Drive through the Grandview area of Edina and you'll see Jerry's Hardware, Jerry's Printing and Jerry's Foods. Owner Jerry Paulsen, who began his career behind the counter as a butcher, ended up as one of the largest employers in Edina. Beyond the businesses that bore his name, he also owned Cub Foods on France Avenue, and at one time, a women's clothing store. And that's just in Edina. His "Jerry's Enterprises" now encompasses
37 stores including Cub, County Markets, Save-a-Lot, and Jerry's Foods, as well as various other commercial and real estate interests that include a Jerry's Foods on Sanibel Island, FL. The man behind the name died April 5 at age 89. His funeral is April 10. For a complete obituary, see the Star Tribune. I wrote a story about the history of Jerry's Foods a couple of years ago, when the company donated many photos and other artifacts that trace Jerry's history from his start as a butcher behind the counter at Grandview Market in 1947 to his thriving corporation today. See the story and some great photos here. For being a man in charge of a large corporation, Jerry was just Jerry to his customers. They would find him sitting in the coffee shop or picking up a few items for the dishes he loved to cook at home. There's something so hometown about drinking coffee with the
local grocery store owner. I know his many customers and employees will miss the man who has made his mark on Edina.
This is what the sky looked like yesterday when I drove to the museum.
Looking west on 70th Street at France Avenue. (Side note: the Sinclair station at right is being demolished to make way for retail development.)
Just before 9 a.m. the sky looked ominous. Bad weather doesn't scare me.on a regular museum day. Even if nobody braves the storms to research or see the exhibits, I can work on my backlog of archiving and head to the basement if the emergency siren sounds.But yesterday was not a regular day. We had planned our first big fundraiser concert featuring the Peterson Family.
I chewed my nails as I listened to meteorologists predict nickel-sized hail, potential tornadoes and severe thunderstorms moving through the area about the time we wanted a crowd of customers walking through the Edina Performing Arts Center door for the concert.I fretted all afternoon. Just before the concert, predictions changed. The front had stalled south of us and we would have calm weather until after the concert ended. We still had a slightly smaller crowd than anticipated, but we enjoyed a fabulous performance. (And here I had envisioned spending the evening in the basement with the other ticket holders.)The bottom line: we made money. Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, we had paid for all of our costs up front so every ticket sold meant another $20 for our operating budget. We haven't tallied the figures yet, but I think we did well for our first venture.Will there be a second fundraiser concert?
The planning committee will weigh the pros and cons and decide in the next few months. I personally think it was a great event.Unless someone mistakenly thinks I'm much older than I am. Then all bets are off.
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- Thank you to all who attended and to our generous sponsors!
- Thank you also to our board members and concert committee headed by chairman Frank McGoldrick and the support from Herb Telshaw, who headed up the event for the Golden K Kiwanis until they disbanded last year.
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
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.
Mondays are the day I turn over the reins to our readers. I publish comments written about past posts, which in turn seem to generate more comments. This week, people are talking about Cinema 4 theater, Queen Anne Kiddieland and Richmond Hills neighborhood.
1. Cinema 4 movie theater
- Last week's Monday mashup: Movies in the Southdale area
brought back memories for several readers. Zeke Rice's photos of the movie theater at today's Galleria site generated some discussion among museum visitors and these two blog comments.
Tammy Rodriguez wrote, I fondly remember seeing many great movies at the Southdale Cinema when I was in Elementary School in the early 70's. This was back when it had the original two screens.
I also remember going to Yorktown when it opened, possibly 1973? It was much smaller than Southdale, but they had great movies there, too. I'd love to see some photos of Yorktown.
Thanks for the memories!
Chris wrote: Last night I was watching a special about the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan and my wife and I were discussing where we were when we first heard. So weird that I was trying to explain that I was coming out of a movie at Cinema 4 where the Galleria stands today. Had not thought about that place in years, and now 2x in 2 days…..very fun!
Pony ride photo courtesy of Gwen Thomas.
2. Queen Anne Kiddieland
- I wrote The Valleyfair of yesteryear: Queen Anne Kiddieland
more than a year ago, but we still get comments from folks who recall the small amusement park and search to find out more about the place that brought them so much childhood fun.
Mark Johnson wrote: My dad Dr. Angelo Johnson (Oxboro Clinic) would take us kids there on weekends. In the south end of the park was a dirt quarter midget race track and we had two of the little racers and would compete with other kids for trophies. I remember a kid named Jim Hall had a turquoise car that was faster than everybody else's car and he would win many of the races. The flagman always wore sunglasses and would jump high in the air when he dropped the green and checkered flags. When we weren't racing we were riding the ponies and other rides and drinking those little wax bottles of juice they sold at the concession stand. My recollection is that the park was located approximately where the old Lincoln Del was situated between France and Normandale. I remember there was a swampy pond in the back area of the park where frogs would peep and birds would fly in and out. Tall bulrushes hid the actual water, but I knew it had to be there because I could hear frogs. I miss those times. I love the stories about QAK, and I hadn't heard about the midget race track before. Thanks for writing, Mark. I've been trying to nail down exactly where QAK was located. I've heard the southeast corner of what is now Highway 100 and Interstate 494, but the roadways and buildings there have changed so much over the years that everyone picks a different "modern" building as the site.So you tell me. Take a look at the aerials posted on www.historicaerials.com for that intersection, and see how it has changed over the years. My guess is that the Queen Anne Kiddieland site is essentially in the middle of Interstate 494 today.
Use the Compare feature, and slide the aerial view between today and 1957 and tell me what you think.
3. Photo Friday: Aerial of Richmond Hills neighborhood
- Chris Rofidal kindly provided a photo of the Richmond Hills neighborhood, and I neglected to credit the original donor, Bill and Doreen Just. Chris provided additional information on the background of the photo: Thanks for posting the picture. As I mentioned the original was given to me by Bill & Doreen Just at last years Edina Night to Unite block party. I then had it scanned so it can be saved. I was told by the Just's that a former Star Tribune photographer would fly around and take aerial shots. He did this a lot, but I don't recall his name. Seeing that we are just south of the GrandView District our neighborhood will be impacted with the new development so thanks for making reference to that topic and directing people there."
I know the main focus of the Night to Unite
is crime prevention, but I like that neighbors talk about the history of their homes and neighborhoods as they get to know each other better. If you discover interesting neighborhood history, please share your stories with us. Email me
or comment here.Night to Unite is Tuesday, Aug. 7 this year. For more information, see the Edina Police web site.
4. Edina man helps save Minnesota's oldest manufacturing plant
- Chuck Mooty of Edina and his cousin Paul Mooty have revived a business that dates back from 1865. Normally, I don't write about anything outside of Edina, but this piece of history (with its small Edina connection) is too interesting to pass up. The Mootys have re-opened the Faribo blanket mill that closed in 2009 in the economic downturn, and the story has captured the attention all over, including a story in the Star Tribune today and an segment on the CBS Early show last year. (See video below)