City Of Robbinsdale About Robbinsdale
History of Robbinsdale

The first claim was filed in the area on March 26, 1852. The settlers came in, took claims and made farms. The three most prominent early settlers were Horatio R. Stillman, Alfred Parker and J.P. Shumway.

In March, 1860, a caucus was held to organize the Township of Crystal Lake. The total vote cast was 55. The population in 1869 was 1,023.

The first railroad through the community was called the Minneapolis and Northwest branch of the St. Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba Railroad Company, later the Great Northern. In 1880 a flag station was built. It was called Parker Station in honor of Alfred Parker, who donated three acres of land for its site.

In the fall of 1886, an effort was made by the City of Minneapolis to annex all townships bordering its limits. To prevent this, the Village of Crystal was incorporated under a special act of the legislature. The village was exclusively agricultural and was four miles square.

In 1887 local legends report that while passing through the village on the train, Andrew B. Robbins was so pleased with the beauty of this part of the country that he could not get the memory out of his mind. He saw that because of its proximity to Minneapolis and its many natural advantages, scenic and otherwise, it could become the best residential section in the northwest. Mr. Robbins purchased ninety acres of the choicest land with the avowed purpose of making it the site of a suburban town.

The summer of 1888 brought the first land boom. New industries moved in and the Luther Seminary. The village hall was erected.

Unable to convince the Minneapolis Street Railway Company to extend their lines, Mr. Robbins organized the North side Street Railway Company and in early 1891 built a road from the city limits into the village. The line opened for business on June 1, 1891, and was operated by horsecars for some time.

The very efforts which were to make life more pleasant for the residents of the community finally led to dissatisfaction between the people who had residences adjacent to the business portion of the village and those in the thinly settled agricultural portions. A special election was held on March 24, 1893, and the vote to dissolve the Village of Crystal carried unanimously. On April 19, 1893, the village of Robbinsdale was organized. The geographical area has remained at 2.9 square miles since that time, other than a minor annexation of land from Brooklyn Center for the France Avenue off ramp from Highway 100.

Soon after the official creation of the village, the car shops and the Hubbard Manufacturing Company were destroyed by fire and Robbinsdale again became purely residential.

The ensuing years found Robbinsdale growing and with it the formation of community groups - library club, fire department, village baseball team, establishment of churches, PTA, city band and its own paper THE ROBBINSDALE TELLIT. World War I found Robbinsdale furnishing a generous share of soldiers. Following the war came still more activities: veteran's groups with their auxiliaries, banks, Fawcett Publishing company, and Lodge groups. Water mains were laid in 1926.

About 1925 the names of the streets were changed to eliminate duplication and to bring about a unified system between the villages of Crystal, Golden Valley, and Robbinsdale.

Robbinsdale celebrated its centennial in 1993 with a year of activities. The Crystal-Robbinsdale SunPost included a special monthly edition containing many articles of historic interest.

Robbinsdale's annual celebration "Whiz Bang Days" held on the 2nd weekend in July, pays tribute to Captain Billy's Whiz Bang" books published by Fawcett Publications.

The Robbinsdale Historical Society maintains an historical museum within the original library building at 4915 42nd Avenue North. The building itself is recognized on the National Register of Historic Places.  (Click here for more information on the Robbinsdale Historical Society.)

A book on Robbinsdale History is available at City Hall and at the museum:

Robbinsdale then... and now: a fascinating 100 page story about the city's settlement through 1983.  Although out of print, the book is back by popular demand.  Wonderful photos throughout the book and it's only $15.00.

 

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