THE BROOKSIDE NEIGHBORHOOD

The following are highlights in the early development of the Brookside neighborhood.

See also:  Brookside School and Brookside Avenue

 1887

The plat of Wildwood, dated May 24, 1887 and filed on June 8, 1887, was comprised of Lots 6 and 7 south of Excelsior Blvd. in  Township 117, Range 21, Block 21.  This 100 acres was between present-day Highway 100 and approximately Dakota, and south to the village border with Edina.  The Minneapolis Journal reported that H.H. Miller, realty dealer, purchased the land from G.H. Perkins on February 23, 1887.  Miller’s plans to subdivide apparently didn’t work out, and the plat was vacated on October 15, 1892 (although the vacation wasn’t filed until October 21, 1902 for some reason).  The land went to Calvin G. Goodrich.  It would be re-platted as Brookside in 1907.

 1907

With the extension of the Como-Harriet Street Car Line down Motor Street [44th] two years earlier, the southeastern section of Brookside was ripe for development, since residents had access to downtown. On August 5, 1907, the Suburban Homes Company was incorporated. They had bought 182 acres from Calvin Goodrich in 1898, and platted the Brookside Addition on August 30, 1907. Suburban Homes was the owner, and the Minneapolis Trust Company was the financial backer. Minneapolis Trust placed brochures in Minneapolis papers advertising “Brookside The Beautiful – the Ideal Suburb.” Half-acre lots were advertised at $250; $25 down and $5 per month. These were merely the lots, of course – the owner was still required to find other financing if he wanted to build a house. Many early owners built small houses by hand.

brookside1907

Around the same time, the Tingdale Brothers advertised lots in “Tingdale Bros. Brookside:”

If you can save 33 cents a day, you can buy a lot in Tingdale Bros. Brookside – 113 Extra Large, Sightly Lots, Restricted to Select Homes. Prices $175 to $595, a Few Higher. Terms $25 cash, $10 monthly.

The accompanying map provides no clues as to where these particular 113 lots were, since it encompasses a wide area from Lake Calhoun to Interlachen, but it was indeed located in present-day Edina. (Note that an 1898 map appears to show Brookside Ave. as Main Ave.) The ad also features a woman picking apples from one of the “600 apple trees in this addition.”

Another ad of the time calls Brookside “The Ideal Suburb.” Some of the first parcels to be sold were the lots in the Brookside Drug area. The ad urged you to:

Build a country home within 30 minutes of the business district, in this picturesque, and healthful suburb, where there is plenty of fresh air, room to have a garden, keep poultry and enjoy life generally when your strenuous day’s labors are ended. Life is worth living at Brookside.

Walter Beach was said to have built the first house in Brookside in 1907. No address, but it overlooked Minnehaha Creek and what would become Meadowbrook Golf Club.

The first houses on Aurora Avenue [Vernon] were built. The mailing address of these homes was RR 2, Minneapolis. Despite the isolation of these first homes, the mail did go through.

4360 Vernon was the first house built north of the Edina line, once the home of Police Chief Clyde Sorenson.

4350 Vernon was a cottage built by a man from Minneapolis. His youngest son tore it down and built the current house in 1919.

4330 Vernon was a house that Josephine Faherty described as a “shack,” built by her parents, the Culvers, a young couple from SE Minneapolis. They moved in on May 10, 1908, and Josephine was born later that year. Lester Culver advertised as an electrician in 1934. Although it has been greatly expanded and improved over the years, the original portion of house is still standing at the northern property line.


4230 VERNON

This was probably another “shack,” but the 1915 newspaper reports that the owner Ray Chase sold his house to Russell D. Backus and moved to Minneapolis. Raymond P. Chase was a Minnesota State Representative and also State Auditor – could this have been his summer home?

Backus got a permit to build a new house, and tax records indicate that the present large Victorian was built in 1915. One of the names proposed for Brookside School in 1921 was Backus. Backus was a dentist – in 1917 his office was at 2556 Lyndale Ave. So. in Minneapolis.  (That building, built in 1892, is now an apartment building.)

By 1934 the house was owned by Frank Merrill, plumber, and his wife Mary. Son Raymond and daughter Iva also lived with them. [The 1933 directory lists neither Backus nor Merrill.]

In 1947 the house was purchased by Palmer Anderson, a maintenance man who seemingly went through many wives. When Palmer died in 1972 the house was a wreck and the City recommended removal. City permit records indicate that after two years of trying to contact the person who inherited the house, it was forfeited to the City. [Heir Jim Anhorn says that the house was left solely to him and that he got a real estate agent to sell it to the City for $7,000.]

andersonpalmer1970
Palmer Anderson in 1970

In 1974 the house was sold to James Fix, who, true to his name, renovated the lovely Victorian home. It was sold again in 1992 and 2001.


1908

On April 19, the Minneapolis Morning Tribune announced “Brisk Demand Reported for Lots at Brookside.”  A.C. Danenbaum of the Minneapolis Trust Co. said that tracts ranging from 1/2 to 5 acres were especially sought after.  The article bears quoting:

Brookside, the beautiful new residence suburb on the Como-Hopkins line, just beyond the city limits, is attracting much attention, and the lots are being purchased by home-builders, not speculators.

One house has already been completed, others are under construction and plans are in architects’ hands for several more.

The warmth and sunshine of last Sunday made every one feel like getting out into the country, and a great many people took advantage of the day to enjoy the beauties of Brookside.  Some brought cameras and found an afternoon’s occupation in taking views along Minnehaha creek, which is especially picturesque at this point, and view of the park like vista sin the wooded tract.

A number of sales were made in the past week, all to people intending to build.

The realignment of Brookside Block 4 was platted on July 6, 1908, creating Sidney Street, which would become Wood Lane in 1933.

On September 5, 1908, two important tracts were platted: Brookside Second Division, and Suburban Homes Company Addition.


1910

4090 Brookside Ave., the grand house known as Upland View, was built by Father Walter Thomas.

Brookside Subdivision No. 2 was platted on October 21, 1910.


1911

Brookside Subdivision No. 3 was platted on October 21, 1911.

In March, the Village Council awarded a franchise to the Minneapolis General Electric Company to install light poles in the neighborhoods. Residents would often come in front of the Village Council to request that their street be lit. One such request was made by Dr. G.M. Wade on March 6, 1913, asking that lights be erected in the “restricted district” of Brookside.


1912

The Minneapolis Trust Company announced that it had sold all but 35 out of 511 lots in Brookside.  The company had purchased 200 acres in 1910.  It expected that the entire length of the Como-Hopkins streetcar line would be flanked with homes before long.  (April 7, 1912, Minneapolis Morning Tribune) By 1912 Brookside already had enough of a population to field a baseball team.  Tellingly, the Minneapolis Morning Tribune reported that the Brookside team was scheduled to play the St. Louis Park team.  Although Brookside has always been in St. Louis Park, it wasn’t part of T.B. Walker’s master plan, and like other neighborhoods in the Park, was fairly isolated.  Several obituaries listed the place of birth as Brookside, Minnesota; a look at census records reveals that these people lived in the Brookside neighborhood of St. Louis Park (vs. along Brookside Ave. in Edina).  Maps show that there was a lot of farmland between Brookside and Elmwood, with few roads.  See 1915 below for further evidence that Brookside was a thriving neighborhood with its own strong identity


1913

The first indication of the existence of the Brookside Improvement Association comes from a financial document that gives figures as of June 1913.

At the request of Dr. G.M. Wade and the Brookside Improvement Association in July, $75 was appropriated to fix Finley Street (42nd) after a particularly hard rain.

The Dan Patch Electric Railway, started in 1907 by Col. M.W. “Will” Savage, came to the Park.


1914

THE BROOKSIDE IMPROVEMENT ASSOCIATION (BIA)

A Constitution and Bylaws of the Brookside Improvement Association were passed on April 8, 1914.  Article 1 reads:

The general purpose of the organization is to improve and ornament all that part of the village known as Brookside 1st. and 2d additions and suburban homes addition to St. Louis Park, Hennepin County, State of Minnesota.

The further purpose of the organization is to encourage and promote the social and good fellowship of its members, and the discussion of such matters as may be deemed best for the betterment of the community.  The meetings of this organization shall be held within the above described territory of as provided in the bylaws of the Association.

The Bylaws end by saying that they supersede and cancel all previous Constitutions and Bylaws of this Association, which leaves open the question of when the organization actually started.  As noted above, a financial report provides figures as of June 11, 1913, so it must have begun on or before that time.

The BIA met in the Sunday School Building.  This was not the Brookside Community Church, as they would move to the basement of that building later.  In one instance it was referred to as the Ex. Sunday School Building, so it may have been on Excelsior Blvd.

Membership was $1 per family, but only one member of a family could vote, which meant that it was basically a men’s organization.  On occasion they would invite the ladies, who would put on a social.  Later ladies were invited as voting members for 50 cents.

Minute books owned by the St. Louis Park Historical Society cover:

  • Brookside Improvement Association:  April 8, 1914 – April 14, 1920
  • South Side Civic Club:  May 4, 1921 – January 14, 1925
  • Brookside Civic Club:  February 11, 1925 – June 8, 1926

brooksidecivicclub


Streets in Brookside were still in flux in 1914. One request was to open Lowell Street from Brookside to Zarthan. Lowell Street may have been a western extension of Zarthan where the reservoir and pumping station are today. Also, Annie E. Morse requested that 41st Street be closed between Brookside and Zarthan – an important through street today. When her request was denied, Dan Patch had to be instructed not to take any more dirt from 41st.

In an early form of welfare, the Village Council considered the needs of Mrs. M.T. Schreiner of Brookside, and voted to provide her with coal and groceries.

The road grade was established on Vermont St. between Yosemite and Webster after the BIA asked that it be “centered and rounded up.”

A 1914 map shows that Excelsior Road, Cedar Lake Road, and Superior Road [Highway 12] are extant. Aurora Avenue [Vernon] stopped at Excelsior Road, and Pleasant Avenue (extended from Wooddale) continued to the northwest. There was no clear north-south route.

A 1914 ad announced Westmoreland Park, offered by the Enger Nord Realty Co. The property was “just west of the Minikahda Club grounds, close to Excelsior Blvd. and Highland Ave. [36th Street], the new main road to St. Louis Park..” Lots were available for $85, $135, to $225, with payments of $5 per month. The subdivision by that name that exists today is wholly owned by the City, and encompasses the Rec Center.

The June 9, 1914 issue of the Minneapolis Journal reported an automobile-streetcar crash that killed three people.  Charles and Otto Hendrickson of Brookside and John Specht of Glencoe were killed when their car was hurled into the Brookside Waiting Station at  44th Street.  The trolly was going full speed and witnesses differed as to whether the crossing bells were ringing.  Brookside resident Joseph Lutzi, who was waiting for an outgoing streetcar, was injured in the wreck.  The curtains of the auto were down because of rain, which was believed to have prevented the driver from seeing the streetcar.  Coroner Gilbert Seashore ordered an inquest as the witnesses had conflicting accounts.  The jury declared that no one could be blamed for the accident.

One of the big issues in Brookside was mail delivery.  At the time it came through the Linden Hills post office in Minneapolis, not the St. Louis Park post office, with the result that it was delivered a day late.  The BIA lobbied long and hard to get this changed.

Some of the self-appointed duties of the BIA were chores that are done by others today.  One was to cut the weeds along the Dan Patch railroad line.  Another was to plow snow.

On August 12, 1914, the BIA held their Second Annual Band Concert and Jubilee at “Brookside Commons,” which would be at Brookside Ave. and Brook Lane today.

brooksidebandconcert1914
At their December 9, 1914, meeting the BIA voted to go before the School Board to “see what could be done in regards to hauling the children of Brookside to school.”  At that time the children would have been walking to Lincoln School at 37th and Alabama or to the Junior High/High School where Central is now.


1915

On January 13, 1915, the BIA reported that the school board had agreed to pay $10 per month for three months to haul the children of Brookside to school.  They always used the word “haul.”  A wagon was fixed and canvas purchased for this purpose, and M.C. Haldeman was given the job of hauling the children.

There was a spate of activity in the Park in 1915. In that one year, there appeared the short-lived bank and newspaper, as well as the more enduring Brookside Drug building, Brookside Church, and Thompson’s Grocery Store. The activity was short-lived, however, perhaps cut short by the collapse of the farm economy. Future construction would not continue until another spurt of activity around 1926.

The St. Louis Park Herald operated for a few months in 1915. Brookside news of 1915 included the meetings of the Brookside Ladies Aid, Brookside Domestic Science Club, Brookside Literary Club, and Brookside Improvement Association.

The building that would be known for decades as Brookside Drug was built in 1915 at 6001 Excelsior Blvd (For an idea of how it may have looked, see the abandoned antique shop on Brookside Ave.) The building started out as a restaurant and dance hall before becoming a drug store in 1937. It was operated as Brookside Drug from 1939 to 1988. For a memoir by Nancy Hunsaker Hanke, whose father ran the drug store in the 1940s, see Something in the Water.

In a separate brick building attached to Brookside Drug, was the Brookside Cash Grocery (vintage unknown), at 6007 Excelsior Blvd. A 1928 Lutheran church program advertises V.G. Lindahl, Quality Grocer, at Excelsior and Brookside. (In the same program, there is a Hagen’s Bakery advertised, but the location is just given as Brookside.) By 1933 Earnest O. Tusch (a Brookside neighbor) was the proprietor of the Brookside Cash Grocery. The store was advertised as “A new deal in food merchandising for St. Louis Park.” From 1938 to ’45 it was the Brookside Market, run by George Hartmann.

Brookside Community Church (Methodist Episcopal) was built at 4241 Brookside Avenue in 1915. Members had first met in a cottage and opened a Sunday school in 1913. The 24′ by 40′ building was enlarged in 1927 and 1934. In 1928, Dr. Frank Edward Day became pastor, and built the church membership from 32 to 200. He retired in 1935.

And further down Brookside, around the bend by the railroad tracks, was Thompson’s Store (also known as Brookside Grocery), 4348 Brookside Ave. Dana M. Thompson, proprietor, and his bride Ann honeymooned at their cottage on the Creek behind the store, noted the 1915 paper. Thompson was an active participant in local affairs, serving as a member of the school board and the Village Council. The tale is told that he hired a sleigh to ensure that voters got to the polls for an important vote regarding Brookside School. Thompson was also known for his ever-present bow tie. The hill behind the store was known as Thompson’s Hill, the best place for sliding in the winter, and the kids would go into the store to warm up.

On July 15, 1915, the Minneapolis Morning Tribune reported that Raymond L. Gillette “had a remarkable escape from death” as he ran his automobile into the last railroad car of a Dan Patch train at the Excelsior Blvd. crossing.  The unconscious man was taken aboard the train to the Dan Patch depot at 54th and Nicollet and from there to Asbury Hospital.  The location was given as “about half a mile this side of Brookside, Minn.” W.A. Fox, and R.E. and Bertha Smith petitioned the Village to construct a sidewalk on Vermont Street. They may have had the only two residences there.  As early as 1874, a map appears to show a road that ran along present-day Vermont, up present-day Brookside Avenue to Excelsior Blvd. Walter Thomas requested a sidewalk on the west side of Brookside Ave. from Lowell (approx. Brook Lane) to Excelsior Blvd.

The “Alabama Triangle” on Excelsior Blvd. across from Brookside Drug was donated to the Village as a park by the Union Realty Co. It would later become the site of a gas station, and is now a municipal parking lot.

A social meeting of the BIA was held at what seems to read as the Nook on May 12, 1915.  It featured entertainment, peanuts, and ice cream, and was attended by 58 people.

The BIA petitioned the Village Council in April to connect Brookside with St. Louis Park (meaning Center or the present-day Elmwood neighborhood) with electric lights and a concrete sidewalk from Excelsior Blvd. to 39th Street via Alabama Ave.  Most of the area between the two neighborhoods was not built up until after World War II and it was a chore to get across the fields from one place to the other.

The third annual Brookside Jubilee was held on Excelsior Blvd. between Brookside and Zarthan in June 1915.  Purple and white pennants were ordered.

The BIA came before the Village Council in November complaining about the poor condition of the footbridge on Brookside Ave. over Minnehaha Creek. The bridge was ordered replaced immediately. Apparently nothing – or not enough – was done, because in 1920 Police Officer Wetzel reported that the bridge was in poor condition.


1916

The meeting of January 12, 1916, of the BIA was cancelled because of temperatures of 30 below and a 46 mile wind – “All members stayed home and shoveled coal,” read the minute book.

Mr. Lytle was now hauling the children to school at $1/day until $30 was spent.

The BIA met at the Brookside Community Church for the first time on April 12, 1916.  At that meeting they protested the removal of Mr. Nygaard as their mail carrier.

A social was held by the BIA on July 19, 1916, attended by over 100 people.  Entertainment was provided by the Apollo Orchestra from St. Louis Park.

Groceries were purchased for Mrs. Culver, who was apparently down on her luck.


MRS. GOODSPEED

At least three cottages, owned by Mrs. Martha Goodspeed, were located at 4324-44-46 Brookside Ave. on Minnehaha Creek across from Wood Lane. Mrs. Goodspeed was born Martha Phelps in Vermont in 1854 and died on December 23, 1944. She lived in one of the cabins and rented the others out for weekend parties, which were especially popular during prohibition. She was known to yell at the kids who walked along her creekside property, and in August 1916 she even complained to the Village Council about the actions of certain bathers in the Creek.

By 1943, Mrs. Goodspeed’s three remaining cabins were in rough shape. They had been rented to families with lots of kids, but the buildings had no running water. The Brookside Garden Club (signed by Mrs. Hobart, Ludwig, and Albinson) wrote to the Village Council, complaining of the deteriorated condition and lack of sanitation in the buildings. They proposed that the land be turned into a park. The Village was already on the case, and soon condemned the place. An S.S. Hovde purchased the property and managed to stave off demolition by connecting the property to the Village water main. One of the cottages was moved across the street to 4347 Yosemite and turned into a garage in about 1939 – it had been demolished by 1948. Another was purchased from Orin H. Flynn by Gerald Hines in 1948 and continues as his home at 4344 Yosemite. The third cottage was occupied by Marshall Williams and his wife from at least 1949. When he died in about 1988, Hines bought the property and demolished the old wreck of a house in 1989.


Incidentally, that stretch of road was originally called Brookside Ave. In 1945 the name was officially changed to Yosemite, but it took decades for the street to get new signs and for all of the residents to buy off on the change.

Many improvements and services were happening in the neighborhood. In October 1916, Northwestern Telephone erected a pole on the east side of Yosemite between 41st and 42nd Streets. In December, Tri State erected a telephone pole on Vernon, although the next March a delegation from the neighborhood, including I.H. Hind, Herman Bolmgren, and eight others, protested the placement of Tri State poles on the west side of Aurora. They wanted them set on the back line of the lots, not in front.

Herman Bolmgren requested a wood crosswalk from Vermont to Yosemite. The job required seven 3” x 17” x 16’ planks. In Suburban Homes, Phil A. Lawrence petitioned the Council for cement sidewalks. Henry Woerner and Dr. Wade requested a cement sidewalk on Excelsior Ave., and Woerner and W.H. Brummont, who lived “on the boulevard,” requested a sidewalk on Excelsior between Brunswick and Brookside.

In June, the Village Recorder was instructed to ask the Minneapolis General Electric Co. to move the light pole at Excelsior and Alabama to Excelsior and Brookside.

The first edition of the Park High School newspaper The Echo was published in October 1916. Miss Winifred Fox of Vermont Ave. was the first editor.


1917

Henry Woerner of Brookside requested permission of the Village Council to put a gasoline filling station under the sidewalk in front of his place on Excelsior Ave. Not sure where this was, unless it was the Standard station on Brookside and Excelsior. Woerner also asked the Council for other improvements to Brookside Ave. Similarly, Herman Bolmgren requested “turnpiking some of the streets of Brookside.” Not sure what that means. Samuel B. Rees built a house at 5611 Vermont and in May he asked that the dirt that was washed away on Vermont between Webster and Yosemite be replaced. H.C. Rompey and ten others requested a street light at the corner of Vermont and Vernon.

Northwest Telephone put up a pole at Excelsior and Brookside.

The BIA was considering building a bathhouse and creating a bathing beach on the Creek.


1918

Frank Hazzard at 58 others petitioned the Village Council to install cement sidewalks on Brookside Ave.

Thomas E. Reed, 4120 Yosemite, and 11 others requested the reconstruction of the cement sidewalk on Yosemite.

In January the BIA hired Mr. Dworsky of St. Louis Park to bus Brookside children to school.

In 1918 Brookside and Browndale conferred to look for a site for a school.


1919

The first Girl Scout troop in St. Louis Park was formed in about 1919 or 1920, under the leadership of Margaret Fletcher. They met at the Fletcher home, which at that time sat in the middle of a prairie near what is now Miracle Mile.

J.E. Seeliger (4054 Yosemite) and 45 others requested that street lights be installed in various places in Brookside. Joseph Peterson and 9 others requested a cement sidewalk on the west side of Brookside Ave.

The Village posted notice of impending purchases of a “Hi Way Patrol” and two road drays in the Village’s most public places: Lake Street and Broadway (Walker), Excelsior and Brookside, and Lake and Glouchester (Glenhurst).

On June 5, 1919, the BIA presented a petition to the school board requesting a school for the Brookside and Browndale neighborhoods.

The Brookside annual Festival was held on June 25, 1919.

The school board met at the Vernon Ave. site at 11 am on July 13, 1919, to look over the surroundings as a possible school site.  Eight lots were available from Thomas M. Tibbs for $4,800.


1920

The building at 5916 Excelsior Blvd. was built. Added on to over the years, it has housed a string of fine nightspots, from El Patio to Duggan’s to Culbertson’s, to Bunny’s.

Al’s Bar was built in 1920 at 3912 Excelsior Blvd. Whether it be famous or infamous, it certainly is a historic landmark, soon to be demolished.

Dr. Backus (4230 Vernon) complained that the street lights were not lit during the early morning hours.

Despite all the cement sidewalks being requested, cinder paths were still being laid on Excelsior Blvd. Cinders came from the Creosote plant.

The minutes of the Brookside Improvement Association end on April 14, 1920.


1921

The South Side Civic Club (SSCC) was founded on May 4, 1921.  The first meeting was held at Brookside Church, called to order by Mrs. Kate Kercher. Officers were elected as follows:

President: James Henderson Vice President: Alice Kercher Secretary: Ted H. Lauer Treasurer: Mrs. A.M. Engell

Committees were formed that reflected the concerns of the community. It was specifically stated that women as well as men would serve on all committees.

School – Dr. Backus, chair

Membership

Road and sidewalk

Transportation

Council

Program

Picture Machine

Ice

Cleaning

Bus

The name of the organization was debated, with the following considerations:

South Side Civic Club

Brookside Civic Club

Good Neighbor Association

Excelsior Blvd. Association

St. Louis Park Civic Club

One of the most prominent reasons for the Club to start was to lobby for a new school in the neighborhood. The minutes show a resolution to vote against a $90,000 Lake Street Bond issue for a school until Brookside had a school, which was expected to cost $40,000 for the building and site.

Minutes from a meeting that May (advertised by printing “dodgers” to distribute) spelled out the purpose of the organization: “The promotion of civic and social welfare of the south side of St. Louis Park.”

Brookside School was built as a four-room building.

On June 6, 1921, there was a motion to hire someone to clean the school.

The subject of chicken shacks was a sore one for the Brookside neighborhood. On June 16, Mr. Hanke and Mr. Schroeder appeared before the Village Council and complained of the chicken shack at the intersection of Excelsior and Highland [38th] as being a nuisance and requested the adoption of an ordinance for the regulation of these so-called chicken shacks. As a result, the Village passed the so-called Chicken Shack Ordinance on January 5, 1922. This, however, did not stop the Village Council from granting permits to run said chicken shacks, and certainly not along Excelsior Blvd., which was probably chicken shack central. In short succession, permits were granted to Dressler and Ferrys, Mr. Hines, Mr. Johnson, F.P. Clarks, and Tony Rosi.

At the August 9, 1921 meeting, Mr. Orth replaced Mr. Henderson as President of the SSCC. Mr. Bessel, the architect of the new school, attended the meeting (?). The group expressed a desire for their own polling place and for street corner signs.

On December 13, members of the SSCC voted on the name of the new school. Choices were:

Brookside

Minnehaha

Taft

Backus (presumably after Dr. Backus, the chairman of the school committee)

Brookdale

A.A. Yeates and six others petitioned to have Webster between Excelsior and 42nd graveled.


1922

On January 14, the SSCC watched a movie from their picture machine, but the movie’s name was not reported. 1922 saw many instances where the members wanted their neighborhood to remain residential, which was an uphill battle since it was surrounded by busy roads. They also wanted better street car service, snow removal for the school, a school bus for the winter, and regulation of the Minneapolis Northfield and Southern Railway. In September 1922 the group discussed obtaining two residential lots to enlarge the school grounds.

President: A.R. Moore

Vice President: Mrs. Sam Bowler

Secretary: Earl L. Clark

Treasurer: S.B. Rees


1923

Officers of the SSCC were:

President: Fred Lupien

Vice President: George Brooks

Secretary: Mr. Hellier

Treasurer: Mrs. A.R. Moore


1924

In 1924 there was quite a fight by Brookside and other neighborhoods to secede from the Park.

The SSCC voted to refuse Standard Oil permission to install storage and gas tanks on Excelsior Blvd. They lost that battle. But street car service was improved that year, as did mail service.

President: M.L. Johnson

Vice President: William Martin (“arrived late as usual”)

Secretary: A.L. Blodgett

Treasurer: A.J. Harvey

 


1925

On January 7, H.R. Campbell requested cement steps and sidewalks to connect the private and public walks, since the previous walks and steps were removed due to the change in grade on Pomona [Yosemite] Avenue. Two sets of stairs go up the hill to this historic house at 4262 Yosemite – perhaps the same cement is still there.

Brookview Park Addition was platted on December 7, 1925. Its boundaries are Excelsior Blvd., Jackson (Alabama), Grant (Brunswick), and Calhoun (Colorado).

Jewell’s Brookside was platted on November 16, 1925. Its boundaries are Excelsior Blvd. and Oak Grove (Colorado).

The name of the South Side Civic Club was changed to the Brookside Civic Club. The address was given as Linden Hills, Route No. 2. Under discussion was the need to enlarge the school building.

President: Thomas Reed

Vice President: William Martin

Secretary: Mr. Myers

Treasurer: George Brooks

 


1926

A bond election of $35,000 to enlarge Brookside School was held on January 15, 1926, and it was approved in a landslide. In another drive to keep residential, the Brookside Civic Club complained about chicken shacks and the desire to keep them out of Brookside. Tom Reed decried the presence of “dancing in the chicken shacks on the Boulevard. Another concern was that the City of Minneapolis was not paying taxes on the “new golf property.”

President: A. Warren Anderson

Vice President: H.A. Jonas

Secretary: Mrs. W.H.D. Rees

Treasurer: Mrs. Earl L. Clark

The Brookside Barber Shop, located at 4046 Brookside Ave., was built. It would become a landmark, known as Al’s Barber Shop. Al Loe presided over the clippers from 1935-1969.

The first services of St. Luke’s Lutheran Church were held on September 19, 1926.

Trunk Highway 169/Aurora Avenue [Vernon/Highway 100] was paved by the State from 50th Street in Edina up to Excelsior Blvd./Wooddale (1.77 miles), where the road stopped. One could continue north by a circuitous route as far as Cedar Street [26th Street], but there was no need to go any farther, since your objective was probably downtown Minneapolis via Excelsior Blvd. or Minnetonka Blvd./Lake Street. The initial cement road was three lanes and was known at one time as the Mankato Highway.

The Edina “Wooddale” School was built, designed by architect and Brookside resident Edward R. Ludwig. The Ludwigs lived at 4321 Brook Lane in St. Louis Park from at least 1933 to at least 1957. He was an architect for Sund and Dunham. The school, located at 50th and Wooddale, was demolished in 1985.

 


1927

In June 1928 the Hennepin County Enterprise reported that C.E. Grunn had opened a real estate office at Brookside by the name of Brookside Realty, next door to Docken’s Store.  The firm would specialize in suburban homes, acreage, farms, insurance, and loans.


1928

Lydia Hobart and 11 others petitioned the Village Council to change the name of their street from Summit Avenue to Brook Lane. Although the request was granted, the group had to remind the Village elders several times before new signs were provided.

Brookside Avenue had to be straightened in order to connect with Jackson Street [Alabama Avenue].

Thanks to Rick Sewall for finding these tidbits from the Hennepin County Review:

  • 13 Sep 1928 p 2. “Hagen’s Bakery have opened a complete modern bakery in the new Peck-Pontaine building on Excelsior Ave, which will prove a great convenience to the Brookside residents and all the park, for deliveries will be made to all sections. There are also other changes taking place on Excelsior: Hogan’s Barbershop is moving across the avenue, next to the new bakery, and Vern Lindahl’s Grocery will occupy the whole of the Woerner stores.”   We have no idea where the Peck-Pontaine building may have been.  Hogan’s Barbershop was the precursor to Al’s, on Brookside next to Brookside Drug. The grocery store became the west side of Brookside Drug.  The Woerner family lived in the Brookside area in 1915 and 1921, but does not appear in the 1933 directory (the first one published).
  •  18 Oct 1928 p 2. “Excelsior Ave was a popular thoroughfare last Wednesday night when the Colonial Inn went up in smoke. Many have been the conjectures as to what was going to become of this landmark, because each day its chances of slipping into the sandpit seemed better, but fire was a quicker destroyer, much as we hated to see all that good lumber go to waste. It is not known how the fire caught but it did not take long to dispose of the big frame, and now the many travellors on the boulevard can’t talk about that anymore. What will be the next favorite topic?”

 


1920s

Jimmy’s Driving Tees was located at 6200 Excelsior Blvd. Jimmy Lentz was a PGA golfer.

Local boys swam (sometimes without benefit of trunks) at “Mosquito Point,” a spot where Minnehaha Creek ran through the swamp West of the MN&Southern tracks. Between the two bridges the creek made a right angle turn and formed a rather large pond area, with water 5 or 6 ft. deep. The creek has since been straightened out and Mosquito Point is no more. Older kids swam at a place known as the Mud Hole, although if the girls were swimming at one place, the boys would go to another.