Archive for the ‘Football’ Tag

McRae Park: Football Team Photos

Thanks to Ann Kegley, recreation director at McRae Park, for these photos of youth football teams from McRae. None of the players or coaches in these photos is identified. If you can identify anyone, send me a note. The team wore the jerseys of the Seaman Gilfoy VFW post. I can find little information online about that post. Did the post sponsor teams only at McRae Park or other parks, too?

McRae Park midget football team, 1963 (Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board)

I love it when people label photos. The next one is not even identified by year, but looking at hair styles, I’m guessing mid-1970s. Could the building in the background be Regina High School?

McRae Park youth football team, year unknown, but judging by hair styles probably mid-1970s. Photo may have been taken at nearby Regina High School. (Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board)

The final older football team photo we found was taken in 1979. The photo was also labelled “light cubs” apparently referring to the weight class in which the team played.

McRae Park youth football team, 1979 (Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board)

Does anyone know anything about any of the sponsors of the 1979 team: Ken and Norm’s, Cruse Construction, Eddie’s Barber Shop and Benedict?

I’d especially like to know who the coaches in these photos are. Could the coach on the left in the middle photo be Edward Solomon? Solomon was one of the better-known volunteer football coaches in the Minneapolis park system. He was a park commissioner 1996-2002. A new park southwest of Lake Nokomis was named for him in 2004.

McRae Park is unusual because it does not occupy all of the two square blocks on which it is located. The southwest corner of the park at 47th and Chicago is occupied by businesses. I have not found an explanation for why the park board didn’t acquire all of the land on those blocks — as it usually did. Ray N. Welter Heating moved to its present location on Chicago Avenue in the early 1940s not long before the land for the park was acquired in 1946. A person at the heating company told me the land that is now the park was a garbage dump when Welter moved its business to the site from Lake Street. Can anyone tell us the history of the street corner and why the park board didn’t buy all the land on that block? Some of the land for the park was purchased through condemnation; some was tax-forfeited land that the state owned and gave to the city.

David C. Smith

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Powderhorn Park Football

A recent visit to Powderhorn Park and a chat with recreation coordinator Dave Garmany turned up an excellent photo of the Powderhorn football team from 1925. Unusual for its time, it was labeled with the names and positions of the players.

1925 Powderhorn Football Team at The Parade (Basilica in background). First Row L-R: Helmar Larson OB, Claude Casey FB, Manley Peterson LT, Kenneth Johnson RH, George Carlson RG. Second Row, L-R: Lee Blood RT, Joe Listered LE, John Larson RE, John Martin LE, Ed Mandeck LE. Third Row L-R: Frank Shogren LG, Hersel Johnson RE, Howard Shenessy Capt., Leonard Herlen RG, Walt Nordstrom LH, Al Dunning RH. (Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board)

The best part of the photo — for those not related to the players — is the location at The Parade, which is obvious because of the Basilica looming in the background. The year the photo was taken, 1925, was the year that the north end of Powderhorn Lake was filled in to create more athletic fields. I’ve spoken with one woman who remembered skating on the lake before the north end was filled. Do you remember that or know anyone who does?

The only other photo I’ve seen of early Powderhorn football players is this one from the collection of the Minnesota Historical Society.

Powderhorn football team, 1908 (Minnesota Historical Society)

Have you seen others? Let us know.

David C. Smith