I love the current "Edina on the Map" exhibit because it has helped spotlight neighborhoods that have been "too new" for the historical record to take much notice. Highlands, with its first addition offered for sale in 1948, was still being developed in 1950s and 1960s. Compared with Morningside, once a separate village and platted more than 100 years ago, Highlands seems to have a relatively short and uneventful history.
Drive through Highlands today, and you'll see historic changes taking place. Many of the original ramblers have been torn down and replaced by new construction. That's why I'm grateful to former and current residents who have donated artifacts that document the period in Edina history that will soon be lost to redevelopment.
After seeing the original real estate brochure for Highlands in our exhibit, Paul Trautman and his sister Jean offered to send photos of their family home at 5245 Lochloy built in 1952 by their parents Lucius and Jean Trautman. The home is a perfect example of what the brochure touted as the "trend home" for modern living.
The house was designed by James H. Speckmann, a Minnesota proponent of California Modernism, a design style with an "open ground-level floor plan, big floor-to-ceiling windows, and wide roof overhangs. All of that is meant to bring the outdoors in."
The Trautman home, with a new owner, still stands with the exterior design intact. The surrounding area is more developed, however, than when the Trautmans first moved here in 1952. Paul remembers the house in the background of the photo below as being "a short walk of a steep hill ... it is probably a three-mile drive to that house. The Watson lived there and they eventually took ownership of Freckles when Dad refused to bail him out from the dog catcher after several incarcerations. That was OK though because he still came and played with us and the Watsons had to feed him."
With its naturally hilly terrain, the Highlands neighborhood was well suited to ramblers with walkout basements. That's Paul and Freckles near the breezeway in the photo below.
Highlands offered high-end homes for the era. Many of the homeowners were like Lucius Trautman, executives commuting to Minneapolis jobs. Trautman was one of the owners of Minneapolis Artificial Limb Company, which has a long history in the state.
Do you have Edina home photos to share? In addition to the Trautman house, we featured Alden Drive photos from the Parsons family here. We'd love to feature your home as well. Email me or call the museum at 612-928-4577 to find out how.
Imagine that you could travel back in time and see the Cahill District before business development and subdivisions.
Instead of a busy paved street, you would travel along a gravel road past farms and fields to the community center at 70th and Cahill Croad that contained a one-room school, Cameron's mom and pop grocery store and (not pictured) St. Patrick's Catholic Church and Calvary Lutheran. This photo from our collection shows a moment in time from that period.
This recently donated home movie provides a longer look -- 11 minutes and 27 seconds, to be exact -- at how Irish farm families in southwest Edina lived in the 1930s and 1940s.
The film can was labeled: "Mary and Tom (Ryan) 1935, Cahill Festival 1937, St. Patrick Church, Minneapolis Streetcars and Duggan's old home 1944." The film surfaced as some of those Irish families -- the Duggans, Delaneys and Ryans -- were preparing for a combined family reunion last summer to coincide with the city's Quasquicentennial celebration.
One of the elder relatives, 87-year-old Tom Ryan, Jr., recognized several family members but many people in the film are not known. If your family attended St. Patrick Catholic Church during this period, you might even recognize your own relatives in the big crowd scenes at the 1937 church festival. If you can identify anyone, comment here with the name and time stamp or email me with the information.
I know many of you will enjoy seeing Cahill School and Cameron's store about the 10 minute mark. The blowing snow on the film might inspire you to appreciate today's high heat and humidity -- or at least today's modern HVAC. I know I'm happy to travel back in time via home movies rather than going back to chop my own wood for the furnace or cool down with a paper fan. What about you?
Here are a couple of maps to show you where the movie was filmed: 2014 Google map (top) and 1913 plat map (bottom) showing the Irish farm owner names.
1913 plat map,from Atlas of Hennepin County, Minnesota.Compiled and drawn by P.O. Westby, C.E.
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