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Sample Minnesota's rich history, courtesy of a microfilm archive

May 3, 1959: Let's go car camping!

A Tribune photographer followed the Donald F. Anderson family of Minneapolis into the wilds of northern Minnesota and captured the images below for Picture magazine. Did your parents take you camping? Did you rough it in the Boundary Waters or Glacier National Park? Or did you head for a nearby state park in a Country Squire station wagon packed with a canvas tent, camp stove, sleeping bags, air mattresses, fishing gear, board games and coolers full of food and drink?
 

Station Wagon Camping

 
THE STATION WAGON has revolutionized car camping. “Station wagon camping” is a new term in our language. You begin to understand it when you see a family (in this case, the Donald F. Anderson family, 4641 S. Washburn Av.) vacationing beside some Minnesota lake with all the comforts of home in camping gear. These photos were taken near Ely, at Birch lake campground, one of several camping areas in the Superior national forest.
 
The current surge of interest in car camping is a major social phenomenon. More persons camped out last year than ever before and the trend is continuing. The manufacturers of camping equipment are fully aware of this new interest in outdoor living.
 
IF YOU’RE new to camping, you’re wondering what to buy to camp in comfort. You need: tent, tarpaulin, cooler, stove, camp cooking kit, lamp, air mattresses, sleeping bags and blankets. The tent is your major item. Consider seriously the tent with sewn-in groundcloth, mosquito-netting door, and a fly that shelters the doorway.
 

ORIGINAL CAPTION: Family camping is no longer primitive business. The Anderson family had home conveniences in a forest setting. (Tribune photos by Earl Seubert, with original captions)

 

On a trip, the floor space behind the front seat becomes a safe play area for Kristin, 11, and Rolf, 13.

 

You don't have to stay put at the camp site. You can use the campground as base of operations, go sight-seeing in the area.

 

Air mattresses, basic for sleeping comfort, can also be used for sun-bathing and water fun.

 

Station wagons are spare bedrooms for the younger members of the party. Besides flashlights your camp will need some kind of lantern.

 
Update: Kristin Anderson Moore sent me this in August 2011, a few months after this entry was originally posted. At that time she was a program director and senior scholar at a nonprofit in Washington, D.C.

"I remember this trip very clearly, as it was our family’s first camping trip. Our neighbor worked for the Sunday magazine, and they needed a typical family to try out and demonstrate the equipment. We were happy to do it, and it was fun! Both Rolf and I and our children have done a lot of camping in the ensuing 52 years. In fact, Rolf and I and our spouses are going canoeing in the Boundary Waters next week ….without the station wagon!"

Nov. 11, 1909: Man shoots coyote from back porch

In August 1901, two coyotes were captured on the West Bank of the Mississippi River in south Minneapolis. “Wolves have been known to come near the doorsteps of houses along the outskirts of the city during severe winters,” the Tribune reported, “ … but never have wild animals of any marked size been discovered along the river bank in the heart of the city.” It’s not clear how the coyotes were captured, but they ended up at the Longfellow zoo in Minnehaha Park.

Eight years later, another coyote on the prowl found the East Bank an even less hospitable place. The Tribune’s account appeared on Page 11.
 

Man Shoots a Coyote
From His Back Porch

 
Daniel Hoyt Plugs “Varmint”
Prowling in Southeast
Minneapolis.
 
He Telephones City Clerk He
Intends to Collect Bounty
on the Pelt.
 
Daniel Hoyt telephoned City Clerk Knott yesterday that he had shot a coyote “at 30 rods” from his house, 895 Twenty-third avenue southeast, and that he would appear soon at the city hall to claim a bounty of $7.50 [worth about $180 in 2011]. Neither Hoyt nor his coyote showed up yesterday, but the city clerk’s force believes the coyote slayer will “make good” today.
 
Hennepin county is bound to pay $7.50 for every wolf pelt and it is understood that Hoyt will endeavor to enter his coyote skin under the wolf schedule. The law provides that “the wolf” must be skinned in the presence of the city or village clerk and said official must make a written statement to the effect that he saw the skinning. Then the county auditor passes on the statement and if he deems it satisfactory an order on the county treasurer for $7.50 is drawn.