AN INCLUSIVE COMMUNITY FOR ALL WHO
The Golden Valley Historical Society was established in 1974. Its mission is to find, preserve, and disseminate historical knowledge about the City of Golden Valley, Minnesota.
Third Annual GVHS Holiday Open House is Saturday, Dec. 9
Join us on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023, for the Golden Valley Historical Society (GVHS) Holiday Open House. Visit the Golden Valley History Museum and Historic Church, both at 6731 Golden Valley Road, from 11am to 3pm, to enjoy festive holiday music, lots of history, and even purchase a vintage street sign. It’s for GVHS members, the public, and family members of all ages.
VISIT THE HISTORIC CHURCH
Have you or anyone you know traveled Golden Valley Road and were intrigued about the “Little White Church in the Valley?” The Open House is your opportunity to explore it! The original chapel was built in 1882 by early pioneers as a nondenominational church. In 1890, it was pulled by horses and mules almost a mile over rolling logs to its current location. The chapel currently hosts monthly history programs, weddings, memorial services, and vow renewals. Step inside and take a look! Volunteers will be on hand to answer questions.
Festive Holiday Music by “The Flute Loops”
GVHS's 142-year-old chapel will ring with holiday music by The Flute Loops. “We are a group of adult amateur flutists,” said member Diane Markovich, “who share a love for the flute, learning, and making and sharing music together.” Based in Chaska, The Flute Loops repertoire features classical, folk, jazz, pop, Broadway, sacred, and holiday music. This unique 15-year-old ensemble has performed for weddings, churches, Minnesota Arboretum events, parties, and senior residents.
The Flute Loops are Mary Hegre, Diane Markovich, Jeanne Roudabush, and Laurie Strand. Hear their latest recording, “The Festive Flute Loops,” here: Flute Loops website.
“The History of All Things Christmas: How the Past Affects Today’s Christmas Celebrations”
Christmas trees and gift-giving - how and when did these traditions begin? Local historian David Kuball will present an entertaining and timely talk titled, “The History of All Things Christmas: How the Past Affects Today’s Christmas Celebrations.”
You’ll get insights into the origins of popular traditions plus recent additions that may connect with your own holiday memories. Some Christmas traditions have surprising origins. “In fact, many of our Christmas traditions came from corporations that developed them as part of holiday advertising," David stated. There were periods when Christmas was very different from the holiday we celebrate today. In fact, he said, "there times when Christmas was unpopular, and I’ll share instances when it was actually banned.”
David Kuball is a long-time Golden Valley resident. He is active in the community and has been on the GVHS board of directors for seven years.
VISIT THE MUSEUM
The Golden Valley History Museum will be open for GVHS members and the public. And, vintage Golden Valley street signs will available for purchase. Volunteers will be on hand to answer questions.
The Award-Winning Golden Valley History Museum
This is a great opportunity to tour the Museum. Open since Sept. 2018, the museum features an immersive exhibition that traces the history of Golden Valley from the ice age and pre-European contact to today.
The exhibition explores the former Golden Valley High School, the first Byerly’s Foods, Golden Valley Garden Club, Ewald Brothers Dairy, Golden Valley Police and Fire Departments, civil rights, human rights, and leadership.
In 2020, this exhibition – “Golden Valley: No Place Like Home” – received an Award of Excellence from the American Association for State and Local History.
Take Home a Vintage Golden Valley Street Sign!
From Aquila and Avondale to Zane and Zealand, GVHS has over 1,000 city street signs – some dating back to the 1940s - available for sale. After the state required street signs to be larger and with a reflective surface, the city began replacing signs and GVHS became the repository of decommissioned signs beginning in 1997.
This just might be the perfect holiday gift for a college student’s dorm room, a man cave, or a nostalgic former resident. To view the collection and purchase a sign, enter through the Museum.
Signs are $25 each and can be purchased by cash, check, or PayPal. Proceeds from the sale of signs support GVHS programs and operations.
For an inventory of available signs: Street Sign Inventory
Antique Toys, Wagons, Buggies, Sleds
GVHS board member Ken Huber collects and restores a variety of old things; you may have waved to him and his dog, Linus while joyriding in his Model A Ford. He has a special interest in antique and vintage children’s riding toys: bikes, trikes, wagons, scooters, pedal cars, and Irish mails. A selection of his collection will be displayed throughout the Historic Church.
YOU’RE INVITED: NOV. 9 & 11 HISTORY TALKS
Educating and Empowering Voters, Protecting Democracy: The 75-Year Impact of the League of Women Voters of Golden Valley
In a special acknowledgement of Golden Valley history, Golden Valley Historical Society (GVHS) is partnering with the League of Women Voters of Golden Valley (LWV-GV) on a program titled, “Educating and Empowering Voters, Protecting Democracy: The 75-Year Impact of the League of Women Voters of Golden Valley.”
From League president Marti Micks and four other presenters representing different eras, learn how the history of City of Golden Valley and the League have always been intertwined. The program will offer information about the League’s long and storied history in Golden Valley, and a time for socializing (Happy 75th Birthday cake!) It’s free and open to the public.
“For 75 years, our League has provided a wide variety of opportunities to become educated on issues, to build leadership skills, and to encourage involvement in civic life," Micks said. " It's a great story, one we'd love to share.”
The program is offered twice. Attend one or both.
Thursday, Nov. 9, 2023, 7 pm
Hosted by Golden Valley Historical Society
GVHS Historic Church, 6731 Golden Valley Road
Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023, 10 am (9:30 social time)
Hosted by League of Women Voters of Golden Valley
Brookview Community Center, 1st floor Valley Room
316 Brookview Pkwy S.
Pictured, from the archives: Charter members of the League of Women Voters of Golden Valley at a long-ago League anniversary celebration event.
“The Chalet at Glenwood,” now Theodore Wirth, in the early 1920s. While part of the Minneapolis Parks system, the golf course is in Golden Valley. Vintage postcard courtesy of Nokohaha.com.
On Thursday, Oct. 12, the Golden Valley Historical Society (GVHS) will host a program on the history of golf at Theodore Wirth and Brookview, two Golden Valley courses with a long and fascinating history.
Roxann Maxey will present “From Glenwood to Theodore Wirth,” the history of the first public course in Minnesota and second largest city-owned course in America. She is the Golf Operations Manager for Theodore Wirth Golf Course.
Ben Disch and Brett Johnson will present “Brookview Golf - Then and Now,” the rich history of Brookview, originally a private course and country club built in the 1920s by Archie Walker and his father, lumber magnate T.B. Walker. Disch is Brookview’s Operation Manager, Johnson is the Assistant Operations Manager.
The Thursday, Oct. 12 program is at 7:00 pm in the GVHS Historic Church, 6731 Golden Valley Road. Admission is free and open to the public.
Left: The cornerstone of George Dayton's first store in downtown Minnapolis. Right: Presenter David Kuball
On Thursday, Sept. 14, local history enthusiast David Kuball will present “The Daytons – A Family Business,” a Golden Valley Historical Society (GVHS) program. Kuball will explore the 140-year endeavors of the Dayton family and how they impacted the citizens of Minnesota.
The 7:00 pm presentation is in the GVHS Historic Church, 6731 Golden Valley Road. Admission is free. GVHS members and the public are welcome.
“There are many notable families and companies throughout Minnesota history, but one tends to stand out for its impact on the state,” Kuball said. “From helping farmers in debt, to bringing fashion to Minneapolis and beyond, and to providing leadership in the Twin Cities and state, the Dayton family history is compelling and rises to the top.”
Multiple generations of Daytons were active in serving the needs of Minnesotans – and of course making themselves wealthy. George Dayton moved from New York to Worthington, Minnesota in 1883 to help establish the Bank of Worthington. He eventually moved to Minneapolis to start a retail business that would famously and affectionately become known at Dayton’s.
While George got the family off to a strong start in Minnesota, it was the following generations who not only branched off into multiple businesses, but also impacted state politics.
David Kuball is a warm and engaging presenter with a love for history “which has been a hobby for most of my life,” he said. He was born in Faribault, MN and grew up on a nearby dairy farm with his parents and seven brothers and sisters. He has a Journalism degree from the University of Minnesota. “After failing to find a job with a newspaper,” David said, “I discovered that I had technical skills,” which led him to his current IT job with Optum. He is a long-time Golden Valley resident, active in the community, and has been on the GVHS board of directors for seven years.
Steve Boyd-Smith: “I have rarely seen an organization that is as self-aware, dedicated, and organized.”
LEFT: GVHS board and advisor at the final STEPS meeting on May 10, 2023. Top row: David Kuball, Jim Elert, Steve Schmidgall, Denise LaMere-Anderson, Teresa Martin. Front:
Mary McCormick, Crystal Boyd, Elsa Kendig, William Ewald. Not pictured: Larry Bakken, Ken Huber, Dave Lee.
By Steve Boyd-Smith
This GVHS update is by guest author Steve Boyd-Smith who recently led the Society through a year-long self-assessment. He is an independent museum professional currently helping communities reveal their stories through his company, Amplifier Experience Design. The St. Paul resident has over thirty years’ experience working with museums throughout the country.
In 2021, the Golden Valley Historical Society contracted with me to facilitate a year-long self-assessment of its entire operation. As an independent museum professional, I am pleased to report that GVHS is a solid organization, built over decades on strong foundations, and working actively to expand and advance the value of Golden Valley’s history to the community.
The self-assessment was structured around the national STEPS (Standards and Excellence Program) workbook and community, under the umbrella of the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH). It points history organizations towards national standards in six areas spanning everything from governance to collections, interpretation to community engagement.
The State of Minnesota provided a grant of $10,000 from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the Minnesota Historical Society, a sign of capability and trust for both the program and the organization.
Getting through this process was no small feat for an all-volunteer organization. Board members met nine times, for 1.5 to 2.5 hours each month to step through a chapter of the workbook. This represented more than 190 hours of volunteer time, with “homework” between meetings likely more than doubling this figure. As this was above and beyond regular Board meetings and volunteer tasks, the commitment to seeing this through demonstrates the level of dedication and care GVHS inspires.
I have worked with museums of all types and sizes for over 30 years and have rarely seen an organization that is as self-aware, dedicated, and organized. The Society is clear on its responsibilities, has been working for many years with attention to accountability and quality, and inspires committed and skilled volunteers. The process prompted valuable discussions and also turned up a few unseen gaps, raising awareness that makes transformation possible. The willingness to learn and change is a particularly enviable attribute of GVHS.
At the end-of-process meeting, Kyle Scott, GVHS President, thanked board members “for their faithful and dedicated commitment to excellence” and also singled out Crystal Boyd, the Society’s volunteer collections curator, for writing the grant and serving as project manager.
History matters. Whether we are conscious of it or not, history can strengthen a sense of place and build community. GVHS understands that incomplete history can instead erode community. When we don’t see ourselves represented in or contributing to the story of a place, we are made to feel as if we don’t belong. GVHS comes out of the STEPS program with a prioritized workplan of short-and longer-term tasks, and a new energy for engaging with the community—those who live, work, shop, learn, or play here—to make sure that the stories it collects, preserves, and interprets are whole, honest, and true; that the organization continues to be well run; and that its volunteers, audiences, objects, and structures are well cared for.
You can be a part of Golden Valley history – protecting its past and planning for its future. The Golden Valley Historical Society (GVHS), which is dedicated to the preservation and celebration of Golden Valley history, has September openings on its board of directors. Terms begin September 2023 and vary from 1-3 years in length.
The Board guides policy on management of its Historic Church and Golden Valley History Museum, both located at 6731 Golden Valley Road; acquires and maintains its collection of artifacts, documents, and photographs; and offers public programs, forums, and discussions from September through May. The Board typically meets at the Historic Church on the second Wednesday of the month.
It’s a great way to serve, volunteer, and be a part of Golden Valley history. To learn more or express an interest, contact William Ewald, GVHS Board Vice-President by August 1st at email@example.com.
A visit to goldenvalleyhistoricalsociety.org will provide additional information about the Society.
By Will Craig
Will Craig is a Golden Valley Historical Society member, and a retired University of Minnesota staff member of the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs which helped launch the Mapping Prejudice project. He has a graduate degree in geography where John Borchert was his mentor. His PhD was on the use of public records to understand societal issues.
Left: The Borchert family in 1954: John, Bill, Jane, Diane (with Spotty the dog), Bob, and Dave. Photo submitted by the Borchert family. Right: The “Borchert home” in 2022 has new owners and its “Black Lives Matter” sign is a wonderful connection to the Borchert legacy. Photo by Will Craig.
Racial covenants were used across the country in the first half of the 20th Century. Covenants were intended to keep out all non-white people. They were imbedded in deeds and at times remained legal through subsequent sales. The Twin Cities were no exception to this nationwide trend. Neither was Golden Valley.
The first racial covenant in Golden Valley was dated July 6, 1915. In 1938, the new Planning Commission required racially restrictive covenants as a condition of approval of the development of the West Tyrol Hills Addition. The City Council approved that requirement at its next meeting. By 1955 Golden Valley had over 1,600 properties with racial covenants.
I focus on the Glendale Addition with its 80 covenants because it has an interesting history. It was also the home of my mentor, John R. Borchert. He moved to Golden Valley in 1950 as a new assistant professor of geography at the University of Minnesota. Borchert went on to become a member of the Metropolitan Planning Commission, a Regents Professor at the university, and an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences.
The Glendale Addition was created in 1946 with 130 lots spread across 11 blocks. Every deed in Glendale had the following racial covenant:
“No person of any race other than the Caucasian race shall use or occupy any building or any lot, except that this covenant shall not prevent occupancy by domestic servants of a different race domiciled with an owner or tenant.”
A clip of a 1947 deed (below) shows that text in Clause F as part of a list of restrictions that covered issues like building heights and setbacks, and minimum home construction costs. Golden Valley wasn’t unique in reflecting the racial bias of the time.
A 1946 poll of Minnesotans found 60% thought African Americans should not be free to choose where they would live. And 68% thought non-white neighborhoods would hurt property values.
Glendale’s developers were two local men trying to develop a piece of land that would appeal to post-war buyers. Dr. Arthur C. Kerkoff lived in Golden Valley and had a practice in the Medical Arts Building. Waldo E. Hardell lived in the Linden Hills area of Minneapolis and worked for the Sexton Insurance Company in downtown. Kerkhof was president and Hardell was secretary of Glendale Inc.
Glendale lots began selling in July 1946. The last lot sold in May 1953. But something changed mid-stream. Glendale continued using the same deed form but altered it in a major way.
Beginning in February 1950, Clause F was crossed out. It was like Glendale Inc. put the deed form in a typewriter and crossed out Clause F by typing XXXX’s across all the text on the unsold deeds. John R. and Jane W. Borchert’s deed provides an example of that practice. (Above: an example of Clause F, and Borchert’s actual deed with it crossed out.)
All 80 of the earlier deeds had intact racial covenants. Clause F was obliterated on the last 50 sales.It’s not clear what prompted the change. The 1948 Shelley v. Kraemer Supreme Court decision made the covenants unenforceable, but Glendale continued to use the same deed form for another year. Sales were sluggish. Glendale eliminated the racial covenant in the deeds in February 1950 and sales doubled that year.
I’d like to think that John Borchert had something to do with that change. He was an urban geographer who understood markets. He was an extrovert who enjoyed discussing issues with people. Both Kerkhoff and Hardell were University alumni, accessible to Borchert. He would have pushed them to make that change and refresh their image.
Glendale Inc. began deleting racial covenants in February 1950. John Borchert bought lot 14 of block 8 on February 20, 1950, one week after Glendale Inc. made the change. Ned Flanders, his university colleague, bought the lot next door one week later.
The tide had turned for Glendale and other subdivisions across the state. In 1953, the Minnesota Legislature prohibited the use of racial covenants.
“A Beautiful Home Place RESTRICTED Wisely,” from a Golden Valley Historical Society display at City Hall.
Golden Valley subdivisions
with racial covenants existing
in the 1940s:
Delphian Heights 2nd Unit
Delphian Heights 3rd Unit
Glenurban 2nd Addition
Golden Valley Gardens
Kennedys South Tyrol Hills
Kennedys West Tyrol Hills
Lakeview Heights, the First Addition
West Tyrol Hills
John and Jane Borchert settled in and raised their family in Golden Valley where he became an active community citizen. He joined the Golden Valley Planning Commission in 1951, serving for a decade. This was the same Planning Commission that had required racial covenants 13 years earlier.
Borchert became chair of the commission in 1955. He always had a strong interest in public policy and how it played out on the ground. His 1998 Curriculum Vitae states: “Principal Interest: Geography applied to public
policies in land use and resource management.”
Golden Valley was not alone in its use of racial covenants in the early 1900s. The ”Mapping Prejudice” project at the University of Minnesota identified over 24,000 parcels in Hennepin County with racial covenants like those in the Glendale Addition.
Currently the project is assisting other counties across the U.S. in exploring their own histories of racial prejudice. Appropriately, the Mapping Prejudice project is housed at the John R. Borchert Map Library at the University of Minnesota.
Today, Golden Valley is playing a lead role in making things better in Minnesota. A 2019 law made it possible for owners to “discharge” prejudicial language from their property records, but that is a complicated process.
Golden Valley city attorney Maria Cisneros organized the “Just Deeds” project with a network of individual lawyers, government offices, and real estate professionals that provide free legal and title services to help property owners find discriminatory covenants and discharge them from their property titles.
[For reference, the Glendale Addition is in southeastern Golden Valley, bounded by Olson Memorial Highway on the north, Glenwood Avenue on the south, Natchez Avenue on the west, and Ardmore Drive on the east.]
"This [Glendale] plat was approved and accepted by the Village Council of Golden Valley, Minnesota at a regular meeting thereof held this 15th day of October A.D. 1946.”
Left: Adjutant Tom Martin and Commander Craig Hartman of Golden Valley’s Chester Bird Post 523 American Legion. Photo by Jim Elert. Right: The America Legion’s first national convention was held November 1919 in Minneapolis. Credit: “Century of Service,” The American Legion.
On Thursday, May 11, a few weeks prior to Memorial Day, Commander Craig Hartman and Adjutant Tom Martin of Chester Bird Post 523 American Legion Post in Golden Valley will be GVHS’s guest presenters.
They will touch upon the 100-year history of the American Legion, the 75-year history of Chester Bird Post 523, Chester “Bird” Ptaszek (the man behind the name), a legacy of giving, and the Legion’s big plans for June.
The presentation is at 7pm in the Society’s Historic Church, 6731Golden Valley Road. It is open to Society members and the public.
“The core of Chester Bird’s mission,” Hartman said, “is to honor and always remember, to give back, and to uphold time-honored values. We’ll share some examples.”
Hartman’s and Martin’s informal presentation will include historical anecdotes from the Golden Valley
Legion’s first meeting in December 1945 (in the original Golden Valley Village Hall) to hosting a June 17, 2023 street dance and barbeque cookoff, a partnership with the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Foundation. The event will honor those in law enforcement, fire, medical, and all first responders. Proceeds will go to students pursuing degrees in law enforcement.
They will share the post’s rich history of service, charitable giving, and scholarships. Martin urges May 11 participants “to bring their own questions, stories, and remembrances” to share during the presentation and discussion.
Craig Hartman, a U.S. Navy veteran, has served as Legion commander for the last seven years. Tom Martin is the Adjutant, former Commander, and a U.S. Navy and Air Force veteran.
Carl Rowan, with President Lyndon Johnson, after being named director of the United States Information Agency (Photo: Black History Moments). Sen. Robert Lewis speaks at a Senate committee hearing (Photo: Minnesota Historical Society).
On Thursday, April 13, the Golden Valley Historical Society will welcome Jeremiah Ellis to speak about journalist, author, and government official Carl Rowan, and Dr. Robert Lewis, a veterinarian, educator, and Minnesota state Senator.
As prominent Minnesotans, and leaders in the African American community in the Twin Cities, both men - now deceased - had distinguished professional lives. Ellis will offer deeper insights and the context of the times that shaped their lives. Rowan was born in 1925, Lewis in 1931.
Carl Rowan received a master's degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota in 1948. He wrote for the African American newspapers Minneapolis Spokesman and St. Paul Recorder, and then The Minneapolis Tribune where he reported extensively on the civil rights movement.
He became a distinguished author and journalist who was published in over 100 newspapers.
Rowan was appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary of State by President John F. Kennedy, became U.S. Ambassador to Finland, and was appointed director of the United States Information Agency (USIA) by President Lyndon B. Johnson, making him the first African American to hold a seat on the National Security Council. He died in 2000.
Robert Lewis received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota, and established a pioneering veterinary practice in St. Louis Park and later in Golden Valley where he also lived in later years.
He was a member of the St. Louis Park Board of Education and the State Board of Education. In 1972, he became the first African American to serve in the Minnesota State Senate. His passion was addressing the needs of senior citizens, the economically disadvantaged, Minnesotans with disabilities, those who were incarcerated, marginalized people, feminists, and victims of domestic violence.
Lewis also served on the board of the Minneapolis Urban League, where he was voted Man of the Year, and he was named Veterinarian of the Year by the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association.
His promising legislative career came to an abrupt end when he died of a heart attack at 47 years of age.
Ellis will share the context of the times in which these men lived. “In some ways Rowan and Lewis’ stories reflect historic systems that shaped many African American lives,” Ellis says, “like race-based housing discrimination, and yet looking closely at each man can lead us to better appreciating the wide range
of Black experiences in Minnesota.”
He will also explore the women in Rowan’s and Lewis’s lives and how they were shaped and affected by the professional lives of these men, and he will talk about their mentors and why the system of mentorship was so vital for up-and-coming Black professionals in Minnesota.
Jeremiah Ellis is the Director of Partnership for Generation Next, a coalition of civic, business, and education leaders from across Minneapolis and St. Paul dedicated to closing achievement and opportunity gaps. He also is a commissioner for the St. Paul Public Heritage Preservation, and until recently he worked as the Arthur C. McWatt Senior Fellow for the Ramsey County Historical Society.
The Thursday, April 13 talk is at 7 pm in the Society’s Historic Church, 6731 Golden Valley Road. The program is free and open to Society members and the public.
GVHS presents a March 8 talk, exhibit premiere, and book signing by Jane King Hession on Minnesota's pioneering first modern architect
The Golden Valley Historical Society (GVHS), partnering with Brookview Golden Valley, is presenting a talk, exhibit premiere, and book signing event on Elizabeth “Lisl” Scheu Close (1912-2011), Minnesota’s first modern architect. Jane King Hession, author of the award-winning Elizabeth Scheu Close: A Life in Modern Architecture, will bring Lisl’s life and career - including her work in Golden Valley - to light on Wednesday, March 8, at 7 pm in the Bassett Creek Room at Brookview Golden Valley, 316 Brookview Pkwy S, Golden Valley. The event is free and open to the public.
Wednesday, March 8 Talk
Hession’s talk and accompanying exhibit will examine the extraordinary life and prolific career of a pioneering woman in the field of architecture. With her husband Winston Close, Lisl founded the first architectural practice in the state dedicated to modern design. A specialist in residential architecture, she designed roughly 250 custom houses during her long career, the largest concentration of which stands in the University Grove neighborhood of Falcon Heights.
She also designed prefabricated houses for the Page & Hill company of Minnesota. More than 10,000 houses were produced from her designs. Among the many Close-designed buildings is the only ice arena she ever designed, which was built on a site in Golden Valley.
Although she forged a successful career, it wasn’t an easy road. She became an architect at a time when it was not common, or accepted, for a woman to do so, especially in her native Vienna, Austria. “But she negotiated every obstacle and, in the process,” Hession said, “became a role model for generations of women who would follow in her footsteps.”
March 4-23 Exhibit
To complement the March 8 talk, Brookview Golden Valley is presenting the exhibit "Elizabeth Scheu Close: A Life in Modern Architecture” on the community center’s second floor, outside of the Basset Creek Room, from March 4th through the 23rd.
Hession originally curated this exhibition for the Goldstein Museum of Design at the University of Minnesota in March of 2020. “It went up just in time for the university––and the world––to shut down due to the pandemic,” she said. “As a result, to date it has never been shown and has been seen only by a handful of people.”
The exhibit traces Lisl’s upbringing in one of Europe’s earliest modern houses in Vienna, Austria, to her immigration to and education in America, to her sixty-year career as one of Minnesota’s leading modern architects.
Jane King Hession is a Minneapolis-based architectural writer, historian, and curator specializing in midcentury modernism. Born and raised in New York’s Hudson River Valley, she earned her Master of Architecture from the University of Minnesota and Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and Art History from SUNY Albany.
She is a past president of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy and the Minneapolis Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians, and a founding partner of Modern House Productions. Hession is the author of five books including Ralph Rapson: Sixty Years of Modern Design, Frank Lloyd Wright in New York: The Plaza Years, and Elizabeth Scheu Close: A Life in Modern Architecture, which was a finalist for a 2021 Minnesota Book Award, and winner of the 2022 David Stanley Gebhard Award.
Copies of the book, Elizabeth Scheu Close: A Life in Modern Architecture, will be available for sale and signing by the author immediately following the March 8 presentation at Brookview.
This is the third in Golden Valley Historical Society’s three-part speaker series, "Voices in the Valley: Amplifying Underrepresented Histories of Golden Valley," made possible by Union Pacific Railroad’s Community Ties Giving Program. Note that this event takes place at an alternative venue and evening than most GVHS programs.
From the 1885 Herancourt birdseye map of Minneapolis. https://www.loc.gov.item/75964644/
VOICES IN THE VALLEY: AMPLIFYING UNDERREPRESENTED HISTORIES IN GOLDEN VALLEY
On Thursday, February 9, the Golden Valley Historical Society (GVHS) will host the second talk in its three-part speaker series, "Voices in the Valley: Amplifying Underrepresented Histories of Golden Valley" made possible by Union Pacific Railroad’s Community Ties Giving Program.
The featured speaker will be Steve Boyd-Smith who has worked for more than 30 years as an exhibit planner for historic sites and museums nationally. His talk is titled “Seeking Absent Voices: Losses, Opportunities, and Challenges.”
Using some of the diverse stories he’s excavated with groups from throughout the Twin Cities, he will engage attendees about the opportunities resulting from digging deeper into history, the consequences when we fail to tell the diversity of our stories, as well as the challenges we sometimes face as we move toward “better.” Ultimately, Boyd-Smith says, “we’ll explore how communities can reclaim, restore, and reveal [our] stories, thereby helping to restore dignity to [all of our neighbors], living and dead.”
“Telling stories of our history shapes our present perspectives and unearthing and engaging diverse stories can enrich us all and allow for new possibilities and new conversations in our communities,” Boyd-Smith says, “and it all starts with a process of connecting, digging deep, and hearing.”
Steve Boyd-Smith comes from a background in public history and theater and now runs Amplifier Experience Design, a firm which specializes in working with communities and groups throughout the country as they unearth, reclaim, and tell their own stories.
The Thursday, February 9 talk is at 7 pm in the Golden Valley Historical Society’s Historic Church, 6731 Golden Valley Road. It is handicap accessible and equipped with a speaker system. This presentation will also be recorded and posted to the Society's website in the following month for those unable to attend. It is free and open to the public.
Next in the Series
Elizabeth Scheu Close: Pioneering Mid-Twentieth Century Architect
To complete the series, Jane Hession, Minnesota-based author and architectural historian, will lead a discussion of her book, “Elizabeth Scheu Close: A Life in Modern Architecture” on March 8.
Elizabeth “Lisl” Scheu Close (1912-2011) was Minnesota’s first modern architect. With her husband Winston Close, she founded the first architectural practice in the state dedicated to modern design. A specialist in residential architecture, she designed roughly 250 custom houses during her long career and more than 10,000 houses were produced from her designs. Jane King Hession, author of Elizabeth Scheu Close: A Life in Modern Architecture, will bring Lisl’s life and career (including her work in Golden Valley) to light. GVHS is partnering with Brookview Golden Valley on this talk.
The program is Wednesday, March 8, 7 pm, Brookview Golden Valley, Bassett Creek Room. 316 Brookview Pkwy S, Golden Valley, MN 55426. The program is free and open to the public. A question-and-answer session will follow.
The Golden Valley Historical Society (GVHS) is presenting a three-part series to continue its work of bringing forth and highlighting diverse community voices and histories. The series is “Voices in the Valley: Amplifying Underrepresented Histories” in Golden Valley.” The first program, on January 22, 2023, by Maria Cisneros, City of Golden Valley Attorney, is “Going Deeper with Just Deeds: Righting Old Wrongs and Fostering Justice Today.”
FIRST IN A TREE-PART SERIES
Going Deeper with “Just Deeds:” Righting Old Wrongs and Fostering Justice Today
On Thursday, January 12, the Golden Valley Historical Society (GVHS) will begin a three-part- series for Society members and the public titled "Voices in the Valley: Amplifying Under-represented Histories of Golden Valley,” made possible by the Union Pacific Railroad’s Community Ties Giving Program.
Maria Cisneros, Golden Valley City Attorney, co-founder of the Just Deeds Coalition, and Past President of the Minnesota Association of City Attorneys, is the leadoff speaker. She will share the work she and the city of Golden Valley have been doing with the Just Deeds Coalition and how that work illuminates both the city’s past and present.
Many may be familiar with the Mapping Prejudice project, as well as the Just Deeds Coalition that emerged from it. However, Cisnernos notes, “the January 12 talk will present an opportunity to go deeper than past presentations, highlighting developments and a context uniquely pertinent to Golden Valley.”
Golden Valley was growing into a city at the same time racial housing covenants in the Twin Cities and elsewhere were in most common use. It will come as no surprise, therefore, that as Mapping Prejudice’s research has progressed, numerous covenants have turned up in this city. But that is not all their research has turned up.
Cisneros will address the wider cultural context in which these covenants emerged in Golden Valley as well as share other ways that racial exclusion was practiced in this area.
“Those who put racially restrictive covenants in their houses’ deeds, decades ago, did not stop there,” Cisneros said. “They employed a symphony of interlocking, and sometimes more direct strategies to exclude based on race. This history might help us to reflect on how current policy discussions can also create exclusion, unintentionally or not.”
Originally from Robbinsdale, Cisneros lives in Golden Valley with her husband and four children in a home that had a racially restrictive covenant at the time her family bought it. “I felt compelled to have the covenant removed and to co-found the Just Deeds Coalition,” she said, “when I realized that my husband and children who are mixed-race Latino would not have been allowed to live in our neighborhood when our home was built in the 1950s.”
The Thursday, January 12 talk is at 7 pm in the Society’s Historic Church, 6731 Golden Valley Road. It is free and open to Society members and the public. A question-and-answer session will follow.
Voices in the Valley: Amplifying Underrepresented Histories in Golden Valley
The Golden Valley Historical Society is the recipient of a $5,000 Union Pacific Railroad Community Ties Giving Program grant, which will allow GVHS to host a three-part series open to the public called "Voices in Valley: Amplifying Underrepresented Histories of Golden Valley.” These three talks will continue GVHS’s work of highlighting diverse community voices and histories as well as continuing the dynamics of historical storytelling that enrich us all.
Elsa Kendig, co-chair of the GVHS program committee with Teresa Martin, shared: “The Golden Valley Historical Society is grateful for this support from Union Pacific. By hosting these dynamic speakers, we hope to help the community reflect on how we can turn what we learn into practical actions that build a healthier and more just Golden Valley.”
Going Deeper With “Just Deeds:” Righting Old Wrongs and Fostering Justice Today
Maria Cisneros, 7pm, Thursday, Jan. 12, GVHS Historic Church
This program is described in greater detail above.
Unrepresented Voices in Museums
Steve Boyd-Smith, 7pm, Thursday, Feb. 9, GVHS Historic Church
Steve Boyd-Smith is a local exhibit planner who has worked with organizations throughout the country. Enlisting stories from a variety of museums, he will engage us in an important conversation about histories that have been erased, voices that are underrepresented in our museums, and the challenges and need for diverse representation and interpretation in Golden Valley, in Minnesota, and beyond.
Elizabeth Scheu Close: Pioneering Mid-Twentieth Century Architect
Jane Hession, 7pm, Wednesday, Mar. 8, Brookview-Golden Valley
To complete the series, Jane Hession, Minnesota-based author and architectural historian, will lead a discussion of her book, “Elizabeth Scheu Close: A Life in Modern Architecture.”
Schue Close was widely recognized as a pioneer of modern architecture and one of the few women who were practicing architects in the mid- twentieth century. She designed homes and public buildings around the state including some in Golden Valley. Please note that this is a change for the norm, this program will take place on a Wednesday evening at Brookview-Golden Valley.
GVHS Historic Church & Museum. A 1910 postcard from the “History of Christmas” program. Inside the Historic Church and 1882 chapel. The building’s basement filled with 1,000 vintage street signs for sale. Ewald Bros. Dairy exhibit in the Golden Valley History Museum. Photos by Jim Elert. 1910 Christmas postcard submitted from David Kuball’s personal collection.
Once a year, the Golden Valley Historical Society flings open its doors and invites the public and family members of all ages to check out the museum, the church building, and 1882 chapel. For those – and we know it’s most of Golden Valley – who continue to be curious what’s behind the doors of this iconic building at 6731 Golden Valley Road, here’s what you can do on Saturday, Dec. 10 from 11am to 3pm:
VINTAGE GOLDEN VALLEY STREET SIGNS FOR YOUR HOLIDAY SHOPPING
You can own a piece of Golden Valley history. Over 1,000 decommissioned city street signs – many from the late 1940s era – are being sold for $25 on Dec. 10, just in time for holiday gift-giving.
From Avondale to Zane, from Aquila to Zealand, that special sign you’re seeking may be available. They’re a perfect gift for a basement or garage, as a gift for a family member, college student’s dorm room, and best-ever gift for the nostalgic former resident. Enter through the Golden Valley History Museum door, toward the back of the building. Pay with cash or check only.
Want to know if the special sign your hoping to purchase is available? In advance of the sale, you can check out the Street Sign Inventory which is as up-to-date as Society volunteers can promise.
VISIT THE GOLDEN VALLEY HISTORY MUSEUM
You can visit the national award-winning Golden Valley History Museum. Open since Sept. 2018 (and closed for a year-and-a-half due to Covid), the museum presents the history of Golden Valley from pre-European contact to today. Current topics include the former Golden Valley High School; the first Byerly’s Foods; Golden Valley Garden Club; Ewald Bros. Dairy; Golden Valley Fire Department; and civil rights and leadership in the city.
VISIT THE HISTORIC CHURCH AND ITS 1882 CHAPEL
You can visit the Historic Church and its original, 1882 chapel, the oldest in Golden Valley. If you’ve ever wondered what it looks like inside what’s often called the “Little Church in the Valley” as you travel Golden Valley Road, this
is your chance for a walk-through. The 80-capacity chapel hosts weddings, memorial services, vow renewals, and other special events. Ask a volunteer about rental possibilities.
ATTEND “THE HISTORY OF CHRISTMAS: THE HISTORY AND SYMBOLOGY OF THE HOLIDAY
You can attend a special, free holiday history program. Local history buff David Kuball will present “The History of Christmas: The History and Symbology of the Holiday” on Dec. 10, 1pm, in The Don & Mary Anderson Chapel of the Historic Church.
We may like to think that the Christmas holiday has always been celebrated the way that it is today. However, we don’t have to go too far back in time to find that Christmas has changed a great deal.
“The evolution of Christmas includes many bumps and gyrations,” Kuball says. “You may be surprised to find that Christmas was both controversial and ignored at different points in history.” At the same time, some key people promoted Christmas and shaped it to be the holiday as we know it today.”
Suitable for all ages, the presentation will explore various traditions, the evolution of the holiday, and contemplate how early Golden Valley settlers may have celebrated Christmas.
The Christmas holiday includes symbols, images, and colors that many have come to recognize. How are they associated with the holiday, and what is the special meaning behind them? “Discover how something as common as the Christmas tree may have more symbolism than you may have imagined,” Kuball added.
GIVE THE GIFT OF GOLDEN VALLEY HISTORY
You can give the gift of Golden Valley history. Wrapped, one-year GVHS gift memberships will be available for purchase on Dec. 10. Give someone you love a great stocking-stuffer ($20 individual, $25 family.) Recipients will receive a monthly newsletter and invitations to free history programs and other special events where they can join others who love and appreciate local history.
Dr. Kasey Keeler
Photo credit: (Left) University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Human Ecology. (Right) Bassett Creek Watershed Management Commission
A virtual and in-person Golden Valley Historical Society program
On Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022, the Golden Valley Historical Society (GVHS) will continue its series on Ȟaȟa Wakpadaŋ (the Dakota name for Bassett Creek) and how the watershed relates to the area now called Golden Valley.
GVHS is pleased to present Dr. Kasey Keeler, Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her talk will focus on the perspectives she encountered while conducting oral history interviews with 14 Native American people who live, work, or play in the Ȟaȟa Wakpadaŋ watershed.
Dr. Keeler is partnering with Valley Community Presbyterian Church, which received a Legacy Amendment grant to support this project. The church (located on the east side of Highway 100 just a few blocks north of the creek) pursued this project as a follow-up action after writing its land acknowledgement statement.
Dr. Keeler’s research explores the relationship between Native people and the Ȟaȟa Wakpadaŋ watershed. It also reflects on what it means to be a Native person living in the suburbs.
From both of these topics emerged stories that serve to remind us, Dr. Keeler says, “that suburbs are historically Indian places, places that we have always been, and places where we belong.”
Dr. Keeler reminds us that, “We live in an Indigenous landscape.” This understanding emphasizes that Native viewpoints, past and present, are integral to the history of this area. Her words also encourage everyone to be respectful neighbors while living in the homelands of the Dakota people.
GVHS hopes that this second in a two-part series on the Ȟaȟa Wakpadaŋ watershed will encourage participants to reframe the area they live in as defined by interconnections – of water, stories, relationships, and time – instead of by boundaries.
Project manager Crystal Boyd says, “We are grateful to Dr. Keeler and all of the project participants for speaking about their lives and sharing their thoughts on the watershed, including their hopes for how human relationships and natural areas can be restored.”
A self-described “suburban Indian,” Dr. Keeler was raised in the Twin Cities on Dakota homelands. She is an enrolled citizen of the Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians and a direct descendant of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation.
Dr. Keeler teaches American Indian Studies at UW-Madison with further specialization in Civil Society & Community Studies within American Indian communities. She is currently working on a book, American Indians and the American Dream, which analyzes ways in which American Indian people have worked both against and with federal Indian policy to navigate home ownership both off- and on-reservation.
Dr. Keeler will present virtually on Thursday, Nov. 10, at 7 pm. Join the presentation and discussion using this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/2526298674
A hybrid opportunity is also available as the presentation will be live-streamed on a large screen at the Society’s Historic Church at 6731 Golden Valley Road.
The program is free and open to Society members and the public. A question-and-answer session will follow.
Two programs about Bassett Creek or Haha Wakpadan
TWO-PART SERIES ON BASSETT CREEK
PART I: Thursday, Oct. 13
On Thursday, Oct. 13, GVHS will present “Reforming our Relationship with the Bassett Creek Watershed: A History,” a talk by Laura Jester, Administrator of the Bassett Creek Watershed Management Commission (BCWMC). She will speak about the history of restorative efforts for the Bassett Creek Watershed, as well provide insights into how and why watersheds like Bassett Creek, whose Dakota name is Haha Wakpadaŋ, deteriorated after European settlers began to use it.
Many Golden Valley residents live on lands that were originally heavily dotted with wetlands fed by the watershed. This affects our homes and how we live in them.
“As we become increasingly aware that our water system’s health and sustainability are foundational to everything else we do,” Jester shared, “this presentation will help attendees understand not only the history of the watershed, but the possibilities for renewed relationship with this core aspect of our community.”
Jester has worked in the water resources field for 30 years and has been the Administrator of the BCWMC for the last 10 years. She has a BS in aquatic toxicology and MS in aquatic ecology from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point.
The Thursday, October 13 talk is at 7 pm in the Society’s Historic Church at 6731 Golden Valley Road. The program is free and open to Society members and the public. A question-and-answer session will follow.
PART II: Thursday, Nov. 10
GVHS will follow up with a Thursday, Nov. 10 program, “Haha Wakpadaŋ/Bassett Creek Oral History Project,” by Professor Kasey Keeler, assistant professor of American Indian Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She will talk about suburban American Indians and their relationships to the Bassett Creek/Haha Wakpadaŋ watershed.
More details on this 7 pm in-person or virtual program will follow on this website and in the November GVHS newsletter.
On Thursday, September 8, the Golden Valley Historical Society will host a talk by Philip Brunelle, artistic director and founder of VocalEssence and an internationally renowned conductor, choral scholar, musical visionary, and Golden Valley resident
“How COVID Resulted in Creative New Ways for Local Arts Organizations to Reach Audiences” is the title of the talk. Brunelle shared that he’ll “relate some of the challenges VocalEssence faced as a result of two-plus years of a pandemic, how it has survived the circumstances, and what the future looks like for Minnesota arts organizations.”
Brunelle is Minnesota’s music man. He’s the organist-choirmaster at Minneapolis’ Plymouth Congregational Church and is concurrently celebrating his 53rd anniversary with both VocalEssence and the Plymouth Church.
His lifelong mission has been to promote choral arts in all their forms, especially presenting rarely heard works of the past and outstanding new music. Under his leadership, VocalEssence has commissioned more than 300 works to date.
Brunelle has conducted the New York Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony, and Minnesota Orchestra. He has also conducted at choral festivals and operas on six continents.
For more than 40 years he served as a guest conductor and pianist on American Public Radio’s A Prairie Home Companion.
Brunelle holds five honorary doctorates and has served on the board of directors of the National Council for the Arts. For two decades he was deeply involved with the International Federation for Choral Music (IFCM). In 2002, he served as president of the Sixth World Symposium on Choral Music held in Minneapolis.
Philip and his wife Carolyn have been Golden Valley residents for 51 years and are proud, long-time GVHS members.
His Thursday, September 8 talk is at 7:00 pm in the Society’s Historic Church, 6731 Golden Valley Road, Golden Valley. The program is free and open to Society members and the general public. A sure-to-be-fascinating question-and-answer session will follow
On Thursday, August 11, the Golden Valley Historical Society (GVHS) hosted a reception to honor Mary and Don Anderson’s legacy and to name the chapel of the Historic Church, 6731 Golden Valley Road, in their honor.
While age is a relative factor, when two 90-plus-year-olds are still volunteering and still giving back, it’s time to recognize and honor their service which includes Mary’s 23 years as a two-time Golden Valley mayor and member of the city council and planning commission; Don’s nearly 30 years as secretary and guiding force of GVHS; pivotal role in the acquisition and preservation of the Historic Church; support of the creation of the Golden Valley History Museum; and their involvement in civic organizations including Rotary and the League of Women Voters.
A commemorative plaque from the GVHS Board of Directors said: “In recognition and gratitude for selfless service and dedication to the Golden Valley Historical Society, the Historic Church, the Golden Valley History Museum, and countless community organizations, from this day forward, the chapel at the Society’s 1882 Historic Church shall be known as ‘The Don & Mary Anderson Chapel.’”
A City of Golden Valley proclamation was also read that recognized “Mr. and Mrs. Golden Valley” for their “unselfish and outstanding leadership, caring support for the public welfare, mentorship to countless citizens, and for serving as exemplary role models for our community.”
Congratulations and thank you, Mary and Don!
Here is a wonderful feature article on Mary and Don by Alaina Rooker, SunPost News:
And, a short video of the August 11 tribute to Don and Mary by Dustin Scholl and Shannon Slatton of CCX Media:
Thank you, Stan Waldhauser. The photos you see on our website are his.
The Golden Valley Historical Society seeks to contract a qualified museum security survey consultant to conduct a security survey and produce a written report with recommendations. More details are included in the RFP. Bids up to $10,000 are due next Friday August 26. Please reach out with any questions.
You, or someone you know, can be a part of Golden Valley history – protecting its past and planning for its future. The Golden Valley Historical Society (GVHS), which is dedicated to the preservation and celebration of Golden Valley history, has September openings on its Board of Directors. Terms begin September 2022 and are 1-3 years in length.
The Board guides policy on management of its Historic Church and Golden Valley History Museum, both located at 6731 Golden Valley Road; acquires and maintains its collection of artifacts, documents, and photographs; and offers public programs, forums, and discussions from September through May. The Board meets at the Historic Church on the second Wednesday of the month at 6:30 pm.
To express interest or just to learn more, contact GVHS Secretary Steve Schmidgall at firstname.lastname@example.org by August 15. A visit to goldenvalleyhistoricalsociety.org will provide additional information about the Society.
Recent highlights and future GVHS projects:
--The Golden Valley History Museum received an American Association of State and Local History (AASLH) Award of Excellence for its Golden Valley: No Place Like Home exhibit in 2020.
--From September 2022 through May 2023, the Board of Directors is participating in a self-assessment project guided by AASLH’s STEPS program.
--Monthly programs of historical interest are planned for Society members as well as the general public and take place in the Historical Church
-- GVHS is partnering with local organizations to identify and improve access to Golden Valley’s Native-American, African-American, and Asian-American resources.
--The “Our Town’s Story - Golden Valley” documentary, a collaboration with CCX Media, debuted in 2021, and can be viewed on the GVHS website.
--The City of Golden Valley Historic Context Study, which contextualizes the city’s historic resources from 1852 through 1975, was completed in 2021 and is available on the GVHS website.
--Continued to host weddings and special events in the Historic Church and sell vintage City of Golden Valley Street signs as keepsakes.
Photos: Cheryl Weiler, City of Golden Valley
Remodeling at Golden Valley City Hall resulted in a bit of housecleaning – and a gift to the Golden Valley Historical Society (GVHS). On May 12, the city’s Public Works staff delivered 50 years of historical assets to GVHS. These items include recordings of City Council and Planning Commission meetings back to the 1990s, slides and photographs of city parks and Lilac Festivals from the 1970s, maps, signage, and more.
City personnel were pleased to find the proper home for this treasure trove, as preserving and disseminating historical knowledge about the City of Golden Valley is the mission of the Society.
The volume of historical materials presents a daunting but exciting task for the volunteer-run GVHS. President Kyle Scott said, “We look forward to systematically reviewing these materials to find the gems most worthy of protecting, preserving, and sharing.”
Left: The John Orth Brewery with Mr. Orth in the foreground. Right: A 1889 depiction of the Germania Brewing Company’s dance hall (foreground) and brewery behind. Submitted by Michelle Terrell, Ph.D., Two Pines Resource Group.
In the vast area that is now Theodore Wirth Regional Park, where the former Village of Golden Valley met Minneapolis, was once the Germania Brewery. Its remains were recently discovered just under the park’s lawn.
Across the Mississippi River in Minneapolis at this same time was the John Orth Brewery. Its remains, now under a parking lot, were also recently studied.
In 1890, these two long-gone breweries merged with two others to form the Minneapolis Brewing Company, better known today as Grain Belt.
In 2010, an archaeological investigation, commissioned by the Minneapolis Park Board, was begun of various areas within Theodore Wirth Park. These studies typically precede proposed developments (roads, trails) that could potentially impact important historic resources.
The hidden and largely forgotten history and remains of these breweries were researched and brought to light by a team led by archaeologist Michelle M. Terrell, Ph.D. of Two Pines Resource Group.
On Thursday, May 12, Dr. Terrell will present “The Archaeology of Brewing” in a program sponsored by the Golden Valley Historical Society (GVHS) and hosted by Under Pressure Brewing and Blendery, 8806 7th Ave. N, Golden Valley.
Dr. Terrell will share how documentary and archaeological research helped tell the story of these two breweries. The 7pm lecture is free (the excellent, craft beer and a bite to eat is not) and open to the public.
A fun beer trivia contest will follow the lecture. Be on time or early as seating cannot exceed capacity. Anyone ordering an alcoholic beverage must be 21 years of age or older.
Kyle Scott, GVHS president, says: “’The Archaeology of Brewing’ event offered the perfect opportunity to team up with Golden Valley’s own local brewery, Under Pressure Brewing and Blendery, for this fun and informative exploration into local brewing history.”
Lori Ertl, Under Pressure co-owner, says: “We’re excited to co-sponsor an event that links local brewing history -from some of its earliest days in 1887 - to the present. We’d also love to see new folks discover our brewery, enjoy a beverage and beer trivia, and see what creative brewing in 2022 is all about.”
Dr. Terrell is an author and trained anthropologist with a Ph.D. in Archaeology from Boston University with over 20 years of experience conducting cultural resource studies in Minnesota and the Upper Midwest. She has written and submitted numerous National Register of Historic Places nominations for sites across Minnesota.
The Golden Valley Historical Society is dedicated to the preservation and celebration of Golden Valley history. Its mission is to find, preserve, and disseminate historical knowledge about the city.
The unique, medieval-themed Under Pressure Brewery and Blendery opened in early 2019, and through perseverance, outstanding customer service, and great products, has survived two years of a pandemic that followed shortly after its opening.
Minnesota Historical Society photographs featuring early curling competitions at the St. Paul Curling Club. Left: circa. 1935. Right: undated.
Tim McMahon, an avid curler, author, history buff, and past president of the St. Paul Curling Club, will give a presentation entitled, “What the Heck is Curling? The Proud and Storied History of Curling in Minnesota” at the Golden Valley Historical Society on Thursday, April 14.
McMahon comes from a family of curlers who enjoy the sport which originated in Scotland. He is co-author of “100 Roaring Years on Selby Avenue: The St. Paul Curling Club.”
The book chronicles the history of the St. Paul Curling Club, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is the largest curling club in the United States, with over 1,200 members. Club members have competed in national, international, and Olympics competitions.
The book tells the story of a classic building and a pastime steeped in Minnesota history, from the first bonspiels on the Mississippi River in 1893 to the 2012 centennial of the Selby Avenue clubhouse.
McMahon’s presentation will sample the book’s stories about generations of curlers through the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, the war years, the first women curlers in the 1950s, Olympic curling playdowns in the 1980s, and the popularity of curling today.
An example of this popularity in Golden Valley is the outdoor pub curling leagues on four synthetic “ice sheets,” believed to be the first in Minnesota, for beginners and casual curlers at Brookview Golden Valley.
Come join the fun, including a bit of a curling lesson, on Thursday April 14, 7pm, at the Golden Valley Historical Society’s Historic Church, 6731 Golden Valley Road, Golden Valley.
The program is free and open to Golden Valley Historical Society members and the public. A question-and-answer session will follow.
Haha Wakpadaŋ is the Dakota name for Bassett Creek. This waterway was used by Native American people as they traveled between Medicine Lake (I Capa Cagastaka Mde) and the Mississippi River (Haha Wakpa). Photo credit: Bassett Creek Watershed Management Commission.
Rediscovering and reframing: Native American history in the Golden Valley Historical Society Archives – a Thursday, March 10 virtual program
Did you know that one of the earliest pieces of evidence of human activity in Golden Valley is a precontact chipped knife blade? It was discovered during an authorized study near Bassett Creek in 1986.
Or that in the mid-1800s, a Native American woman lived with a Frenchman near what is now Meadowbrook Elementary School?
Join us on Thursday, March 10 for “Rediscovering and Reframing: Native American History in the Golden Valley Historical Society Archives,” when Crystal Boyd will present a virtual program on some of the “hidden” stories discovered in the Golden Valley Historical Society (GVHS) archives. She will share results from a recent project that the GVHS has undertaken to inventory and catalog Native American resources in its collection.
She will share results from a recent project that the GVHS has undertaken to inventory and catalog Native American resources in its collection.
“I look forward to sharing some of the information that has been rediscovered or reframed through this work,” Boyd said. “It’s exciting to expand what the Society knows about the resources in its collection, share it with the public, and stimulate discussion.”
The project, which also inventoried and catalogued African American/Black and Asian American resources in the GVHS collection, is supported by a $9,900 grant from the Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants Program and GVHS.
Boyd is the President of Crystal Boyd Consulting LLC. She provides grant writing and project management services for museums, nonprofits, and local governments in Minnesota.
She earned her Master’s degree in Museum Studies from the University of Colorado and has worked with museums for 17 years. Crystal facilitated development of the Golden Valley History Museum, which won a national award from the American Association of State and Local History (AASLH) in 2020. She is also the volunteer collections coordinator for the museum.
GVHS members and the general public are welcome to participate in the 7pm virtual presentation and question-and-answer session. It will be the Society’s second program hosted virtually as the omicron threat continues to recede, but the small size of the Society’s makes physical distancing a challenge.
To join this virtual presentation, choose one of these options:
1) Copy the code below into your browser
2) Go to https://zoom.com, select the “Join a Meeting” option at the top of the page, then enter meeting number 252 629 8674 when prompted, then your name.
Any presidential visit to your city is a good thing; in this case it was a 2012 visit to the Honeywell plant in Golden Valley by President Barack Obama, the country’s first African American president. This photo is preserved in the GVHS archives with other materials related to Black history in the city. (Photographer unknown)
BLACK HISTORY MONTH
“IT HAPPENED IN GOLDEN VALLEY:” A FEBRUARY 10 VIRTUAL PROGRAM ON AFRICAN AMERICAN AND BLACK HISTORY IN THE GVHS ARCHIVES
To commemorate Black History Month, the Golden Valley Historical Society (GVHS) will host a presentation about African American and Black resources that are preserved in its archives. The Thursday, February 10 virtual event will explore items that have been brought to light by a recent GVHS inventory project.
“A thorough process to comb through the Society’s archives has already yielded more than 100 items related to Black history in Golden Valley,” said contractor Crystal Boyd. “This project will ultimately expand knowledge of the city’s history, improve public access to the archives, and honor the lived experiences of Black community members.”
To date, examples of items from the archives include birth records from the early 1900s and school photos from the 1920s, which are some of the earliest documentation GVHS holds of Black families in Golden Valley.
The presentation will cover topics including the Golden Valley Human Rights Commission, the Oliver Lyle lawsuit, and the related pamphlet “It Happened in Golden Valley.”
It will also explore the city’s earliest Black History Month celebrations during the 1980s, gaps in the archives, and potential steps for working with Black community members to preserve local history.
The project is supported by a $9,900 grant from the Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants Program and GVHS. A future program will share the project's additional work on identifying Native American resources in the archives.
Boyd is the President of Crystal Boyd Consulting LLC. She provides grant writing and project management services for non-profit organizations. Boyd earned her Master’s degree in Museum Studies from the University of Colorado, and she has worked with museums for 17 years.
Boyd facilitated development of the Golden Valley History Museum which, won a national award from the American Association of State and American Association of State and Local History (AASLH) in 2020.
GVHS members and the general public are welcome to participate in the 7:00 pm presentation and question-and-answer session. It will be the Society’s first-ever program hosted virtually due to the current Omicron spike, the small size of the venue, and the City of Golden Valley’s declaration of a public health emergency.
To join this virtual presentation, choose one of these options:
1) Click here on Zoom Meeting
2) Copy the code below into your browser
3) Go to https://zoom.com, select the “Join a Meeting” option at the top of the page, then enter meeting number 252 629 8674 when prompted, and then your name.
GVHS will take a brief pause in its monthly programming due to the current surge of Covid-19 cases resulting from the Omicron variant and our duty to provide a safe environment for our guests.
We have not scheduled a typical history program for January 2022 in our Historic Church for our members and the public. We will inform you well in advance about our plans for February and beyond. Thank you for your understanding.
New officers for 2021-22 were selected at the October GVHS Board of Directors meeting. Congratulations to Kyle Jennifer Scott, president; William Ewald, vice-president; Steve Schmidgall, secretary; and David Kuball, treasurer. Natural leaders Kyle Scott and William Ewald were elected to their positions - and thus the executive committee - during their first term as board members.
New president Kyle Scott is a Golden Valley resident, Assistant Vice President of Compliance for Health e(fx), an Equifax company providing ACA Healthcare IT solutions for employers. She served on the Golden Valley Human Rights Commission from 2016-20221, twice serving as Chair.
William Ewald, new vice-president, is employed by Emerson Automation Solutions, is a captain of the St. Bonifacius Fire Department, and has published a book on his family’s dairy business which is a legendary part of Golden Valley history. He’s also been a guest speaker at GVHS programs.
Many thanks to outgoing board president Ken Huber who served in that role from 2007 to 2021, including the pivotal years of planning and eventual opening of the Golden Valley History Museum. He is active in a number of history-related groups around town. Ken is particularly known for collecting and restoring antique and vintage children’s riding toys. His rideable collection has become a joy for kids at GVHS booths at city events throughout the years.
Don Anderson, a person synonymous with GVHS since its inception, is “retiring” from his role as board secretary – longest in our history - after 33 years. At 91-years-young, Don is reducing his involvement in a myriad of volunteer activities from Golden Valley Historical Society since the mid-80s, to president of the Calvary Center Cooperative, to 45 years with Golden Valley Rotary Club. Don and his wife Mary (former Golden Valley mayor and chair of the Metro Council) are incredibly important in the history of Golden Valley, and their financial contribution was instrumental in making the Golden Valley History Museum a reality.
Luckily for the GVHS, both Don and Ken will remain board members and their service will continue.
The Golden Valley Historical Society (GVHS) received word on September 9 from the Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) that it has been awarded a $9,900 Minnesota Historical & Cultural Heritage Grant. The grant is for a proposal submitted in July for “Identifying and Cataloging Native American, African American, and Asian American Resources in the Golden Valley Historical Society Archives.”
Teresa Martin, newly appointed to the GVHS board of directors, said, “This grant makes it possible to inventory the Society’s archives to bring to light items related to three important groups in our community.” It will also facilitate digitizing key items by writing metadata for select pieces from the archives.”
In addition, the project will support transcribing presentations about Native American history that were previously recorded on VHS tapes at GVHS’s membership meetings.
In June, GVHS solicited bids from potential contractors to complete the project and in July selected Crystal Boyd Consulting LLC to conduct the work.
Crystal Boyd said, “I look forward to helping identify stories in the archives that may have been overlooked in the past. This is a great opportunity to begin highlighting diverse experiences throughout the city’s history and expanding dialogue between community members and groups.”
David Kuball, GVHS treasurer who wrote and submitted the grant, said, “Completing this project will better prepare GVHS to respond to inquiries about Golden Valley history. This project, for example, will identify items that could enrich community initiatives such as writing a Land Acknowledgment Statement or celebrating Black History Month.”
The project’s expected completion date is February 2022. If you have questions, please contact Teresa Martin at email@example.com.
The Golden Valley Historical Society (GVHS) has completed a project that evaluates Golden Valley’s historic resources from 1852 through 1975. The City of Golden Valley Historic Context Study was begun in 2020 and completed in January 2021. It is one of the most comprehensive research documents ever produced on the history of Golden Valley.
Historic context studies typically provide frameworks for evaluating a city’s historic resources based on themes, geographic limits, and chronological periods. The Golden Valley study offers a comprehensive overview of the city’s broad patterns of historical development. These themes can support preservation planning activities that build a future while respecting the past.
The 102-page study includes recommendations on how to guide preservation efforts, interpret historic sites, and increase public awareness of local history. The study’s wide-ranging scope includes:
Agriculture and farming
Parks and recreation
Social, cultural, and religious activities
Commerce and light industry
Suburban development and civic life
Residential architectural styles
Recommendations and future actions
The Society is excited to offer this study as a resource that can inform the public, city officials, local businesses, civic organizations, and researchers about Golden Valley's history and its treasured historic resources. The research was commissioned by GVHS and completed by Thomas R. Zahn & Associates LLC in partnership with project manager Crystal Boyd as well as GVHS and its volunteers.
Contractor Tom Zahn says the Golden Valley study might be “the most comprehensive multi-themed historical context study produced in the state.” He added that it can serve “as a guide to future evaluation, designation, and good preservation planning practices.”
Project manager Crystal Boyd underscored the importance of the study for city planning efforts. She said, “This context study provides tools to help citizens and planners consider Golden Valley’s historic resources while planning for the city’s future.”
In an early stage of the project, the Golden Valley city council passed a resolution to support GVHS’s efforts to undertake the historic context study. GVHS secured $9,650 from a Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grant through the Minnesota Historical Society. These grants are made possible by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment. Additional funding was provided by GVHS.
A key recommendation of the study is to establish a city Heritage Preservation Commission (HPC). This commission could play an integral role in incorporating preservation planning into city development and redevelopment processes.
At its February 2 regular meeting, the city council approved a motion to accept its organizational Pyramid of Success for 2021. One of the five organizational priorities for the year is to look deeper into the merits of creating a HPC. City council member Larry Fonnest, who serves on the GVHS board of directors as liaison to the city council, championed efforts to establish a HPC and is excited “that it is now a priority item for 2021, ensuring that further research and discussion will now take place.”
The City of Golden Valley Historic Context Study is now available to the public (click here).