Robbinsdale Then and Now


On January 1, 1852, the Third Territorial Legislative Assembly created Hennepin County and a map filed at the Surveyor General’s office on, February 27, 1854, shows we belonged to Township No. 29 N., Range No. 24 W., 4th Meridian which included territory east of the Mississippi River and south of Cedar Lake. (Copy at Minneapolis Public Library). An 1860 map at the Minneapolis Public Library shows a lake just north of Crystal Lake and straight east of the southern tip of Lower Twin, named Armstrong. (Area of 44th and Drew Avenue). Nothing seemed to be platted; however, claims were being made starting in 1852. An 1874 map shows Crystal Township to be much smaller, extending only to the Mississippi and south to about 26th Avenue, North. (IHA) Mr. E. K. Jaques, in 1891, gave a beautiful description of Crystal Lake Township, “bound on the east by the Mississippi River, on the north by Brooklyn, on the west by Plymouth and on the south by Minneapolis, originally as far south as 26th Avenue North.” He describes the lakes and says they “abound in fish and from the southeast end of Lower Twin, a beautiful stream, the south branch of Shingle Creek, flows eastward through Armstrong Lake and empties into the Mississippi at Camden Place . . . Armstrong is the smallest of the four lakes in this town.” He describes Crystal Prairie, “four miles long and one mile wide starting at the southwest end of Crystal Lake extending northwesterly to the town line. Between this ,prairie and the chain of lakes is a fine grove of timber, a favorite resort for and pleasure parties from Minneapolis.” (Later the site of MWA Park). The early settlement of Crystal Lake was almost coincident with that of Minneapolis itself. John Ware Dow was the first to file a claim in Crystal Lake Township. March 26, 1852. John C. Bohanon filed the next day. Later in the year came Mrs. Rhoda Bean and family, Joel and Eben Howe, John M. Snow. Hiram Armstrong. David Smith, George Camp and L. P. Warren. (The established price was $1.25 per acre.)


Arrivals to the Area


J. C.Young

L. C. Roth

John Gearty

L. Wagner (Mrs. Wagner was the first white woman in these parts.)

Thomas Kirkwood

Josiah Dutton


Leonard Gould

W. S. Hopper

Rufus Farnham

Y. Gillespie

Luther Bartlow

Isaac Singleton

Newton Wales

John Reidhead

1854 and later

Nicholas Shaffer

George Giebenhain

J. S. and David Malbon

Richard Jaques

H. R. Stillman

J. B.Johnson

D. C. Crandall

L. W. Gibbs

J. H. White

David Bies

A. Yonker

Elisha Rivenburg

C. Reichard

M. Bohanon

John and Peter Schuller (from Prussia)

B. Hommes

E. S. Jones

Duston Merritt

P. M. Reidhead

Elisha McCausland

This post is the first in a series based on the book Robbinsdale Then and Now by Helen Blodgett