Thanks to OptimismIC Wigs and Gifts for their support.
Here’s the intersection of Marie and Charlton looking northwest in 1961 and today.
The barn on the right side of the frame has been torn down. Today there are two houses on Charlton just north of Marie. They’d be just out of the frame, and it’s unclear if that barn was part of the same property or not.
All of that farmland in view would be preserved by Olivia Dodge and become part of the Dodge Nature Center. The white buildings in the middle distance would eventually be relocated and become the education buildings at Dodge Nature Center.
The houses in the middle distance are likely homes going in along Thompson.
Here’s the intersection today. The dramatic difference showcases the mature trees that really differentiate today’s West St. Paul from 50 or 75 years ago as the city transitioned from farmland to first-ring suburb. But it’s also about the preservation efforts of the Dodge Nature Center that make this entire block a nature preserve as opposed to single family homes.
The Garlough Park sign is also visible on the far right, another example of preservation that happened during the 1960s and 1970s when many of West St. Paul’s city parks were set aside (Garlough Park was created in 1967).
September 1, 2021 Update: Fixed the Angle
Our original post assumed the camera view was looking southeast, which made for a nicely matched Then & Now photo (see below). But as we’ve heard from sharp-eyed residents and checked with experts, it looks like we were wrong and the 1961 photo is actually looking northwest. So we’ve corrected the story and replaced the 2021 photo.
Thanks to Christopher Moeller, Cindy Moeller, and Mayor Dave Napier for the corrections.
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