The Richfield Historical Society is proud to announce the publication of a new history book – Suburban Dawn: The Emergence of Richfield, Edina and Bloomington. The new book is by Fred Johnson, the author of our previous publication, Richfield: Minnesota’s Oldest Suburb. Johnson’s new book, completed with the capable assistance of Thomas U. Tuttle, is now available for purchase at the Richfield, Edina and Bloomington Historical Societies and soon from book retailers including Barnes and Noble.
This new history traces the interlocking stories of three communities whose pasts and presents have much in common. The book, divided into five sections, uses carefully researched narratives that illustrate broader points about the development of these neighboring cities. The wide-ranging volume considers topics ranging from Cloud Man’s Mdewakanton band of the 1820s to the “in” crowd that frequented the I-494 entertainment strip during the 1970s.
“Well researched and very readable, this book sets the standard for interpretive local history,” notes reviewer Duane P. Swanson, Curator of Manuscripts for the Minnesota Historical Society (MHS). James E. Fogerty, Head of Documentary Programs at MHS adds, “By chronicling the intertwined histories of three important Twin Cities suburbs [Johnson] provides and excellent overview of the development of a defining aspect of the American landscape.”
The book has hundreds of photographs, maps, and images that help bring its stories to life. When asked if he’d call it a “coffee table book,” Johnson says its over-sized format and many illustrations qualify it as such. “Hopefully, people will find it an entertaining and informative read,” he said.
The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) awarded Johnson’s history of Richfield a 2009 Award of Merit as well as a special WOW award by its Leadership in History awards committee.