Twin City Lines, a quarterly publication of the Minnesota Streetcar Museum, recently has been publishing streetcar-related news stories from a scrapbook from its collection. An Edina event (below) was considered one of the more entertaining tales.
Edina Police-Motormen Feud Ends After Threat to Halt Service
St. Paul Pioneer Press, Nov. 26, 1943
A feud between policemen of Edina and street car workers, which has threatened to halt all trolley service to that village, came to an end when Earl C. Sharpe, president of the village council, ordered the officers to "pay no attention to the street car traffic."
At the same time he assured representatives of the street car workers union that there would be no more "pushing around" of street car crews.
The feuding, which has been going on for about two years, was climaxed Wednesday night by a "battle of words" between a policeman and a motorman.
H.C. Wick, assistant business agent of the union, announced that unless some settlement was reached immediately, motormen will be forbidden to operate into Edina.
"We've been taking abuse for two years and something has to be done about it," Wick said.
Wick finally agreed to allow the men to operate into the suburb until the differences can be ironed out at the special council meeting Monday night.
The dispute arose because street cars were not pulled up far enough at 50th Street and blocked traffic, Sharpe said. There formerly was a wye there, but it was recently moved to 51st Street in Minneapolis because of the "feuding." but that didn't stop the dispute.
An Edina policeman stopped a car at 50th Street in Edina Wednesday night, Wick said, and then followed it to the wye at 51st Street and threatened the motorman with a traffic ticket because he claimed the trolley was blocking traffic. In the resulting argument, words led to a "little pushing around" but no traffic ticket was written.
Note: For more information about streetcar history, check out the Minnesota Streetcar Museum web site. All streetcar lines closed in 1954, but the organization began running streetcar rides along a one-mile track at Lake Harriet beginning 40 years ago. MSM will host many events celebrating its milestone anniversary.
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