PARK LANE CARPET COMPANY

This company was owned by H. Vance Rorbach.

In 1949-50 the store was located at Highway 7 and Wooddale, although it is unclear which building it was in.  “Ask for Vance or Paul.”

In November 1950 it moved to 5508 Excelsior Blvd., at Highway 100, where it remained until at least 1958. 

In 1961 Rorbach bought land from the Yngve family and built 6401 Wayzata Blvd., where Park Lane Carpet was located until about 1966. 
 

VANCE RORBACH

Harry Vance Rorbach, Jr. was born on July 8, 1911 in Minneapolis.  From at least 1930 to 1940 his family lived at 4121 Brookside Ave.  That house was either renumbered or replaced – the current house at that address was built in 1949.  In 1940 both Vance and his father were salesmen for wholesale dry goods concern(s). 

 

Vance’s son remembers that his father could sell anything, not just carpet.  He was evidently very successful, as he bought a new car every year, and was one of the first to have a phone in his car, complete with whip antennae.  For awhile the family lived in St. Louis Park on Eliot View Road but moved to Minnetonka.  He was a Shriner and a regular volunteer at the Shriners Hospital. 

 

One of the memories his son shared is that Vance was often mistaken as then-Governor Orville Freeman.  His father didn’t mind, but it embarrassed the son to be looked at and pointed at.  Once they went to the Shrine Circus, and the Shriners mistook him for the Governor and led them to their seats with swords and costumes and great fanfare.  Another time Vance went to the St. Cloud Reformatory to take measurements to carpet the warden’s office, and accidently used the word “inspection” to the guard, and the whole prison staff went crazy thinking that the Governor himself was there to look over the place. 

 

After Park Lane Carpet closed, Rorbach went to work at Harold Chevrolet, owned by fellow Aldersgate Church member Harold Larson. 

 

Vance Rorbach died on December 1, 1999, at the age of 88. 

 

We don’t yet have a photo of Vance Rorbach, but to give you an idea, here’s Orville Freeman.