100 Years of South Minneapolis Bakeries: Some Histories
Minneapolis Central Library
RKMC Meeting Room
Saturday, Oct. 4, 1–2:30 p.m.
In 1935, there were 115 “Bakeries - Retail” listed in South Minneapolis. What happened before and after that milestone? Discover some of the many ways Minneapolitans got their breads and goodies. Personal, neighborhood and corporate histories of such landmarks as Egekvist’s, Emrich’s, Wuollet’s and the People’s Company Bakery are part of the bigger story. Historian Phil Anderson of MCAD presents.
Loft Literary Center Looks at Longfellow
Pictured is an assortment of fancy covers of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “The Song of Hiawatha” from the 19th Century American Studies Collection at the Hennepin County Library Special Collections.
Join Chris Martin and guests Heid Erdrich, Gwen Westerman, Brad Zellar, Brian Laidlaw, Sarah Fox, Joe Horton, and more in an evening interrogating Minnesota’s founding literary text, Longfellow’s “The Song of Hiawatha,” from a contemporary perspective.
Witness how these local luminaries rethink, revise, and rewrite Hiawatha in poetry, prose, and song.
Date & Time: October 04, 2014 (7:00 p.m.)
Location: The Loft at Open Book (Performance Hall)
Learn more about the Loft Literary Center or visit loftliterary on Tumblr. Check out the event page on Facebook for more info.
History of Crystal/Rockford Road Library
Address Crystal Shopping Center, 255 Willow Bend, (Bass Lake Road &
Square Feet 126’ x 22’ total space; 96’ x 22’ library working area
Cost Rental at $6350/yr. (First year free)
Open to public April 7, 1960
Dedication July 25, 1960
Closed May 22, 1972
Overview of Community and Library
Crystal’s first library opened April 7, 1960, replacing the bookmobile stop. Located in a business block of the Crystal Shopping Center among regular retail stores, it was an experiment in this type of location.
In 1958 the Village of Crystal showed interest in a branch library. Population at that time was 15,000. HCL’s Helen Young met with the village council early that year to explain the type of building and general location necessary for library quarters.
On November 17, 1959 the Crystal council resolved to provide housing for a free public library in the Crystal Shopping Center. Property was leased for a six-year term.
The Crystal Library closed May 22, 1972. Services to the Crystal and New Hope communities resumed when the new Rockford Road Library opened June 5,1972.
The library’s dedication was part of the Crystal Village Centennial (July 25-31, 1960) Raymond Williams, MPL Librarian gave the dedication address. Other speakers were:
Governor Orville Freeman
Hannis S. Smith, Director, State Library Division
Mrs. John Rood, President of MPL Board
Helen Young, Director, HCL
John Grogan, Mayor of Crystal
The Opening Collection housed 12,000 volumes.
Maureen Sullivan, Librarian
Jeannette Deich, Assistant Librarian
Helen Sullivan, Clerk
Rockford Road Library
The Rockford Road Library was built in 1972 and was renovated and expanded in 1997. It primarily serves residents in the first-ring suburbs of Robbinsdale, Crystal and New Hope. These cities are home to many people from diverse backgrounds; including immigrants and refugees who speak more than 50 languages. Access to computers, the availability of computer tutors, conversation circles, baby and family storytimes help to make Rockford Road a popular community destination.
One of the most notable features of the library is the Giant and Jack and the Beanstalk sculpture located in the children’s area. This colorful work of art by popular library artist Christopher Tully draws young and old alike into the picture book area. A large meeting room, conference room and two small study rooms also are popular features of the library.
One of the First Motorized Tandem Bikes in the City, Circa Early 1900s
Bicycling rose in popularity in the last few decades of the 19th century, leading to many innovations in bike construction. We can see two examples of that innovation here – the extra seat, and the inclusion of a motor. While it is obviously influenced by the design of previous tandem bicycles, calling this a “tandem” might be a bit misleading, since the front passenger here plays no role in powering the bike (note the lack of pedals, brakes, or steering mechanism on the front end). The motor is likely meant to replace the pedaling assistance of the passenger – there are still pedals by the back seat, suggesting the motor plays a supplemental role. This might be thought of as the distant ancestor of the bicycle cabs that still ferry around passengers in Downtown Minneapolis.
The first known example of a functional cycle with more than two wheels was James Starley’s Coventry tricycle, invented in 1876. Starley went on to invent the Salvo quadricycle in 1877, which had two large wheels on either side of the rider’s seat and two small ones to the front and back. The Salvo was enormously popular with the British upper class – Queen Victoria bought two.
The first tandems appeared in the 1870s, and enjoyed a surge in popularity in the 1890s as designs improved. A large part of the tandem’s appeal was the social aspect – it allowed a man and a woman to share a bicycle ride together. There was some debate, however, about whether the lady should ride in the front (where she would occupy the place of honor) or in the rear (where the man could leap from the front seat and protect her from any danger). Either way, it was a popular courting option, as shown by composer Henry Dacre’s popular song “Daisy Bell (Bicycle Built For Two).”
Photograph by Edward A. Bromley, scanned from glass plate negative.
This post was researched and written by Special Collections intern Helen Walden-Fodge. Helen has been working with several archival collections this summer, including the Bromley glass plate negative collection.
Highway Proposed For Kenilworth Corridor….In 1940
Even during the Depression, the growth of automobile traffic surged, leading the Minneapolis Planning Dept to propose a number of new and expanded roadways through and around the city. Among them was a two-lane road with a wide median running from what was then Wayzata Boulevard just North of Kenwood, through the Kenilworth Corridor, connecting to the Lake St/Mtka Blvd/Hwy 7 commons around France avenue.
As is well-known with the current controversy surrounding the SWLRT, the “chain of lakes” presents a considerable physical barrier to accessing the downtown from the southwest. This 1940 report points out that Kenilworth Corridor offers one of the few alternate routes of access. The “Southwest Diagonal Thorofare” was proposed “to intercept traffic from Minnetonka Boulevard and Trunk Highway No. 7 at France Ave., and conduct this traffic into the central business area on a route avoiding West Lake St. and Hennepin Ave,” essentially following the path now planned for the SWLRT.
From A Report on a Survey of Traffic on Major Arterial Streets and Trunk Highways and Recommendations and Plans for the Improvement of Traffic Facilities. City Planning Commission, Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 1, 1940.
In The Stacks with Hans Weyandt: Miniatures
Within the bounty of the Special Collections there is a sub-category that I never figured out how to accurately search for. Through sheer luck I stumbled upon two books in the catalog whose titles intrigued me.
The first is by Mark Twain and its title, The Shame Is Ours, was something I’d never heard of. I figured that I’m no Twain scholar and that it was possible there was another work of his I haven’t read. When I arrived the next morning Bailey had already pulled all of the 25 books I’d requested the previous day. On top of the cart were two small envelopes with call letters written on them. I opened one and found the Twain. It is something that could fit in a jewelry box and, probably, that is where it belongs. It has a basic, speckled, cover with title only. This was toward the last days of the Ferguson, MO disaster. It felt quite right for me to read this little work. It’s not a book in the most basic sense. It’s a letter from Twain to the head of Yale’s Law School informing him that, if Warner T. McGuinn, one of the first African-American students at Yale Law School, was admitted, Twain would cover the expenses. It is a small treatise on race and that we are still, very clearly, struggling with.
The second mini book was a small blue book titled Historic American Flags. It easily fit in the palm of my hand and each image was an old stamp. All of them were pretty—many versions of the Stars and Stripes. My two favorites are probably the First Navy Jack from 1775 that includes the now Tea Party hijacked snake and ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ statement. The second is also from 1775 and is the Washington Cruiser’s flag with a simple evergreen tree and the words ‘An Appeal to Heaven.’
Most of the smaller offerings in Special Collections are scattershot and have no easily recognizable theme. Bailey told me there are a couple hundred of these mini books. I’m glad two found their way to me. I’ll be back to search out more.
Hans Weyandt is currently a writer-in-residence at the Central branch of the Hennepin County Library. Hans has worked at four independent bookstores in St. Paul and Minneapolis over the past 15 years. He is the former co-owner of Micawber’s Books and the editor of “Read This! Handpicked Favorites from America’s Indie Bookstores” published by Coffee House Press. He currently works at Sea Salt Eatery, Moon Palace Books and Big Bell Ice Cream.
Join us at Central library tomorrow at 6:15 pm for a tour of the collection and a conversation with Hans. Visit our Facebook event page for more info.
The world of miniature books. Join us tomorrow at 6:15 for a tour of Special Collections and a conversation with Hans.
Minneapolis Business Trade Cards
Over 300 Minneapolis business trade cards from the Hennepin County Library Special Collections are now available to view in the Minnesota Digital Library. The bulk of the collection dates from the late 19th century and early 20th century and includes a range of businesses, from clothing stores to flour mills.
Wobblies and Robber Barons: An Historical Battle on Minnesota’s Iron Range
Tuesday, Sept. 16, 7-8:30 p.m. Minneapolis Central, RKMC meeting room
Labor Historian Peter Rachleff will discuss the present and the past of Minnesota’s Iron Range in the era of World War I. He will explore the lives and struggles of immigrant miners, their affiliation with the Industrial Workers of the World, their confrontation with Andrew Carnegie and his minions, and their impact on Minnesota’s labor history. Register online or call 612.543.5669
Extraordinary levels of inequality between rich and poor, workers fighting for a living wage, powerful employers busting unions, government crackdowns on immigrants, limitations on the right to vote. Sound familiar? But this is not a talk about today’s economic and political battlefields. Join labor historian Peter Rachleff as he provokes a conversation between the present and the past, the past of Minnesota’s Iron Range in the era of World War I. He will explore the lives and struggles of immigrant miners and their affiliation with the Industrial Workers of the World, popularly known as the Wobblies, in their confrontation with Andrew Carnegie and his minions, and he will trace their impact on Minnesota’s labor history.