Learn more about Golden Valley's history by joining us at one of our upcoming 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.
The Golden Valley Historical Society (GVHS) seeks proposals from qualified A/V contractors to plan and install audiovisual equipment at GVHS in Golden Valley, Minnesota. The primary goal of this project is to determine what changes and improvements would be feasible and necessary, then install equipment to improve on-site presentations. The contractor shall:
Conduct a kickoff call with GVHS stakeholders to discuss GVHS’s current system, desired capabilities, and future needs;
Conduct an on-site visit to assess A/V needs in GVHS’s historic building;
Draft recommendations customized to GVHS for the GVHS Board to review and provide comments; and
Order and install A/V equipment to improve on-site presentations.
This RFP describes the basic services required and the process for selecting the qualified contractor for this project. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.
Individuals hired for this work are considered contractors and not GVHS employees. No sick leave, vacation, or medical benefits are provided for this work. Contracted individuals will be responsible for their own state and federal income taxes.
Review the RFP for more details.
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
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 email@example.com 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.
Valley Community Presbyterian Church (VCPC) has been a good friend of the Golden Valley Historical Society (GVHS) over the years. On Saturday, June 4, 2022, the church is hosting a day of celebration and education about Native American heritage that may interest GVHS members. The event is from 11 am to 2 pm at VCPC, 3100 Lilac Drive N. GVHS will be hosting an outreach table at the event.
Attendees will learn about the Ȟaȟa Wakpadaŋ (Bassett Creek) Oral History Project and celebrate the vibrant traditions of Native American people who have been connected to the creek for thousands of years.
The Dakota-language name for Bassett Creek, Ȟaȟa Wakpadaŋ, translates to “Falls Creek,” a reference to the creek’s confluence with the Mississippi River just above St. Anthony Falls (called Owamniyomni in Dakota).
The rain-or-shine June 4 community celebration will feature Native food, drumming, dancing, storytelling, and a presentation by Dr. Kasey Keeler, assistant professor of American Indian Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and former Crystal resident.
Arts activities will be provided by Speaking Out Collective. The event is free and open to the public. Free snacks and blueberry tea will be provided. Wild rice wraps will be available with a $5 suggested donation – cash or check.(Or bring a picnic lunch.)
11:00 am, Welcome and Land Acknowledgement
11:10 am, Native Drum and Dance Group
11:30 am, Native Storytelling and Arts Activities
12:30 pm, Project Presentation, Dr. Kasey Keeler
This celebration is one component of a larger oral history project. In April 2022, Dr. Keeler began interviewing people who live, work, or play in the Ȟaȟa Wakpadaŋ area. She said, “This project is increasing public awareness of American Indian history across the western suburbs of the Twin Cities.”
Dr. Keeler is one of the only scholars of suburban American Indian history in the United States.
Interviews are being recorded and preserved at the Hennepin History Museum (HHM). At the end of the project, HHM will make the interviews available to the public.
Project manager Crystal Boyd, also the GVHS volunteer Collections Curator, said, “We hope this project inspires community groups to recognize, support, and advocate for Native American people. Oral history projects are one way to go beyond developing a land acknowledgement statement.”
Watch the program on YouTube.
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.
Golden Valley Historical Society will participate in a Sunday, March 13 Volunteer Fair, sponsored by the Golden Valley Community Foundation, at Brookview Golden Valley from 10am to 1pm. Stop by and visit; we’ll be among a dozen or more non-profit Golden Valley organizations taking part. Talk to us about becoming a museum greeter in the award-winning Golden Valley History Museum, an event host in our Historic Church, or becoming “a part of history” by becoming a member of the Society.
Brookview will also be filled with vendors for the March Market in the Valley (winter farmer’s market), and, of course, there’s the 316 Bar + Grill and Backyard indoor playground.
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.
You can own a piece of Golden Valley history by attending the Saturday, Dec. 11 “Vintage Golden Valley Street Sign Holiday Sale & Museum/Historic Church Open House.” Nearly 1,200 decommissioned city street signs – most delightfully aged and dented from the late 1940s era – are being sold as a fundraiser by the Golden Valley Historical Society (GVHS).
VINTAGE GOLDEN VALLEY STREET SIGN HOLIDAY SALE
From Avondale to Zane, from Aquila to Zealand, that special sign you’re seeking may be available.
Arguably, there is no better or more economical holiday season gift for a proud current or former resident of Golden Valley than a $25 vintage street sign, many that are 60-70 years old. They’re perfect 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. These signs are already prized possessions throughout the metro area, in outstate Minnesota, and throughout the country.
The sale takes place Saturday, Dec. 11, from 11 am to 3 pm, at GVHS Golden Valley History Museum and Historic Church, 6731 Golden Valley Road.
Enter through the Golden Valley History Museum door, toward the back of the building. Signs are $25 each - 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.
MUSEUM AND HISTORIC CHURCH OPEN HOUSE
While you’re at the sale, you may want to also take the time to visit the Golden Valley History Museum and its award-winning Golden Valley: No Place Like Home exhibit presents the history of Golden Valley from the ice age to the present.
Also, during the 11am – 3pm sale hours, the Society will have its 1882 Historic Church, the oldest in Golden Valley, open for a walk-through. If you’ve ever wondered what it looked like inside that “Little Church in the Valley” as you travel Golden Valley Road, this is your chance.
Current Covid/safety requirements for GVHS events: For the protection and respectful consideration of others, face coverings are required of those attending, as is maintaining safe physical distancing.
100 YEARS OF VILLAGE AND CITY STREET SIGN HISTORY
An investigation of the origin of Golden Valley street names was completed in 1996 by a committee of the Golden Valley Historical Society chaired by Leone Johnson. The study confirmed that Golden Valley streets have three separate A to Z alphabets; one has U.S. state and Canadian names, and another carries a patriotic theme.
A number of streets identified in the study were named after early settlers or historical events. Among them: Bassett Creek Drive and Lane (Joel Bassett owned a lumber mill and served on the Territorial Council), Bies Drive (prominent early settler, Christopher Bies), Ewald Terrace (Ewald Dairy), Lilac Way and Drive (1939 lilac sales to beautify Highway 100), Medicine Lake (Indigenous name); Schaper Road (Shaper Manufacturing made the popular “Cooties” game), Schuller Circle (Schuller’s Tavern), Turner’s Crossroad (Paul Turner had a truck farm across from Tennant Co.), and Varner Circle (prominent early settler, Charles H. Varner.)
According to “Golden Valley 1886-1986,” a book produced by the Golden Valley Historical Society; “In 1920, the people of Minnesota voted for Amendment 1 (also known as the Babcock Amendment) which created the Highway Department, effective in 1921. All roadwork was done by counties and the state paid part of the cost.”
The earliest road signs in the Village of Golden Valley were arrows on a post pointing toward a village with the number of miles from the sign post to the village. These signs were put up by the Minnesota Automobile Association to encourage people to purchase these early cars. To this day, at the corner of Meadow Lane and Sunnyside Ridge is such a sign, a magnificent relic stamped with the year 1922. (It is not necessarily the original location of this sign.)
Don Anderson, 30-plus-year secretary of the Golden Valley Historical Society contributed the following recollections on the history of street signs in the Village and City of Golden Valley:
“The roads of Golden Valley became more prevalent after World War I. The need for road identification required the Village of Golden Valley to buy street signs and posts. This vintage sign had the road name in black letters on a white background.
After World War II the need for more housing and industry in the Village required more roads and more street signs. This generation of Village street signs from the late 1940s featured a green background with white letters.
Decades later, the state required that these street signs be replaced with larger signs, with a reflective surface, easier for first responders (and others) to see. So, Golden Valley began to systematically replace the old signs with the reflective street signs. The old street signs were hauled to the city's street maintenance building and put in a stack on wooden pallets.
In 1997, the street superintendent of the city contacted me and asked if the Society would like to acquire a bunch of old street signs. I said yes. That (and periodically ever since) is when the signs began to be delivered to the Society's Historic Church on Golden Valley Road, and the Society initiated a fundraiser by selling the vintage street signs.”
Learn more, ask a question, volunteer, or become a member of the Golden Valley Historical Society:
A Thursday, Nov.11 Program by Marshall Tanick
Football Law in Minnesota: How the Vikings Almost Came to Golden Valley and Other Tales from the Gridiron
Those who regularly attend monthly history presentations sponsored by the Golden Valley Historical Society (GVHS) know that there’s no limit to what you may encounter and learn. Now, you’re invited to learn about local football law, and lore, like how the Minnesota Vikings almost came to Golden Valley.
On Thursday, November 11, the entertaining local lawyer Marshall Tanick will bring together his expertise in law and his passion for football in a program titled, “Football law in Minnesota: How the Vikings Almost Came to Golden Valley and other Tales from the Gridiron.”
The 7:00 pm presentation, followed by a question-and-answer session, is in GVHS’s Historic Church, 6731 Golden Valley Road. Admission is free. GVHS members and the general public are welcome.
“I plan on reviewing some of the more interesting and unusual legal cases involving the Vikings and football in general in Minnesota and in northwest suburban communities,” Tanick said, “anything from recent court rulings and litigation landmarks affecting student athletes, to injuries, to sports betting.”
Tanick is a Golden Valley resident, an attorney with the Meyer Njus Tanick law firm, and in 2019 was named Attorney of the Year by Minnesota Lawyer magazine. He’s a frequent writer and speaker on a wide variety of legal and historical subjects and a favorite of GVHS audiences for many years.
For the protection and respectful consideration of others, face coverings are required of those attending, as is maintaining safe physical distancing.
Golden Valley Historical Society’s (GVHS) monthly history series continues with the Thursday, October 14 program, “The Dakota War of 1862, a Brief but Monumental Part of Minnesota and U.S History” by presenter David Kuball.
Local historian-hobbyist Kuball will share how the arrival of a wave of settlers to Minnesota in the 1850s set the stage for a conflict with Dakota people living in the southern part of the state. In 1862, after the U.S. government failed to honor its part of a 1858 treaty, severe hunger and additional factors led to the Dakota War. It is a sad story – four years after Minnesota statehood – for all involved, with results that continue to reverberate today.
Attendees will learn about the circumstances that led to the war, the multiple battles that took place around the state, and the dramatic, historic consequences that followed.
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, Minnesota and grew up on a nearby dairy farm with his parents and seven brothers and sisters. He attended the University of Minnesota and obtained a degree in Journalism. 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 has been on the GVHS Board of Directors for five years.
The 7:00 pm presentation, followed by a question-and-answer session, is in GVHS’s Historic Church, 6731 Golden Valley Road. Admission is free. GVHS members and the general public are welcome.
GVHS follows CDCs guidance in response to the Delta variant of Covid-19. Face coverings and appropriate physical distancing are required for all guests. In the event of cancellation, a notice will be posted on the GVHS website and Facebook page prior the event.
Learn more about Golden Valley's history by joining us at one of our upcoming programs!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Doug Ohman, perhaps Minnesota’s preeminent photographer, historian, and storyteller, will do the honor of restarting Golden Valley Historical Society’s (GVHS) monthly history series after an 18-month pause.
On Thursday, Sept. 9, he will present “Heart of the Farm – Barns of Minnesota” for GVHS members as well as the pubic. In one of Ohman’s most popular presentations, attendees will enjoy a photographic, anecdotal journey which illuminates and celebrates the barn, the greatest of all rural Minnesota icons. “From the early days of statehood through the era of agribusiness,” Ohman says, “our barns tell a story – and this story will bring you back to the farm and explore the importance of our rural roots.”
Bringing Minnesota history to life, Ohman has been photographing and chronicling the state of Minnesota – and sharing stories throughout the Midwest - for over twenty-five years. He founded Pioneer Photography in 1995, his photographs are regularly displayed in regional art shows and festivals, and he has published numerous books on Minnesota.
The 7:00 pm presentation will be in GVHS’s Historic Church, 6731 Golden Valley Road. An audience Q & A will follow.
GVHS follows CDCs guidance in response to Covid-19 and its variants. Face coverings and appropriate physical distancing are required for all guests. Changes in protocols or cancellation could take place as a result of updated guidance, so please visit the website prior to the program.
View the Facebook video from the CCX Debut
Golden Valley History Museum Status
GOLDEN VALLEY, MN (August 25, 2020) The Golden Valley Historical Society is pleased to announce a new documentary tracing the history of Golden Valley through the words of individuals who have a passion for sharing their personal experiences, stories, and research about Golden Valley. “Our Town’s Story—Golden Valley” will debut on September 17.
Work on the documentary began in 2019 through a community partnership between the Golden Valley Historical Society and CCX Media. CCX Media has served Golden Valley and eight neighboring northwest suburbs for over 30 years and is in the midst of producing a history video for each city. Documentaries for Brooklyn Park, Maple Grove, Plymouth, and Robbinsdale can be found at https://ccxmedia.org/city_programs/our-towns-story/
Due to COVID-19, “Our Town Story – Golden Valley” will debut through a virtual “made for TV and Facebook” event hosted by the Golden Valley Historical Society and CCX Media on Thursday September 17 at 6:00pm. The event will include a live discussion about the importance of preserving Golden Valley’s history, a showing of the 33-minute documentary, and a post-showing “reminiscing” time when viewers can submit questions through Facebook.
The September 17 debut event will be recorded and replayed on Sunday September 20 at 7:00pm on CCX Media Channel 799/12. The in-studio event will be available for ongoing viewing at ccxmedia.org. The 33-minute video will be available ongoing viewing at www.goldenvalleyhistoricalsociety.org
“Our Town’s Story – Golden Valley” explores the natural amenities, area settlement, civic activities, educational organizations, and development stages that shaped the area over the years. Individuals interviewed for the video included members of the Golden Valley Historical Society, past and current political figures, and community residents.
Timeline of video production:
-Held initial meetings in early 2019
-Conducted interviews and captured community video during spring and summer 2019
-Gathered historical photographs during winter 2019/2020
-Completed video editing during summer 2020
See the rich history of Golden Valley come to life through video during an exciting debut event on Thursday September 17 at 6:00 pm.
About the Golden Valley Historical Society
The Golden Valley Historical Society (GVHS) was organized in 1974. Its mission is to find, preserve, and disseminate historical knowledge about the city of Golden Valley, Minnesota. In 1997, GVHS acquired the city's oldest church building as a permanent home. The historic church was constructed in 1882 and is often used as a wedding venue and to host a variety of speakers and presentations. The museum addition was constructed in 2012, and GVHS opened the Golden Valley History Museum in 2018. Both the church and museum are operated by GVHS. The society also collects and preserves oral histories, photographs, video histories, and three-dimensional objects. Due to COVID-19, the museum is currently closed until further notice. Learn more at www.goldenvalleyhistoricalsociety.org.