Friday Photo: Forgotten Field on Nicollet Island
Funny that in all the debate a few years ago about the football “stadium” for DeLaSalle High School on Nicollet Island, I don’t recall seeing the photo below of the island in 1947. I discovered this photo in Borchert Library’s Minnesota Historical Aerial Photos Online that I wrote about last week.
Nicollet Island clearly had a baseball field adjacent to the high school long before the park board acquired much of the island.
I do recall great distress caused by the possibility of closing “historic” Grove Street across the center of the island in order to install the football field. But no one mentioned then that the eastern half of Grove Street that was to be closed had been historically (among other things) the left field fence of a baseball field. I had no idea. The things you learn from photos.
The photo demonstrates that some claims from both sides of the football field argument were wrong. Those who opposed the field in part for fear of losing a historic street were more than 60 years late to that argument. On the other hand, those who claimed that DeLaSalle, in its 100-year history, had never had a home athletic field were wrong, too. Maybe they didn’t have a football field to call home, although it looks as though one might have been squeezed in there in the ’40s, but they obviously did have a home baseball field at one time.
I don’t know who actually owned or maintained the field in the 1940s. Something to investigate. Some old “D” yearbooks must have more photos.
David C. Smith minneapolisparkhistory[at]q.com
© 2013 David C. Smith