One richfield family waged a final but determined campaign in a long-running Minneapolis-Richfield contest – the takeover of Richfield land by Minneapolis business leaders to create Wold-Chamberlain Airport, later Minneapolis-St. Paul International.
Purists might argue that Gus and Lottie Hohag’s last stand was really against the Metropolitan Airports Commission. but to Richfield citizens with long memories, the Hohags were standing up against the power of Minneapolis.
Gus and Lottie, who farmed on 70th Street and 34th Avenue South, dealt with airport issues for much foe their adult lives. Gus purchased the site of the bankrupt Twin Cities Auto Speedway during a 1917 sheriff’s sale. He held it until November 1918, when Minneapolis business interests bought the land for $56,300.
The Hohags continued to hold onto their farm as the airport grew toward them. In 1949 the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) wanted their property, but they refused to move. MAC suggested a compromise. “They said my wife and I could stay here until we died, ” chuckled Gus in 1960, “Well we’re still going strong, both of us are 85 and staring right back at the planes.” Gus died in 1961. Lottie died nine years later at the age of 92 in 1970.
This Thursday—November 13—is Give to the Max Day, a day set aside in Minnesota to reaffirm the community benefits of charitable giving. And thanks to the Bush Foundation and others, organizations like ours that receive donations on Thursday are eligible for additional “Golden Ticket” funds. We urge you to consider using this special day to remember the Richfield Historical Society with a gift.
Why wait for November 13? You can use the form below right now and submit your donation. Your gift will automatically be submitted on Thursday to take advantage of our opportunity to earn even more.
From our Teenage Richfield exhibition, we collected your answers for songs that represent your youth. What would have been on your mixtape?
Boston – More Than a Feeling
Cheap Trick – Surrender
Beatles – Sgt. Pepper
Teach the world to sing
Tom Jones – She’s a Lady
Johnny Cash Get Rhythm
Fall out boy
Swing Sway with Sammy Kaye
Eddie and the Cruisers
Alice Cooper – Poison
Salt-N-Pepper – Shoop
Green Day – Nirvana
Carly Rae Jepsen – Call Me Maybe
2 Little Fishes (1943)
For the popular response:
We are so pleased to receive this competitive grant through the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the Minnesota Historical Society. The grant is for us to conduct a historic structure report on the Riley Lucus Bartholomew House that was built in 1862, deemed one of the oldest surviving homes in Richfield. It was listed on the National Registrar of Historic Places on November 28th, 1978.
A few years ago, the RHS Board began looking at ways to enhance educational offerings for more school children and found that in order to do so, we needed to prep the Bartholomew House so that it could be preserved but also accessible to our visitors. For small museums like ours fundraising is a big deal, and we needed something big in order to complete this preservation study. Swoops in the leaders on our Board (our heroes really) and the long arduous journey of sweat, blood, tears, rejection, and ultimately triumph begin. The great team of grant managers at the Minnesota Historical Society really helped us see the bigger picture and suggested different options that we did not know about for the preservation of the Bartholomew House. The wait is, in my opinion, the hardest part. When I opened the mail and saw the MNHS logo my heart was racing! It was literally the adult version of Christmas, and how elated I was when it was great news.
We are here to say, “Thank you,” to the thoughtful citizens of Minnesota who, through a vote, enables our continued work of keeping and sharing our history.
Press Release RHS receives grant