Thursday, June 28, 2012

Christmas at the Sheltering Arms House

Post by the Hawthorne Hawkman, image from the Minneapolis Journal.

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.


  1. We need a NORTH MINNEAPOLIS HISTORICAL CENTER and I think the old Sheltering Arms orphanage would be the perfect location.


  3. This is from the website of the Sheltering Arms Foundation.

    Special Announcements
    Grant Deadline
    SAF has one grant cycle per year. The next grant deadline will be in January 2013.

    Maybe there would be a way that the North Minneapolis historical society could raise awareness about children currently needing adoption?

  4. Before you can write a grant you need to form an organization to set goals, take responsibility, and oversee the progress that any potential funds may be earmarked for.


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