This article first appeared in the Spring 2005 issue of the Edina Historical Society newsletter. I thought of it again after my seven-year search for the Santrizos of the Convention Grill came to fruition. Here's the back story on how this journey began.
I’m no Indiana Jones. I don’t travel the world, swing over pits of poisonous snakes, and machete my way through a jungle to find ancient artifacts. But nonetheless, I am a treasure hunter.
Sure, many times people just walk in our door and give us great things. But sometimes, we have to hunt down things we want. Okay, so I’m never in any danger… I just search the Internet or the Edina directory, pick up the phone and simply ask (or sometimes gently nag) to get treasures for our collection.
To get items for our (2005) Morningside exhibit, we sent out flyers to the Morningside neighborhood, made personal pleas at Edina-Morningside Women’s Club meetings sent emails, and called dozens of people.
In response, we got several photos, Boy Scout and Edina-Morningside Church items (on loan), a Morningside phone book, papers from the re-annexation vote, and Constable George Weber’s handgun. (That's George with the gun in the photo at left. Yes, I know the quality of the photo is horrible. I scanned it from an creased newspaper clipping, undated and unnamed, but I'm guessing the source is the Minneapolis Tribune.)
While it seems un-Minnesotan to be so forthright, I also ask exhibit visitors to add to our collection.
As a result, Susan Linhoff Peck (whose parents started Linhoff Photo in Morningside) brought in a 1914 Morningside color map she found at a St. Cloud auction, and Betty Helmerichs O’Neil donated her 1939 Morningside Girl Scout uniform. Wendy Anderson sent us the mayoral badge and a photo of her grandfather Oscar Seidemann, former mayor of Morningside who “never left the house without his hat.”
We knew we wanted more information and photos about the Morningside businesses, so we tried to find the original owners. Finding women is especially difficult because their names change with marriage; some names like Carlson are just too common to be useful.
EHS volunteer Martha Johnson went to school with Marilyn Carlson, whose mother ran Carlson’s Odd Shop on Sunnyside and France Avenue. After some digging Martha found her, back in Edina after living in other states for several years. Marilyn was happy to share her photos with us.
I also wanted childhood photos of Curt Carlson, (not related to the Carlsons of Carlson’s Odd Shop) one of Minnesota’s wealthiest men who started his business career as a Morningside paper boy. I called Carlson Companies and was promised a call back. When I didn’t hear anything, Martha contacted the Carlson family, her former neighbors in the Country Club neighborhood. We got a photo of Curt and neighborhood friends at one of his birthday parties (see below), as well as his parent’s wedding photo.
Carlson’s parents ran a Morningside grocery store that they later sold to Lars Belleson. (Belleson's grocery is now the new co-op, but you might know the name from the 50th and France men's clothing store founded by son Wes Belleson.)
And yes, sometimes great stuff just walks in the door. One man asked why we didn’t have any photos of Joyce’s Bakery. When I said we were looking for the former owners, he said, “Well, that’s me.” Stan Rice bought the bakery from the Joyce family in the 1950s, and kept the name because of its fame in South Minneapolis and Edina. He turned out the same great breads and little cherry pies as his predecessor. He’s going to sort through his business stuff and return with items for our collection.
Flash forward to today: I spoke (wrote) too soon regarding Joyce's Bakery. Stan did not return with photos and it should come to no surprise to you after reading this post that I didn't leave it at that. I called him and found he had been having health issues. Understandably, looking through old business files didn't fall at the top of his list but he planned to get to it when he felt better. After some time, I called his number again and found it disconnected. I've called a few Rice families since then, all very nice, but not related to the Joyce's Bakery owner. The search continues.....
You might notice that the 2005 story didn't mention the Santrizos or the Convention Grill. At that point, we had some photos of the Convention in our collection so I wasn't looking for more necessarily. It wasn't until people talked so warmly about the former owners that I started my search for the photos of Pete and Christine Santrizos that were published on the blog yesterday - seven years after my quest began.
You can help!
Join us in our treasure hunt. See our wish list below, or look through your own boxes of memorabilia for anything that tells Edina’s story. These are just a few of my many wants for the museum:
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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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