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Looking back: Demolition plans for Al's Cafe in Rosemount announced in '63

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50 years ago

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From the Nov. 21, 1963 edition of the Dakota County Tribune

Al’s Café, old landmark, will soon disappear

One of the older landmarks of Rosemont, Al’s Café, will soon disappear to make way for a new Standard Oil Station.

The present owner, Mrs. Cecelia Ahern, will close the doors of the restaurant on Dec. 1.

Mrs. Ahern has leased the property to Standard Oil which already has begun work on setting the underground tanks. In the spring, the present building will be torn down.

The first owner of the café, Ester Martin, installed the unique stained glass dome light and the bars around 50 years ago. He had purchased them from a Carling’s Café in St. Paul at that time.

The glass dome is immense in size, measuring possibly 10 or 12 feet across and has been a conversation piece through the years. One of the bars, an ornate tobacco bar, has also been an outstanding feature of the café....

Farmington park meeting lays plans for board

Representatives from all the organizations in Farmington, met with the Farmington Women’s Club Monday to discuss the possibility of having a park.

The meeting was held at Hoagies Dining Room.

Represented at the meeting were the Commercial Club, the Jaycee’s Lions, American Legion, V.F.W., and their auxiliaries, the Youth Commission and two members of the Village Council.

The group laid plans for a meeting in January at which time a park board would be formed.

The board would be independent of the organizations which formed it and with the approval of the village council, would be a function of the council.

No definite site or type of park was discussed, although the area of the Vermillion River was brought up.

Mrs. Dan Miller, president of the Women’s Club, was enthusiastic about the fine cooperation from all the organizations of Farmington.

Rosemount to decide on $1,485,000 school issue

Next Tuesday, Nov. 26, voters in Rosemount School District will be balloting on funds for additional elementary facilities and school sites. The school board has requested authorization to issue up to $1,485,000 to provide for the immediate needs of the school district.

These funds, as explained in previous articles, will provide for a 14 classroom addition to the Rosemount Elementary School, a complete 26 classroom elementary school in the western portion of the school district, funds for the purchase of an elementary site to be used now and funds to purchase a larger site for future use for both elementary and junior high purposes. All necessary equipment design work, supervision and development costs are included with the bond issue request for these projects.

The tremendous increase of over 30 percent in school enrollments this fall, along with the continued housing growth within the district has required this immediate request for additional facilities. It is anticipated that about 600 additional homes will be built annually... With this tremendous growth, plus the normal growth and increased birth rates, the Rosemount schools are expected to be in critical condition unless the voters approve the board’s request.

School board asks for sketches of 14 rooms

The Farmington School Board met with Tom Hendrix, architect to further study the possibilities of locating the necessary additional elementary school space on the present 19-acre school site.

Mr. Hendrix presented three sketches for the board to study. One sketch showed 10 classrooms built as an extension to the present building, 4 and 6 classrooms on each wing, respectively.

A second sketch showed a square type building of 12 classrooms, toilet space, recreation room and library fitted to south of the present building and connected by corridors and the third sketch showed a similar type building but located to the west of the present building.

After studying the plans, the board requested sketches drawn showing 14 classrooms instead of 12 and otherwise similar to those described above.

75 years ago

From the Nov. 24, 1938 edition of the Dakota County Tribune

Recreation hall planned here

The results of the recreation census taken in Farmington several weeks ago under the auspices of the Farmington Recreation Council have just been made public by the young people’s committee. The Farmington Recreational Council is a cooperative group interested in a planned recreation program for the young people of Farmington, and is composed of prominent business men, school faculty members, pastors of Farmington, and interested citizens of all ages.

Three important questions were asked by the census committee, and the answers were as follows:

1. Do you think there is a definite need for an organized recreational program in Farmington? Yes: 461; No: 12; Indifferent: 22.

2. What would you suggest as the best means of supporting this recreational project?

Admission: 59; Contribution: 22; Membership Fee: 371; Tax Support:46.

A number suggested that a compromise of admission, membership fee and tax support would be the most practical means of support.

School play at Rosemount

Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, are the dates chosen by the Rosemount High School for the presentation of their high school play to be given for the benefit of the junior class. The play is “Miss Jimmy,” and is under the direction of Miss Ruth Langer....

Gertrude Bernier plays Louise, a pleasant girl who is not so sure that studying is the best thing a girl can do in the spring.

Florence (Helen Bartelt) is her roommate who appears to be hardboiled by making wisecracks.

Catherine (Jeanne McMenomy) who lives down the hallway, is the type that men are said to prefer, and who definitely prefers men.

Harriet (Linda Jacobson), the campus snob with an inferiority complex who is a dark-haired siren.

Doris (Betty Schoen), rooms with Catherine and is the campus drudge because she is a freshman.

Miss Watkins (Marcella Ruhr) an old spinster who heads the school....

Jimmy (Leo Barger), a typical college boy, a little serious but still gay.

Droopy (Frank McDonough), the colored janitor, who is just as fast as a mouse after cat.

Professor Frasier (Ernest Chandler) who went to Oxford and came back with a taste for tea and an English accent....

100 years ago

From the Nov. 21, 1913 edition of the Dakota County Tribune

The county fair question

What shall we do about the County Fair?

Do we want the $1,500 premium money which the state will give?...

These questions are being asked by many persons interested in the advancement of Farmington and vicinity. And it is up to the people to make the answer.

Monday night a meeting of the Commercial Club was called to consider this very thing. A proposition had been made that we buy a permanent site and give the county fair a respectable home — a home in keeping with the importance of it....

The Commercial Club discussed the matter pro and con and at length. It was unanimously agreed by those in attendance that we shall purchase a suitable site and take up the fair interests and make them all they ought to be. The old school site was considered, but that it is too small.

The Alex Empey property south of town seemed to offer the best location. A tract of land can be secured from this at a reasonable figure and it would make a splendid location....

The question whether there should be a race track in connection with the fair was not fully decided. There is strenuous opposition to the idea on the part of many, both on moral and on financial grounds....

The business men have decided to get busy and raise about $10,000 to buy and equip the future home for our County Fair.

A stock company is to be organized at once and the people solicited for purchase of shares at $10 per share.

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Michelle Leonard
Michelle Leonard started covering the Farmington community in June, 1994. Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the Farmington American Legion Auxiliary Unit 189, and acts as the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 
(651) 460-6606
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