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.
World War I veteran, Erwin W. Peterson bought his first Red and White Grocery Store on Penn Avenue in Minneapolis in 1921. He opened another Red and White on West Broadway in Robbinsdale a couple years later. On November 1st, 1996 Peterson celebrated his 100th birthday. This picture was take during the Armistice Day Blizzard in 1940.
Lee Elementary School on 36th Avenue opened in 1948. Two years later and addition was built. The Adiar Elementary in 1952 alowed the old school on Regent to become a junior high and high school. Over the next twenty years war babies and the post war baby boom would require the Robbinsdale School District to build 18 more elementary schools, two junior highs and three high schools.
In 1939, Dr. Samuel Samuelson built the $125,000 Victory Hospital at the complicated intersection of Lowry, France, Oakdale and Victory Memorial Drive. When Victory Hospital opened in January of 1940, the three story, marble faced building had five operating rooms and a capacity for 70 beds. Victory was the first general purpose hospital built outside of the downtown areas of Minneapolis and St. Paul.
In 1954, Victory became North Memorial Hospital when it was reorganized as a private, non-profit hospital. Three years later, North Memorial received accreditation by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals. Over the next 50 years several expansion projects would take North Memorial from a 30 room facility to a 518 bed medical center. Today North Memorial Medical Center is a regional trauma center with eight helicopters, 120 ambulances, and 725 employees. (Photos Courtesy of Sunny Worel)
After partaking in twenty battles, being captured by the enemy and wounded twice, Civil War veteran, Jay E. Nash found his way to Minnesota from Massachusetts in 1869. He purchased forty acres on the east side of Crystal Lake in 1880 and constructed a 100 foot barn which housed 82 dairy cattle. In 1886, Nash went into the hardware business and established a tin shop on Washington Avenue. His adopted son, George followed in his footsteps and opened a hardware store on West Broadway in Robbinsdale. His son, George Nash Jr. took it over from him. Jay’s other son, Floyd opened his famous Crystal Baths on the family’s lake property in 1916.
George Nash’s Hardware Business on West Broadway ( image courtesy of Jeff Vick)
A thinker as well as a soldier, farmer and business man, Nash loved music, wrote poems and in his later years became convinced war is murder. He was one of the founding members of the Minnesota Socialist Party and ran for governor at the top of the ticket in 1902 and 1904. Nash was the Socialist candidate for State Treasurer in 1912 and 1914. A year after his last unsuccessful run for public office He died at the age of 72 when he was thrown from his horse on the way home from work. His daughter, Ruby was a scholar and school teacher. She occupied the ten room Nash farm house on Crystal Lake until the early 1960′s.