Golden Valley's First Church
Nestled along Golden Valley Road is a little white church that serves as the headquarters of the Golden Valley Historical Society. But the church -- which is also the city's first church -- has a rich history that dates back to the late 1800s.
"The original building was built in 1882, and it was just this one room," said Don Anderson of the Golden Valley Historical Society.
The church was initially built four blocks away, but the early settlers had to move the non-denominational church to its current spot 18 years later when the landowner decided he wanted to mine gravel at its original location.
"And then they moved this one room church, pulling it by horses and mules, rolling it on logs and setting it on this foundation," Anderson said of the early settlers.
And it's stayed at 7800 Golden Valley Road ever since. In 1996, the historical society voted to buy it for $84,000.
"So a little lady sitting in the back of the room raised her hand and said 'would it be alright if one person donates the money to buy the church?'" Anderson recalled of that 1996 meeting. "And the members looked at each other and said, 'yes!'"
Today the church houses Golden Valley memorabilia, including hundreds of old street signs and plays host to dozens of small weddings.
Winkley Orthotics and Prosthetics
Less than a mile away on Douglas Drive sits Winkley Orthotics and Prosthetics, which dates back to 1888. It's one of the largest and locally-owned manufacturers and providers of these products in the area.
"It functions a lot like a pharmacist would," said Greg Gruman, Winkley President and CEO. "Where a doctor would write a prescription for a specific condition that a patient has and is being treated for."
Winkley builds artificial limbs custom fit for patients in its on-site laboratory.
"What we try to do is restore as much of the comfort and mobility and independence, really, that a patient should have," Gruman said.
The company is now in its fourth generation of family ownership and continues to thrive.
"The reason is that I think we stick to basics as far as taking care of people," Gruman said.
15% of Golden Valley is Parks
One of the things Golden Valley prides itself on is its park system. The very first Golden Valley Park Board was established in 1948, with Lillian Seeman serving as the first park board president.
"At that time it was a three-person board, that was a legal board," said Golden Valley Parks and Recreation Director Rick Jacobson. "They had the power to tax at that time and they started off with a $500 budget."
With that money, they were able to acquire land for two parks, one of which eventually became Lillian Seeman Park. But, the Golden Valley Park Board wasn't done there.
"If we could jump ahead then to 1967, the city held a bond issue for $1.6 million," Jacobson said. "And that was for the acquisition and development of Brookview Golf Course and Brookview Park."
Today Brookview Golf Course and Park is a popular destination for people who enjoy the outdoors. In fact, Golden Valley has more than 1,000 acres dedicated to parks and open space, including Theodore Wirth Park.
Jacobson says that 520 acres of Theodore Wirth Park is located within Golden Valley's borders, although it's operated by the Minneapolis Park Board. It's just another thing that makes Golden Valley a popular recreation destination.
"Doing active sports, cultural activities, classes, this type of thing is good for your health, good for your mind, and good for the general well–being of the community," Jacobson said.
Aug. 9, 2012