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Minneapolis 1911 Civic Celebration Postcards

The 1911 Minneapolis Civic Celebration was held during the week of July 2 to July 8. It was intended to emphasize the prosperity of the Northwest and to illustrate some of its notable achievements. It was estimated that there were 25,000 visitors to the city of Minneapolis during the week.

The celebration included musical programs, illuminations, parades, military maneuvers, a sane Fourth celebration, a historical pageant, a regatta, and the linking of Lake of the Isles and Lake Calhoun.

The entire Minnesota National Guard was mobilized and their encampment, Camp Lowry on the parade opposite the National Guard Armory, could be viewed by the public. The Boy Scouts had a camp in Loring Park.

The next postcard shows the review of the National Guard. This card was sent on July 5th, 1911. The sender wrote "I'm just sending you a picture of the mob that's in town this week."

The parades included ones of fraternal orders, city industries, children, autos, National Guard, and ships (on the lakes).

Minnesota National Guard Parade
click image for enlargement of storefront details

The Minneapolis Garden Club and the vacant lot garden committee of the Civic celebration worked to make the city attractive with flowers and gardens. There was a “Court of Honor” on Nicollet Avenue. From Bridge Square on Nicollet Avenue to Twelfth Street the ornamental street lampposts were gilded. Great white pillars were erected along both sides of Nicollet with festoons of electric lights intertwined with arborvitae garlands between the pillars. Along the route of the parades, hundreds of window boxes were filled with flowers to add a touch of beauty.

Court of Honor - Nicollet Ave - Minneapolis Civic Celebration 1911

Lake Calhoun and Lake of the Isles were officially joined on July 6 in the Linking of the Lakes ceremony. The ceremony joined the waters of the two lakes by opening the newly constructed canal between them. The ceremony was followed by a program of water sports, races, and contests at Lake Calhoun.

Linking of the Lakes - Minneapolis Celebration 1911
click image to enlarge


Civic Celebration Photo Postcards

The M.N.G. Parade, Camp Lowry, Review of National Guard, and the Linking of the Lakes postcards were published by Multiprint Photographic Company, 709 So. 5th St., Minneapolis, Minn. The Court of Honor card has no publisher listed.


Civic Celebration Invitation Postcards

My invitiation postcards have the following invitation printed on the picture side of the postcard. "You're invited! Minneapolis 1911 Civic Celebration, July 2 to 8. "

These cards are made by Chilton and are numbered on the back. Most of the invitation postcards are labeled as an "Official Post Card" on the back. Some, however, have only "Made by Chilton Company, Phila, Pa., U. S. A." and a number printed on the back. There are also some other variations that I don't have.

The next image shows some variations of the wording on the fronts of the cards.

Image courtesy of Peter Sussman

On June 12, 1911 there was an article in the Minneapolis Tribune "Greatness of Minneapolis Told in a Series of Pretty Post Cards." In that article a back of one of the invitation postcards was shown. Each card back has a reason "WHY MINNEAPOLIS CELEBRATES week of July 2 to 8." The article lasts 22 reasons. There were not that many pictures on the cards--I have heard that there were fourteen. In my small collection, I have two cards with different pictures on the front and the same reason on the back. I also have two cards with the same pictureon the front, but different reasons on the back.

Some postcards have advertising for businesses imprinted on the back:

Some postcards were imprinted for use after the celebration:

Fourteen different standard size invitation postcards are shown below. Most are from my collection. Numbers 1174, 1183, and 1187 and the three-panel postcard numbered 1192 are courtesy of Peter Sussman, a local history enthusiast.

An article in the Minneapolis Tribune dated April 16, 1911 mentions postcards in an article "Design for Civic Fete Adopted by Committee"

A new postcard folder and insert is just out illustrated with halftone pictures of celebration features and giving the full program for the week. Copies of these are given away at celebration headquarters, Room 214, Plymouth building. A celebration folder also is being prepared for hotels and restaurants. A follow-up series of 25 views in colors of Minneapolis on postcards also has been purchased by business houses, which aggregate 500,000.


1174. A few of the twenty-three Minneapolis flour mills on the Mississippi.


1175. Minneahaha Creek joins the Mississippi river at the Soldier's Home, Minneapolis.


1176. The famous Falls of Minnehaha, at Minneapolis.


1177. The Falls of St. anthony give Minneapolis $1,000,000 worth of free power to run her flour mills to feed the world.


1178. Loring Park contains one of the twelve improved natural lakes in Minneapolis.


1179. The Minneapolis Venice, twenty-two miles of shore-line in the residence district.


1180. Where the Twin City Park Systems meet on the banks of the Mississippi.


1181. The future head of navigation on the Mississippi at Minneapolis.


1182. The Lake Harriet Pavilion, where the bands of the world give free concerts every summer.


1183. Bridal Veil Falls, one of the beauty spots of Minneapolis.


1184. Lake Calhoun, Minneapolis, at the geographical centre of North America, is a great place for out-door sports.


1185. Lyndale and Minnehaha Boulevard, Minneapolis, one of the many hundreds of beauty spots.


1186. Soldiers' Home Landing, at Minneapolis, on Mississippi River.


1187. Lake Harriet, one of the twenty lakes in the healthiest city in America, Minneapolis.


1192. Panorama of Flour Milling District of Minneapolis, showing Mills on both sides of Mississippi River, Stone Arch Viaduct and St. Anthony Falls. (click image to enlarge)

1192 back. (click image to enlarge)


Other Civic Celebration Postcards

This card has the same "Official Post Card" label as the invitation cards on the back, but it does not have a reason why Minneapolis celebrates. The Plymouth Building on the right was where the celebration headquarters was located.


Revised 10/14/2011



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