I am very fond of Elvira Vinson. While I have never met her (and won't since she died several years ago), Mrs. Vinson lives on at the Edina History Museum.
I often consult her scrawled notes documenting an interview with a pioneer resident or her history articles tapped out with a manual typewriter on lined notebook paper. Long before the Edina Historical Society formed in 1969, Mrs. Vinson was collecting, preserving and telling the history of Edina.
Residents knew her from her work as the librarian at Wooddale School or at the Morningside library housed in the Westgate Theater building on Sunnyside Avenue. She made children wash their hands before handling library books, and she carefully looked up new patrons in the phone book to ascertain that they were actually residents of the neighborhood.
What people may not have known is that Mrs. Vinson was working on a book of her own about the history of their community. While her writings never made book form, her research notes and articles are housed at the Edina History Museum and are often used by researchers.
Now I am working on documenting Mrs. Vinson, perhaps our city's first historian. While we do have some information about her in our files, I hope to talk to people who met her and know about her life. Please call or email me if you know anything about Mrs. Vinson's background. I hope to write an article for the winter issue of our newsletter.
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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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