Monday, September 03, 2012

Labor Day

For some reason, Labor Day always feels to me like it marks the end of summer. Not wanting to let go, I used this day as an opportunity to have my brother and sister and Pat and Pudge over for lunch. I had hoped we could eat outside in my new screened porch, but it was too hot and humid for that. There will be other times.

Jerry and Janet

Pat and Pudge

Pat brought this delicious peach cobbler!

We enjoyed this time of catching up. Our times together are very special since we don't get to see each other all that often. I really appreciate all of them giving up their holiday to come over to my home. 

After Pat and Pudge left, my brother asked if it would work out for the three of us to go to the Lake Harriet area to ride the historic trolley car. I had told him about it after Sarah had taken me on it last month. So, after calling Sarah to get directions, we headed out. We lucked out by getting a parking place about 60 feet from the train depot! I thought this was amazing on a holiday weekend. We rode two types of trolleys: a newer one, and the old style - built in the very early 1900s.

We first boarded this "newer" style and immediately requested a transfer. It took us from Lake Harriet to Lake Calhoun, where we disembarked and waited in the shade for the older, wooden car.

Inside the newer car.

All three of us rode in these streetcars in the olden days (Peder, not in 1910, in case you were thinking so.).

Inside the older car. Notice the vintage ads above the windows.

This is the depot, which also houses the little museum.

Inside the museum, one of the volunteers showed us a book that had a map of the routes in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Jerry had asked him about the streetcar stop in Willernie, where my Aunt Liz and Uncle Vic had lived.  He not only showed us the route, but went right to this page that shows the "Y" where the train switched in Willernie and the little wooden structure where one could wait for the streetcar (small black object to the right of the tracks). We actually have a photo (somewhere) that shows our dad and Janet sitting, waiting for a streetcar. This spot is now where the village of Willernie gathers for Memorial Day festivities.

The trains came to a halt in 1954 and all the rails in the streets and overhead electric wires that ran above the  train cars were removed. Some of the cars were sold; the remainder were burned. Just three of these streetcars remain, thanks to many volunteers who have renovated them and now take turns to run them. Isn't it ironic that today we are spending millions of dollars to install railroad tracks from the suburbs to downtown Minneapolis and tracks to connect Minneapolis and St. Paul?

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