__1. Dayton's comments: Two Photo Friday posts (one on Dayton's and the other on the Dayton's Garden Shop) had people talking.
"These are great photos and bring back a lot of memories. I would love to see some interior photos. If you have any, please post them. Thanks!" Tammy Rodgriquez wrote about the Dayton's post. She also commented on the garden shop, "Yes! The Garden Shop was situated past Daytons, kind of on the northwest side of the parking lot, the closest intersection to it would have been France and 66th Street. In the summer, they sold lawn mowers and summer type merchandise. In the winter, they had skis, ice skates, etc. I used to love going in there to look at the skates, and Santa stopped at Dayton's Garden Shop Christmas of 1967 to pick some up for me. :) I don't recall how long the Garden Shop was there, but definitely into the late 60's. What a great memory! Thanks for the photos."
"I remember going to Daytons with my mom to shop," a reader named Beth wrote. "I thought it was so cool to buy shoes at Daytons because you would walk up a few stairs to a platform deck where you would walk to the edge for the salesperson to check your toes and make sure the shoes fit. I'm pretty sure you received a balloon to take home home with your new shoes."
Another reader emailed: "I just saw the post about the Daytons Garden Store! Do you happen to have any photos of the other 'parking lot building' that was on the southern side of the mall, the little gas station that was right across from the Galleria near the entrance to Southdale that leads to the current AMC theater? In the 90s I believe this was a Sinclair station and had a sculpture of a green dinosaur outside if I remember correctly. This dinosaur is now in front of the Minneapolis Media Institute on 76th Street in Edina, just down from Centennial Lakes."
I promise more photos of Southdale and surrounding areas in upcoming Photo Fridays, but I can't promise when. My method for picking photos is very unscientific. Imagine the "random drawing" to pick a raffle winner and that's what I do. Our property collection is filed by plat and parcel number, not by address, so I don't attempt to find a particular business... I just "pick a card, any card." It's a surprise every week, and I discover businesses that I would never have thought about researching (like Pederson Dairy, among others.)
Bredeson Park, photo courtesy City of Edina.
_2. Olinger Road house: I found your blog this morning after I tried to research an old house I remembered as a kid growing up in Edina," John MacGowan wrote. "We lived on Stuart Avenue, across from Good Samaritan Methodist Church. In the 60's & early 70's my friends and I spent a lot of time exploring what we called at the time Olinger's Woods - which I see is now called Bredesen Park.
"Olinger Rd continued south past Olinger Blvd about a half a mile as an old dirt road where we spent many hot summer days searching along the sides of the road in search of old beer cans and other treasures. There was a very long driveway to the west of Olinger Rd that lead to a big old house. It wasn't a farm that I remember, just a big brick house all by its self. I have many scary memories of that house from when I delivered newspapers to it on dark early mornings. I visited the area last summer and found that the old house is gone and the road to it off Olinger Road is now just a walking path. Do you have any information or pictures of the house?"
Because the house was demolished, the tax assessor record for the property was removed before the collection was housed at the Edina Historical Society. However, I am lucky enough to have Bob Kojetin, former Edina Park and Recreation Director, as an active board member and volunteer. When the records don't have the answer, I can go directly to the source.
Bob tells me the city purchased the property in anticipation of developing a park. In the 15 years of planning and property acquisition before Bredeson Park was actually developed, the city rented out the house out so it wouldn't sit vacant and attract vandals.
The Olinger farmhouse was on higher ground on better farmland; this house was in a swampy area, and John wonders why the house was built there. Does anyone have the answer?
_4. One of Countryside's 97 youngsters. John MacGowan also wrote in response to the post about all the kids in the Countryside neighborhood: "I would have been one of those 97 kids - although I would have been 3 at the time. I remember the Woodcocks very well; one of the girls - I think Nancy (it may have been both) babysat me and my sister Molly. Jeff Woodcock had a 'minibike' and he would ride it in the dirt parking lot of the church, while a bunch of us would watch in envy. I'll never forget Jeff stopping in front of us and saying; 'OK, which one of you monkeys wants a ride?'"
James Grunnet donated this family photo for the Morningside exhibit. The background is as important as the foreground. Taken at the family home on Sunnyside and Curve, several other homes are seen in the background.
_5. His comment had me thinking about creating an "Edina Neighborhoods" exhibit, especially since the city is working on defining neighborhood boundaries. (For more background, see the Star Tribune story here.) We did an exhibit in 2005 on the Morningside neighborhood, which was perhaps our best attended exhibit thanks to the support of the neighborhood association, Morningside School Alumni, the Morningside Women's Club and so many others. It could be very fun for other areas of town to duplicate those efforts, which included a packed all school reunion and monthly neighborhood centennial events. We also set up house tours: 35 former residents saw the house they grew up in, and the current owners heard first hand history of their homes. It was fabulous and would work in any neighborhood.
Edina's older neighborhoods (Morningside, Country Club District, White Oaks) are well known, but I would like to collect and tell the story of all of our neighborhoods, both old and new. If you have information about your neighborhood or would like to help create an exhibit, please contact me.
_6. More photos, please: I could summarize comments and emails about the blog in the words of Oliver Twist: "Please, sir, I want some more." I feel like the stingy workhouse manager when I don't post our entire collection here, but I swear I'm not doling them out in small portions just to be mean.
The blog forces me to devote some time to scanning, but otherwise, we don't have anyone working on digitizing our images. (Hello, staff of one here. Actually, staff of 3/4 here, since I work only 30 hours per week.) I'm looking for volunteers to help scan our collection. Please email me if you would like to help and are available during the day to work on site at the museum.
In the meantime, to feed your appetite for great Edina history photos, please check out the Minnesota Historical Society visual resources database. It's what I want our web site to be when it grows up. You can search by year, by topic, by photographer or a combination of the above. Here is a link to Southdale images (that have been scanned).
I will keep scanning and posting photos. And please continue to ask for more photos on a favorite topic, as it keeps me focused on what our readers want.
Image credit: An illustration ("Please, sir, I want some more") for "Oliver Twist" by George Cruikshank, ca. 1837. Accessed from www.foliosoc.co.uk)
Happy Monday, everyone! The museum is open Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to noon, if you want to look at our collection "in real life."
How many of you still call Macy's by its original name, Dayton's?
It's been 11 years, people. Eleven years since Dayton's changed its signs to Marshall Field's and seven years since Marshall Field's became Macy's. You would think it's beyond time to move past this.
And yet, I still say Dayton's.
For those of you who still wax nostalgically over the iconic Minnesota department store, this edition of Photo Friday is for you.
These photos were taken in 1959, three years after Southdale, the nation's first fully enclosed shopping center, opened.
It's difficult to see in the web version of the photo below, but you can see the Woolworth sign at the entrance to the right. Remember the distinctive parking lot lights and animal signs so you wouldn't forget where you parked? This one has a crocodile (or alligator?)
For you Donaldson's fans out there, here's the exterior of Southdale's second anchor tenant (below).
What memories do these photos bring back? Comment here or email me.
Littel Street is a little street in the Morningside neighborhood of Edina. Although the street signs and current map read "Littel" (with the "EL" ending), a map dated 1905 is marked "Little" (with the "LE" ending.) Which is the typo?
I made the mistake of advocating for Little. The oldest map we have calls it Little. Hennepin County property tax records call it Little. What's more, it's a little street. Maybe subsequent mapmakers messed up and now we're calling that short street by the wrong name.
A Morningside volunteer argued just as strenuously for Littel. In fact, he went to the city many years ago when a new street sign showed up with "Little" on it and asked for a correction. (He got it.)
Turns out, he's probably right and I'm wrong. (That didn't hurt too much to admit.) The little street in Edina was probably named for Pauline Littel, a woman ahead of her time. In 1912, she was one of the few women working in real estate in Minneapolis and making a name for herself for more than just her gender. As the April 28, 1912, story in the Minneapolis Tribune put it, Littel was "often taken for the Office Girl, but She Puts Through Some Big Land Deals Just the Same."
Littel made news because "A $50,000 deal was closed in a real estate transaction one day last summer and a woman was responsible for it. It was Miss Pauline Little, who negotiated what has since been acknowledged as one of the largest deals in land made during the year."
In today's dollars, $50,000 would be more more than one million. The accomplishment had people wondering about the young single woman, and Pauline told the reporter that traffic had increased around her Lake Harriet office because "they just want to see what I look like."
The young and attractive Littel was often mistaken for the "office girl," but she said she won over her clients with confidence, knowledge of the business and honesty. "I know that absolute honesty in real estate transactions is the only sure route to success."
Littel also forged her own path from her male competitors and designed and built her own houses to sell, rather than only empty lots. All her homes sold within a month of their completion, and she credited her "daily work in the kitchen" for giving her the knowledge to design "sane spacing of cupboards, stove, sink and kitchen table."
In other words, Littel was designing work triangles for the kitchen, long before the term was coined in the 1940s.
Littel spent four years working in a real estate office before establishing her own business. She studied law books in her spare time to be prepared to handle real estate transactions. After a year, she began designing houses and overseeing construction.
Good design sells houses, she said. "Wide porches, light, well aired closets and cozy fireplace nooks all make the difference between a home that people want to buy and a rented house that they want to move out of at the first expiration of their lease."
I heard about Pauline Littel when I saw that local historian and architect Peter Sussman was giving a talk about her to the Linden Hills History Study Group. When I asked whether our street was named after her, Peter did a little digging in property records and found that she did, in fact, design some houses in the Morningside area.
He'll talk more about her work in a Morningside walking tour this summer (date TBA). If you would like to be notified when the date is set, please email me with "Morningside Walking Tour" in the subject line.
After her marriage to businessman and fellow realtor L. T. Sheets in 1917, Pauline Littel disappears from the headlines and no longer advertises. In 1919, she is mentioned in a tabloid style story when her husband is sued by a "beauty culturist" (beauty shop worker, I'm guessing) for $50,000 on the charges that Sheets urged her to divorce her husband and promised to marry her. Instead, he married Littel. The court ruled in favor of the woman, and Sheets was ordered to pay $7,500.
Pauline Littel made a name for herself in the real estate field. It's only fitting that a little piece of Edina's real estate bears her name.
... at the Edina History Museum, so this edition of "Monday Mashup" will be brief. I love to hear from readers, so I'll start with some comments from the blog.
1. Dayton's Garden Shop: In response to my post last Friday on Dayton's Garden Shop, Jeff Thompson, wrote: "I grew up in the 1960's and remember the garden store well. In the winter they would sell skis and skates. I remember when I was about twelve years old my Dad gave me money to purchase a lawnmower there. I remember pushing it home down France Avenue."
2. Clancy Drug: After reading about Clancy's (here, here and here), Bob Skomars wrote us about his memories of the 50th and France drug store, lunch counter and Toyland. "I remember going to Clancy's Toyland with great fondness. I lived over on 47th and Washburn and as a young child would walk 'all the way' over to Clancy's regularly to 'Ooh' and 'Ahh' over the toy selection. I mostly liked model cars. Later on I would buy 45 records from Clancy's. I also went to a dentist across the street behind Clancy's and he would give me a certificate good for a chocolate malt at Clancy's diner after each visit. Talk about perpetuating your business, huh? His name was Dr. Middleton.
To a kid in the early/mid '60's Clancy's was as good as it got. Eventually Southdale opened up but the Clancy's was all about kids and toys. How cool is that?!"
Kids and toys... those are good reasons why Clancy's is a big part of our current exhibit "Growing Up in Edina." Thanks to former owner Marlin Ramler, we have lots of great photos on display and still many more to scan.
3. School groups: Tomorrow, we're hosting second graders from Highlands Elementary School, and I always get a kick out of the kids' views on history. When Cornelia Elementary visited this fall, they were excited to see the World War II era tin soldiers in our "Growing Up in Edina" exhibit. The painted figures look different than the green plastic Army men today's youngsters own, but "I would totally play with these!" one boy exclaimed, to the enthusiastic agreement of his friends. They get just as excited over manual typewriters and record players as they do butter churns and spinning wheels.
We are happy to host any group.. You don't need to make reservations for regular museum hours, but we appreciate a heads up if possible. If you'd like to visit outside of regular hours, please call us well in advance (two or more weeks) so that we can schedule a volunteer docent, 612.928.4577.
4. Membership newsletter: I have spent less time on the blog lately because I've been focusing my efforts on writing our quarterly membership newsletter, which has longer history features and more great photos. If you would like to receive the newsletter, please join us. Memberships are as little as $15 a year. What do you get for your money? Well, the newsletter and, as I like to say, a warm feeling that you are helping preserve the history of your community. Because the Edina Historical Society is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, your membership (which is essentially a yearly donation) is tax deductible. If you enjoy the blog or our programs, please consider a membership to help us continue our work.
5. Snow! We had a couple inches of snow this morning. You know what that means, besides a slippery commute for many people this morning? Yes, that's right. We may be able to have our annual sledding parties in February. With such a dry winter, our hill was brown until this morning and I was worried I'd have to come up with Plan B. Let's hope the snow sticks around!
Have a good week, everyone! I will have more Southdale photos on Friday and one or more blog stories later this week.
If yesterday's below zero temperatures don't have you thinking about spring, perhaps this week's photos will.
Remember Dayton's Garden Shop at Southdale?
Neither do I. And it's not something that our visitors mention, until they see an aerial photo of Southdale Center and remember what was in the parking lot. People, of course, remember Dayton's and the old logo seen here. And many (ahem, including me) still can't move on and call the department store by its correct name, Macy's.
But the Garden Shop?
Nobody seems to remember much about this aspect of Southdale and Dayton's history. Are you the exception? If you know something about Dayton's Garden Shop, please comment here or email me.
And remember, spring is only about 8 1/2 weeks away.
This program was left on my desk during an event. I don't know who donated it, and I didn't find any more info about the Miss Edina pageants in a first pass through our collection (although not everything is cataloged in detail; we may have more filed under something like "Events" or "Women," for example.)
Even without more background material, this program provides a lot information. Let's take a closer look....
_This is not Miss Edina (above).This young woman is Miss America 1967, Debra Dene Barnes of Kansas.
_This is Miss Edina Pamela Steiner (above) who was second runner-up in the Miss Minnesota pageant. She reigned over the 1968 Miss Edina contest, which included the familiar talent, swimsuit and evening gown competitions, as you can see from the schedule of events (below).
This is a thick booklet, with a page featuring each of the contestants (with portraits taken by Edina photographer Clair Peterson) as well as photos and stories from the 1967 Miss America pageant.
Here's the page for Judy Mendenhall, who must have won the Miss Edina title that night, because she was crowned Miss Minnesota in 1969 and went onto earn the fourth runner-_up position in the Miss America pageant. Even though she didn't come home with the tiara, she did receive scholarship money for her flute solo "The Swiss Shepherd's Song."
Only one other Miss Edina wore the Miss Minnesota crown. When Bebe Shopp of Hopkins won the Miss America title in 1948, runner up Jean Sheils of Edina took over duties. The first and only Edinan to be crowned Miss America was Dorothy Benham in 1977, but she entered the contest as Miss South St. Paul not Miss Edina. (See the Miss Minnesota web site to view all the winners.)
Coincidentally, Benham won the national title shortly after another Edina woman, Barbara Peterson, was crowned Miss USA in 1976, prompting one women's magazine to write that Edina was a town that grew "American Beauties."
During the early days of television, the Miss America pageant was one of the most highly rated shows. Think Super Bowl audiences. It was consistently the top-rated show for the year. Nearly every American household sat down together and waited for the final moment when emcee Burt Parks would sing, "There she is... Miss America" as the newly crowned beauty would walk the runway with tears streaming down her cheeks. (Dorothy Benham broke that mold; in an interview with People magazine, she said she was the only one not crying when she was crowned.)
Miss America 1967, pictured on the donated program, was the last queen to serve during the Golden Age of beauty pageants.
That next year, the New York Radical Feminists protested at the 1968 national contest in Atlantic City, calling the pageant degrading to women. The protesters gathered up items they felt represented the oppression of women in America — cosmetics, high heels, curlers, girdles and bras — and threw them in a trash can. Even though nothing was set on fire, hereafter the movement would be known by the derogatory term "bra burning feminists."
To put the demonstration in perspective, this was a year of protests, with draft card burnings, civil rights activism, campus sit-ins and anti-Vietnam rallies throughout the country. America was changing and the youth movement rebelled against "the establishment." Miss America was created during their grandparents' era as a swimming suit pageant designed to keep tourists around Atlantic City after the summer season ended. Although the pageant would later include a talent portion, feminists railed against the idea that little girls could aspire only to become Miss America while little boys could be President.
The pageant lost viewers, and the feminist movement reached a national audience.
The pageant survived by evolving with the times, and is now one of the largest scholarship programs for women. Television ratings are back on the rise, although they are not anywhere near the 1960s hey day. This year's pageant is this Saturday (Jan. 14.) Will you tune in?
1. Jan Riesberg story prompted a couple of comments about the Morningside neighborhood. Jay Magoffin wrote: "Although I did not live in Morningside I have an attachment to the Community. Our family went to the Morningside Church. I was a Cub Scout their and my father was a Boy Scout leader. Many of my class mates lived in Morningside and because our class was so large we went to 5th grade in the new addition of the Morningside school." Kate Genovese commented on Facebook: "I grew up in Morningside! but, I was even north of 42nd... was just back there to visit my folks over Thanksgiving! it's a cute 'hood... changing, but still cute!"
Kate's comment prompted me to correct the border to read 40th Street. John Dudley also pointed out that Morningside was in the northeast corner, not northwest as I had written. I have to admit that directions are my downfall. Even when I know exactly where something is, I am directionally impaired when describing it. (This leads to some interesting detours when I ride shotgun and am in charge of the map, but that is another story....)
Nancy Olmem thought she might be able to find contact information for the Riesbergs. Thank you, Nancy!
2. Highway 100 beehives: John Dudley also commented on a post about Lilac Way (Highway 100), "The Beehive was moved to its final location at the South East corner of Hwy. 100 and Hwy. 7. Right beside the tall cement silo on the property of Nordic Ware. The silo was the very first one made of cement, architects from around the country all agreed - it would collapse because of the weight. It still stands today. Check out this website (St. Louis Park Historical Society) for more details."
Take John's advice and read more about the beehives and Highway 100 (aka Lilac Way). In fact, check out the entire site (see below)....
3. St. Louis Park Historical Society web site: I am a big fan of the St. Louis Park Historical Society web site and webmaster Jeanne Anderson, a volunteer board member who spends an amazing amount of time adding content to the site. (I often tell Jeanne that I want our site to be as complete as hers when "it grows up.") Jeanne also wrote and continues to add to The Brookside Timeline web site about the neighborhood formed in 1907 around Brookside Avenue, which includes part of Edina. Check out both sites for great stories about our shared history, including Docken's store at 44th and Brookside, Park High School (attended by many Edina residents before our first high school was built in 1949), Bunny's bar (a favorite hangout of Edinans, who couldn't get liquor in their own town for many years) and much more.
Jeanne wrote about her memories about growing up on Highway 100 for our blog here, and has given me permission to use some of her material from time to time. I am happy that I am surrounded by so many great colleagues at the historical societies at our borders: Richfield Historical Society, Hopkins Historical Society, Linden Hills History Study Group, Eden Prairie Historical Society and the Bloomington Historical Society. Although we each focus on our particular communities, topics don't always fall neatly within city borders and we work together when possible.
4. CSI and Ralph's update: I wasn't the only one wondering about the CSI episode that mentioned Edina cake eaters. People searched for "csi edina" and "cake eater CSI" and other variations and landed on our site, making it our top blog post for the month of December. For those who missed the outcome of the Ralph's Shoe Repair story, see the Star Tribune story and the Sun newspaper story on its move from Southdale mall to Richfield.
Happy Monday, everyone!
Here are some grand views of the Grandview District (shown on the Google map below). You probably have seen news stories or perhaps even participated in the discussion of the future of the Grandview District. (If you want more info, see background materials and a draft plan at the Edina Citizens Engagement web site.)
Today, as a bonus Photo Friday, I thought I'd show you some interesting aerial photos on how the area has changed since 1947. I urge you to go to Historical Aerials web site to get sharper images and explore the area in detail. The site has a really cool feature where you can slide a bar to see the area change from one year to the next. (Kind of like the "before" and "after" advertisements that show the effect of wrinkle cream.)
I love it. Seriously, go there today. You don't have to look at just Grandview...type in the address of your house and see how your block has changed over the years. It's a little addicting for a history fan like me, especially since I think aerial photos sometimes look like ultrasound images. In other words, I can't always identify parts of Edina in its infancy when it looks so different than it does today. This web site really helps compare and contrast the exact same street year to year.
(You would think I was a late night pitchman on some home shopping channel, but I have no affiliation with the web site. Just a new fan....)
Anyway on to the grand views of Grandview. This 1947 view shows no freeways. (Go to the web site and zoom in to see how few buildings were in the area.)
Grandview 1966 (below). You can see a diamond interchange, and the large building to the right (or east) of the interchange is the 1954 Village Hall, which sits approximately where the current City Hall parking lot is today.
Grandview 1970 (below). You can see Highway 100 has been widened and the off ramps are now loops. Tupa Park, where historic Cahill School and Minnehaha Grange Hall No. 398, was created from the green space in the lower right loop.
And finally, Grandview in 2006, much as it looks today. This is after the Grandview Square area was developed, with the new public library and Senior Center building.
What will the area look like in the next decade? Check out the draft plan below to see what is being proposed (see page 24 for a map) for the next chapter in Grandview's history.
Note: I bring you this extra edition of Photo Friday, only because I didn't post earlier in the week due to the holiday and illness. Thank you to researcher Dan Lapham for telling me about www.historicaerials.com.
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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Jennifer Adam is the Executive Director of the Edina Historical Society. She welcomes your contributions. Comment on a post or send an email (see below). Traditional mail, of course, can also be sent to:
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