Ramsey County History Magazine: Volume 51-2 Summer 2016

Ramsey County History magazine offers a wide variety of articles on the people, places and history of Ramsey County.

Volume 51

Volume 51, Number 2: Summer 2016

Helen Marks, Dressmaker, the 1903 Summer Carnival, and the Unions
Author: David Riehle
In late July and early August of 1903, St. Paul held its only Summer Carnival. One of the principal events in this festival that lasted nearly two weeks was the popular election of a Queen. Men and women could pay 10¢ a vote and they could cast as many ballots as they wanted because the money raised went to pay for the operation of the Free Public Baths on Harriet Island in the Mississippi River opposite the downtown. The Baths were the creation of Dr. Justus Ohage, a reformer who had purchased the land on the island and built the bathhouses at his own expense in 1901. Helen A. Marks, a dressmaker whose candidacy was heavily supported by organized labor, won over eight other candidates, and although her reign was brief, the Baths remained until the 1930s.

Robert Foulis—Minnesota’s First Golf Professional
Author: Joseph Gladke
As the popularity of the game of golf grew in the late 1890s, St. Paul’s Town and Country Club hired its first professional, Robert Foulis (1873–1945), in 1898. Foulis had been born in St. Andrews, Scotland, and had learned the game from his father and other professionals there. He emigrated to the Chicago area in 1895 before coming to St. Paul as Minnesota’s first pro. At the Town and Country Club, Foulis redesigned and improved the Club’s original course to make it more like those in his homeland, gave lessons, acted as the greenskeeper, made clubs and balls to order, and played in several tournaments. In late 1899 Foulis left the St. Paul club to continue his career first in Wisconsin and then in St. Louis.

Homes vs. Factories: The 95-Year Battle over the Future of the South Highland Park Neighborhood
Author: Marc J Manderscheid
When the South Highland Park neighborhood was initially zoned in 1922, St. Paul officials designated it as a residential neighborhood made up of houses of not more than two families. Then in 1923 industrialist Henry Ford proposed building an automobile manufacturing and assembly plant in the neighborhood on a large tract of land. City leaders enthusiastically supported the Ford plan and rezoned the area as a heavy industrial district. When the Ford plant opened in May 1925, many expected further development around the Ford facility would result in the construction of an extensive industrial district. For a variety of reasons, that outcome never happened and the industrial dream soon died. Since then, the Ford plant closed in 2011 and was subsequently demolished and the area has been down zoned to “Mixed Use Corridors” in which housing, retailing, offices, and light industry are located.