Category Archives: Local history

Minneapolis Woman’s Club, vibrant at 112, holds spring Gala

The Minneapolis Woman’s Club has a storied history. Their beautiful Clubhouse across from Loring Park has received historic designation. But what’s even more important is the Club’s present and future. Here is the story about the Club’s 2019 Gala.

The Club’s 412 Restaurant is open to the public. Go here for hours, menus, and information about the fabulous Sunday brunch.

Thomas Lowry Park without Seven Pools fountain?

One of two concept designs for Thomas Lowry Park proposed replacing the nearly century-old Seven Pools fountain, which is at the end of its serviceable life, with a “nature play” area. The Friends of Thomas Lowry Park and the Lowry Hill Neighborhood Association are ready to underwrite the entire cost of rehabilitating and restoring Seven Pools — if the donation passes Park Board muster. Here is the story.

Here is the 2018 Thomas Lowry Park Assessment Report on the historic features of Thomas Lowry Park commissioned by the Friends of Thomas Lowry Park and the Lowry Hill Neighborhood Association board.

Here is the Friends of Thomas Lowry Park’s website:

A missing time capsule, the Warner mansion, and Leonard’s Flowers

At noon on Tuesday, July 21, 1953, a time capsule was ceremoniously placed inside the cornerstone of the new Ministers Life Casualty Union headquarters building at 3100 West Lake Street. When demolition of the Ministers Life building began just over 65 years later, in December 2018, anticipation and curiosity ran high: what documents, treasures, and ephemera did those four sober-sided gentlemen choose for generations yet unborn to know them by?

Apparently we’ll never know, because when the cornerstone was removed from the building, the contractors said, there was no time capsule. How does a metal box encased in concrete just … disappear? Do you have any clues? Here is the story.

Here are two articles from the Minneapolis Star about the laying of the cornerstone: July 20, 1953 and July 22, 1953.

Since we were asking for help in solving the mystery of the missing time capsule, it seemed opportune to ask readers for help with the history of two neighborhood landmarks: the little-remembered Leonard’s Flowers and the long-forgotten E.C. Warner mansion, both not much more than 100 feet from 3100 West Lake.

Spoiler alert (March 1, 2019): the story of Leonard’s Flowers arrived a few weeks later from a most unexpected source and will be published in Hill & Lake Press in the near future. Meanwhile, here are two contemporaneous newspaper accounts from July 22, 1961 and May 31, 1964.

Joe Quigley’s aerial photos leave North Star, head downtown to Special Collections

Great news for history lovers! After a two and one-half year effort, Hennepin County Library’s Special Collections department and Minneapolis Public Schools finally reached agreement on donating Joe Quigley’s aerials. They are now being professionally archived and scanned and will soon start appearing on HCL’s Digital Collections website for everyone to enjoy.  Here is the story.

Cedar Lake South Beach in 1896, 1924, and 2018

Cedar Lake South Beach sits at the heart of the Cedar-Isles-Dean neighborhood. In 2018 a major rebuilding of South Beach was completed. It seemed like a good time to cast our thoughts back 122 years, to 1896, when local photographer William Wallof captured this image of his nephew Paul Wallof III standing at the site of today’s South Beach.  Here is the photo and the story.

William Wallof photographed two boys (whose names were not recorded) in a rowboat at South Beach in the 1890s, with the George F. Warner house again in the background. This photo and caption has not (yet) appeared in Hill & Lake PressHere is the photo.

Fast-forward to 1924. The completion of the Cedar Lake-Lake of the Isles channel in November 2013 had lowered the water level in Cedar Lake by an astonishing five feet, creating the broad sandy beach which these boys enjoyed in 1924 and which we still enjoy today. Realtor and local historian Bob Glancy featured this photo and caption in one of his calendars which delighted Hill and Lake residents for many years.  Here is the photo.

The Park and Recreation Board and the Cedar-Isles-Dean Neighborhood Association hosted a grand reopening of South Beach on August 13, 2018. I tried my hand at creating an ad for the pages of Hill & Lake Press. It took hours! Not too bad, and definitely … colorful.  Here is the ad.



Linden Hills learns about Joe Quigley’s aerials

The Linden Hills History Study Group generously sponsored local historian Tom Balcom’s and my program on the Quigley aerials on Wednesday, May 23. Aaron Isaacs, author of “Twin Cities by Trolley,” pointed out the streetcar lines in Quigley’s aerials. Ted Hathaway, HCL Special Collections senior librarian, updated us on the effort to acquire the aerials from the Minneapolis school district. Gini Tyson, current owner of the house Joe built in 1916, was there, as were several Quigley family members. A great time — and all of us eager to see the aerials secured for the public domain. Here is the story.

Parks historian David Smith comes to Cedar-Isles-Dean

When it comes to the history of the Minneapolis park system, Dave Smith has (quite literally) written the book. He knows the highs, the lows, and everything in between, and on February 25, 2018, he came to Cedar-Isles-Dean to talk about “Linking Shrinking Lakes, a Deadly Railroad Crossing, and the Northwest Passage: CIDNA’s Rich Park History.” Here is the story.

Campaign begins to take Quigley aerials public

Joe Quigley’s aerials of Minneapolis schools and neighborhoods in the late 1920s-early 1930s provide an unparalleled view of the face of the city. “Shot from the seat of an open-cockpit plane,” Will Craig wrote in 2018, “his photos show us real places where buildings have sidewalks, windows, and doors.” Clearly, the Quigley aerial collection needed to be made available to the public.

Here is the story as it appeared in the April 2016 Hill & Lake Press.

In March through May 2016 I was researching the 40-year history of Hill & Lake Press, during which I read through all 425-odd issues of the paper and discovered that Will Craig had in fact published the same four aerial photos of the Hill and Lake neighborhoods 34 years earlier.  Here is the same story, updated a bit in 2018.

Quigley aerials (re)discovered

“Never-published aerial photographs” read the breathless headline in March 2016. Almost true: the aerial photographs hadn’t been seen as a group since Will Craig’s article thirty-four years earlier in the March 1982 Hill & Lake Press. But (re)discovering Joe Quigley’s aerial photos, and learning of the extent of the Quigley archive, was pretty exciting. Here is the story.