Linden Hills History Study Group

Lake Harriet boat dock and pavilion ca. 1892
Lake Harriet boat dock and pavilion ca. 1892

The Linden Hills History Study Group sponsors walking tours, slide shows, field trips and lectures about the rich history of our Southwest Minneapolis neighborhood.


For more information, contact JoEllen at 612-926-0646.

History Study Group Activities

This fabulous group of volunteers researched and wrote Down at the Lake. This historical book is available for sale at local Linden Hills retailers, including our local Co-op, Settergren Ace Hardware, Twigg’s, Yardware, The Bibelot, and online at Barnes and Noble.

The Linden Hills History Study Group also recorded hours of conversations with historians that document the history of Linden Hills. You can check out these audio recordings through the Hennepin County Library.


Wednesday, February 25th, 2015
Lake Harriet Spiritual Community, 4401 Upton Ave South

Under the Dome: Exploring the History of the Lake Harriet Spiritual Community Building
Join us as we explore the building and the history of the Lake Harriet Spiritual Community. Listed in 2014 on the National Register of Historic Places, the building is distinct in the city as one of few remaining examples of the Classical Revival architecture. Built in 1916 as Lake Harriet Methodist Episcopal Church it has a rich history in the Linden Hills Community.

Thursday, May 7th, 2
St. John’s Episcopal Church, 4201 Sheridan Avenue South
Minnehaha Falls: The Most Photographed Place in Minnesota

Join us as local Minnehaha historian Karen Cooper presents new images and 170 years worth of stories from her Minnehaha Falls collection of photos, postcards, stereo pictures and other memorabilia.

Wednesday June 17, 2015
Walking Tour of East Lake Calhoun

Explore how our community honors the Dakota Legacy at Lake Calhoun, known to them for centuries as Bde Maka Ska. Peter Sussman will lead our walking tour along the east shore, recalling the transition from Cloudman’s Village to the early Lake District development of Minneapolis.

Saturday, October 10, 2015
Bell Museum of Natural History, University of Minnesota
Tour of Bell Museum’s Historic Dioramas with Sue Leaf

Ornithologist Thomas Sadler Roberts dedicated himself to the Bell Museum, which opened in 1940. He was passionate about the museum’s dioramas and recruited prominent wildlife artists to insure that the natural settings, animals, and birds were accurately portrayed. Author Sue Leaf will lead an intimate tour of the Bell Museum. Enjoy this lovely Art Deco building and its dioramas before they are dismantled for the move to a new building in St. Paul.

Tentative date: Saturday morning, November 21, 2015
Ice racing program by Kathy Colberg 

Optional holiday lunch to follow. Times and locations to be determined.

Monday, April 7, 2014. Author Andy Sturdevant. Sturdevant’s book of essays, Potluck Supper with Meeting to Follow, is an offbeat charming exploration of some of the overlooked aspects of the Twin Cities’ culture and history: city flags, bar paintings, planned communities, the Metrodome, neighborhood post offices, train graffiti, defunct art galleries, the childhood home of Mary McCarthy, and more. Monday, April 7, 7:00 p.m. St. John’s Episcopal Church, 4201 Sheridan Ave. S.

Thursday, June 5, 2014. Walking tour of West Calhoun. Historian Peter Sussman will lead the tour covering areas along Lake Calhoun including The Bakken rooftop exhibits on the Dakota heritage, the area and homes north of the museum, and grounds near the Minikahda Club. Thursday, June 5 at 6:30 p.m. West Lake Calhoun Parkway.

Monday, August 25, 2014. A look at local history as documented by earlier residents of south Minneapolis. A slide presentation of the local history plaques/markers around south Minneapolis by historian Tom Balcom. He will help us understand more about the rich history of south Minneapolis as documented in plaques and markers by earlier residents. The program will help inspire us to get out and explore these places ourselves! Monday, August 25, 7:00 p.m. St. John’s Episcopal Church, 4201 Sheridan Ave. S.

Monday, October 13, 2014. A Love Affair with Birds: Thomas Sadler Roberts. Thomas Sadler Roberts Bird Sanctuary is named for the father of Minnesota ornithology, whose life story opens a window on a lost world of nature and conservation in the state’s early days. A Love Affair with Birds is the first full biography of Thomas Sadler Roberts, bird enthusiast, doctor, author, curator, educator, and conservationist. Every chapter in Roberts’s life is also a chapter in the state’s history, and in his story acclaimed author Sue Leaf – an avid bird enthusiast and nature lover herself – captures a true Minnesota character and his time. Monday, October 13 or 20, 7:00 p.m. St. John’s Episcopal Church, 4201 Sheridan Ave. S.

Saturday, November 22, 2014. Natural Henry David Thoreau in Linden Hills. Long-time researcher and board member of the Thoreau Society (, Dale Schwie will bring to life Henry David Thoreau’s visit to Minneapolis and his stay in the area that would become Linden Hills. Saturday, November 22, 10:00 a.m. St. John’s Episcopal Church, 4201 Sheridan Ave. S.

First Flight to Final Landing: Northwest Airlines from 1926 to 2010

Monday, February 3, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.
St. John’s Episcopal Church, 4201 Sheridan Ave S


The Linden Hills History Study Group welcomes Jack El-Hai to discuss his new book, Non-Stop: A Turbulent History of Northwest Airlines — which The Wall Street Journal praised as “a concise record of aviation’s race to zoom further, faster and ever more fashionably through the 20th century.”

 Jack will present an anecdote-filled chronicle of the fabled airline from its first flights in 1926 to its acquisition by Delta Airlines in 2010. Northwest Airlines often soared high in technological savvy, fashion and food sense, wartime achievements, advertising smarts, and business nimbleness. At the same time, the airline sometimes reached the depths of employee discord, passenger dissatisfaction, and financial bankruptcy. Hear El-Hai spin tales of an airline that increasingly grew complicated to manage and expensive to operate, despite the efforts of the company’s colorful crew of pilots, flight attendants, mechanics, and CEOs.

Minneapolis Madams: The lost history of prostitution on the riverfront

Saturday, November 30, 2013, 10:00 am
Mill City Museum, 710 2nd Ave S.

Minneapolis Madams1

Historian Penny Petersen will describe how a group of entrepreneurial women built thriving businesses, formed “gilded palaces of sin,” and exerted a surprising influence over the civic life of Minneapolis. Experience a behind-the-bordello look at the inevitable conflicts between the Mill City’s commercial sex industry, municipal government, and advocates for sexual purity.

Reading, discussion and book signing by author Penny Petersen. $3 suggested donation for non-LHHSG members. Info at


Linden Hills Walking Tours

Learn more about our neighborhood by going on a walking tour using one of the guides created by the History Study Group. Click below to download the self-guided tour.

Commercial District Walking Tour

Lake Harriet Walking Tour

Lake Calhoun / Cottage City

Queen Avenue / Linden Hills Boulevard Walking Tour