Looking the Edina tax assessor files to find interesting photos for you today, I found several images of farmhouses and barns in 1959. This is a part of Edina's history that always surprises museum visitors, who don't realize how long the community had open farmland. Although residential neighborhoods sprouted up around Southdale mall after it opened in 1956, much of Edina was still undeveloped more than a decade later.

Pederson Dairy, located in far western Edina at the Hopkins border, was still part of the rural landscape in 1959. The dairy operation was operated by two brothers, one on the Hopkins side of what is now Highway 169 and one on the Edina side. They were located just south of what is called 7th Street in Hopkins (or Interlachen Boulevard in Edina).
I like the U.S. Mail car in the driveway. Here is the barn....
... and the house.
Albert E. and Violet Pederson lived here with their 17-year-old daughter Jeannette in 1959. They also had a son Earl and daughter Lois, who attended Hopkins schools. The northwest corner of Edina is part of the Hopkins School District, and as a result, many people consider themselves Hopkins residents although their address and tax records put them in Edina.

The 1959 phone directory listed the address as 707 Washington Avenue, which confused me because that would have put the dairy right in the West Minneapolis Heights neighborhood, just north of Maloney Avenue and what is now Van Valkenburg Park. This is one of Edina's oldest neighborhoods, so it didn't make sense to me that a dairy (presumably with a large acreage) would be located there.

So...I did some internet searching to find the family. I located son Earl, a 1951 Hopkins High graduate who still lives in Hopkins, who gave me the location of the farm and some history.

He told me his dad had 70 head of cattle on 160 acres; his uncle lived in the original Pederson homestead across the street in Hopkins on 20 acres. The Pedersons processed and bottled their own milk as well as product from Twin Cities dairy farms, and distributed the milk through Norris Creamery. In 1946, the Pedersons sold much of their land but continued processing milk until 1966.

In my research, I also discovered that an obituary for one of the daughters, Lois Pederson, who was hired as an Edina School District bus driver in 1967, one of only two female drivers who qualified in Minnesota. She safely chauffeured children for the next 11 years. She moved to Arizona in 1978 and began an 18-year career as a Phoenix Transit city bus driver and later proudly served as a driver for the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, UT.

And here I was only going to publish photos on "Photo Friday." My quick and easy Friday blog post turned into a lengthy research quest today because of the confusing address change, but I'm glad I learned more about this Edina business.
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Peter McDonald
03/07/2014 23:10

I grew up a one block down 7th Street south from Pederson dairy. We used to walk up there for ice cream and it was quite a treat. The people who ran it were very nice. Great memories!!!!

Dennis Donat
03/14/2014 20:36

I use to stop there with my Dad and we would get milk and other dairy items ... they were just down the road from the old poor farm on old Co Rd 18 ...


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