NEW EXHIBIT: The Murder of Officer Fred Babcock

Fred Babcock Exhibit at the Richfield History Center

Come by the history center this summer to learn about the 1949 murder of Richfield Police Officer Fred Babcock and the three-day, cross country manhunt for his killers!


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The Air-O-Inn

The Air-o-Inn at Richfield's Wold-Chamberlain Airport

In 1919, when what would become the Wold-Chamberlain Airport (and eventually the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport) first began operations on the defunct Twin City Speedway in Richfield, Jack Hohag and his brother’s merely watched with interest. The noise from the airfield and the occasional crowds that would come to watch stunt pilots were an inconvenience at most. However, as the crowds continued to increase, drawn by growing attractions like Richfield’s own “Mystery Girl” parachutist and traveling circuses, the Hohags discovered that they could no longer ignore the expanding airport’s encroachment on their farms.

While many, including Jack’s brother Arthur Hohag, would have seen this a threat, Jack saw the airport as an opportunity. In 1931, he converted an old school building on 66th St. and 34th Ave. into a restaurant and nightclub known as the Air-O-Inn. For 11 years, the business served the growing number of people who used and worked at the airport – including fledgling Northwest Airways, Inc. which eventually employed all four of Jack’s children.

While a great example of how some Richfielders took advantage of the rapid changes coming to their village, the Air-O-Inn was not meant to be. In 1942, the building was converted to a research center for the Navy and eventually torn down as the airport continued to grow.

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From the Collections: Crazy Quilts

Crazy Quilt from the Richfield Historical Society Collections

The Richfield Historical Society’s Crazy Quilts are among the most colorful pieces in our collections. Crazy quilting was a popular 18th and 19th century patchwork style which used small and often time exotic pieces of fabric to create a collage with no particular pattern. Quilters would use silks, satins, and velvets – along with more conventional materials – to create brightly colored designs where texture, embroidery, and embellishments were often as important as the pattern itself.

Crazy quilt with more simple patchwork

Making crazy quilts was meant to be fun and creative – a break from the more traditional and rigid quilting patterns also popular at the time. It was also a great way to use up all those odd and uneven scraps that would otherwise have to be thrown out.

Despite being called “quilts,” most crazy quilts, including the ones in our collection, aren’t quilts at all, but just decorative patchwork. Lacking the interior batting and multiple layers, they provided little warmth and were mostly used decoratively. Some were even fashioned into robes or bags.

Tell us about your experiences with Crazy Quilts by leaving a comment or visiting our Facebook page and learn more about are collections by visiting the Richfield History Center on Wednesdays and Saturdays 12-4.

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April Fool’s Dance!

1949 April Fool's Dance Announcement

I choose to believe that there was no dance and anyone who showed up was an April Fool. How did you celebrate April Fool’s Day growing up?

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