This month in Mound 100 year history: September

By Pam Myers
Laker Correspondent

1876 – For the first time there was a place called Mound City, surrounding the corner of the current Commerce Boulevard and Bartlett Avenue. It included a general store, post office, and grain warehouse in connection with the store, saw mill, boat works, four completed homes, a number of homes under construction, two hotels and two boat fleets.

1892 – As the first church in the Mound community, Bethel Methodist Episcopal church was dedicated in 1892. It served needs of early religious groups until other churches were built. Family names associated with this church in its beginning include Bently, Douthett, Dunn, Dunning, Fitch, Jennings, Huff, Koehler, McCullough, Painter, Shuck, Svengestoel, Tipperman, Walker and Whittaker.

1903 – In the early 1890s, E. August Skogsbergh bought a plot of land on the north shore of Lake Minnetonka (West Arm Bay on what is now Rest Point) where he built a summer home. The place was called “Skogsbergh’s Udde” (or Skogsbergh’s Point) and was marked that way on old maps. In 1903, Skogsbergh arranged a retreat at the Point to which he invited all his fellow ministers in the Northwest. About 100 people came.

1906 – The Lost Lake canal opened, connecting the depot in Mound with Cook’s Bay. Fred Bartlett took his steamboat “Mound” through for the first trip.
1909 – In the first years after the incorporation of The Church of Our Lady of the Lake on Mound, mass was said only during the summer months. In 1914, service was extended to mass once a month in winter, and a year later it was celebrated every Sunday of the month.
1917 – Over a thousand people assembled for the dedication of the new three-story brick Mound Consolidated School building, located on Lynwood Boulevard. Superintendent of Schools Arnold Gloor presided at the ceremonies. William H. Koehler, president of the Mound State Bank, make the presentation speech. G.A. Wills of Spring Park gave the acceptance speech. F.B. Snyder made the evening address on “Loyalty.” A Minneapolis orchestra played several numbers, Miss Jennie Russel delighted all with her songs, Miss Whitridge of Macalester College gave readings, and two young ladies from Mound played a piano duet. Ten teachers were employed at this time, and 10 buses, which were somewhat experimental in the consolidation movement, were used to transport the children to and from school.

1927 – In September of 1927, Mt. Olive Lutheran Church was organized under the guidance of Rev. Herman L. Paul, with the constitution signed by Mr. Carl Jahnke, treasurer; Mr. William Stark, secretary; and Mr. Fred Schmidt, president. As early as 1892, Lutheran families — including those of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Broeckert, Mr. Andrew Arnold, Mr. and Mrs. August Ebert, Mrs. George Hastings, and Mr. and Mrs. Fredlin Hoefer — met on Sunday afternoons in the home of Fredlin Hoefer to hear services conducted in the German Language. Since two pastors of Mount Olive Lutheran congregation in Minneapolis had served the congregation faithfully for 18 years when it was a preaching station, Mount Olive Evangelical Lutheran Church was the name the new Mound congregation selected for itself. At the end of their first year the Mt. Olive congregation numbered 37 baptized souls and 16 communicants.

1932 – Mound captured the Lake District baseball championship Sunday by defeating Wayzata in an 8 to 5 game. This was the 10th victory for Mound out of 11 league games this season. Players included Mall, Brager, Williams, Linquist, Noreen, Miller, Winkle, Nelson, Statts, B. Ohde, and C. Ohde.
The new postal rates went into effect. All domestic first class mail, which was formerly 2¢ an ounce or a fraction, increased to 3¢ an ounce or a fraction thereof.
1942 – Terse Tales: Summer residents and defense workers will soon be closing up their home at the lake. For many years, prowlers and curious youngsters have broken into their homes during the winter. This year, residents, especially those around Dutch Lake, are taking precautions: warning signs and $25 to be paid for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of persons entering and damaging property.
A PTA penny drive commemorates the twentieth anniversary of the Minnesota Congress of Parents and Teachers. A penny a week for twenty weeks from each member will raise $10,000 which will be used to buy those all important government war bonds.

1951 – The Dedication for Our Lady of the Lake parish school occurs under the direction of Father Morin.

1952 – Although Mound is fortunate in having only three real cases of polio, with none of them resulting in paralysis or residual of any kind, the Committee of Public Health of the Hennepin County Medical Society has issued a directive to Helen Law, Mound School nurse, governing the length of time youngsters who may have contacted the disease be excluded from school. The patient must remain in isolation for one week from onset, or duration of fever, if longer.
With a baby blue corsage bouquet dripping rattles and safety pins on his lapel, Dr. Kenneth B. Romness took a bow at the dinner meeting of the Northwest Lion’s club at the Casino. The affair was a farewell for the doctor, who will leave today for another hitch in the Navy, and was also in celebration of the blessed event in the Romness family scheduled for this month.

1962 – Minnetonka Pilot newspaper printed a special section honoring Mound’s 50th Anniversary.
Mrs. Norman Skaret, Chairman of the Mohawk Mrs. Jaycees wheelchair project, presented a chair to Mrs. Elaine Brown, school nurse. The chair will become part of the equipment of the Community Loan closet housed in the high school building and supervised by the nurses. The equipment is for loan to anyone in the district in need of sick room supplies.
At the end of its first year of public ownership on June 30, Tonka Toys, Inc., manufacturer of toy trucks and construction equipment, reported a 19% increase in sales and a 27% increase in earnings after taxes. Tonka Toys expects to produce $10,000,000 worth of toys during the current calendar year as compared to $8,000,000 during 1961, President Russ Wenkstern told stockholders.

1963 – Over a thousand people came to watch the fire that destroyed the original Mound school building on Lynwood Boulevard. At this time, this building housed an 8,500-volume library.

1975 – Some 37 students attending Mound schools were recipients of 41 prizes, for their works of art at the State Fair. Bill Gedney, a ninth grader at Mound Junior High School, and Steven Henthorne, a sixth grader at Shirley Hills, were triple winners with Eric Nielson winning two ribbons. The Shirley Hills booth won first place for the creativity and complicated work done by elementary students. The students’ works of art are currently on display at the Mound Medical  Clinic.
Football enthusiasts gathered for a spirited rally and band concert Sunday at Mound Bay Park where the 55-piece University Pep Band entertained guests for an hour and a half concert. The event was to upsell the Minnesota Gophers ticket sale.

1982 – Dr. Erwin F. Stevenson came to the Westonka Schools in 1976. After four years as Hilltop Elementary principal, and two years as assistant superintendent for instruction and personnel, he is now the acting superintendent of schools. His concern for improving student reading skills, as a basis for success in all school classes, led to a reading requirement in the Westonka Schools years before the state mandated a required level of reading competency in all school districts in Minnesota.
Kindergarteners in the Westonka District joined their older siblings and neighbors this year. They no longer attend a separate school. They attend either Hilltop or Shirley Hills. Kindergarten teachers include Mary Wiebusch, Barbara Gatz, Linda Peterson, Val Hessberg, and Bonnie Tellers Trout.

1983 – Mrs. C.L. Inman was the winner of Westonka Historical Society’s first photo contest in the Most Historical Significance category, with a photo of downtown Mound a half-century ago or more. Other winners were Mrs. Mildred Hodge, Mrs. Inez Calhoun, and Mrs. Gertrude Eklof. Each category winner received a cash prize and the grand prizewinner won a gift certification from Surfside Steak House. Northwest Tonka Lions Club and the Surfside donated the prizes.

1992 – Mound Marketplace hosts ‘open house.’ The 19-acre tract of land located at the intersection of Lynwood and Commerce Blvds., which was once home to Mound High School, is rapidly becoming a master-planned, mixed-use neighborhood incorporating a city park with walking paths. The Village by the Bay homes, 59 townhomes and 40 condominiums, and the 67,386 square foot grocery store, Jubilee Foods, anchor the center.
A large crowd was on hand for the dedication and blessing of the recently completed garden at Presbyterian Homes in Spring Park. Rob Lahammer, facility director, thanked donors. Reverends Eric Gustavson, junior and senior, conducted the dedication and blessing.
Mound police chief Len Harrell and Craig Anderson, St. Boni/Minnetrista chief accepted a donation from Jim Brand and Barry Schneider, representing proceeds from the 1992 D.A.R.E. Open golf tourney held at Lakeview.
Jaycees Youth Golf Tourney participants included Cory Mortenson, Jeff Winter, Ryan Corbett, Ryan Anderson, Evan Satterstrom, Jay Olstad, Todd Dulin, Jonathan Wilkens, Ryan Long, Chad Anderson and Kathi Cabo (Mohawk Jaycees president). Rodney Wilkens was the tournament director.
Herb Pauly, who will be 100 years old Oct. 5, has donated over 200 lbs. of carrots to the Westonka Food Shelf this summer.
Ardelle Wilson and Dixie Dow, summer painters for the Westonka District, completed the MW logo they painted on a stairway leading to the gym at MWHS.

2002 – Students at each Westonka District school received a welcome back the first day from teachers, volunteers, principals, school board members and police officers. Students were given a toothbrush that said, “Smile, your community cares about you.” Welcome back program is sponsored by the Westonka Healthy Community Collaborative.
Two churches celebrate 75 years: Mount Olive Lutheran Church and St. John’s Lutheran Church.

(Sources: Westonka Historical Society archives, local citizens including Jeremy Berg, Mound Laker, Minnetonka Pilot, Minnetonka Record, Mound-Westonka Minnetonka Sun, Star Tribune, Lake Minnetonka: Historic Insights by James W. Ogland, and Historical Backgrounds of Mound by Mel Gimmestad)