Goodbye Junior High

Robbinsdale renewed Arbor Day ceremonies in April. Mayor Harvey
Lange presided as a beautiful greenspire linden was planted at the Civic Center. The band played and school groups attended while oldsters stood around remembering younger days and were delighted to have a chance to again “shovel in some dirt.” This has become an annual event and credit should be given to Jonathan Steigler, our City Forrester. Except for the activities in 1904, 1912 and 1932, we could find no exact records for other Arbor Day celebrations. During World War II, such activities were suspended but now there is a renewed interest in trees because of the heavy losses due to Dutch Elm disease. Robbinsdale had lost about 2800 of its 8000 elms by 1982.

Robbinsdale Junior High School was closed. This saddened Robbinsdale residents because it was the “sentimental heart” of the district as it was the site of the original Parker School, built in 1890. The original front of the school as remodeled in 1913, had been preserved until the last remodelling. But declining enrollment necessitated the closing of one junior high in the district. Joy Johnson Robb, who had attended grades K-12 at this school, unsuccessfully led the fight against the closing. The School Board indicated that the high school would not be closed, so Robbinsdale was appeased.

Robert Stern, president of the Lions Club, presided at the Club’s 40th anniversary dinner. Forty-year charter pins were presented to E. J. Cooper, Art Starbird and Walter Sipe.

Robbinsdale received a Christmas gift from Helen Blodgett of $3,000. for playgrounrequipment and benches for Triangle Park. The benches were dedicated to the memory of her husband Riley Blodgett, charter member of the Housing Authority and to her grandfather, Isaac Patch, who persuaded the U.S. Postal Service to establish rural free delivery in 1890.

Robbinsdale, in June, received a federal grant of $133,333 for purchase of the Kieffer property south of June Avenue and west of the railroad tracks for 20.6 acres of land for conservation and recreation. Total cost was $400,000. Some of the land was donated.

This post is part of a series loosely based on the book Robbinsdale Then and Now by Helen Blodgett.

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