It's about this time of year that we get a call or two from someone digging up their flower garden and finding a spike or railroad tie in their yard. How did it get there?
Was there a dump on their property? Or did a railroad once run across their land?
Actually, for residents living around 44th Street, the archeological treasures are more likely from the Como-Harriet streetcar line, which took passengers to points throughout the Twin Cities. The route ran as far as Lake Minnetonka to the West and White Bear Lake to the East and all points in between. Edina's Morningside neighborhood developed as a "streetcar suburb" when it was extended to Edina in 1905.
Sadly, the streetcar quit running in 1954 and homes were built on top of the route and right of way. Now that more than 50 years have passed, new residents don't see any evidence of the once popular form of travel - until they plant a rose or tulip bed and discover pieces from Edina's past.
Want to find out more? Check out a couple of great books by Aaron Isaacs: "Twin Cities by Trolley" and "The Como-Harriet Streetcar Line: A Memory Trip Through the Twin Cities." Both are packed with photos and maps. Our gift shop sells the Como-Harriet book (see Gifts); both are in bookstores and are available at Hennepin County Libraries as well.
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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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