Fire & Ice
Fourth Street South between Hennepin and Nicollet was a mass of ice on February 7, 1902 after a fire destroyed the Vendome Hotel. The alarm was sounded at 1:30 am.
There were 120 guests at the Vendome at the time of the fire, including Mr. and Mrs. George D. Dayton (founder of Dayton’s Department Store in 1903). Most guests exited by fire escapes, but fourth floor guests had to be rescued by fire truck extension ladders. At first, it was reported that no lives were lost, however, the body of one hotel guest was found in the ruins of the hotel several days later.
The Vendome Hotel was rebuilt—complete with fire sprinklers—and served Minneapolis guests for many decades. The building was demolished in 1959 to make way for the Gateway Center Renewal Project. During demolition, the Vendome caught fire again when a workman’s torch ignited combustible liquid. All of the work crew escaped the three-alarm blaze.
Today, Xcel Energy stands on the site where the Vendome Hotel was located. Minneapolis Central Library is just across the street.
Photos are from the Bromley Photo Collection. View more History of Minneapolis Historic Photos.
Richards Treat, 1924-1957
Recently, Star Tribune restaurant and food critic Rick Nelson was asked “If you could pick one Minneapolis restaurant from the past that you would like to revisit, what would it be?” “It might be Richards Treat,” he replied.
In 1924, two home economics professors at the University of Minnesota Farm School decided to quit teaching and put their theories to practice. Lenore Richards and Nola Treat formed Richards Treat, a “home-like” cafeteria and landmark in downtown Minneapolis with a national reputation for good food and hospitality.
Miss Richards and Miss Treat placed importance on nutrition, carefully choosing their methods for buying, storing, preparing and serving their foods in order to retain the highest number of vitamins and minerals. Little cards were placed beside the foods in the cafeteria line calling attention to the nutrients within each serving, and nutritional facts were placed on tables and bulletin boards throughout the cafe. But Richards Treat didn’t sacrifice flavor for nutrients. Cafeteria favorites included Norwegian split-pea soup, baked ham with spiced fruit, oven-fresh hot breads, mushrooms and vegetables, puddings of all kinds, fruit muffins, and a noteworthy lemon pie. Newspaper columnist Barbara Flanagan was especially fond of the ham loaf with mustard sauce.
Treat and Richards were co-authors of Quantity Cookery, a compilation of their popular recipes, which served as a text for college students and as a guide to managers and menu makers. The two were also involved in numerous civic activities and both served on the Board of Directors of the National Restaurant Association.
Richards Treat cafeteria closed its doors on July 16, 1957. The building, at 114 S 6th St. was razed that year to make way for the new First National Bank building.
March 1914: In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb?
“In like a lion, out like a lamb? Here’s hoping.” These sentiments were shared 100 years ago, on March 2, 1914 by Minneapolis Journal cartoonist Charles “Bart” Bartholomew. Bart worked as a political cartoonist for the Journal from 1899-1915. He was also the dean of the Federal Schools’ division of illustrating and cartooning, organized Bart Supplies art supply store, and wrote twelve textbooks on illustration and cartooning.
Special Collections has an extensive collection of Bart cartoons and proofs, collection M/A 1994.06.01-08. We are nearing completion of the full description of this collection and are in the process of digitizing the cartoons.
Looking for an excuse to turn on the oven during these cold winter days? Why not try out some traditional and retro baking recipes! This citrus season try Mrs. Arnold Hawkinson’s lemon raisin cookies or Mrs. Marian Croonquist’s orange drop cookies (recipe below) from Tested American and Scandinavian Recipes, compiled by the Zion Lutheran Church of Minneapolis circa 1930s.
Orange Drop Cookies
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup shortening
3 eggs (whole)
1 1/2 tsp. grated orange rind
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. soda
1/2 cup sour milk or buttermilk
3 cups flour
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts
Cream shortening and sugar, add eggs, then orange rind, sift salt, baking powder, soda, and flour, add alternately with milk. Drop by teaspoons and bake 10 minutes in 350 degree oven.
Icing: 1 cup powdered sugar, 1/3 cup orange juice, 1 1/2 tsp. grated orange rind. Mix together well.
Visit Special Collections to browse dozens of local cookbooks from a variety of clubs and organizations. In addition to recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you’ll find tips and tricks for being a successful home cook.
Magic Tricks with the Minneapolis Park Board
Jean Barrett, left, and Lou Ann Trautmas looked with steady eyes, but no use. “Professor” Richard Cornwell gave the sorcerer’s lingo, and, alas! the coin was gone!
- Minneapolis Tribune, January 1, 1939
The children learned tricks while participating in a program sponsored by the Minneapolis Park Board.
First Woman Member of the Minneapolis Gun Club
Nettie Shattuck aims at geese on Lake of the Isles. The photo, which accompanied a Minneapolis Tribune article about Shattuck on May 7, 1899, appears to be posed at the north bay of the Lake.
An accomplished markswoman, Shattuck was the first honorary woman member of the Minneapolis Gun Club. She won prize money in several trap-shooting tournaments including the 1899 Grand American Handicap Tournament in Elkwood, NJ. Her winnings of $36 were small compared to the enormous gain in her reputation.
Growing up, Nettie Shattuck (then Nettie Macomber) went to shooting galleries with her father. She didn’t begin shooting in the field until the early 1890s, after she married William P. Shattuck, a Minneapolis inventor. The Shattucks lived at 2125 Girard Ave South.
“An American Markswoman of Note,” Minneapolis Tribune, May 7, 1899
“Won New Glory: Mrs. W.P. Shattuck Took Second Prize at Canton,” Minneapolis Tribune, June 25, 1899.
Minneapolis City Directories: 1902 and 1906
History of Maple Grove Library
Earliest service to Maple Grove was extensive bookmobile service to the farms and schools. This was begun in the 1920’s. By 1984 Maple Grove was the busiest bookmobile stop in the county. In 1951, Barbara Flanagan, writer on the Minneapolis Tribune, rode along for a day’s trip with Olaf Jacobson and Helen Young. Among her comments, “At the farm home of Mrs. Viola Tasler near Maple Grove, Miss Young distributed 14 books. Maple Grove school children, who had been playing baseball in the yard, flocked to the truck to select books.” There were multiple stops in the area along Bass Lake Road and Weaver Lake Drive.
Planning for the Maple Grove Library began in 1970. The chosen site was two acres in size. The groundbreaking was August 15, 1986. The original plan called for 5,000 square feet, but it was doubled to 10,000 square feet. The opening was Tuesday, October 6, 1987. The library opened with 30,000 books, 150 periodicals, 800 records, and various pamphlets, slides and tapes. The formal dedication was on April 17, 1988, with Howard Mohr as speaker. The expansion began in the summer of 1995 with the architect Bernard Jacobs. The library was open during construction except for December 22, 1995 – February 18, 1996. The library reopened on February 19, 1996 with 15,000 square feet. The expansion budget of $1,500,000 included $100,000 for F & E and $140,000 for collection. Additions included a new quiet study area and an expanded reading room. The library also included a designated teen area. The current building was built in 2010.
The Friends of the Library formed in October of 1987.
Anita Force, President
Cathy Stephenson, Vice President
Dorothy Schoeneman, Secretary
Maggie Novak, Treasurer.
The second president of the Friends was Cathy Stephenson, elected 1988.
The first volunteer was Jan Zoch.
Winter Fashion, 1915
With the 2014 Winter Olympics underway, we’ve got our minds on winter sports in Minneapolis. Pictured is a woman modeling an ice skater’s costume in 1915. Loving the scalloped hem on the coat!
Ice Skating in the Park, 1947
With the 2014 Winter Olympics underway, we’ve got our minds on winter sports in Minneapolis. Lois Waddel laces up ice skates as other children look on with quizzical gazes. The skates were donated to the Northland Park Rink at Colfax and 4th Ave N.
Minneapolis Times, December 26, 1947
Check out more ice skating photos in the Minneapolis Photo Collection.