Sure, it's nowhere near Christmas. It's not even July yet, so we have at least a few days before major retailers start putting Yuletide decorations out. But a friend of mine sent me this link that tells a little bit more of the history of The Sheltering Arms House at 2648-2650 Emerson Ave N.
For newer readers, The Sheltering Arms House is a boarded and vacant fourplex that was purchased by the City of Minneapolis with the intention of demolition and land banking. Before that could happen, I did some research and found that the house was likely the first or second Sheltering Arms orphanage back in the 1800's, and was the precursor to the Sheltering Arms Foundation. Back when this was an orphanage, it was run by a board of twenty-five Episcopalian nuns, who were committed to serving orphaned children without regard to race, color or creed.
Given that the historic contributions of women and minorities are woefully under-represented in our fair city, the Hawthorne Neighborhood Council supported a historic designation study to determine whether this property could receive such a status. To date, that study has not been completed. In the meantime, little nuggets like this keep popping up:
Minneapolis Journal Dec. 25th 1906:
Old fashioned Christmas customs were in vogue at the Sheltering Arms, 2650 Emerson Ave N, where thirty homeless children are tenderly cared for. Thirty stockings were hung up last night in gleeful anticipation and this morning there was a lively scramble all over the place. The tree celebration was planned for 3 o'clock this afternoon for which an interesting program had been arranged by the matron, Miss F.B. Hynes.