Sisters of Chuckie: Powderhorn Park 1926

How did the cherished toys of one generation become scary to their great-grandchildren?

This photo raises the question. Doll buggy parades were big events at parks decades ago, especially in the 1930s. I’ve seen several photos of such events, some as recent as the 1970s. Yet, I’ve seen girls of today react very negatively to pictures of old dolls like these. They find them creepy. But aren’t these dolls more realistic and less creepy than many of the “fashion” dolls that girls play with now?

Doll parade at Powderhorn Park, 1926 (Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board)

Dolls on parade at Powderhorn Park, 1926 (Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board)

Cool buggies, too. But with no children in sight? Yeah, they really are kinda creepy. The dolls look better with kids in the picture.

This Minneapolis Tribune photo from 1934, which includes girls from an unidentified park, is more appealing. (Minneapolis Photo Collection, Hennepin County Library)

This Minneapolis Tribune photo from 1934, which includes girls from an unidentified park, is more appealing. (Minneapolis Photo Collection, Hennepin County Library)

Do you remember these events? Do you still have the dolls?

David C. Smith

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3 comments so far

  1. egon zablonsky on

    Do you happen to know when the first house was built in the immediate surroundings of Powderhorn Park and where? There are many Victorian homes in the immediate park area with tourettes which seem to be from 1875-1990. Just curious if you have any info. Thanks.

    • David C. Smith on

      Thanks for reading, Egon. Check out this 1892 plat map and you can see there are numerous homes in the area by then. The only earlier map I can provide a link to is this one from 1874, which shows the northern end of the lake platted as Lawrence and Reeves Outlots, but gives little indication of buildings. The 1895 photo in my blog on Powderhorn Lake shows homes built on the west side of the lake.

      Both maps are from the website of the John R. Borchert Map Library at the University of Minnesota, a marvelous site for research and amusement.

      Can anyone who has done house research in the area provide more info?

      David C. Smith

      • egon on

        I am living on 33rd st and 10th av s right now in one of the old Victorian homes on that street. I recall seeing a picture of that house in the late 1880’s but I can no longer find it anywhere. I will check the library but if anyone has anything please let me know. Thank you!


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