Our Neighbors: 100 Years Ago in Robbinsdale

On a high shelf under a stack of age-old maps and scrapbooks, we came across a little old album. There were just under 50 photos neatly arranged on black paper, framed by captions and comments written in white. The album appears to have been put together by a woman named Johnson. The photos provide us with a warm and intimate portrait of our city a century ago. Many of the names and places will be familiar to local history buffs and anybody who was ever paged through Helen Blodgett’s “Robbinsdale, Then…And Now” or Pete Richie’s “Images of America: Robbinsdale”. When the album was put together in 1914, the Village of Robbinsdale had a population of about 800. Johnson appears to have been friendly with quite a few of the town’s early settlers and their families. The photos wonderfully convey the warmth of the community. Robbinsdale has been through so many changes over the past 100 years, but some of these houses are still standing and we are all still neighbors. Clicking on the images below will bring up a caption and a larger view.


  1. Hi- I am wondering if any of the first names of the Johnson’s are on any of the photos? I grandfather was Roy Johnson and he and his cousins lived in Robbinsdale in 1914. Fredrick and Matilda Johnson, Axel and Evelyn Johnson. Thank you.

    1. There’s a woman named Evelyn Tompkins. The name Billy or Willie appears. There’s a mention of a George Johnson who lived on Regent.. Raymond Johnson. No Matilda or Fred. Do you know what street they lived on?

  2. My grandfather, Fred Rosnow, was on the police force in the later 40’s I believe and was until his death in 1953. I was only 3-4 years old but I remember seeing pictures of his funeral at Glen Haven Memorial Gardens and 1-2 lines of policemen lined up by the burial site. Do you have any pictures? I saw the article about the deer in the store and Ben Cohen was one of the officers that helped to corral the deer. He was a frequent guest at my Grandma and Grandpa’s house. Would appreciate any information.

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