If you ran out of milk or eggs in the 1940s and 50s, you wouldn't consider driving "all the way" to 50th and France to Hove's (later Lund's) to get one or two items. You'd walk to the corner store, or better yet, send one of your kids there on his bike. If you were feeling generous, you might give him a nickel to buy a few pieces of penny candy or a bottle of pop.
If you lived around Valley View Road, your corner store was Tedman's located at the corner of Wooddale Avenue and Valley View. (See 1951 photo above.) The phone directory listed the store as "Wooddale Grocery," but everyone referred to it as Tedman's after the owners, George and Emma Tedman, who lived in the back of the store.
Nearly every Edina neighborhood had a little grocery store that stocked some staples, candy and pop, and canned goods. For many children, going to the corner store was the first errand they were trusted to make and the first money they ever spent on their own.
In the 1940s, Frank Cardarelle rode his bike down the one-mile stretch of gravel road from his house at Valley View Road and Highway 100 to Tedman's. He sometimes brought money, but often Mrs. Tedman marked his purchases on the family's tab, which was paid monthly. "Sometimes Mother would say we could buy a bottle of pop," he recalled, "but not often. Those little treats added up and you didn't want a big bill at the end of the month."
The corner grocery ruled during this time, because families usually had only one car, usually used by the father to go to work each morning. During the Depression, gas was too costly to waste for unplanned trips. During World War II, gas was rationed. Rutted gravel roads made residents think twice about heading to town for a missing ingredient.
As you can see by the photo above, suburban development was coming to the small rural Edina village in 1951. Homes sprouted up on Garrison Lane, a small ridge of high land between swampy ponds. Soon, most of the little stores disappeared, to be replaced by gas station/convenience stores. Dad was then entrusted to pick up a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk on his way home from work, when he gassed up the family sedan.
Some of Edina's corner stores included:
Where is this?
Some of you may be able to tell right away, although the landscape has changed a great deal since professional photographer Dick Palen took a plane ride over his new house in Edina and shot a series of photographs of the neighborhood in 1951.
For some of you, looking at aerial photos from long ago is like looking at an ultrasound image when you're first pregnant. The doctor tells you that's your baby, but nothing looks familiar. So let me help you out with a little labeling and a map.
The photo was taken northwest of Valley View Road and Wooddale Avenue, looking southeast toward Garrison Lane (where Palen lived). Look at the map below, in both its street version and satellite version to get a feel for today's landscape, ponds and trees.
Now look at the photo again.
Lake Cornelia, with 66th Street bisecting the body of water, is seen in the upper right of the photo (see below). Garrison Lane is the only residential housing development in the area. Otherwise, most of today's familiar landmarks have yet to be built: there is no Southdale Mall, no Crosstown highway, no municipal swimming pool by Lake Cornelia Park. Just imagine Edina looking like this when the Daytons proposed building the world's first fully enclosed shopping center here. Would you have been among the skeptics who would wonder why anyone would build such a huge retail complex "out in the middle of nowhere"?
I love this photo because it shows the transition between farm town and growing suburb. You can see corn or wheat shocks near the "Wooddale Avenue" label. Farms occupy much of the open land in the foreground. The BenTwin poultry farm (which I wrote about here) is seen in the distance.
OK, I can admit it. The only thing I could first identify when I first looked at this photo was Lake Cornelia and 66th Street. I twisted and turned the photo and got out the magnifying glass to help a researcher determine if her house on Wooddale Avenue was in any of Palen's photographs.
I happened to still have the photos out when EHS President Frank Cardarelle and Bill Jordan, both from the Class of 1951, came in. Bill lived on Garrison Lane and Frank grew up on a farm at Valley View Road and Highway 100 (just west of the area shown in this photo).
Bill pointed out Tedman's store in the photo. (Can you see a commercial building? I couldn't either without help.) Frank told me about Miller and Haeg farms, and the Edina taxi garage. We talked about how 66th Street was built in the middle of a lake, and the little corner stores like Tedman's (Cameron's, Tristler's, Garner's) scattered throughout Edina.
In the next few blog posts, I'll take an even closer look at Valley View Road and Wooddale Avenue and zoom in on some of these topics.
You should have no difficulties recognizing this building: Hooten's Cleaners is still at 3944 West 49 1/2 Street, more than 50 years later. Ownership has changed; the person who answered the phone said that Hootens left 17 years ago. Still, the building and name have been a 50th and France landmark for more than 50 years.
The Washington Post called it "perhaps the most famous campaign jingle of all time."
Marketing researcher Peter G. Peterson created the "I Like Ike" slogan when he found out more people wanted to talk about how much they liked presidential candidate Dwight D. Eisenhower, rather than describing their views on the issues.
Walt Disney even created a song with the slogan, and it's widely credited with helping elect Dwight D. Eisenhower to two terms in office.
From the Edina Historical Society collection.
I know less about this "I Like Ike" button recently donated to our collection.I know it features long-time Hornet hockey coach Willard Ikola, featured in a baseball style cap instead of his trademark houndstooth hat.
I don't know who made the button or why, but there were many reasons to like Edina's Ike.
Here's what the Edina Athletic Booster Club web site says about Ikola:
Edina's legendary hockey coach exceeded his on-ice accomplishments with the 1956 U.S. Olympic team in 33 years behind the bench.
Ike, as he was known to all, posted a 616-149-38 record, winning eight state hockey titles and taking his team to the state tournament on 19 occassions. He also put 22 Lake Conference titles in the Hornet's trophy case.
Famous for his trademark hounds-tooth hat, Ikola was modest when speaking of his coaching record. "I never scored a goal or prevented one either," he said. "All the credit for our success belongs to the kids."
Meanwhile, Ike worked quietly during practices, developing a forechecking system that became a model not only for high school teams, but for college and professional teams, as well.
"Coach Ikola truly established the tradition in Edina hockey," said former Hornet captain Bruce Carlson, who nominated Ike for the Edina High Hall of Fame.
In the early years of Lake Conference hockey, Ikola established tradition on an outdoor rink. His practices were demanding, but he demanded more of himself than anyone else. When it snowed, he was the first to grab a shovel and start clearing the rink for practice.
For his efforts, Ike was named to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, the Minnesota High School Coaches' Hall of Fame and the National High School Sports Hall of Fame.
When he retired from coaching at Edina High, Ike found a way to stay active in the sport he loves. He became a scout for the NHL's New York Islanders.
When Ikola retired, Sports Illustrated ran a story headlined, "Everybody still likes Ike" (March 25, 1991 issue) that you can read online.
In today's world of year-around hockey, people might be surprised that the successful coach didn't believe in extending the season.
The magazine quoted former player Paul Ranheim, then left wing for the Calgary Flames: "Coach Ikola definitely knew when to push and when to laugh. He almost certainly would have produced more pros if he had urged year-round play. He doesn't. In fact, he's against it.".
Ikola told SI: "In the summer, kids should fish, swim. In the fall, they should play football. Later in the spring, they should run track, play baseball. Really, four months of hockey is plenty."
If you have more information about "I like Ike" buttons, or can add to our button collection, please contact me.
Not that long ago, if you wanted to find out whether your ancestor was mentioned in the Minneapolis newspaper, you would have to scan through every page of every newspaper published during his or her lifetime. Most people aren't too excited about doing that. And, if you have spent anytime in front of a microfilm or microfiche reader, you know exactly why.
Now, you can type in your ancestor's name and -- to quote Emeril -- bam! A list of newspaper articles appear on the screen. You can select which articles to view, and even see how the story looked on the full page: did the story appear across the top of page one with a photo or was it tucked back on the Society news page? What was the other big news of the day?
The Hennepin County Library has a subscription to ProQuest online newspapers, which includes the historical Minneapolis Tribune from 1867 to 1922. The current Minneapolis Star Tribune online archives date back to 1986, so there's still a 64-year gap of online issues, but it's a great start for researchers.
The newspaper databases are listed a couple of clicks from the home page (under the "Reference and Research" tab), but here is the direct link. Select the historical Minneapolis Tribune.
Then, you will be asked to type in your Hennepin County Library code number. (I have mine memorized. Yes, I am a nerd. If you haven't committed yours to memory, the 14-digit code is found on the back of your card.)
From there you can type in your search term. I typed in "Edina" and got 492 results. If you have some spare time, it's pretty fun to read through the stories about our community. And I'm not just saying that because I'm a nerd. Who wouldn't be intrigued by stories of a ballot box broken open during a hotly contested election on where to build a new school, Edina or Morningside? Or the first woman election judge? (I wrote about the judge story previously on the blog). Or "ghastly remains" being found by the mill?
A few search tips:
1. Newspapers often didn't print a woman's first name. They were usually listed as Mrs. (husband's name). Adjust your search accordingly.
2. It still helps to know your history. For example, you won't find much for Edina prior to 1888 because Edina was still part of Richfield. Sometimes Edina is referred to as Edina Mills. Sometimes Edina people say they're from Minneapolis. Edina searches may not yield info about Morningside. You'll still have to use some sleuthing skills.
3. Use synonyms to find more info. For example, my son needed to write a story about the Tyler tornado for a history project. Back in the day, tornadoes were also called cyclones or twisters or even, more generically, disasters.
4. Use the advanced search to limit results to a specific time period. Type in "Tyler" and you get results for people named Tyler, which makes the list too long to be helpful. Type in "Tyler tornado" and you miss the stories that call it a twister. Limit the Tyler search to the date of the tornado and a few months after, and you have a list of appropriate stories.
ProQuest makes it easy to cite your sources, email yourself the selected pdf files or print the documents. Look for the links at the top of the page.
I love this service, as you might expect from a woman who has memorized her library card number. But more surprisingly, my middle school son did too. His classmates were surprised by the "new" information he had in his PowerPoint presentation, that they were unable to find simply by searching the internet. "There's more out there than just Wikipedia," said the boy who just discovered primary resource material with online newspapers.
Note: The Edina Historical Society also has clipping files organized by topic and people/family names. They are far from complete, but are also a great research tool. On the downside, you can't search them while wearing pajamas in the comfort of your own home. But we're friendly and relaxed, so come on in for other interesting reading material. We also have issues of The Crier, a monthly newspaper (1930-1941) for the Country Club District, fully indexed in a -- remember these? -- card catalog.
Ah, the change of seasons. The first robin. The first tulip poking through the green grass. The first orange cones and road barricades.
This spring, bulldozers and front loaders arrived on 70th Street, signaling the end of winter and the beginning of Minnesota's second season: road construction. This is the view outside our door at the Edina History Museum. Although the road looks closed, we're still open regular museum hours throughout the project.
So don't let the signs fool you. Currently, you can drive on the "wrong" side of the road to get to us from west. The street is open to local traffic only, but you might encounter our neighbors, so stay to the right. We're only about a block into the construction zone - compared with those miles of slow-and-go lane closures on Minnesota highways, this is a pretty painless trip.
Detour routes will change throughout the project. Just follow the large orange "Arneson Acres" detour signs marking the detour route. Or call ahead (612-928-4577), and we'll tell you how we got in that morning.
We just set the date for our biggest annual event, the opening party for our upcoming "Growing Up in Edina: A Show and Tell Exhibit" on October 29, 2011. By then, the project will be close to complete.... just in time for Minnesota's other season, winter.
Note: we're finalizing details for the grand opening, but we wanted to publicize the date to allow people to plan ahead. We're excited to hear that some classes and neighborhoods are planning reunions around the exhibit. Arneson Acres Terrace Room is available for rental from the City of Edina Park and Rec Department, 952-927-8861. To book a group museum visit outside of regular museum hours, please call us at 612-928-4577. We try to accommodate special requests by groups, but please allow allow two to four weeks' advance notice so that we can schedule a volunteer docent. Admission outside of regular museum hours is $3 per person, with a minimum of $25 per hour. Admission during museum hours are free.
This child's kitchen set was handmade by the construction manager at Southdale Center. When the addition to the mall was underway, Larry Hjulberg had to be on site around the clock. To fill his time, he used scrap lumber to build this set for his children. The set was also used by the Doug Erickson family, who were friends. The set was recently brought in on loan for the upcoming exhibit "Growing Up in Edina: a Show and Tell Exhibit."
When most museums plan an exhibit, they have hundreds -- perhaps thousands -- of objects, photos and documents to consider for display. For example, the Smithsonian Institution would have no problem finding enough objects for a "Growing Up in America" exhibit: they have 91 yo-yos alone, not to mention several hundred items listed as "toys."
The Edina History Museum, on the other hand, starts planning an exhibit with just a few objects and eventually collects several hundred artifacts to launch an exhibit.
Right now, we're at the nearly empty room stage for our next exhibit "Growing Up in Edina: A Show and Tell Exhibit." We need to find many more toys, lunch boxes, clothes, and other objects in the next few months before the exhibit opens in mid-October (date TBA).
And when I say "we," I mean "you," Edina residents. Unfortunately, we can't order Edina history from a catalog - we count on residents to donate or loan items that tell the story of their community.
It's about this time before every exhibit that I panic a little. I wonder why I put myself through the stress of looking for items, when we could easily ask someone to showcase their collection of thimbles or trains or cookie jars.
I may wonder, but I do know why we go through the extra work. We don't do generic exhibits. Our mission is to collect, preserve and tell Edina's history. Not the history of thimbles or trains or cookie jars.
We're the only place that tells your history: ice skating on Minnehaha Creek, learning to swim at the Edina pool, breaking the rules and biking through the gravel pits, and shopping for toys at Clancy Drug's Toyland.
"I didn't think I was old enough to be in a museum," people joke when they happen across a photo of themselves in our collection or on our exhibit walls. People often think of history happening long ago to someone else. At the Edina History Museum, history is YOUR story.
We launch exhibits not because we already have thousands of items in our collection. We do so to find and save Edina artifacts before they're lost forever. Past exhibits have brought in previously unseen photos of Carlson's Odd Shop and other Morningside businesses, fire department badges, Burma-Shave products and signs, police uniforms, American Legion artifacts and more importantly, the stories that go with them.
Over the next few months, the Edina Sun-Current will showcase some of those "Growing Up in Edina" stories submitted by Edina residents for our exhibit. I'll also post some stories here on the blog. I hope they will inspire you to "show and tell" your own story.
For more information about the exhibit, please see the brochure on the exhibit. If you have any questions, I'm happy to help. Call me at the museum, 612-928-4577 or email me. We've extended our donation deadline to Aug. 1.
There are so many things to notice about this photo taken in 1959 of the north side of 50th Street, (Ben Franklin store's address is 3906 W. 50th Street.)
1. The cars. There is a "Back to the 50s" car show in Minneapolis this weekend. You'll probably see a lot of cars on local roadways that look like this. If these drivers only knew how valuable their cars would be....
2. Ben Franklin store. Although many generations remember the "dime store," younger people have no idea what Ben Franklin or Woolworth's was like. A couple of visitors equated it with today's dollar store, but I don't think that's the right comparison. Dollar stores are filled with merchandise that didn't sell at regular retail outlets and the prices are slashed accordingly. Ben Franklin was a variety store filled with everything from toys to needles and thread.
3. Klad-ezee, a children's clothing store. No one has ever talked to me about this store. Perhaps it was a short-lived business, or children of the day weren't thrilled with clothes shopping.
4. Belleson's, a landmark business at 50th and France. Belleson's Country Club Market near 44th and France was owned by the father; the son chose to go into the men's clothing store business.
5. Town and Country Hardware.
If you have any information or memories about these businesses, please comment.
Below is a Google image of what the strip of businesses looked like a couple of years ago. Tejas, a long-standing restaurant, is gone now. As you slide up and down the street, different vehicles are seen, including a motorcycle and vans. In 50 years, maybe they'll have a "Back to the Mini-Van" weekend at the State Fairgrounds. Perhaps you should hang onto your Sienna or Caravan.
Many people know that the Morningside neighborhood was originally the farm of Jonathan and Eliza Grimes. But few know that the Grimes were not the first owners of the property that lies in northeast Edina. That man was Richard Strout, a land speculator who wanted to create a new community around a mill on Minnehaha Creek. The mill was built in 1857, just as the land values crashed in a nation-wide financial crisis. Guest blogger Fred Johnson, author of the book Suburban Dawn: the Emergence of Richfield, Edina and Bloomington, sheds some light on Edina's "founding father."
By Frederick L. Johnson
Land speculator Richard Strout’s determined attempts to make it big in territorial Minnesota Territory produced decidedly mixed results. Was he a founding father of Edina, a founding failure or perhaps a bit of both?
In May 1857 he earned election as a founding commissioner of the town of Richfield and led a small group of investors who planned establish, in the western part of that village, the flour milling hamlet of Waterville (the future site of Edina).
But the disastrous financial Panic of 1857 destroyed Strout’s plans and his group sold out at a ruinous loss in January 1859. He righted himself when chosen Hennepin County sheriff and won another distinction when selected, at the outset of the Civil War, captain of Company B in the newly-forming Ninth Minnesota Infantry. More misfortune, however, lay ahead.
On August 18, 1862 a new Minnesota civil war broke out when young Dakota men, frustrated by the federal government’s late land treaty payments of cash and food, attacked white settlers and traders living near them in the upper Minnesota River valley.
Bridge Square, 1867. Minnesota Historical Society photo.
For assistance Gov. Alexander Ramsey, bereft of well-trained reserves because of the raging Civil War, called upon Capt. Strout’s Company B. On August 23, the 43-year old officer gathered 40 members of his unit and 20 citizen volunteers at Minneapolis’s Bridge Square.
Ramsey ordered the under-strength, under-trained unit—labeled in one history as “virtually a sheriff’s posse”—to advance west to Forest City (Meeker County) and then south to Glencoe. Strout’s men traveled in nine wagons. Only two men were mounted.
Company B found the prairie “nearly deserted” as they trekked west. The soldiers discovered abandoned homes and evidence of hurried flight, but saw no Dakota or signs of them. Strout reached Glencoe on August 31, pleased to see the community well defended; he then began a return to Minneapolis.
Strout ordered his men to make camp at Acton on the night of September 2. When moving out next morning, the captain reportedly bragged to his soldiers, “All the Indians between us and hell can’t keep us from moving our way through them…”
Little Crow. Minnesota Historical Society photo.
What did stand in Company’s B path were about thirty-five Dakota under the capable leadership of Little Crow and another group of about sixty led by Walker Among Sacred Stones, two miles to the northeast. Shortly after leaving camp, the Indians attacked, trapping Strout’s men between them. Strout ordered Lt. William Clark to launch a bayonet charge and clear the road.
Wagon drivers raced their teams through an opening halting long enough to load wounded. They left the dead behind. The retreat turned into a stampede; soldiers heaved food and equipment from the wagons to reduce weight. Company B suffered three soldiers and one civilian killed in action and another eighteen wounded. Strout and his men fled to Hutchinson.
To many the “Battle of Acton,” as the action came to be called, reflected badly upon Capt. Strout and his men; arguments over their performance raged for decades. Strout stayed in command until March 1864, when he was dismissed from command, tainted by the charge of making a false statement. He did, however, receive an honorable discharge on March 9, 1864.
Richard Strout returned to Minneapolis and later moved with wife Sarah to Emporia, Kansas. He died there in 1899 at age 80.
Richard Strout is listed as the first owner of record on many northeast Edina properties, like this one on Scott Terrace. Because of the financial crisis, Strout's dream of creating the town of Waterville died. He sold the mill and the land that would become the Morningside neighborhood to Jonathan Grimes in 1859. Grimes had no milling experience so he established a partnership with William C. Rheem.
Then: 4930 France Ave. South, Village Inn Cafe.
Now: 4930 France Ave. South, Grethen House clothing store.
That's it. That's all I know. It's "Photo" Friday, not "Essay" Friday or "Graduate Thesis" Friday,after all . I'm working on the membership newsletter, so the blog doesn't get as much of my time today. If you can provide more info about the Village Inn or any other business at this location, let me know or comment here.
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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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Help us bring you Edina history with this web site by becoming a member or donating today. Click on the link to our GiveMN.org site to make a donation with a credit card. The Edina Historical Society is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that depends on contributions to continue operation.