5625 23rd Avenue South
Minneapolis 17, Minnesota

Wenonah Elementary School  Photo:  D. Walter, 2003
Grades K - 3 today

The Wenonah neighborhood is located on the southern edge of Minneapolis.  Highway 62 is the southern border and 54th Street East is its northern extent. 
Beyond the main southern border, a small piece of the neighborhood extends into Richfield.  The neighborhood is bordered by Cedar Avenue South and Lake Nokomis on the west and 34th Avenue South on the east. 

Wenonah neighborhood is named after Hiawatha's mother, the daughter of Nokomis, from a legend that Henry Wadsworth Longfellow attributes to Ojibwe people in his poem, The Song of Hiawatha
Before 1900 the neighborhood was a major American Indian center.

The majority of the existing single-family homes were built between the 1920s and the 1960s. 
A large reason for the development in Wenonah during this time was the availability of streetcar routes and rail lines that date back to 1865. 

Today, Wenonah is part of the Nokomis community and the Nokomis East Neighborhood Association (NENA).  NENA encompasses a total of four neighborhoods, including Keewaydin, Minnehaha, and Morris Park. 
Public and shopping amenities abound, with parks, lakes, a post office, a library and shops either in Wenonah or other NENA neighborhoods.

~ ~ ~

  ~ Two Wenonah Schools ~

Beverly (Anderson) Gossard, RHS '62
writes, "I was searching through old papers and have some items to add to your website regarding
the old Wenonah School that was located at 60th Street and 28th Avenue South. 
The current Wenonah is located at 56th and 23rd Avenue South." - 1/17/12.

"Old" Wenonah
  1924 - 1962

  Classrooms were located on the first and second floors.  The auditorium and gym were on the first floor.  The furnace, fan room and storage were in the basement. 
There were six classrooms:  four interior classrooms plus two additional exterior classrooms at 60th Street, which was not cut through. 
The exterior classrooms were in existence in 1931, if not initially, in 1924.  Wenonah's student enrollment was 170 in 1931.

I am guessing that the old Wenonah was demolished to make room for the 62nd Street Crosstown highway, plus the increasing student enrollment. 
This must have been between 1952 - 1962.  Update:  1962 per Steve Peasley, '73.

Does anyone have additional photos of the old school on 60th St. & 28th Avenue South?

~ Kindergarten 1949-50 ~

Left to Right:  Beverly Anderson, Unknown boy, Douglas Anderson, Jerry Samuelson

original photo to view in detail


"New" Wenonah
  1952 plus addition in 1958

"New" Wenonah Elementary School, a one-story masonry building, was erected in 1952 and an addition was constructed in 1958. 
In 1962, the 62nd Street Crosstown highway was being constructed south of 58th Street.  Student enrollment was increasing.  These seem to be responsible for the demolition of
"old" Wenonah Elementary.

                          playground, 1952                                                                                                                                          office, 1952

school wing, 1958

~ Mrs. Aileen Childs' first grade classroom ~
February 19, 1953

The source indicated that this was a third grade class.  Can you find yourself or others in this photo?  What is the room number?

Source:  Unknown     If you can identify yourself or anyone in this photo, please email the webmaster.

~ Mrs. Ryder's 5th grade class ~
Scroll rightward to view photo in its entirety.

Seated in chairs, to the right of teacher (your left), extreme back:  Unknown boy, James Anderson (in front of Golden and to his right), Michael Golden (in front of easel), Michael Chadwick.  Center, standing:  Mrs. Ryder.
Row 5, to the left of the teacher (your right):
  Unknown girl, Unknown girl, Unknown boy, Unknown girl, Sharon Peterson (far right),
Row 4 desks:  Unknown boy, Unknown boy, Unknown girl, Delwin Olson, Unknown girl, Russell Fischer, Unknown girl.
Row 3:  Unknown boy, Bob Pearson (cub scout), Carol Aldrich, Unknown boy, Bob Dahlke,  Sheila Frost, Unknown girl.
Row 2:  Unknown girl, Richard Victor, Boyd Schernbeck, Jerry Samuelson, Unknown boy.
Row 1:  Unknown boy, Gary Elliott, Lois Thoren, Unknown boy, Unknown boy.

Students are seated left to right in this photo.  Can anyone identify the other children?

~ Photo Identification:  Beverly (Anderson) Gossard, Sheila (Frost) Van Houten, Bob W. Thompson EHS ~




  June 13 (& 14), 1956                           1:30 P.M.


Introduction . . . . (Carolyn Harden
                          (Sharon Miller

Poem - "School Years" . . .  Sharon Peterson

"Arithmetic Antics" . . . (Mike Golden
                                          (Douglas Anderson

Play - "Graduation" . . . Room 112

Piano Duet . . . (Linda Carlson
                              (Arlene Gustafson

Tap Dance . . . Kathaleen Downing

Piano Solo . . . Caroline LeBerg

Song - "Beautiful Dreamer" . . . Beverly Anderson

Baton Twirling . . . Sheila Frost

Piano Solo . . . Lois Thoren

Song - "Hawaiian Love Song" . . .  Emily Haugen
Original Lyrics . . . (Bernice Plifka
                                (Emily Haugen

Hobbies - "Planes" . . . (Peter Manfred
                                 (Richard D'Estrada
                                 (James Anderson

Hobbies - "Ships" . . .  Gary Elliott

Hobbies - "Trains" . . . Bob Bingaman

Hobbies - "Models" . . . (Jerry Samuelson
                                         (Bob Jorgenson

Hobbies - "Guns" . . . Warren Scamp

Hobbies - "Plane Pictures" . . . Gary Danielson

Hobbies - "Cars" . . . (Steven Jensen
                                         (Boyd Schernbeck

Reading & Dramatization . . . Room 113
"Casey at the Bat"

Presentation of Diplomas . . . Mr. Green



Kindergarten, Fifth/Sixth grade photo, and Sixth grade program submitted by:  Bev (Anderson) Gossard, RHS '62:

~ Sixth Grade ~
Graduation, 1956

Does anyone have the Sixth Grade Graduation photo that can be scanned and displayed below?
If so, please email the webmaster for details.

No, this isn't the entire class!

Row 4:  _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 
Row 3:  _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 
Row 2:  _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Front:    _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Source:  Unknown at this time.  If you can identify any of the students' names indicated by the underscoring, or if there are errors, please contact the webmaster.

Until a graduation photo becomes available, here is the beginning of an album of Wenonah alumni.


         School Colors:  _____ and _____           
Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo
Names Names Names Names Names
Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo
Names Names Names Names Names

~ Interesting Links ~

Planning for the Future

Fire Protection Engineering Report


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