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Cottage Grove's second deck of playing cards to feature more local history

Upon hearing that the Cottage Grove Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation is producing a second deck of playing cards featuring local history, some people want to know what will be on them since the first deck had a lot of history.

The answer is easy, according to committee members. The new deck will feature all the information that people told members they forgot to include in the first one.

The ACHP met last week and discussed the new deck, which has been in the offing since the first deck was debuted several years ago. Shortly after it was offered for sale for $5, people were telling committee members what they overlooked.

The new deck, expected ready for sale at the ACHP booth during Strawberry Fest, will have a card featuring the Pineridge Garden Club. Meeting since 1969, it's among the oldest clubs in the city.

Many current residents aren't aware that there was a working local airport at the top of the hill on 90th Street near Jewel Avenue. Up to 20 hangers were used next to the grass field into the 1970s; that fact will be on a card.

The Woodward farm will be among the cards. It's located on the property of the Peaceful Grove United Methodist Church. The earliest part of the home was built in 1871.

Highway 61 history will be noted, including that it was a territorial road from Hastings to St. Paul called Highway 3. It was renamed Highway 61 in the 1930s and was one of the first paved roads in the state.

Panorama City could have been the name of the city that was named after the township. On the card, it will state the name of the first development. It was built on Belden Boulevard, named for an early farming family, in 1955. There is a park in the area with a plaque noting the history of the development.

Locations overlooked in the first deck include VFW Post 8752 (the Red Barn), Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park, Cottage View Drive-In, Grey Cloud Island and the first shopping center located where Norris Square is now.

When committee members reviewed what was included in the first deck, they added sites and topics such as the Majestic Ballroom, Sunnyhill School, Old Cottage Grove Community Hall, Jerry's Restaurant, and the Cedarhurst ice house.

Some historic homes were not in the first deck including the Furber House on Lamar Avenue in Old Cottage Grove, the McChesney House and Nessel School and District 31 school in Old Cottage Grove, a two-room school that was known for staging Tom Thumb weddings in the 1930s. They were mock weddings acted out by school children.

The committee gave card decks to School District 833 teachers to use in classes on Minnesota history and is expected to do so again with the second deck.

Judy Spooner
Judy Spooner is the longest-serving staff writer at the South Washington County Bulletin. Spooner, who covers education and features in addition to writing a weekly column, has been with the newspaper for over 30 years.
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