at the top of his list but he planned to get to it when he felt better. After some time, I called his number again and found it disconnected.
I've called a few Rice families since then, all very nice, but not related to the Joyce's Bakery owner. The search continues.....You might notice that the 2005 story didn't mention the Santrizos or the Convention Grill. At that point, we had some photos of the Convention in our collection so I wasn't looking for more necessarily. It wasn't until people talked so warmly about the former owners that I started my search for the photos of Pete and Christine Santrizos that were published on the blog yesterday - seven years after my quest began. You can help!Join us in our treasure hunt. See our wish list below,
or look through your own boxes of memorabilia for anything that tells Edina’s story. These are just a few of my many wants for the museum:
- Edina neighborhood history. I would love to document every neighborhood in Edina as well as we have the Morningside neighborhood.
- Morningside phone directories. We have a complete Edina phone directory collection, but we have only a couple from Morningside when it was a separate village from 1920 to 1966.
- Photos by Edina professional photographers, including Don Berg, Dick Palen, Powell Krueger, and Dwight Miller. We would especially like any taken of Edina news events.
- Southdale businesses over the years. And we'd love to know where the original bird cage went. (See lower left in the 1963 postcard below.)
- Other Edina businesses, whether they are retail shops at 50th and France, restaurants, or industry like the southwest area gravel pits and the dump.
- Edina's history-making teams, such as the first girls' sports teams or our many state champions. I'd like to have all the state tournament programs, team photos, action photos, jerseys, etc.
For more information on donating, please email me
or call me at the museum at 612-928-4577.
Many of you remember Pete Santrizos, as he is pictured in the Edina Sun photo (dated Nov. 6, 1973) below. Pete held court behind the counter of the Sunnyside and France business and knew every customer, even if they had visited only once before. "His memory is terrific," reporter Debbie Pint wrote. "When someone walks in, he can usually recall their name, who they married, what they're doing."
The photo was taken after Pete had run the business for 32 years, taking over the struggling new restaurant on Nov. 1, 1941. At that point, he had no plans of closing, but his customers urged the local newspaper to write about the grandfatherly man who dispensed wisdom behind the counter as well as juicy hamburgers.
See the menu boards on the wall behind Pete? Here's one for those famous burgers ("hamburger steak") saved by the family:
Pete pointed out that in all the years that he ran the Convention, the only thing that changed were the prices. Even now, while the ownership has changed, the Convention's decor has changed little from when Pete bought the Convention in 1941 with a $200 loan from a relative.
Here Pete is pictured about the same time he bought the Morningside restaurant.
Pete came a long way from a lonely 15-year-old boy immigrating to the United States without his family in 1911. He started in the restaurant business washing dishes and sent money back home to his parents in Greece.
His wife Christine (below) was his life partner as well as his business partner, who worked in the kitchen creating nine homemade soups and was famous for her "Christine salad." They lived in southwest Minneapolis, just seven blocks away from the Convention. Pete walked to work every day before 8 a.m. and returned home after 10 p.m. The Convention wasn't just their home away from home; it was home, where they spent nearly all of their waking hours with their three boys: Nicholas, Harry and Mario.
A 1942 photograph (below) in the family photo album shows the boys standing on Sunnyside Road with the Convention in the back ground. (You can also see the partial sign for the Westgate Dairy Store, which shared space in the building with the Convention. The dairy store, which was better known as simply Dennison's, later moved to the small building west of the parking lot. But that's another story for another day.)
"We never felt like we were working for our customers... they were our friends," Christine told Edina Sun reporter Jane Sims Podesta when the Santrizos retired in August 1976 after 35 years in the business.
Aren't these the greatest photos? I especially love the last one, with the distinct exterior of the Convention in the background. I have searched for photos of the much beloved Pete and Christine Santrizos ever since we created an exhibit about the Morningside neighborhood in 2005. Finally, seven years later, I have connected with the family, who graciously allowed us to copy photos from their albums. I have a long wish list of photos and artifacts for our collection. Since we're on the topic of Morningside businesses, we have successfully hunted down photos of Burr Cheever's barber shop and Carlson's Odd Shop. I still want photos of the interior and owners of Morningside Hardware and Joyce's Bakery,
among others.If you know these owners or their families (or know someone who knows somebody who does), please contact me. Also, please share your memories of the Convention Grill and Pete and Christine by commenting here.If you missed last Friday's post, check out the 1941 Convention ad here as well as two other Convention Grill posts here
One of our researchers found this ad for the Convention Grill (known then as just the Convention) in a 1941 issue of the Town Crier, a monthly magazine for the Country Club neighborhood.I love the photo of the Morningside diner (3912 Sunnyside Avenue), but the text is truly priceless. For those who might have difficulty reading it from the image, here it is:Just as the name implies, the CONVENTION is the gathering place of residents of Metropolitan Edina.Men have found it particularly convenient in their rush for those important early morning appointments to forget about disturbing the whole household, and enjoy a real "He Man's Breakfast", and be on their way.Here's just a suggestion that will make a hit with your husband, ladies; on maid's night out, make a date to meet him at the CONVENTION for dinner, then get the youngsters together, and walk over, it will sharpen the appetite of the whole family and save you a lot of fuss.If you're in line for a real tasty snack, after the theatre or card party, make a stop at the CONVENTION, we know there will be something on the menu to satisfy the hunger of everyone in the party. Yes, truly the CONVENTION fills the bill for Edina families who enjoy the best in good eating. On each return visit to the CONVENTION Restaurant, you'll find more and more of your friends and neighbors, enjoying the comfortable, cozy, informality of the CONVENTION'S surroundings.
I can't decide what phrase makes me smile more: "He Man's Breakfast," or "maid's night out." The latter does bring to mind the old joke: Q. What does an Edina housewife make for dinner? A. Reservations. I know I'll be cooking tonight, but maybe we'll go to the Convention Grill (excuse me, CONVENTION) on "mom's night out" this weekend. Happy Friday, everyone!
- For more on the Convention Grill, see two previous blog posts here.
- I have connected with the family of the original owners, Pete and Christine Santrizos, and will post photos of the family next week.
Does this poster look familiar to you?If you lived in Edina during the mid-1970s, it should. After all, the Harold and Maude movie poster hung in the Westgate Theater window for more than two years, from mid-1972 to June 1974. Yes, that's a record-breaking
1,957 showings. (For more on that and the Sunnyside and France movie theater in Morningside, see our previous post here.
)Steven Johnson worked at the theater and got the poster when the movie finally closed. The poster shows some age, but as Steve pointed out it was in use for much longer than the average movie run. He speculated that the poster may have first been on display at the Suburban World theater in Minneapolis when the movie opened in 1971.
This poster with simple text on a white background is the original poster. Later versions featured drawings or photos of stars Ruth Gordon and Bud Cort, who attended anniversary screenings at the Westgate. (Note that the movie rating predates the current system; instead of being rated PG, it's GP.)
Steve brought in the poster with his friend and fellow Harold and Maude fan Randy Greene, who helped organize the recent showing at the historic Heights Theater. Despite having seen the movie for many of those 1,957 showings as an employee, Steve still appreciates the cult classic.
Thanks you to both Steve and Randy for choosing the Edina Historical Society as a permanent home for the poster. They also brought in a group of newspaper clippings and ads that will be housed in our research files.
Do you have anything with an Edina connection that you think belongs in the Edina Historical Society collection? Please contact me for information about donating. We're a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization; the value of your donation may be tax deductible as allowed by law. The Society does not assign value.
A great majority of our items do not have a huge cash value, but they are priceless in terms of telling the history of our community. As I always say, we can't order Edina history from a catalog; our collection is a result of many years of donations from community-minded people.
1. Hornettes and Cougarettes
Last week's blog post Hornette history told through items in our collection
generated a few comments.
Karen McArthur noted that Edina West had its own dance team, the Cougarettes. "We share all of the traditions, dancing from 1972 – 1982. Some of our traditions have become Hornette traditions. For example, one of the kicks I saw in a recent Hornette dance on YouTube was made up by our 1977-78 Cougarette captain, Leslee Owens. I bet someone has photos of the Hornettes and Cougarettes dancing together from that decade. I’ll see if I can find any old photos."In the mean time, here are the Cougarette pages from the first year Edina West was open (1972-1973). The new squad
had just four veterans from the Hornettes.
As you can see by the comments on last week's post or on the many online news stories that readers' opinions are split into two camps:
1. It's a big deal that a 53-year-old name is changing; or
2. It's not a big deal that two letters are dropped from a name.I'm not going to tell you where I stand on the issue. I don't think it's my role to affect history, just to record it.You might think that historical societies would automatically campaign to preserve tradition. You would be wrong. Our mission is to collect, preserve and interpret it. There is a difference. For example, when Clancy Drug closed at 50th and France, the Edina Historical Society didn't lead an effort to save the long-standing Edina business. We stayed on the sidelines not because there weren't a lot of Clancy Drug (and Toyland) fans in our organization -- because there were -- but because business owners must make the decisions that affect their own livelihood. Instead, we worked with the owners to collect menus, signs, dishes, a table, napkin holder, hundreds of photos and other artifacts for posterity.If you listened to conversations among visitors and volunteers at the Edina History Museum last week, you would find opinions split on the Hornette/Hornet name. But there is one point that everyone supports: we should collect, preserve and tell their story. And I'm glad to say that several people have offered to look for photos and other artifacts about the Hornettes -- and let's not forget, the Cougarettes.
2. Normandale MotelA couple of people commented on the Normandale Motel, after seeing a postcard recently added to our collection.
Brent wrote: "I remember it was across Normandale from the Ho Jo. It was there until at least 1970 if I remember. I think there was a liquor store next to it."Dan Lapham found a photo of the motel on the Minnesota Historical Society web site.
See photo here.
The 1953 photo by the Minneapolis Star Journal
shows a different address than the one listed on the postcard (7740 instead of 7816 Normandale Road). The sign is also slightly changed, showing "Smitty's Motel." As I was looking through MHS's wonderful online Visual Resources database, I found a few other Edina hotels and motels.
Because the Biltmore Motel
was in the heart of Edina on Vernon Avenue, it features more prominently in residents' memories than the businesses at the border on the 494 strip. While those catered to tourists in town for sports at Metropolitan Stadium or the Met Center, the Biltmore was referred to as Edina's "guest bedroom." Edina residents often put up their out of town guests at the Biltmore
, and many newcomers also spent their first days and weeks there while they looked for more permanent housing.
What are we missing? Can you think of any others that operated in Edina? Do you have any photos or postcards to share? 3. Edina's first fundraiser concert I hope you join us at our first fundraiser concert featuring the Peterson family on Thursday, June 14, at the Edina Performing Arts Center at Edina High School.
Ticket sales support our programs (such as this blog.) We're excited to have the Petersons, not only because they're known throughout the country for their talents, but also because they're local history makers. Matriarch Jeanne Arland Peterson is in the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame
as well as the Museum of Broadcasting Hall of Fame. Her children also are remarkably talented.
Daughter Patty has won seven Minnesota Music Awards, son Paul has performed with Prince (among many other big names), son Billy has toured with the Steve Miller band, daughter Linda is internationally known for her original jazz composition “Too Late to Leave Early" and performs throughout the country and abroad. They will be joined by a third generation of performers, including some Edina High School graduates.Tickets are available in advance at the Edina Senior Center, online at Seat Yourself or at the door the night of the performance. (We sell tickets at the Edina History Museum as well, but our hours are limited. Maybe that will change with proceeds generated from this concert, huh? Fingers crossed.) Tickets are $20.
Get a group together and make a night of it!For more on the Petersons, see this WCCO special on the family.
I have to admit that I had heard only Patty and Paul perform before our concert committee booked the group, but now I'm a big Jeanne Arland Peterson fan. Just watch her play piano... amazing!
If you're busy that night, you can still help. Donate any amount to the Society and your name will be listed on the program as one of our supporters. Please send your check to Edina Historical Society, 4711 West 70th Street, Edina, MN 55435. Write "concert donation" in the memo line of the check, or write "anonymous" if you don't wish to be listed.
Here are the Hornettes dance line when they began 53 years ago, as pictured in the 1959 Whigrean, the Edina High School yearbook.
Here are the Hornettes today. (More specifically, at the Homecoming Football Game in 2011)
The Hornettes have danced at Edina games for the past 53 years. (If you wonder at the "blue skinned" reference in the yearbook story, just think of performing in a skirt on a chilly autumn night.)
Next year, the team might be the "Hornets" as the school district plans to initiate consistent naming for all its teams. (If you've missed the news stories... where have you been? Most of the major TV news stations, the Star Tribune
, and the online newspaper Edina Patch
have all covered the story.)Former
Minnesota First Lady Mary Pawlenty was among the crowd that showed up at last week's School Board meeting to make a case for keeping the name the same. "Do not mistake this as a small concern over a name change," said Pawlenty, who was a Hornette in the late 1970s.Here's Mary back when she was
Mary Elizabeth Anderson (far right) when she attended Edina East High School. A 1979 graduate, she was the co-captain of the Hornettes.
Here is the two-page yearbook feature on the Hornettes.
The Edina Historical Society has a Hornette costume from the early 1980s, donated a couple of years ago by Suzy Mears. (Note her initials on the letter E.) The girls normally had to turn in their handmade uniforms at the end of the year, but Suzy's team was allowed to keep theirs because the line was getting new uniforms the following year.
Whether the dance team is the Hornets or the Hornettes, the Edina Historical Society will continue to document and preserve their story. We would love to have actual photos of the team's activities, rather than only the photos from the yearbooks. (As you might have noticed, it's difficult to get a good image from a yearbook, especially if you don't want to break the binding.)
If you have photos or artifacts to donate to the museum, please contact me
.We have an almost complete set of yearbooks at the Edina History Museum. Feel free to come in during regular museum hours and browse.
The United States was on the brink of war in June 1941, but the local newspaper focused on simple pleasures, like fishing, golf, pets and horses.
The Town Crier started as The Crier in 1930, a monthly newspaper for the Country Club District. In 1941, the name changed as well as its format. Instead of focusing exclusively on Edina, it broadened its scope to the surrounding suburbs and changed from a newspaper to a glossy lifestyle magazine.
News stories might get a passing mention, such as the "Taxpayers' Headache" story (left). But the real focus was on feature stories with great photography.
I love the older newspaper when I do historical research, but you can't beat the magazine version for pure entertainment.
The photos of the fishermen (fisherboys?) caught my attention because I often see kids on the creek still today. I also think some of those youngsters probably still live in Edina. Judging by the year and the age of the "young lads" (I'm guessing 8 to 10 years old), those fisherman probably graduated in the early 1950s.
The story reads: "Some people say fish aren't smart, but the small army of Edina lads who turned up on Minnehaha Creek to open the season on that warm afternoon in May claim they are -- plenty. Herbert Anderson, Bill Wood, Tom McMahon, John Covell, David McGarvey, Herb Groettum, Chase Milsop, Jerry Dostal and Bobby Hale.... say that the fishes' spies, sunning themselves on the bank, saw their party coming, zoomed back into the water, and then scurried up and down the creek at top speed, warning the finny gentry not to make suckers of themselves by biting. Not even Johnny Rossiter, up in the tree above, untangling his line, got a bite.:"
The war might not have featured prominently on the Town Crier's pages, but there were subtle references. In the "Taxpayers' Headache" story, the final line bemoans the tripling of taxes but adds "feel sorry for yourself if you like, but remember the people of Europe are not eating." I even think the boys' description of the fish as spies shows that they were attuned to the war, if only through popular radio shows of the day.
In the end, the war could not be ignored. The Town Crier ceased publication in 1941 or 1942, most likely after the bombing of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, when the United States was fully engaged in World War II and resources for printing lifestyle magazine were scarce.
Cover of April 1941 Town Crier
I don't know when the last issue was published because our Town Crier
collection is incomplete. If you have some tucked away that you can donate, please contact me
. Assignment Edina:
I'd love to do a "Then and Now" exhibit, featuring historic photos and a photographers' take on the same scene today. Here's your assignment should you choose to accept it: Take a photo of boys (or girls) fishing on the creek today and send it in. (Or shoot a modern day scene of any Edina historic photograph, either from our collection or your own family photo album.) If you'd like to work on this exhibit, please call the museum at 612-928-4577 or email me
If you ever find yourself free during museum hours
, stop in and flip through the Town Crier
(and its predecessor The Crier
). It's great entertainment... and all free.