My Minneapolis, by Perry Mack
In honor of National Poetry Month, we’re sharing poetry from the past. This poem about Minneapolis, by Perry Mack, was published in the Minneapolis Daily Star on May 11, 1923.
In June I’d like to be,
With you as company
Round Isles or Calhoun,
We’d paddle honeymoon,
While moonbeams shining dance,
On our canoe romance,
Oh, fair-haired city Miss,
The Minneapolis Record Society
The Minneapolis Record Society, a private club, was founded by eighteen avid musical record collectors at the Main Library in 1940. By 1948, the Society had grown to 85 members. Members paid $2.00 to join the club and funds were used to cooperatively purchase musical records that were housed at Minneapolis Public Library and which supplemented the Library’s music collection. When new recordings were purchased, access for the first six months was limited exclusively to Society members who could play the new records in the Library’s soundproof music room or check them out to bring home. After six months passed, the general public could listen to the Society’s records, but only within the library.
Musical recordings, both from the Minneapolis Public Library and the Minneapolis Record Society collections, were very popular with library patrons. In 1946, library patrons checked out 9,159 records and played 7,727 in the library music room.
Today, Hennepin County Library’s music collection includes about 35,000 unique music CDs and more than 25,000 sheet music titles. You can search for music by format in our catalog or access music downloads with your Hennepin County Library card:
Overdrive Music –Download music to your computer or mobile device for a loan period of three weeks.
Freegal - Download three songs per week for free, to keep permanently.
Classical Music – Listen to a wide variety of classical and other musical genres.
Special Collections at Minneapolis Central has just added a turn-table to its collection. Stop by and listen to historic LP recordings of the Minnesota Orchestra.
Minneapolis City Directories, 1859-1922
Six more Minneapolis city directories have been digitized and added to the library’s website. Added were 1865 and 1918-1922. The digital directories are freely available to anyone, anywhere. Search or browse directories online.
Interested in who lived at your address in 1922? Want to know more about what businesses occupied the old storefront down the street? Wondering where your great grandmother lived when she moved to the city? Find out in the city directories!
Preservation photocopies were also made for each volume. These and later city directories are available in Special Collections. Microfiche and print copies are also available in the Minneapolis Central Library History and Social Sciences department on the 4th floor.
Edina Morningside Library
Edina Morningside Library was attached to The Westgate Theater, over near 44th and France. The Library shared a restroom with the theater. It was replaced by the Edina Library which was built in 1967 and remodeled in 2002.
Levi Stewart House at Hennepin Ave and 4th Street
Where the Gay 90s nightclub now stands, in downtown Minneapolis, once stood the cottage home of Elder Levi M. Stewart.
Maine born, Dartmouth and Harvard educated attorney “Elder” Levi M. Stewart came to Minneapolis in 1857 with $1500 for investing in real estate. He purchased three lots in North Minneapolis, but the titles were in question, and he lost every penny. He later said that the money lost was worth many times that $1500 in experience.
Stewart had offices on Nicollet and Washington Avenues. In 1860, he purchased the half block of ground on Hennepin Avenue between Fourth and Fifth Streets (kitty corner from the current Minneapolis Central Library), where he built a cottage in which he lived for the rest of his life. He kept the cottage, which was located in a central part of downtown Minneapolis, as a point of pride despite potentially lucrative offers to buy or least the property, ever increasing taxes and the encroachment of ever larger commercial buildings. In later years a friend noted that when Stewart purchased the property, it was considered remote, and hunters used to hunt ducks just blocks away.
Stewart had a successful law practice, but it was real estate that made him a wealthy man. He rarely sold his properties but leased them for long terms, including at least one lease for a term of 1000 years. Born to a second generation Baptist minister (“Elder” was a nickname that came from his father), Stewart lived a spartan life, never drinking tea, coffee or alcohol and abstaining from tobacco. He once refused a lucrative lease on one of his properties because the proposed hotel planned to include a bar. A lifelong bachelor, he kept up his residence alone, at least in part to avoid the appearance of impropriety with servant girls. He may have been Minneapolis’ first millionaire, leaving behind an estate with an estimated worth of $4 million at his death in 1910. And his real estate holdings in the city were extensive, including tracts on Lake Street between Portland and Third, tracts on Hennepin between 10th and 11th, and a sizable chunk of Nicollet Island.
Stewart referred to himself as a “home Baptist” since he never attended church. When asked by a revivalist, "Elder, don’t you want to go to heaven?" His response was "No, I guess not. Minneapolis is good enough for me."
1903 plat map pictured above. View a detailed 1885 Minneapolis plat map, the earliest in our collection.
This post was researched and written by Special Collections volunteer Paul Gustafson.
The Fuller Dymaxion World Map: Minneapolis, Hub of the World for Trade, Business and Travel
"This fundamental fact is worth repetition and emphasis: If you look at my strip map of the world island, concentrating on the North American continent, the most central place you can find is in Minnesota!
"So I say that Minnesota should play a very large role in tomorrow’s swelling world traffic between America, Europe and Asia. It should be possible to establish an entirely new transportation system center in this state. Construction of the Experimental City will give you a perfect opportunity to provide the vital hub for this future transportation system."
- R. Buckminster Fuller, Minneapolis Star, December 7, 1967
Fuller was a creative engineer, architect, inventor, and futurist, famous for his geodesic buildings. In this article, Fuller explained how Minneapolis is the hub of the world in his dymaxion concept.
Segelbaum’s Illustrated Fall and Winter Fashion Catalogue, 1892-1893
This catalog from Segelbaum’s Dry Goods is a recent addition to the Minneapolis Trade Catalog Collection. Segelbaum’s was located at the corner of Nicollet Avenue and 3rd Street (kitty corner from the library, where the Marquette Plaza Cancer Survivor’s Park now stands). According to the 1892-93 Minneapolis City Directory, the store sold millinery, notions, fancy goods, cloaks, suits, shawls, ladies’ muslin underwear, etc., draperies, bedding, and gents’ furnishings.
The Black Monkey Fur coat pictured above was selling for $22.00, which in current dollars is around $560.00.
In the midst of Irish-American Heritage Month and with St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, there is a great opportunity to reconsider the wittiness, pathos and rich language that Irish literature offers; the diverse voices and talents of Irish writers, past and present, provide something for every literary taste.
Whether you enjoy the classics, like Joyce, Wilde and Yeats, or the humor of Flann O’Brien’s short stories, the poetry of Seamus Heaney, or the contemporary stories of Edna O’Brien, William Trevor and Roddy Doyle, or genres like chick lit or crime stories, Irish literature can break your heart as well as raise your spirits.
This rich literary tradition has been shaped by the harsh beauty of the land; invasion and famine; political division and the “peculiarities” of the Irish language. Traditional Irish does not have “yes” or “no” answers, therefore responses are often echoed or embellished – does that not lead to the gift of gab and perhaps to the rich tradition of Irish literature?
Irish-American authors have also contributed significantly to America’s literary tradition, often including in their works, cultural conflicts between the old county and the new.
The library catalog can help you find Irish literature, films and music and check out these additional resources on Irish literature. Céad míle fáilte!
Irish Times Book Review
Poetry and Literary Magazines - Ireland
Ten Contemporary Irish Authors You Need to Know
15 Essential Irish Novels
Abby Shaw Mayhew, Leader of Women’s Physical Education in Minneapolis
When Abby Shaw Mayhew moved to Minneapolis in 1892, physical education for women had been practically unheard of—the woman’s place was the parlor, not the gymnasium. Miss Mayhew changed that. Under the auspices of the newly created YWCA she organized one of the first gym classes for women in Minneapolis. By 1897 the classes had grown to include 800 women, among its supporters, notable society women including Beatrice Lowry, wife to Thomas Lowry.
Miss Mayhew taught the seven elements believed required to perfect the body: poise, breathing, control or self-possession, food, dress, exercise, and bathing. Exercises included dumbbell work, club swinging, marching and fancy steps, handball, and hoop drills among others.
In 1897 Mayhew left Minneapolis to become head of women’s physical education at the University of Wisconsin—Madison, a post she held for 15 years. She then went to China to work with the national YWCA, until her retirement in 1930 at which point she returned to the Twin Cities. Mayhew died on November 2, 1954 at the age of 90.
March is Women’s History Month. Follow our friends at The Historyapolis Project for the month of March as they highlight more women significant to the history of Minneapolis.
Photo appeared in the Minneapolis Sunday Tribune, September 14, 1952.