Archive for the ‘Fireworks’ Tag

Minneapolis Park Memory: A Friend of Loring Park

After arriving in Minneapolis in September 1941, the first city park I became familiar with was Loring. I had come to enter nurse’s training at Eitel Hospital, and the park was right across the street. The park provided a beautiful view from patients’ rooms. It was also an oasis for student nurses, a place to relax in the summer or go skating on the lagoon in winter. Every nurse who has graduated from Eitel would have special memories of Loring Park.

The park looked different back in the forties. Old, tall trees grew along the edge of the lagoon. Now they are gone and tall grasses grow at the edge of the water. Bright red cannas blossomed in flower beds on the west side of the park. Now, “Friends of Loring” have created a large round garden on the northwest side called “Garden of the Seasons.” A variety of trees and flowers are in the center with benches and a brick path around it. Bricks can be donated in honor or memory of someone. A brick on the east side reads: “Eitel Hospital Nursing School — Class of 1944,” given in tribute to classmates, many of whom had served in the Army Nurse Corps in World War II.

In later years, my family and I enjoyed picnics at Minnehaha Park and viewing the beautiful Falls. Performances by the Aqua Follies at Theodore Wirth Park, and pop concerts at Lake Harriet on Sunday afternoons were great fun. My son as a teenager spent many winter evenings skating and playing hockey at McRae Park. On July 4th, we watched fireworks at Powderhorn Park. The park system provided something special for every season. My husband often said, “Minneapolis is the prettiest city I’ve ever seen.”

Ardelle Lande

Looking west across Loring Park from Eitel Hospital, 1375 Willow Street, in 1939. (Norton and Peel, Minnesota Historical Society, NP129145)

Editor’s note: For more photos of Eitel Hospital visit the Photo Collection of the Minnesota Historical Society.

If you have a Minneapolis Park Memory, send it to minneapolisparkhistory[at]q.com. If you have a digital photo to accompany your memory, we’d love to see it.

Minneapolis Park Memory: Spectacular Powderhorn

Powderhorn Park in south Minneapolis is a unique park with a large island in the middle of the lake. I lived about eight blocks from there, just the right distance for a walk. In the winter, my friend, Muriel, and I would tie the laces of our skates, carry them around our necks, and head for Powderhorn. It was a great place to skate around and around the island; we spent many days skating.

On Monday nights in the summer, we walked to the park to listen to the band concert (more important to us was to walk around and meet the boys). It was on one of those nights that I met my husband, and the first date I had with him was made there. That date never materialized, because I stepped on a bee while mowing the lawn and had to stay home. I’m not quite sure he really believed me, but we did get married a year or so later. Since he was in the service then and only able to get home a few times, we got married after only eleven dates.

July 4th was a big night at Powderhorn. All the families brought blankets and sat on the hills to watch the big fireworks display. The fireworks were lit on the island. One year there was a mishap; every one of the rockets went up at once. It made for a short, but spectacular event.

Fern Eidsvoog