Robbinsdale was named for entrepreneur, politician, and real estate developer Andrew B. Robbins. While serving in the Minnesota State Senate, Robbins often passed through the area just north of Minneapolis by train. Impressed by the landscape, he purchased 90 acres of rolling hills and lakes. In 1887, he platted a tract called Robbinsdale Park. Five years later, the development was incorporated as a village bearing his name. Robbins worked tirelessly to attract residents, business, and industry. When the transit company refused to extend a streetcar line to the area, he built his own. City dwellers came out in droves to enjoy hunting, fishing, boating, and the bathing beaches on Robbinsdale’s lakes. In the 1920s, the village gained notoriety with every new issue of Captain Billy’s Whiz Bang. Created by local veteran Wilford Hamilton Fawcett, the little humor magazine launched a publishing empire. Along with the rest of the country, Robbinsdale grew up in the 20th century, but the first suburb of Minneapolis still feels like the small town Andrew B. Robbins dreamed up more than a century ago.
About the Author
Inspired by an afternoon visit to the Robbinsdale Historical Society Museum, author Pete Richie started volunteering for the organization. Images of America: Robbinsdale showcases many of the historical society’s photographic treasures.