Making Way for Red Owl


The old Village Hall, built in 1888, on West Broadway was torn down to make room for the parking lot which was needed if the Red Owl store was to be established. Robbinsdale needed a large grocery store. The municipal offices had been moved into temporary quarters in the fire and police station the previous fall. Everyone had to climb steps to the second floor for council meetings. (One citizen died after raising objections to some issue— perhaps the stair climbing contributed.) This temporary arrangement lasted until 1970, when the new Civic Center was built in Robin Center.

The old Victory Memorial Hospital, built in 1939 by Dr. Samuel Samuelson, was remodeled and renamed North Memorial Hospital. Dr. Cortland Robinson became Chief of Staff and Mr. Vance C. DeMong the Director, serving until 1981. The Board of Trustees included Julian Paradise, George Melin, A. R. Wolff; Douglas Carlson, Harvey DeZiel, Jr., L. Z. Carlson, Kenneth Nesseth, Dr. C. R. Baker; Charles 0. Wallace, William Benson, and Rev. A. H. Schultz. It was a long road from a one-doctor, privately owned hospital to the modem, non-profit hospital of 550 beds, offering services from emergency care to microsurgery and even a hospice unit. In 1982, a second parking ramp was built.

Mrs. E. J. Cooper, wife of the Superintendent of School, organized the Schoolmasters’ Wives’ Club to become better acquainted with faculty wives. At first it was a social club, but later it began giving scholarships. Money was raised by fashion shows and now, by annual craft shows.

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