Edina history

Lifelong Edina Resident and Historian Honored by Mayor

From farm to mill to suburb, Edina has a proud history, and Frank R. Cardarelle saw much of it happen. As a lifelong Edina resident, community volunteer and local surveyor, history is a common thread in Cardarelle’s life. Through his visionary work with the Edina Historical Society, Edina Rotary and other history-related causes, Cardarelle has had an enduring impact. This year, Cardarelle was honored with the Mayor’s Outstanding Senior Commendation, awarded to a senior citizen for outstanding volunteer service in the community.

Suburban Camping

In the summers of 1962 and ’63, Edina youngsters explored the wilderness in their city’s backyard during overnight camping trips sponsored by the parks and recreation department.

“Camp a Night” brought youngsters to the Hays Farm in southwest Edina, purchased by the city in 1956 for future development as a park. That proximity came in handy during a couple of loud thunderstorms, when some scared campers asked to go home, recalls Bob Kojetin, then assistant parks and recreation director, who led the trips and did most of the cooking.

Minnesota Growers take Hardy to Heart

Learn about the history of your neighborhood and its pioneers. Visit the Edina History Museum’s “Edina on the Map” exhibit on display through Fall 2014. 612.928.4577; edinahistoricalsociety.org

Horace Greeley, the same New York newspaper editor who made popular the phrase “Go West, young man!” apparently felt differently about the livability of Minnesota. After an 1865 visit, he proclaimed, “I would not live in Minnesota, because you cannot grow apples there.” Local growers took what Greeley said as “fighting words.”

Edina Hockey Tradition Began in 1950s

Now an established hockey power with 11 state high school boys’ hockey championships, Edina’s hockey program was in its infancy in the 1950s.
   
Edina had its first taste of success in 1955, when it entered the State High School Tournament for the first time (only to lose). But that was enough to draw about 50 boys to the newly formed Edina youth hockey association the following year.
   

Edina Garden Council Creates “City of Flowers”

In the 1950s, garden clubs sprouted up throughout Edina like tulips in the spring. Housewives moving to the booming suburb looked for ways to grow flowers in their new backyards and form friendships with their new neighbors. They found both in neighborhood garden clubs.
   
In 1953, the separate clubs joined to form the Edina-Morningside Garden Council. The originating 10 clubs worked together on garden tours and flower shows. They transformed the city by planting flower gardens in public spaces, and the city’s official 1950s maps touted Edina as the “City of Flowers.”

Edina’s Westgate Theater Housed Morningside’s Little Library

A public library inside a movie theater seems an unlikely partnership, but Morningside residents found both types of entertainment at the Westgate Theater on Sunnyside Avenue from 1937 to 1973.
   
Instead of hushed tones and silent reading, owner Carl Fust originally envisioned the library space as a club and bridge room filled with the kind of lively parties that he and his wife liked to host. He offered the room for rental with full catering service.
   

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