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Clint and Betty Folin

Brooklyn Center has many reasons to celebrate its Centennial year, including the lives of former residents who arrived in 1955 to found the Brooklyn Center Press. Along with other community involvements, Clint and Betty Folin also published the Brooklyn Center Directory. And something else is notable in Brooklyn Center history. The city can take credit for being the starting point for a unique travel adventure. On June 12th, 1965 the Folin family - Clint, Betty, their 5 children, 74-year-old Ray Bartley, and a pregnant pooch - gathered in the Brookdale Shopping Center to head for California in a horse-drawn covered wagon. Yes, you read that right....a horse-drawn covered wagon. After 81 days on the road, the Folin family arrived in Fallbrook, California with plenty of stories to tell about the experiences along the way. Betty passed away in 1972, the 5 children have settled in various places, but Clint returned to Minnesota where he continues to live in Glenwood. During their 10 years in Brooklyn Center, Clint and Betty were proud to be active in the rapidly growing Minneapolis suburb.

Submitted by Chelene Folin Koenig

Darling Family

Jean Darling with Daughters

In 1953, Mrs. Jean Darling of Brooklyn Center stands with her four daughters at their home on 53rd and Girard Avenues. Mrs. Darling didn’t realize that they would become future beauty queens and keep her busy. Elaine and Gail were both runner-ups in the Miss Brooklyn Center pageants in 1964 and 1965. Gail was also a Miss Teen Brooklyn Center. Laureen (center) was Miss Brooklyn Center in 1967 and a finalist in the Miss

Carolynne Darling - Age 3
Minnesota pageant in Austin, Minnesota. In 1969, Laureen was Miss Minnesota, Universe and represented Minnesota in the Miss USA, Universe pageant in Miami, Florida. Eleven month old Carolynne, being held by her mother, became Miss Brooklyn Center in 1971. She is a life-long resident of Brooklyn Center and still lives in the same home. Younger brother, Bill, not yet born, eventually retired from the United States Air Force.

Walt & Sandra Wenholz

Memories of Brooklyn Center: June 1960 – February 2011

We rented a home on June Ave. and 63rd for one year in 1960. We recall shopping at Shopper’s City for groceries for quite a few years. My husband Walt worked at the street department every summer. The first location of the Brooklyn Center Street Department was on a dirt road across from an empty field where people would come and pick wild asparagus. That field became the location of the Brookdale Mall.

In 1961 we moved into our present home on 69th Ave North (Cty. Rd #30). This road went out to West River Rd. (now #252). Across the street from us there was an empty field where, after Evergreen School was built, our four children would walk through the field to school, followed by our black lab. Our dog would then go over to school to pick them (before the days of restrictions on pets). Apartments were built on this field in the 70’s, I believe.

There was a large open area in back of us that is still undeveloped. On West River Road south of us there were small homes with long back yards that comprised this area. We can remember when we could partially see across this area, but now the trees and other vegetation has taken over. There were few homes on 69th Ave. and to this day there are still only 10 homes from Bryant to the end of 69th Ave. We see many species of wildlife in our backyard, including a coyote.

We also remember when Earle Brown Farm still housed horses. We knew the caretakers at that time and took our two youngest children over to the barn and they got to sit on the very large horses that were kept there. I believe it was probably around 1965. We will continue to enjoy our home in Brooklyn Center in the years to come.

Sandra Wenholz