Thomas Lowry's Ghost
" Desnick’s Drug Store was located at Penn and Plymouth Avenues, a hub of the North Side neighborhood. The two girls are Reva (Margolis) Rosenbloom on the left, and Ruth Lurie on the right” (1946)
(image via Minnesota Reflections)

" Desnick’s Drug Store was located at Penn and Plymouth Avenues, a hub of the North Side neighborhood. The two girls are Reva (Margolis) Rosenbloom on the left, and Ruth Lurie on the right” (1946)

(image via Minnesota Reflections)

Ads for Minneapolis entertainment establishments. (1946)

(images via Minneapolis Labor Review archives)


For 77 years, Roberts Shoe Store has been watching the evolution of its south Minneapolis neighborhood. Now the corner of Lake and Chicago will be moving on without its landmark business.
Roberts is closing its doors.
"Emotionally, it’s difficult," said Mark Simon, the owner of Roberts Shoe Store. "I’m hoping I’m not letting down anyone, especially my in-laws."
Simon took over the business founded in 1937 by his father-in-law, Nate Roberts. The polish immigrant purchased the single store from a chain when the Minneapolis Shoe Company went bankrupt, according to Simon.
The story behind the Roberts’ closing is not a new one. Like many independent retailers, Roberts Shoes has struggled in the face of competition from malls and the internet.
Simon said sales took an immediate hit when the Mall of America opened and never recovered.
"It’s not a business model that is really workable right now," said Simon. "I think it’s time for all of us to move on."

Roberts Shoe Store, a Lake Street landmark, to close (Kare 11)
(image, from 1956, via MHS Visual Resources Database)

For 77 years, Roberts Shoe Store has been watching the evolution of its south Minneapolis neighborhood. Now the corner of Lake and Chicago will be moving on without its landmark business.

Roberts is closing its doors.

"Emotionally, it’s difficult," said Mark Simon, the owner of Roberts Shoe Store. "I’m hoping I’m not letting down anyone, especially my in-laws."

Simon took over the business founded in 1937 by his father-in-law, Nate Roberts. The polish immigrant purchased the single store from a chain when the Minneapolis Shoe Company went bankrupt, according to Simon.

The story behind the Roberts’ closing is not a new one. Like many independent retailers, Roberts Shoes has struggled in the face of competition from malls and the internet.

Simon said sales took an immediate hit when the Mall of America opened and never recovered.

"It’s not a business model that is really workable right now," said Simon. "I think it’s time for all of us to move on."

Roberts Shoe Store, a Lake Street landmark, to close (Kare 11)

(image, from 1956, via MHS Visual Resources Database)

Ad for Gluek’s soft drinks sold during prohibition. (1924)
(image via Minneapolis Labor Review archives)

Ad for Gluek’s soft drinks sold during prohibition. (1924)

(image via Minneapolis Labor Review archives)

Streetcar on Hennepin Ave. between 6th & 7th Streets, Minneapolis. (1953)
(image via Minnesota Reflections)

Streetcar on Hennepin Ave. between 6th & 7th Streets, Minneapolis. (1953)

(image via Minnesota Reflections)

View of Downtown Minneapolis and Third Avenue bridge. (ca. 1940)
(image via MHS Visual Resources Database)

View of Downtown Minneapolis and Third Avenue bridge. (ca. 1940)

(image via MHS Visual Resources Database)


Minneapolis is a New England town on the upper Mississippi. The metropolis of Northwest, it is the metropolis also of Norway and Sweden in America. Indeed, it is second largest Scandinavian city in the world. But Yankees straight from Down East settled the town and their New England spirit predominates. They had Bayard Taylor lecture there in the early days of the settlement; they made it the seat of the University of Minnesota. Yet even now when the town has grown to a population of more than 200,000, you feel that there is something Western about it too — a Yankee with a small Puritan head, an open prairie heart, and a great, big Scandinavian body.

The story of Mayor “Doc” Ames and rampant corruption within Minneapolis City Hall, by muckraker Lincoln Steffens. (1903)
(image and text via Google Books)

Minneapolis is a New England town on the upper Mississippi. The metropolis of Northwest, it is the metropolis also of Norway and Sweden in America. Indeed, it is second largest Scandinavian city in the world. But Yankees straight from Down East settled the town and their New England spirit predominates. They had Bayard Taylor lecture there in the early days of the settlement; they made it the seat of the University of Minnesota. Yet even now when the town has grown to a population of more than 200,000, you feel that there is something Western about it too — a Yankee with a small Puritan head, an open prairie heart, and a great, big Scandinavian body.

The story of Mayor “Doc” Ames and rampant corruption within Minneapolis City Hall, by muckraker Lincoln Steffens. (1903)

(image and text via Google Books)

Minneapolis Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery, Lake St. and Cedar Ave. (1939)
(image via Library of Congress)

Minneapolis Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery, Lake St. and Cedar Ave. (1939)

(image via Library of Congress)

Churchill’s lecture at 8:15 that Friday evening was at the Lyceum Theater, down the street from his hotel on Hennepin between Seventh and Eighth Streets. Ticket prices ranged from 50 cents for the cheapest seats to $1.50 for the most expensive, the equivalent today of about $10.00 to $30.00. After an introduction by a member of the sponsoring Teachers’ Club, Churchill delivered his talk, illustrated with about 100 slides projected by a “magic lantern,” an early slide projector that used a kerosene lamp to illuminate glass slides holding photographic images.

His audience that night was not disappointed. His lecture, according to the Journal, “was as absorbingly interesting as it was unaffected and unhackneyed. A story of thrilling occurrences was told in the most direct, colloquial fashion … The frequent flashes of humor were the features of the lecture.” The review in the St. Paul Dispatch was equally favorable. “Lieut. Churchill seems English only in one thing, and that is his accent. His sense of dry humor is peculiarly American. He is open-hearted and perfectly fair in speaking of the good qualities of the Boers as fighters. What he does not admire about them he leaves unsaid.”

(fist image via MHS Visual Resources Database, second image and text via)

Ads for various acts appearing in 1962 at The Loon Club, 2935 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis.
(image via)

Ads for various acts appearing in 1962 at The Loon Club, 2935 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis.

(image via)