Sheepish: What’s Old is New in Park Maintenance

Minneapolis is now in its second year of testing goats to control invasive plants, especially buckthorn, in parks. The concept may be novel, but it’s not new.

Long ago in park history, attention focused on sheep rather than goats, but you say ovine, I say hircine.  I don’t see much difference between sheep and goats to control plants; whether you ride a Toro or a Deere, the grass gets cut.

800px-Goats_on_an_Argan_(Argania_spinosa)_tree_in_Morocco

Goats eating big weeds in Wirth Park. Not really. These are tree-climbing goats in Morocco, not Minneapolis. Photo: Marco Arcangeli.

The idea of sheep in Minneapolis parks was first proposed in 1906 by recently hired park superintendent Theodore Wirth. He proposed putting sheep in what was then Glenwood Park (the park was renamed for Wirth in 1938). He wrote in the annual report that year,

“There is nothing prettier in landscape effect than a flock of sheep grazing on the meadow and hill-sides.”

Of course Theodore Wirth grew up in Switzerland, so the sight of flocks on a hillside probably stirred warm memories of childhood for him. But he also had the park example of sheep in New York’s Central Park. The huge open space today called the Sheep Meadow in Manhattan was once actually a meadow filled with sheep. Wirth was a great admirer of Frederick Law Olmsted who designed Central Park, so what was good enough for the master was good with him too.

(Keep reading, there’s lots of links to restored blog posts at the end of this goat story.) Read more »

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Minneapolis’s Amazing River Parks: West River Parkway

In view of my presentation to the Citizens Advisory Council on the Mississippi River Gorge Master Plan this evening, I am reproducing the histories of the East and West River Parkways here. I would recommend reading them both as not all background information is repeated.

West River Parkway

West River Parkway is the current name for the parkway along the river bluff that extends down the Mississippi River Gorge from Portland Avenue to Minnehaha Park. Included in the 205.13 acres of park land listed in the MPRB inventory is all land from the parkway down the gorge to the river’s edge.

The first official name for the riverside land was West Riverside Park, which was adopted in 1904. (Not to be confused with Riverside Park, which was south of Franklin Avenue and not yet contiguous then with the river gorge park.) William Folwell had proposed naming it Michael Accault Park. Folwell noted that Accault was the leader of the French exploring party that included Father Louis Hennepin as a subordinate member in 1679. Hennepin is credited with being the first European to view St. Anthony Falls, which he named after his patron saint, Saint Anthony of Padua. The park board chose a more descriptive name and Accault’s name has been forgotten. In 1906, when the parkway was given its first permanent pavement, it was renamed River Road West. Read more »

Minneapolis’s Amazing River Parks: East River Parkway

In view of my presentation to the Citizens Advisory Council on the Mississippi River Gorge Master Plan this evening, I am reproducing the histories of the East and West River Parkways here.

East River Parkway

East River Parkway extends along the east side of the Mississippi River from Arlington Street SE on the University of Minnesota campus downriver to the Minneapolis boundary with St. Paul. The entire acreage from the parkway to the river’s edge is 84.99 acres.

Originally the property was referred to informally as East River Bank Parkway, but was officially named St. Anthony Parkway in 1901. The name of the parkway was changed to East River Road in 1906. At the same time, the east and west river roads, Riverside Park and Minnehaha Park were all officially named parts of Mississippi Park. The current park name was adopted in 1968 when most park roads were officially renamed as “parkways.” In December 1894, upon the suggestion of William Folwell, the board approved naming the east river flats “Cheever’s Landing,” for the man who had operated a ferry on the site in the early days of the city. While the name was officially adopted, the area has always been referred to informally as the East River Flats Park.

The banks of the Mississippi River below St. Anthony Falls, the only true gorge along the entire length of the Mississippi River, played a central role in the creation of the Minneapolis park system. Horace William Shaler Cleveland, the Chicago-based landscape architect Read more »

Wild River: A rainy morning on the Mississippi

I had a brilliant boat trip on the Mississippi this morning from Bohemian Flats to the Ford Bridge and back. It was raining, and everything was damp except for enthusiasm for the spectacular river scenery. I was in the company of people comprising the Citizens Advisory Council (CAC), which is creating the Park Board’s Master Plan for the Mississippi River Gorge.

The CAC meets next on Monday, 5:30 p.m., at the MPRB Headquarters beside the river in north Minneapolis, if you’re interested. I’m giving a very brief intro to the history of the river gorge to open that meeting.

Long ago H.W.S. Cleveland called the river gorge the “Jewel of Minneapolis.” I agree. and I applaud St. Paul and Minneapolis for working together to preserve and protect the wild banks of the river. We were delighted to be joined this morning by two representatives of the St. Paul Parks and Recreation Department as well. As much as the two cities have  competed with each other, sometimes not nicely, their complementary actions to maintain the river banks as protected public property is praiseworthy. Both cities would be different without the effort to protect the river banks.

Former park commissioner Scott Vreeland emphasized on the river ride this morning that the real challenge for the master planners is choosing a wise path between preserving what’s wild and making this great treasure accessible. That is especially true as we contemplate the possibilities of a river without barge traffic and, therefore, without the need for a working lock and dam. Would the restoration of the river gorge to rapids and islands, to its condition before the Ford Dam was built in 1917, enhance the river’s value to the people of Minnesota? Important issues.

I was struck again this morning by the great interest so many people in the area have in the history of our parks and the river—and how so many people know different parts of the story, or have different perceptions of those parts. Reminds me that history is never a single story, not one thread, but many.

Two More Things

A friend is desperately trying to find a photo of Thomas Lowry and his family, especially his eldest daughter, to illustrate a book he is writing that is very near being turned over to the printer. I don’t know of any. If you do, please let me know. Soon.

I have reposted an old favorite on Seven Oaks Oval to keep a promise made this morning. It’s the most unusual park in Minneapolis.

David C. Smith 

New Bell Museum

I found an old post about visiting the James Ford Bell Museum of Natural History on the Minneapolis campus of the University of Minnesota and wanted to provide a link to the new, renamed Bell Museum near the St. Paul campus which opens in July. I can’t wait to see it. I think it will become a new favorite. It has a planetarium among many other new wonders. Get more info here.

When the little girl I used to take to the old one returns home from college for a short visit this summer, I think we’ll go. I hope they take the wolf and moose with them.

I also just saw for the first time anywhere an old photo of the river flats on the east bank that shows a baseball field there. I hope to be able to post that picture sometime soon. I might have to buy it first!

David C. Smith

Timeless Quote, Ever-changing Parks

“The men and women of today who recall with lively joy the days when they played unwatched through the long summer days in meadow or woods or the old swimmin’ hole are likely to pity the youngsters of the present whose recreation is supervised and scheduled by grownups. For young dreamers with vigorous personalities there was something not to be duplicated in the lazy happiness of those days. But “other times, other customs.” City life of today is immeasurably more complicated: it has manifold possibilities for evil, numerous forces which make the child sophisticated before his time and which make a carefully planned constructive work necessary.”

The quote is from the Minneapolis Tribune, June 20 — 1920! Only 98 years ago. I first published it in these pages in 2010, but it’s worth another look. What a shock Instagram would be to the author of those lines.

I’ve reposted a few more older entries. Thanks to Chris for pointing out some dead links in my Lost Parks posts. I’m restoring those too.

On a personal note: Congratulations to long-time readers and park lovers Dick and Donna Smith on their 70th wedding anniversary last weekend.

In the year they were married, 1948:

  • The Park Board acquired Todd Park, Perkins Hill Park, Armatage Park and the Shingle Creek Valley north from Weber Park
  • Park Superintendent Charles Doell noted in his annual report that Minnehaha Creek was dry almost the entire year except for a short time in the spring, when water flow had been less than half of normal.
  • The Park Board formalized an agreement with the School Board, an effort led by Park Commissioner Maude Armatage, to jointly develop what became Waite Park and School and Armatage Park and School.
  • Park Board gardeners planted 3,613 perennials at the Kenwood Parkway Garden, which is now the southern end of the Sculpture Garden
  • The Auto Tourist Park near the river bluff in what is now the Waubun picnic area of Minnehaha Park hosted 3,010 travellers in 1,051 cars from 31 states, the District of Columbia, Canada and Norway. There were 25 small cabins and a main lodge in the camp, which earned net income of $912.57 for the year
  • The most popular indoor activity sponsored by the recreation department that fall and winter was Women’s Bowling with more than 22,000 participants
  • A steep drop in attendance at swimming beaches in August resulted in a 20% decline for the summer. Doell speculated that fear created by a polio outbreak may have caused the drop
  • The wading pool at Van Cleve Park was filled
  • The first stop lights on Minnehaha Parkway were installed at Portland, Bloomington and Lyndale Avenues and on East Calhoun Boulevard at Lake Street.
  • Tenth Avenue South was vacated through Elliot Park to create a playground
  • A water line was installed to Eloise Butler Wild Flower Garden for use in “drouth” conditions
  • The first barge load of stone and sand from the US Army Engineers project to create an “Upper Harbor” was deposited along the west bank of the river downstream from Washington Avenue at the request of the park board as part of plans to create a scenic highway along the river
  • Most of Northeast Park was still occupied by the quonset huts of the veterans housing project, Theodore Wirth Park still extended a couple blocks west of Brownie Lake, and Parade Stadium hadn’t yet been built to be torn down.
  • A new  flagpole base, since replaced, was dedicated on Victory Memorial Drive
  • There were no freeways
  • Hubert Humphrey resigned as Mayor when he was elected to the U.S. Senate, which meant that he also left his ex-officio seat on the Park Board
  • The Park Board participated in the placement of a headstone marking the grave of landscape architect Horace William Shaler Cleveland at Lakewood Cemetery. Cleveland’s body had been interred in an unmarked grave next to his wife’s when he died in 1900.

David C. Smith

Minnehaha Falls Tour: Preserve Minneapolis

I will be leading a walking tour around Minnehaha Falls—More than Just a Little Laugh—on August 21 for Preserve Minneapolis. That, by the way, is the working title of a book I’m writing about the Falls. I’m told that tickets for the tour are still available if you’re interested. You can get more information and reserve your place here. We’ll consider some of the history of the Falls both before and after it became Minnesota’s first state park. If you can’t make that date, Preserve Minneapolis offers quite a few other tours that look fascinating. I know some of the regular readers of these pages will be leading tours too. I hope you’ll check out the full schedule of tours throughout the summer.

I’ve also reposted a few more stories from this blog’s past. Read about the toboggan slides at Glenwood (Wirth) Park in the 1880s (looking down and looking up), the first motorcyle driven by Minneapolis park police called the Flying Merkel (plus a followup), and a north Minneapolis coach who is remembered by many.

David C. Smith

Restored Posts: Makwa Club, Toboggans, Building Restrictions, Parkways

In response to requests and my own whimsy I have restored several posts to these pages today.

I restored one post at the request of author Joe McAleer, whom I met through these pages. He is just finishing a biography of one of the most fascinating characters I’ve come across in Minneapolis history,  Harry Perry Robinson. Joe’s book is entitled Escape Artist: The Nine Lives of Harry Perry Robinson, which is due out in June 2019 from Oxford University Press. Robinson visited Minneapolis as a young Englishman right out of college in the 1880s and made the city his home for several years while writing for local newspapers, becoming besties with many influential Minneapolitans and marrying the daughter of Thomas Lowry. He achieved his greatest fame as a correspondent covering World War I from the trenches of France for London newspapers and was knighted for his efforts. I’m really looking forward to reading his life story.

Due to a link in the piece Robinson inhabits on this site, I also restored some of my favorite photos: the toboggan slide from Queen Avenue out onto Lake Harriet. There is much to see in those images from 1914.

Toboggan Slide Lake Harriet 1914 side

The impressive structure of the Lake Harriet toboggan slide (Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board)

Given continuing discussions of building near Minneapolis lakes, I wanted to restore a piece I wrote a few years ago about how the city passed the first ordinance limiting building heights around lakes. It was passed in 1912 in response to a threat to build a hotel beside Lake of the Isles at 25th Street.

I also reposted stories on the intersection of Dean Parkway and Calhoun Parkway.

I’ve reposted a few other pieces that seemed worthwhile, which I’ll let you discover for yourself by scrolling through the site.

David C. Smith

In the past I included my email address on everything I posted here, but due to the volume of spam I received I had to quit doing that. But you can always reach me by posting a comment on some post or page on this site. Every comment is reviewed before it is posted, so they all come to my attention.

Influential Women in Minneapolis Park History

I just received a new post from the Minneapolis Parks Foundation blog by Janette Law about five important women in the history of Minneapolis parks. Janette wrote her tribute to celebrate Women’s History Month. I wanted to add to Janette’s tribute by adding the name of Alice Dietz to her list, as well as Inez Crimmins and Lorna Phillips. I have re-posted from my archives a profile of some of Ms. Dietz’s accomplishments as well as additional information on one of Janette’s notable women, Maude Armatage. Armatage was the first woman to serve as a park commissioner and still holds the record for the longest consecutive term of service as a commissioner at 30 years. (Francis Gross served a total of 33 years as a commissioner, but in four segments.) The piece on Armatage is especially important because it includes a photo of Armatage with Crimmins and Phillips, the second and third women to be Minneapolis park commissioners. I also re-posted a charming photo and info sent by reader Bea Dunlap on her memory of Alice Dietz and the playground pageants she wrote, choreographed and directed.

I would encourage someone, perhaps even young historians for History Day projects, to investigate further the contributions of park commissioners Crimmins and Phillips who served from the mid-1950s and Beverly Smerling who served as a commissioner from 1963-1969. In addition, little has been written, to my knowledge, of the first women to be elected President of the Park Board:  Naomi Loper was the first in 1980, succeeded by Patricia Hillmeyer in 1982 and Patricia Baker in 1985.

Many other women who served as recreation directors at parks have also had a profound influence on the people and neighborhoods they served. If you remember someone from your park, I’d be happy to publish your recollections here.

David C. Smith

 

New Names for Minneapolis Parks

Naming the meadow at Riverside Park in honor of Annie Young was a very nice gesture by the Minneapolis park board — and appropriate — although it was approved with contempt for board rules and public input, the type of thing you wouldn’t expect from commissioners who seemed to think during the last campaign that they invented the notion that parks are for people. (Those same commissioners, by the way, utterly trashed Annie’s achievements as a commissioner by trying to portray past boards as evil polluters and themselves as eco-saviors. If you will recall, Annie herself did not endorse the present board leadership during the 2017 election, I suspect at least in part, because of their apparent disrespect for her.)

I would not be in favor, however, of changing the name of Riverside Park to include Annie Young’s name. Riverside Park was one of the first four neighborhood parks acquired by the first park board when it was created in 1883. Along with Logan (originally Washburn) Park in northeast, Farview (originally Prospect) Park in north Minneapolis and Loring (originally Central) Park in the southwest, Riverside Park was part of the original plan to give each quadrant of the city a neighborhood park. Among those four original parks, Riverside is the only one that has had only one name. It is the oldest park name in the Minneapolis park system and should remain as it has for almost 135 years.

While contemplating the topic of park names I have gone back and reposted several earlier articles I had written about park names, part of my continuing effort to update this site.

All the names in Minneapolis parks. All 132 names in Minneapolis parks that refer to a person. Now the count grows to 133 with the naming of the meadow at Riverside park for Annie Young.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I wrote about the original name change from Nicollet Field to Dr. Martin Luther King Park following King’s assassination in 1968, an excellent decision even though it did require a suspension of the rules, too. Those were dramatic times. The name was subsequently modified again in 2010 to the present mouthful. I’ll give a dollar to anyone who pushed for that last name change who ever uses the full name. MLK is one of the few sets of initials in U.S. history that everyone knows along with FDR and JFK. Maybe LBJ. Men as big as King don’t need honorifics. Still, as a formality, I don’t object. It just seemed needless.

Tower Hill Park. The park is not named for the “Witch’s Hat” tower.

Bde Maka Ska. Some thoughts on the proposed name change for Lake Calhoun before it was passed.

H.W.S. Cleveland. I’ve posted three times —  first, second, third — about adding the name of Horace William Shaler Cleveland to our park system, preferably somewhere in the Mississippi River gorge, which he was so instrumental in preserving from destruction. The third link above celebrates the introduction of a resolution to the park board that set in motion adding Cleveland’s name to the west side of the river gorge. Unfortunately, that effort has stalled.

Perkins Hill Park. The park was not named for Frances Perkins, FDR’s Secretary of Labor. As a member of the cabinet, she was the first woman to be in the line of succession to the Presidency of the U.S. The Perkins name in Minneapolis came long before her tenure in Washington; it goes back to property owners in early Minneapolis.

Loring Park. The first park acquired by the Minneapolis Board of Park Commissioners was officially named Central Park. Loring Park was the third name given to the park.

The Commons. When I wrote about this donation of public land to the Minnesota Vikings — the park is reserved for private use about 20% of the time at essentially no cost — it was called The Yard. A short time after my post, the name was changed to The Commons. That makes me feel so much better about our city’s largesse to a private business to which we had already donated hundreds of millions. Oh, I almost forgot, we got the Super Bowl for it — with lots of events we couldn’t get into. So much fun.

Gentrification. Inevitably names like Devil’s Glen in Glenwood (Wirth) Park were changed. Too bad. There must have been at least a story behind the old name; the new one — Birch Pond — tells none. The Devil had his name on several topographical features back in the day, including “Devil’s Backbone” for the ridge running southwest of downtown Minneapolis.  Lowry Hill was part of it. That hill used to be higher, but was cut down, in part, to create a more manageable grade for Hennepin Avenue. One of the last “mounds” to be cut down is where Thomas Lowry Park now stands. Maybe in that day, the Devil generated as much naming outrage as John C. Calhoun.

These are just a few of past entries on this site that dealt with park names. I will be reposting many more articles in the near future.

David C. Smith

 

CIDNA Presentation and Minneapolis Winter Olympics Nuggets

You’re all invited to my next public presentation Sunday, February 25, 3:00 p.m. at Jones-Harrison Residence, 3700 Cedar Lake Avenue. My talk, which I’ve entitled “Linking Shrinking Lakes, a Deadly Railroad Crossing, and the Northwest Passage: CIDNA’s Rich Park History” is part of the CIDNA Speaker Series. CIDNA is the Cedar-Isles-Dean Neighborhood Association, which encompasses parts of Cedar Lake, Lake of the Isles and Lake Calhoun. It’s free and open to anyone, not only CIDNA residents.

I’ll talk mostly about the history of parks in that neighborhood, but as always I would be happy to entertain questions about park history throughout the city.

To relieve any apprehension of controversy and fisticuffs, my reference to a “deadly railroad crossing” has nothing to do with SWLRT, but rather goes back about 10 park superintendents. Perhaps you’ve heard of the “missing link” in the Grand Rounds parkway system. Historically that refers to the gap in the Grand Rounds from St. Anthony Parkway (and Stinson Boulevard at one time) in Northeast Minneapolis through the U of M campus back to East River Parkway. But there was once, technically, another gap in Minneapolis parkways right in the middle of the CIDNA neighborhood.

Winter Olympics and Minneapolis

To elevate this post above crass self-promotion, I’m including some wildly entertaining and illuminating Minneapolis historical info that relates to the Olympic games which many of us are watching this week.

The trials for the U.S. Ski Team for the 1924 Winter Olympics were held in Minneapolis. The ski jump at what was then Glenwood, now Theodore Wirth, Park was one of the best in the country. Olympic skiing did not include any Alpine events then. Skiing meant “ski-running” — cross country — or ski-jumping, the traditional Nordic events. (Alpine events, such as downhill and slalom, weren’t included in the Olympics until 1936.) Based on the success of the ski trials here in 1924, park superintendent Theodore Wirth speculated that Minneapolis would host the 1928 or 1932 Winter Olympics. Also based partly on that success, Minneapolis Mayor George Leach, an avid sportsman, was named the manager of the U.S. Ski Team for the 1924 Olympics in Chamonix. Mayor Leach was later the man who formally applied to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for Minneapolis to host the 1932 winter games. Instead, Lake Placid was chosen to host the Games that year. In those days the nation that hosted the Summer Olympics was also given the first chance to host the Winter Games. Because Los Angeles was hosting the 1932 Summer Olympics, the Winter Games were expected to be held in the U.S. too. Seven American cities officially applied to host the 1932 Winter Games, including Duluth and Minneapolis.

Please, Please Come!

That was far from the last time that Minneapolis put in a bid to host the Olympics. Minneapolis mounted serious efforts to host the Summer Games in 1948, 1952 and 1956. (When downhill ski events and more sledding events were added to the Olympic agenda, and ski-jumping techniques outgrew our hills, we flatlanders had no more chance to host the Winter Olympics.) Minneapolis came close in 1952, finishing tied for second — with LA — behind Helsinki in IOC voting to host the Summer Olympics. The effort to win the 1952 games was complicated by bids from Detroit, Chicago and Philadelphia in addition to Minneapolis and Los Angeles. IOC representatives from the rest of the world were a bit puzzled and not impressed by the infighting among American cities to host the games.

Another major effort was made in 1988 to host the 1996 Summer Olympics. By that time the U.S. Olympic Committee would approve only one American bid for consideration by the IOC and the USOC chose Atlanta’s bid over Minneapolis’s. To the surprise of many, Atlanta’s bid won that year over the bid by Athens to host the centennial of the modern revival of the Olympic Games where they had begun.

Think how much more impressed the world would be by Minneapolis if visitors saw our summers instead of only our Super Bowl and Final Four winters!

Didn’t MacArthur Like Lutherans?

1928 was a cruel year for some Minneapolis Lutherans. When the American amateur hockey establishment was looking for a hockey team to represent the U.S. at the Olympics in St. Moritz four teams emerged as favorites: Eveleth Junior College, University of Minnesota, Harvard and Augsburg. For various reasons three of the teams withdrew from consideration, mostly due to the long time scholar-athletes would be away from classes and the travel expense. The U of M administration determined that Olympic play was outside the scope of interscholastic sports and withdrew the Gopher hockey team from consideration. Olympic athletes or their home towns were expected to pay most of the expenses of competing. The only team that agreed to play — and pay — was Augsburg and the team was duly named by the amateur hockey authorities to represent the U.S. in St. Moritz. Augsburg was coming off a championship season in the first official season of hockey competition in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

A fund drive was launched in Minneapolis to raise $4,500 to underwrite the Auggie’s expenses. After $2,000 had been raised, S.O. Severson, former athletic director at Augsburg and then principal of Franklin Junior High School in Minneapolis, pledged to cover any of the remaining amount. Augsburg was in!

Except the U.S. Olympic Committee and its president, Douglas MacArthur, had other ideas. When MacArthur looked at the Augsburg team he saw something he didn’t like and he declared that Augsburg would not go to the Olympics as the U.S. team. Augsburg’s hockey team, he declared, was not representative of American hockey. Perhaps this was the catch: Augsburg’s five starting skaters were the Hanson brothers and while the Hansons were Americans they had grown up partly in Canada. The U.S. was not represented in hockey at the 1928 Olympics by Augsburg — five Hansons and a goalie — or anyone else.

Of the 11 countries that did enter hockey teams in the 1928 Games, 10 were divided into three pools for round-robin play. The three winners of those groups were joined by Canada in a final round-robin tourney. Canada’s extraordinary bye into the final group was apparently well-deserved because in their three games in the medal round the Canadian team, the University of Toronto Grads, won by an average score of 13-0 to claim the gold medal.

Imagine this: Just prior to the Olympics, the body that governed international hockey allowed several rule changes proposed by the Canadian association. But the international authorities declined to approve two changes: defenseman still would not be allowed to kick the puck in the defensive end and goalies would not be permitted to drop to their knees to stop the puck. Imagine if goaltenders today had to stay on their skates to make a save. What a different game it would be.

There are so many more stories involving Minneapolis and the Winter Olympics that I hope to tell one day. Nearly all involve ski jumping and speed skating, but Minneapolis also had some notable figure or “fancy” skaters and cross-country skiers.

Our compatriots have not performed well in the more military-oriented Olympic shooting events. Odd isn’t it that a country like ours with such an entrenched history of gun ownership doesn’t perform better in shooting events in both Winter and Summer Games? The overlay of the Parkland school shooting last week with various shooting and skiing competitions in the South Korean snow was striking. The U.S. has more guns and more shooters, but apparently fewer marksmen and women than other countries.

Epilogue: An Augsburg athlete finally made it to the Winter Olympics 20 years after the hockey team was denied its chance. John Werket, an Augsburg student, made the U.S. Olympic speed skating team in 1948 and, after he graduated, again in 1952 and 1956. Werket also qualified for the 1960 games but withdrew because he said he couldn’t afford to take two months off work to train and compete. While Werket’s best Olympic finish was a sixth place in 1948, he won several medals in world championships from 1948 to 1952.

U of M Hockey and Minneapolis Parks

One more hockey story. The University of Minnesota made an effort to put a varsity hockey team on the ice in 1903, but hockey history really begins at the U in 1921 when varsity hockey got its true start. However — in 1914 the regents awarded $25 to a group of students that wanted to form a hockey team, although it wasn’t given varsity status. The elated student hockey promoters immediately announced their first hockey team tryouts would be held at the nearest hockey rink — in Van Cleve Park.

I hope to see you Sunday afternoon.

David C. Smith

 

Charles Loring’s Memorial Arch

In 1908 Charles Loring commissioned young architect William Gray Purcell to design a memorial arch. That project, revealed in Purcell’s papers at the Northwestern Architectural Library (a fabulous historical resource at the University of Minnesota), was a mystery to me.  Where was this memorial arch supposed to be located?

Soldiers Memorial Arch, Purcell

This “presentation rendering” created by William Gray Purcell for Charles Loring is from the UMedia Digital Archive. Additional information on the William Gray Purcell Papers can be found by following the above link — as well as this one from organica.com and Mark Hammons.

I might have found the answer to the location last year when I helped create a record of the archival documents being sent from the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board to the Minneapolis Central Library for permanent archiving and public access.  Read more »