The Robbinsdale Homecoming Parade


In the middle of the last century Robbinsdale was the only area suburb with a high school and West Broadway was the only shopping district between Minneapolis and Osseo. In 1961 more than 21,000 were enrolled in the Robbinsdale School District and homecoming was a big event! Mayor Walter J.(Red) Sochacki, who spent many years as the Robbinsdale High School Football and Basketball coach, brought the parade downtown.The tradition held for several decades. Continue reading

America’s Finest Theatre


image courtesy of Jeff Vick

image courtesy of Jeff Vick


In 1951, when the Terrace opened on a small hill above Crystal Lake, the $600,000 building was one of the most dramatic and elegant theaters ever built in the Twin Cities. The International-style exterior was made up of a series of rectangles and a towering marquee, topped by the theater’s name. Inside the front doors, beyond the lobby, the Terrace was equipped with sweeping foyers overlooking a rolling lawn and 1,300 car parking lot.

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The Crystal Bath

The boys at the Crystal Lake Baths

The boys at the Crystal Bath


Floyd E. Nash opened his bath house in 1916. The Crystal Bath opened with 24 lockers, 12 for women and 12 for men. In 1923 a larger building was built. Business boomed and Nash found himself renting out 900 lockers. The facility featured toboggan slides, boat rides, a fishing dock, picnic grounds and rental cottages. A locker rented for five cents a day. A locker, suit and towel went for 30 cents. Swimming was free. After the baths closed in 1933, Floyd E. Nash built 16 cottages on Crystal Lake. Some were remodeled for year-around use. In addition to the bathing beach, Nash specialized in growing hot house lettuce. In 1936 he went into the fuel business and moved to Minneapolis. His sister, Ruby Nash lived in the 10 room family farm house on the east side of Crystal Lake until the mid-1960′s.


Fly Robin Fly


The Robbinsdale Squadron in 1943


The Robbinsdale Airport opened in 1920, but civilian flying was halted during World War II. In 1942 the Robbinsdale Airport’s 23 planes were organized as part of the Civilian Air Patrol. Most of the planes in the Robbinsdale squadron were two seater “cubs”. The air patrol flyers were all volunteers. they provided their own planes, services, gas and oil. In the air, patrol pilots practiced, scouting and hedge-hoping under the command of Captain Harry S. Holcomb. In1945 the Minnesota Department of Aeronautics refused to reissue a license due to the proximity of residential housing and the facility was closed. The airport’s grass runway stretched from Fairfax Avenue to 44th Avenue North. The field and hangers were just east of West Broadway.