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.
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.