Construction of the new Eden Prairie Consolidated School started in May of 1922, and it was dedicated on April 25, 1924. It was widely recognized as one of the finest schools in the county, in large part because of its spacious gymnasium. The gym featured shiny wooden floors, a stage at one end hung with velvet drapes and a bleacher gallery that served as spectator seating for many memorable sporting events, as well as seats for the first school hot lunch program in Eden Prairie. The crowning glory of the gym was its high ceilings, so unlike the recreational space in the converted basements of other school buildings. Every high school graduation, school dance, plays as well as sports competitions were held in the gym for 35 years. In addition to its educational importance, the gym became the focal point of Eden Prairie social life. Community meetings, voting, movie night, and even “ironing days” were held there. The “GYM” was the heart of Eden Prairie. A true beacon in the night as no one else had electricity in 1924!
We have two celebrations this year. Ironically, the date of our special event happens to be the date of the grand opening of the Consolidated School. This is the 95th anniversary of the school, as well as the 50th anniversary of the Eden Prairie Historical Society. It is our honor to have our very own Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Paul Anderson return home to share stories of his youth in Eden Prairie.
Paul was born into the Anderson clan, grew up on a farm, raised 4H calves, rode horses, and became a basketball star! His mother, Helen Holden Anderson, founded the Eden Prairie Historical Society in 1969.
Historical Society members, guests, and the community are invited to attend. The event is on April 25, 2019, in the gym at the current administration building, 8100 School Road, Eden Prairie. Seating will be in the gallery bleachers as well as on the gym floor. Social time begins at 6 p.m., followed by our keynote presentation.