Minneapolis Park Memory: A Memorable Silence
I was the editor of the Minneapolis Municipal Hiking Club’s monthly newsletter for many years, up through the last month of the club’s existence in October 2010.
One hike I particularly remember took place on Wednesday, September 12, 2001. The Club had an evening hike scheduled for the neighborhood around Bossen Field in south central Minneapolis. Many planes fly over this area approaching the airport, but this was the day after 9/11 and all U.S. civilian planes were grounded by federal decree. It was quite a sensation walking in this area, expecting to hear planes fly over, but hearing none.
Editor’s note: The Minnehikers, as the club was known, was originally organized by the park board’s recreation staff in 1920. According to Theodore Wirth (Minneapolis Park System 1883-1944), the first hike took place on January 10, 1920. Minneapolis Mayor J. E. Meyers, Judge Edward Foote Waite and Wirth led 83 hikers 3 1/2 miles from Minnehaha Falls to Riverside Park.
Twenty-nine years later, the park board named a park for the juvenile court judge who participated that day: Waite Park in northeast Minneapolis.
The mayor’s name is on a park too, the J.E. Meyers Memorial Park in Mound on Lake Minnetonka. Internet sites list it as both a boy’s camp and a cemetery. A mystery to be solved. Of course, we know that Wirth has a park named for him, too.
I would tell more about the Minnehikers, but I hope former members of the group will do that themselves with first person accounts. The club sponsored its last hike in October. Changing times.
David C. Smith, minneapolisparkhistory[at]q.com