History Lesson and Calendar July 13-Aug. 24

Excelsior summer beach fashions

(Photo courtesy of Excelsior-Lake Minnetonka Historical Society)
In 1902, these women decided to cool off at Excelsior Beach. Excelsior has maintained a public beach since 1876. Years ago, swimmers enjoyed a 16-foot high-diving tower, a 50-foot toboggan chute and a water slide. There were also rolling logs for non-swimmers and several bathhouses over the years. There are no longer public bathhouses in Excelsior.

History Calendar

Thursday, July 13
Hennepin Island Hydropower Tour, 10:30 a.m. to noon, 125 Main Street SE Minneapolis (green awning between Pracna and Aster Cafe). Explore the history of waterpower at St. Anthony Falls, including rare access to Xcel Energy’s Hennepin Island Hydroelectric Plant. A Mill City Museum guide will lead participants to Hennepin Island and Father Hennepin Bluffs Park, including special access to the power plant. Cost $18 for nonmembers; visit www.mnhs.org or call 651-259-3015.

Saturday, July 15
Deadline for Shoreview history photo contest, submit your favorite piece of Shoreview history with a short description of the photo. Winners will be featured at Slice of Shoreview July 17-19 and given a $50 prize. Call 651-490-7510 or visit www.shoreviewhistoricalsociety.org for submission information.

Sunday, July 16
Ice Cream Sundays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Gibbs Farm, 2097 W Larpenter Ave St. Paul. The theme this week is Make Your Own Sundae. Sponsored by the Ramsey County Historical Society. Ice cream is included in general admission to the farm: $8 adults, $7 seniors 62+, $5 children 3-16.

Thursday, July 27
History Revealed: Aha! moments in writing F. Scott Fitzgerald in Minnesota, 7 p.m. at Roseville library, 2180 Hamline Ave N Roseville. David Page will take a look at the moments when he discovered information that momentarily stunned him during the writing of his new book, F. Scott Fitzgerald in Minnesota.

Sunday, July 30
Ice Cream Sundays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Gibbs Farm, 2097 W Larpenter Ave St. Paul. The theme this week is root beer floats. Sponsored by the Ramsey County Historical Society. Ice cream is included in general admission to the farm: $8 adults, $7 seniors 62+, $5 children 3-16.

Thursday, Aug. 24
History Revealed: James J. Hill and family, 7 p.m. at Roseville library, 2180 Hamline Ave N Roseville. Eileen McCormack will explore the life and family of James J. Hill, along with their relationship to early St. Paul, the railroad, and lasting legacy.

Steamboat Minnehaha cruises, Dock at 400 Lake St, Excelsior. The Minnehaha debuted in 1906 as an extension of the Twin Cities’ streetcar system, spent nearly five decades at the bottom of the Lake Minnetonka, and was salvaged and restored in 1996 for passenger service. Visit www.steamboatminnehaha.org for ticketing information.

Eden Prairie History Museum, open Mondays 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. or by appointment 952-949-8300. Located on the lower level of the City Center, 8080 Mitchell Rd.

Hennepin History Museum, open Tuesday to Sunday. Hours vary. Admission is $5, $3 seniors, and Hennepin History Museum Members and children under 6 are free. Located at 2303 3rd Ave S, Minneapolis.

Excelsior-Lake Minnetonka Historical Society Museum, open Tuesdays and Saturdays. Hours vary. Visit www.elmhs.org. Located at 305 Water St, Excelsior.

New Brighton History Center, open 1 to 4 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday. Located at 700 Park Drive, New Brighton.

Burwell House Tours, open Saturdays, Sundays and Tuesdays from noon–3 p.m. through August. Located at 13209 E. McGinty Road. The Charles H. Burwell House is listed on the National Register of Historic and is owned and operated by the City of Minnetonka.