The Edina History Museum is located in Arneson Acres, one of the most beautiful places in Edina.
I might be biased, since my office overlooks the Edina park, but I'm not the only one who thinks so.
Many professional photographers love our park's 28 gorgeous gardens, fountain and almost 14-acres of green space for their portraits of wedding parties, families, prom dates and engaged couples.
Doesn't the fountain make a great backdrop for this photo by Shelly Paulson Photography? "The wind inspired a great moment here!" she wrote on her blog. (I love the candid photo of the bridal party laughing at the flying veil.)
Here's the fountain from a different perspective for the bride and groom portrait. So pretty.
While some couples only stop in Arneson Acres for only a photo session, many also hold their ceremony here. This one, shot by Snowfrog Photography, was set up by the fountain. I've also seen weddings in the gazebo, on the terrace and under an archway of flowers.
The park offers a variety of settings for all kinds of photos. Sarah Syhakoun Photography took advantage of Arneson Acres' mall of flowers for this portrait.
While spring and summer are peak times for flowers -- and portraits -- I've seen groups pose for pictures during the fall and winter as well. Families often shoot their casual Christmas card photos here.
Photographer Teresa Hermes noted in her blog that the park was a perfect place for a two-year-old to run off excess energy -- just look at his happy face in his portrait session.
One of my favorite parts of the park is a simple little garden that greets me when I walk into work (photo at right). Bright moss roses and lilies line the steps to the museum's front door.
Tim Zimmerman, horticulturalist with the city, and his crew weed and water, mow and nurture the gardens.
A garden that I don't have to weed or water? Let me amend my first statement: Arneson Acres is not "one of" the most beautiful places in Edina. It ranks firmly at the top of the list.
What do you think is the most beautiful spot in Edina? What are other favorite spots for wedding and prom photos? Comment here and/oremail me your photos showing the locations and I'll post them here.
If you have any doubt that there was a Baby Boom following World War II, you need to look no further than this Edina Park and Rec film footage from the 1950-60s. More than 100 kids took part in a summer playground program at Concord Elementary -- yes, just at one playground -- in 1959.
That was the first thing that struck me as I watched this film footage. The parade of kids was never-ending for the Circus Day program, one of the many themed events happening every Friday in Edina parks. Bob Kojetin, then Park director and now a member of our board of directors, pointed out several kids who have gone on to achieve state judge office, start successful businesses and, well, grow up and now retire some 50 years later.
Another themed program shown here is Costumes of the World. Prizes were awarded for best in show. Other theme days were Park Olympics, Bike Day, a cowboy and Indians day, and more
The second segment shows a 1963 Camp A Night, an overnight camping trip on the old Hayes Farm, which later was developed into Braemar Park. The dozen or so young boys were chaperoned by just one man, Bob himself. He grilled them dinner (looks like kabobs) and mixed up pancakes for breakfast.
The third segment (circa 1964) shows volunteer playground leaders at a week-long camping trip at the YMCA Camp Menogyn in the Boundary Waters.
Grab your popcorn and watch some or all of this approximately 14-minute film. I'd love to hear your reactions to Edina's park past. Did you attend the playground program -- or perhaps see someone you know in the film? What was your favorite activity? Please comment here or email me with your memories.
Edina's first major snow fall brought sledders to Arneson Acres this week.
They were no doubt in school on Thursday morning when I took these photos, but they left evidence of their fun with all the tracks in the snow.
The view out my window reminded me to reserve the lower level Terrace Room at the Edina History Museum for our annual sledding parties. (Well, annual is a bit of a stretch, since we had to cancel last year's dates because of the lack of snow.)
Mark your calendar for Saturday, February 2, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Backup date will be Feb. 16 if the weather isn't cooperative.) Bring your sled or snowshoes and enjoy the park, and then come inside for free hot chocolate and treats, and warm up by the fireplace. Parents should supervise their own children, and all activities are undertaken at your own risk. It's quite a hill, and a favorite of neighbor kids for decades. See this past blog post on Mort Arneson for more about the park and the sledding hill.
We'll also have our "Growing Up in Edina" exhibit open to visitors. If you have your own growing up memories about sledding or winter in Edina, please comment here or share them with me by email.
I don't have the census figures right in front of me, but Edina had a bazillion or so youngsters back in the 1960s.
Obviously, I'm rounding up a little.
But not by much. Not only was the whole country experiencing a Baby Boom, Edina was attracting more than its share of young families after the residential housing market exploded here after Southdale mall opened in 1956. The community was filled with children. Here is the proof.
This line of parents and children went down the Village Hall steps, down the sidewalk and around the block.
You see this sort of crowd when the new IPhone is released. Or when groupies camp out to get concert tickets to the latest band, or maybe the first night a Harry Potter movie is shown. From the length of this line, you'd think that the Village was giving away money or free wood-paneled station wagons (the mini van of the era.)
Instead, they were offering something parents found nearly as valuable: Park and Rec summer programs for their children. On registration day, the Village Hall closed early and every spare secretary went to work processing requests for swimming lessons, summer classes and sports. (Do you see six or seven staff members below?)
In the days before computer registration, anybody juggling schedules for multiple children showed up hours early to avoid driving one kid to lessons at the same time they needed to get another kid to a game.
I found these photos among many other gems in a Park and Rec scrapbook in our collection. After flipping through the pages, I can see why families were anxious to sign up. Remember the Park Olympics? Turtle Races? The Aqua Show? Tell us which park program was your favorite. Comment here or email me.
Here's something to cool to think about on this hot August day: ice castles.
Edina built an ice castle in January 1988 to kick off events to celebrate its 100th birthday. Volunteers cut ice from Lake Cornelia.
And stacked the cubes, according to a design drawn up by Edina resident and architect Foster Dunwiddie.
The design was modeled after Edinburgh Castle in Scotland.
I think that's pretty cool, in more ways than one.
Note: Edina's 125h anniversary is coming up in 2013. What should the community do to mark this big occasion? Help us brainstorm by commenting below or by emailing us.
As I was looking up information about Braemar Arena for a committee working on a hockey history wall, I noticed it opened on Dec. 14, 1965 -- 45 years ago today.
As you can see by the images above, Braemar was part of a huge park-building effort as the village became more suburban. From just one park in 1955, the village owned 22 parks just 10 years later. Improvements included the metro area's first municipal pool and first municipal golf course.
Nine Mile Creek bike trail made headlines this week, but as the second page notes, Edina long ago began acquiring land along the creek for open green space.
These two pages are part of a report documenting changes in Edina from 1955 to 1965. We have several great summary reports in our collection, some published by the Village (later City) of Edina and some by community organizations such as the League of Women Voters. They provide a great snapshot of life in the community.
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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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