1. Memories of Gus Young's Biltmore Lanes
A regular reader (who preferred not to be named) emailed me with some great details about Biltmore Lanes, following last Monday's post. He writes:
I love the yellow page ad for Gus Young's Biltmore Lanes. I seem to remember that the sign rotated... the bowling ball rotated in a circle and the pin (on top of the ball) twirled at a faster rate. Not sure why I remember this, but it was a pretty neat sign. Love to know where it ended up.
I do recall that the small restaurant inside the bowling alley had great hamburgers... kind of on-par with Convention Grill today.
I was too young at the time to remember everything, but I do recall that my Mom would take me up to Biltmore Lanes while she bowled in a league during the day. I don't recall the T.V. in the nursery room (mentioned in the ad), but I do recall being at the nursery.
In the early 70's my friends and I would go to Gus Young's on weekend nights. It wasn't a big hangout, but it always seemed to be busy, until later years... bowling kind of fell out of popularity and that's probably what ended the Biltmore Lanes. I have a distinct memory of the smell inside the bowling alley which was a combination of Juicy Fruit chewing gum and wood oil.
In the early 1970's a 3.2 pub was placed in the bowling alley. I don't remember the name of it, but I think it replaced the small restaurant. Southdale Lanes (owned by Gus Young at a later date?) had a similar 3.2 pub called the "Black Swan Pub". The small pub at Biltmore tried live music, but it was too small. The Black Swan Pub was larger and had pretty good live music... John Prine played there at least once. The Black Swan Pub was more of a hang out than the one at Biltmore Lanes.
Collections wish list: Doesn't the sign sound cool? I don't know where the sign is today, but I wish it were in our collection. I'd also like the birdcage from Southdale mall, the random patrol roulette wheel created by the Edina Police and the waterball used by Edina Fire Department. I have a few other things on a collection wish list. What do you think should be in the Edina Historical Society collection? Please share your ideas by commenting here or emailing me.
2. Maps of Odd Fellows Lodge
Daniel Grobani commented on last week's post on the Odd Fellows Hall in Morningside.
I enjoyed reading your Odd Fellows post today.
It reminded me that while examining a 1926 Highway 100 right-of-way map, I saw a notation indicating that an Odd Fellows Lodge was located at Highway 100 and Motor Street (44th Street). It looks like Hwy 100 was built over it...I've attached a detail of the map in case you're interested.
Thanks, Daniel. I love old maps, especially ones like this one that show buildings, fruit trees, property owners and other details. As surveyors marked the route for a proposed highway, they needed to make note of what stood in its path.
Here's the map section Daniel sent me:
Before I zoom in to get a closer look at the Odd Fellows property, let's get oriented, shall we? (Do you get as confused as I do when a map doesn't show north at the top? North is on the right side of this map.)
Mackey Avenue (near the lower right) is a north-south street. All the lines in the middle of the map indicate a proposed route for Highway 100 (also north-south). And Motor Street as pictured was today's 44th Street, not just the short street it is today. The streetcar line (marked Twin City Rapid Transit) was adjacent to Motor Street.
Here is the current Google map of the area.
Now that you have the bigger picture, let's zoom in.
Sure enough. There's "Odd Fellows Lodge" marked on the map. News to me. Granted, I haven't read everything in our collection, but I had not heard or read of the local chapter of the Odd Fellows being located anywhere but its 44th and France building.
Here's my theory: I don't see a building marked on the property, even though trees, garages and other structures in the proposed route are. I'm wondering if the Odd Fellows owned the land, but had not yet built a meeting hall.
I'm no map expert, so I always like to compare notes with Frank Cardarelle, one of our board members who is a surveyor. I'll consult him and report back.
Thanks to our readers for writing!
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