North St. Paul Historical Society

North St. Paul Historical Society Promoting awareness of North St. Paul's history for residents and visitors through education, interpretation, presentation, and preservation.

Northwood Country Club, 1917
07/05/2019

Northwood Country Club, 1917

#OTD 1926Born on the Fourth of July, 1926, was Robert (Bob) Engwer.Engwer was a standout even as a student at North in t...
07/04/2019

#OTD 1926

Born on the Fourth of July, 1926, was Robert (Bob) Engwer.

Engwer was a standout even as a student at North in the early 1940s: a varsity athlete in football, basketball and track. He was drafted into the Army shortly after his 1944 graduation, and served as a paratrooper in the 127th Airborne during World War II.

By the age of 21, Engwer was back in North St. Paul, and was elected to serve on the school board. Engwer proceeded to earn a bachelor's degree in business administration from Macalester College - as well as being named an all-conference and all-state football player all four years he played, plus MVP for two. He completed post-graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Minnesota.

Engwer worked as a school administrator, and retired from the business administrator position in the North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale District. He also founded the Castle Greens golf course on Century Avenue north of Highway 36, a venture he co-owned with the late Hal Norgard and Dick Elert, and spent time as a real estate broker and appraiser.

His avocational resumé pretty much comprises the lively roster of North St. Paul civic organizations in the '40s, '50s and '60s: member of the Lions, member of the VFW, member and director of Legion Post 39, charter member of the North St. Paul Jaycees, charter member of the Polar Arena Board, charter member and president of the North St. Paul Historical Society, chair of the North St. Paul Snow Frolics, chair and founder of the Ice Cream Social, member and chair of the city's police commission, and youth athletics coach.

In his spare time, Engwer raised funds by selling non-interest-bearing bonds for the construction of Polar Arena, solicited funds for Macalester College as an alumni club member, chaired and helped with the community cancer drive, volunteered with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, helped pass school district building levies, volunteered with United Way drives and served on the North St. Paul Bicentennial Commission.

He and his wife, Beverly, were longtime members of Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church and later attended services at the Fort Snelling chapel. An avid hunter and fisherman, he was a member of the Tamarack Sportsmen's Club and was in the Minnesota Old Timers Football Association.

For his involvement, Engwer was named "Outstanding Citizen of North St. Paul" in 1964 and later was named "North High School Distinguished Alumnus," with a plaque bearing his name and photo hanging in the halls at his alma mater. He also was a president and treasurer of the statewide association of school business officials, spoke at the national association convention for school business officials, and served on state and national commissions for school bus standards. In 1990, he was inducted into the Macalester Football Hall of Fame.

Engwer passed away in 2007 at the age of 80.

- Lillie News

7th Ave, 1906. Looking East, across Margaret.
07/03/2019

7th Ave, 1906. Looking East, across Margaret.

07/02/2019

#OTD 1928

On Monday, July 2, 1928, at 12:20 p.m. a series of violent explosions startled everyone within earshot of Perrault's Confectionery. While the fire siren screeched an alarm, people ran out into the street to investigate. What they saw was an astounding display of fireworks igniting inside Perrault's. Cannon crackers, bombs and other fireworks exploded and sky rockets shot throughout the store. The initial shock blew out the large display windows and set the front of the store on fire.

The large crowd congregated around the store and watched the fire department frantically hook up it's hoses to the nearest hydrant. Although huge clouds of smoke billowed from the store, the fire department managed to extinguish the fire rapidly.

Later, the Courier reported that a lighted firecracker had been dropped accidentally in the display and had ignited everything. No one was hurt but the Courier reported that the fireworks stock was a ''complete closeout.''

North St. Paul's Depot, 1910
07/01/2019

North St. Paul's Depot, 1910

#OTD 1930Longtime sports editor for Lillie Suburban Newspapers, Wally Wakefield, was born June 30, 1930Wallace P. Wakefi...
06/30/2019

#OTD 1930

Longtime sports editor for Lillie Suburban Newspapers, Wally Wakefield, was born June 30, 1930

Wallace P. Wakefield grew up on the East Side of St. Paul. After graduating from Johnson, Wakefield worked for the Great Northern Railroad until he was drafted into the U.S. Army.

He served in the Korean War between 1951 and 1953, and often courageously volunteered to cross into enemy territory as a forward observer. When he returned to the United States, he used the G.I. Bill to enroll at the University of Minnesota and earn his teaching degree.

In 1958, Wakefield became an elementary school teacher at Eastern Heights Elementary in St. Paul. In his 29-year teaching career, he also taught at Highland, Battle Creek, East Consolidated, Highwood Hills, Benjamin Mays and Ames schools.

In 2016, Wakefield was honored with the Minnesota State High School League Media Award for his 35 years covering high school sports. He passed away in 2017 at the age of 86.

Multiple generations of young North St. Paul Athletes looked forward to the day of seeing their own names highlighted in Wally's column, just before his send off, ""Hey Ruth, you hang in there!"

Charles Stevens house, 2575 East 18th Avenue, 1983
06/29/2019

Charles Stevens house, 2575 East 18th Avenue, 1983

Capt. H. A. Castle's Residence. 1888
06/27/2019

Capt. H. A. Castle's Residence. 1888

Mark Your Calendars: July 10th, Celebrating North's Coach Gus"There is a celebratory gathering at the North St. Paul Leg...
06/26/2019

Mark Your Calendars: July 10th, Celebrating North's Coach Gus

"There is a celebratory gathering at the North St. Paul Legion on Wednesday, July 10, starting at 5pm to honor Coach Gus. there will be the unveiling of a plaque honoring his coaching and teaching tenure at North High School. Gus's son, Jim, will be attending and sharing memories of his father. It's possible other north coaches and teachers who worked with Gus will be on hand. The Legion is located at 2678 E. Seventh Ave in North St. Paul. For more information call 651-777-3708" - from the Lillie News

*This is not a Historical Society event

A Scene On Silver Lake, 1888.
06/25/2019

A Scene On Silver Lake, 1888.

06/22/2019

#OTD 1950

On June 22, 1950, the community mourned the death of their beloved doctor, Ernest Cowern. Cowern had endeared himself to many people over the 47 years that he practiced. During that time he had delivered over 1,300 of North St. Paul’s children. One of 15 children himself, he was noted for his “unselfish and humanitarian deeds.”

North St. Paul Historical Society's cover photo
06/21/2019

North St. Paul Historical Society's cover photo

Today marks a full year of our page and we want to thank all of you for your support. We have shared nearly 300...
06/21/2019

Today marks a full year of our page and we want to thank all of you for your support. We have shared nearly 300 photographs and we have learned a lot from all of you through your comments and messages. We have more to share and we are always accepting your own photographs and stories - just message us!

Thanks for a great year, and stop by the museum during Car Show to say hi!

Henry Anson Castle, Founder of North St. Paul

The Snowman standing proudly in it's original location.
06/19/2019

The Snowman standing proudly in it's original location.

Sandberg Mortuary in the 1970s
06/17/2019

Sandberg Mortuary in the 1970s

Happy 100-year reunion to this North High class of 1919!Front Row: Lucille Herrick, Lena Fackler, Margaret Spangenberg, ...
06/16/2019

Happy 100-year reunion to this North High class of 1919!

Front Row: Lucille Herrick, Lena Fackler, Margaret Spangenberg, Edna Heaseman, Leora Zick, Helen Andrews

Second Row: Anna Walser, Edna Schleck, Lloyd Taverna, Ed Schneeweis, Art Sauer, Elmer Walters, Muriel Moore

Not pictured: Olga Hanson, Clifford Meade, Marguerite Hanson, Edna Berends

7th St. looking west in 1907.
06/15/2019

7th St. looking west in 1907.

North St. Paul Historical Society
06/14/2019

North St. Paul Historical Society

Looking West on 7th across the Margaret intersection.  No date.
06/13/2019

Looking West on 7th across the Margaret intersection. No date.

Dr. Cowern, 1945
06/07/2019

Dr. Cowern, 1945

06/05/2019

#OTD 1993

On June 5, 1993, the multi-purpose Gateway Trail has a grand opening on former Soo line right-of-way.

#OTD 1926Memorial Day Parade on Main Street.
05/27/2019

#OTD 1926

Memorial Day Parade on Main Street.

#OTD 1934
05/25/2019

#OTD 1934

North St. Paul's USA Bi-Centennial celebration, 1976.
05/23/2019

North St. Paul's USA Bi-Centennial celebration, 1976.

#OTD 1911North St. Paul resident, Charles Anderson was photographed on May 21,1911.
05/21/2019

#OTD 1911

North St. Paul resident, Charles Anderson was photographed on May 21,1911.

7th Ave and Helen Street. City Hall on Right Side of Street 1930.
05/19/2019

7th Ave and Helen Street. City Hall on Right Side of Street 1930.

City of North St. Paul
05/17/2019

City of North St. Paul

It all started with Lloyd Koesling and his fascination with statues in Disneyland. The historical information sign has been installed at the Snowman site.

A picnic area has also been installed, donated by Berwald Roofing.

North High, 1934
05/15/2019

North High, 1934

North High, as it appeared in 1996.
05/13/2019

North High, as it appeared in 1996.

05/07/2019

To our members and neighbors who just like to lend a helping hand: We will be cleaning the museum (dusting and vacuuming inside) on Thursday, May 9th from 4-5 pm.

Our outside clean-up will be Friday May 10th at 9 am. If you would like to help, come on down!

#OTD 1963Ground Breaking ceremonies for Christ Luthern Church on May 5, 1963.  Located at 2475 17th Ave.
05/05/2019

#OTD 1963

Ground Breaking ceremonies for Christ Luthern Church on May 5, 1963. Located at 2475 17th Ave.

Thomas Langeslay, Police Chief, 1975
05/03/2019

Thomas Langeslay, Police Chief, 1975

The Craft Wagon. 2000
05/01/2019

The Craft Wagon. 2000

Fire Chief George Hilpisch, pictured in his first year on the job (1935), and his Retirement (1965).
04/29/2019

Fire Chief George Hilpisch, pictured in his first year on the job (1935), and his Retirement (1965).

Local Barber, Tom Gradzisky. 1961
04/27/2019

Local Barber, Tom Gradzisky. 1961

Miss North St. Paul 1939, Catherine Basset
04/25/2019

Miss North St. Paul 1939, Catherine Basset

Cannon installation, 1925
04/23/2019

Cannon installation, 1925

North St. Paul Historical Society
04/22/2019

North St. Paul Historical Society

Happy Easter, from your friends at the North St. Paul Historical Society.
04/21/2019

Happy Easter, from your friends at the North St. Paul Historical Society.

St. Peter's Convent 1937
04/20/2019

St. Peter's Convent 1937

St. Peter's Catholic Parish Buildings 1937
04/19/2019

St. Peter's Catholic Parish Buildings 1937

04/18/2019
#OTD 1964This photo of the Village Hall Library was captured on 4-16-1964
04/16/2019

#OTD 1964

This photo of the Village Hall Library was captured on 4-16-1964

04/13/2019

#OTD 1938

On April 13, 1938 Joseph Muller died, nine days after his wife’s death. Muller, whose name originally had been spelled “Mueller,” was one of the pioneer settlers who had helped shape the growth of the community. “Joseph Muller was a civic-minded man, and in the previous years when parades and celebrations were staged, Mr. Muller was at hand to do his share. Many will no doubt remember him as he rode at the head of many parades as marshal, on a white horse, and cut a fine soldiery figure.”

04/10/2019

#OTD 1919

"Hal" Harold Norgard was born on April 10, 1919 in Hixon, Wisconsin. Hal was many things to the city of North St. Paul. A longtime Ramsey County Board member with a big personality, Norgard was also a teacher, coach, golfer, and an outdoors man.

Norgard served in the Coast Guard in the North Atlantic during World War II. He received a degree from the University of Minnesota, and began his career as a teacher at North High where he coached basketball and taught physical education and driver's education for 31 years.

Norgard, a political independent, first joined the Ramsey County Board in January 1975 and served for 22 years. He won re-election five times and served as board chairman for the last eight years.

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2666 7th Ave E
North Saint Paul, MN
55109

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