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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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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