Archive for the ‘McRae Park’ 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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Minneapolis Park Memory: A Friend of Loring Park

After arriving in Minneapolis in September 1941, the first city park I became familiar with was Loring. I had come to enter nurse’s training at Eitel Hospital, and the park was right across the street. The park provided a beautiful view from patients’ rooms. It was also an oasis for student nurses, a place to relax in the summer or go skating on the lagoon in winter. Every nurse who has graduated from Eitel would have special memories of Loring Park.

The park looked different back in the forties. Old, tall trees grew along the edge of the lagoon. Now they are gone and tall grasses grow at the edge of the water. Bright red cannas blossomed in flower beds on the west side of the park. Now, “Friends of Loring” have created a large round garden on the northwest side called “Garden of the Seasons.” A variety of trees and flowers are in the center with benches and a brick path around it. Bricks can be donated in honor or memory of someone. A brick on the east side reads: “Eitel Hospital Nursing School — Class of 1944,” given in tribute to classmates, many of whom had served in the Army Nurse Corps in World War II.

In later years, my family and I enjoyed picnics at Minnehaha Park and viewing the beautiful Falls. Performances by the Aqua Follies at Theodore Wirth Park, and pop concerts at Lake Harriet on Sunday afternoons were great fun. My son as a teenager spent many winter evenings skating and playing hockey at McRae Park. On July 4th, we watched fireworks at Powderhorn Park. The park system provided something special for every season. My husband often said, “Minneapolis is the prettiest city I’ve ever seen.”

Ardelle Lande

Looking west across Loring Park from Eitel Hospital, 1375 Willow Street, in 1939. (Norton and Peel, Minnesota Historical Society, NP129145)

Editor’s note: For more photos of Eitel Hospital visit the Photo Collection of the Minnesota Historical Society.

If you have a Minneapolis Park Memory, send it to minneapolisparkhistory[at]q.com. If you have a digital photo to accompany your memory, we’d love to see it.