12 Central Minnesota Businesses & Local Traditions Frozen In Time
Central Minnesota is home to some pretty unique businesses that are still keeping things 'old school.' These places are a throwback to the way things used to be that will give you a sense of nostalgia after visiting them! Check out some of these businesses that remain frozen in time.
McDonald’s Meats in Clear Lake is well over 100 years old! It’s a fourth generation family business that opened in 1914 along Main Street. The meat market has won more than 150 local and national awards for their products since opening along Main Street more than a century ago.
St. John’s University has been making maple syrup and spreading the sweet taste of springtime since the 1940s.
Each year around the end of March hundreds of volunteers get together for the Maple Syrup Festival and collect sap from maple trees. It’s a university tradition that started during World War Two in a time of sugar rationing.
From the outside it looks like a prison but inside of the granite walls sits the former home of Husky football. Today the field is home to Husky softball. Youth soccer teams, club rugby teams and intramural sports use the irrigated turf field.
Thousands of St. John’s University students have shared a similar experience for more than a century that stems back the 1800s.
Although there is no official record of when Johnny Bread first made its debut at St. John’s, it’s believed to have started at the end of the 19th Century. Today Johnny Bread is made nearly the same way it was back in the late 1800s and continues to be served to students with each meal.
Mary Bruno has been running Bruno Press since her father, Don Bruno passed away in 2003. In the 1980s Don started doing freelance work making cards and signs on the printing press. He built a small printing shop and attached it to his garage. Mary carries on the tradition today making holiday cards that have proven to be quite popular. She ties in her own festive humor with a little seasons greeting.
The Heritage House Bed and Breakfast was built in 1904 as a Queen Ann style home. The unique style of architecture and historical connection to the community has landed the Victorian a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.
Minnesotans from all over the state go to Long Prarie to experience a rare blast from the past. The Long Drive-In originally opened its doors in 1956 which made it one of 87 drive-in theaters throughout Minnesota. Today there are less than 10 left in the state.
Read More: Frozen In Time: Drive-In Theater [VIDEO] | http://wjon.com/frozen-in-time-drive-in-theatre-video/?trackback=tsmclip
Jim Voight and his brother Allen own and operate the only blacksmith shop in Rice, a business that’s been in the family since 1936. Many of the tools used in the shop today are the original used at the turn of the century when the business originally opened. Jim has had some tools appraised which date back to the the early 1900s.
When Jim Van Vooren tells people he’s a milk man he sometimes gets puzzled looks. Van Vooren is one of two milk men still around in the St. Cloud and surrounding area who do home deliveries, keeping his service frozen in time.
For over half a century Vals has been a staple in the St. Cloud fast food business keeping it frozen in time. In 1959 Val Henning and wife Kathleen Henning purchased what used to be the Pure Oil gas station along East St. Germaine and converted it into a restaurant known today as Vals. At one time the business used to be open seasonally for just six months out of the year.
Ray Opatz owns Ray’s Barber Shop in downtown St. Cloud. It’s one of the few places left where you can still get a shave and catch up on the latest local news and sports.
Al’s Westside Services owners, Chuck Athman and Jerry Janski bought the Mobile Gas Station on 3rd Street North in 1975. Today it serves as St. Cloud’s only full service and repair station.