__1. Dayton's comments: Two Photo Friday posts (one on Dayton's and the other on the Dayton's Garden Shop) had people talking.
"These are great photos and bring back a lot of memories. I would love to see some interior photos. If you have any, please post them. Thanks!" Tammy Rodgriquez wrote about the Dayton's post. She also commented on the garden shop, "Yes! The Garden Shop was situated past Daytons, kind of on the northwest side of the parking lot, the closest intersection to it would have been France and 66th Street. In the summer, they sold lawn mowers and summer type merchandise. In the winter, they had skis, ice skates, etc. I used to love going in there to look at the skates, and Santa stopped at Dayton's Garden Shop Christmas of 1967 to pick some up for me. :) I don't recall how long the Garden Shop was there, but definitely into the late 60's. What a great memory! Thanks for the photos."
"I remember going to Daytons with my mom to shop," a reader named Beth wrote. "I thought it was so cool to buy shoes at Daytons because you would walk up a few stairs to a platform deck where you would walk to the edge for the salesperson to check your toes and make sure the shoes fit. I'm pretty sure you received a balloon to take home home with your new shoes."
Another reader emailed: "I just saw the post about the Daytons Garden Store! Do you happen to have any photos of the other 'parking lot building' that was on the southern side of the mall, the little gas station that was right across from the Galleria near the entrance to Southdale that leads to the current AMC theater? In the 90s I believe this was a Sinclair station and had a sculpture of a green dinosaur outside if I remember correctly. This dinosaur is now in front of the Minneapolis Media Institute on 76th Street in Edina, just down from Centennial Lakes."
I promise more photos of Southdale and surrounding areas in upcoming Photo Fridays, but I can't promise when. My method for picking photos is very unscientific. Imagine the "random drawing" to pick a raffle winner and that's what I do. Our property collection is filed by plat and parcel number, not by address, so I don't attempt to find a particular business... I just "pick a card, any card." It's a surprise every week, and I discover businesses that I would never have thought about researching (like Pederson Dairy, among others.)
Bredeson Park, photo courtesy City of Edina.
_2. Olinger Road house: I found your blog this morning after I tried to research an old house I remembered as a kid growing up in Edina," John MacGowan wrote. "We lived on Stuart Avenue, across from Good Samaritan Methodist Church. In the 60's & early 70's my friends and I spent a lot of time exploring what we called at the time Olinger's Woods - which I see is now called Bredesen Park.
"Olinger Rd continued south past Olinger Blvd about a half a mile as an old dirt road where we spent many hot summer days searching along the sides of the road in search of old beer cans and other treasures. There was a very long driveway to the west of Olinger Rd that lead to a big old house. It wasn't a farm that I remember, just a big brick house all by its self. I have many scary memories of that house from when I delivered newspapers to it on dark early mornings. I visited the area last summer and found that the old house is gone and the road to it off Olinger Road is now just a walking path. Do you have any information or pictures of the house?"
Because the house was demolished, the tax assessor record for the property was removed before the collection was housed at the Edina Historical Society. However, I am lucky enough to have Bob Kojetin, former Edina Park and Recreation Director, as an active board member and volunteer. When the records don't have the answer, I can go directly to the source.
Bob tells me the city purchased the property in anticipation of developing a park. In the 15 years of planning and property acquisition before Bredeson Park was actually developed, the city rented out the house out so it wouldn't sit vacant and attract vandals.
The Olinger farmhouse was on higher ground on better farmland; this house was in a swampy area, and John wonders why the house was built there. Does anyone have the answer?
_4. One of Countryside's 97 youngsters. John MacGowan also wrote in response to the post about all the kids in the Countryside neighborhood: "I would have been one of those 97 kids - although I would have been 3 at the time. I remember the Woodcocks very well; one of the girls - I think Nancy (it may have been both) babysat me and my sister Molly. Jeff Woodcock had a 'minibike' and he would ride it in the dirt parking lot of the church, while a bunch of us would watch in envy. I'll never forget Jeff stopping in front of us and saying; 'OK, which one of you monkeys wants a ride?'"
James Grunnet donated this family photo for the Morningside exhibit. The background is as important as the foreground. Taken at the family home on Sunnyside and Curve, several other homes are seen in the background.
_5. His comment had me thinking about creating an "Edina Neighborhoods" exhibit, especially since the city is working on defining neighborhood boundaries. (For more background, see the Star Tribune story here.) We did an exhibit in 2005 on the Morningside neighborhood, which was perhaps our best attended exhibit thanks to the support of the neighborhood association, Morningside School Alumni, the Morningside Women's Club and so many others. It could be very fun for other areas of town to duplicate those efforts, which included a packed all school reunion and monthly neighborhood centennial events. We also set up house tours: 35 former residents saw the house they grew up in, and the current owners heard first hand history of their homes. It was fabulous and would work in any neighborhood.
Edina's older neighborhoods (Morningside, Country Club District, White Oaks) are well known, but I would like to collect and tell the story of all of our neighborhoods, both old and new. If you have information about your neighborhood or would like to help create an exhibit, please contact me.
_6. More photos, please: I could summarize comments and emails about the blog in the words of Oliver Twist: "Please, sir, I want some more." I feel like the stingy workhouse manager when I don't post our entire collection here, but I swear I'm not doling them out in small portions just to be mean.
The blog forces me to devote some time to scanning, but otherwise, we don't have anyone working on digitizing our images. (Hello, staff of one here. Actually, staff of 3/4 here, since I work only 30 hours per week.) I'm looking for volunteers to help scan our collection. Please email me if you would like to help and are available during the day to work on site at the museum.
In the meantime, to feed your appetite for great Edina history photos, please check out the Minnesota Historical Society visual resources database. It's what I want our web site to be when it grows up. You can search by year, by topic, by photographer or a combination of the above. Here is a link to Southdale images (that have been scanned).
I will keep scanning and posting photos. And please continue to ask for more photos on a favorite topic, as it keeps me focused on what our readers want.
Image credit: An illustration ("Please, sir, I want some more") for "Oliver Twist" by George Cruikshank, ca. 1837. Accessed from www.foliosoc.co.uk)
Happy Monday, everyone! The museum is open Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to noon, if you want to look at our collection "in real life."
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