I heard a couple of people talk about our Clancy's Drug display, set up in the corner of our permanent exhibit on the history of Edina.
Newcomer: So Clancy's was a drug store?
Long-timer: Yes, but they had this fabulous breakfast counter.
Newcomer: It also was a diner?
Long-timer: More than that. It was...so much more.
Clancy's Drug, located at 50th Street and Halifax in downtown Edina, also had the largest toy selection in the Twin Cities during the 1950s and 1960s. Children of the era fondly remember beginning the day with breakfast at Clancy's, followed by a window-shopping visit in the downstairs "Toyland" to compile a Wish List for Santa.
Clancy's moved from the 50th and France area to Wooddale Avenue near Valley View Road several years ago, and it recently closed. I've been collecting stories and photos to document the business. The photos in the document above are from the City of Edina's building records. A former employee promises to provide more. Help out by loaning or donating your photos and telling us your Clancy story!
Susan Hawthorne with puppy Rover
I have been exchanging emails with Susan Hawthorne Plank, who helped organize the Edina-Morningside High School Class of 1959's 50th reunion. As we talked about life on 50th and France, she wrote about some of her memories. With her permission, here's one that may spark your own reminiscences.
"My favorite Clancy's story --and every word is true: We had a dog named Rover (1/2 collie, 1/4 lab, 1/4 Chesapeake). This was before dog-leashing laws. Rover was a fairly big dog and not an "inside dog." He stayed fairly close to home or in the garage until about 4 p.m. Then he'd stroll over to 50th and France and begin his evening by going into Clancy's and lying in the entry, observing all his friends who would come and go.
My mother would feel a responsibility if they were going out for the night to track down Rover and perhaps pick him up and bring him home.
She'd call Clancy's and ask if Rover was there. Whoever answered would typically say, "I'll look.....yes, he's in the lobby." Or perhaps, "No, Rover's left. He's probably gone to the theater."
That was the next part of the night. When the theater opened, Rover would go over there and lie in that lobby through both shows. Sometimes we'd hear him come home after the second show. But sometimes he didn't.
We knew then that he had gone home with the cashier. She loved Rover, and occasionally would take him home overnight, shampoo and spiff him up, and then return him on her way to work the next day. I think she lived in a small home or apartment in Minneapolis. and loved his company. As I said, Rover was an outside dog and never got the shampoo and perfume treatment at our house!!!!
When dog-leashing laws came in, it was hard on Rover. Many's the time my mother had to go to the dog pound to bail him out. I'm sure he missed his 50th and France social life and especially that nice theater cashier!"
Rover's primary home was with the Hawthornes, who lived at 5301 Minnehaha Boulevard: parents Bower and Jane and four daughters Susan, Sarah, Priscilla and Prudy.
Please share your stories with us! What do you remember about 50th and France businesses and life in Edina?