August 3, 2011

I got a late start tonight, which means a shorter ride. While early August is still full-on summer temperature-wise, the solstice is nearly 40 days past and the sun now goes down about 8:37.

This evening’s travels took me primarily down thoroughfares around where West Seventh Street a.k.a. Fort Road bisects Highland Park.

Someone's glad to see grandma and grandpa!

The first sight that caught my eye enough to shoot a picture was this chalk greeting on a Bowdoin Street driveway. Grandma and grandpa must have felt welcome when they pulled up to this house.

A look up the Davern Street hill from St. Paul Avenue

Davern Street, between St. Paul Avenue on the south and Edgecumbe Street to the north, features one of several steep hills in Highland Park. It certainly is a much better workout to go up…but is significantly more fun going down. About one-quarter of the way down the hill is a historic Italianate farmhouse built-in the 1860s, which happens to be for sale.

The William and Catherine Davern House as seen from the driveway on Davern Street

All it will take for the beautiful William and Catherine Davern home, 2.2 acre private wooded lot and out-buildings (not pictured) to be yours is a million and change.

William and Catherine Davern House in 1929. Photo courtesy Minnesota Historical Society

Scaling the Davern hill a couple of times to get pictures made me made me think of food and drink, so I went toward West Seventh and Rankin Street to the Pearson’s Candy Company, maker of Nut Goodies, Salted Nut Roll and Mint Patties candy bars.

Pearson's Candy Company as seen from West Seventh Street

Pearson’s has been a fixture just below West Seventh since moving here from downtown Saint Paul in 1959. Unfortunately they don’t offer tours, especially in the evening but their goodies, Nut and other varieties, can be purchased in most Twin Cities area stores selling candy.

Another look at the Pearson's Candy factory in Highland Park

You can learn more about Pearson’s by visiting their website at

The Highway Motel on West Seventh Street and Rankin in Highland Park

Less than a block to the west of Pearson’s is the landmark Highway Motel on West 7th street. This 20-room establishment harkens back to simpler times…when Fords, Pontiacs, Chevys and Chryslers were the dominant car brands and when most vacations were taken by car.

Back to the east one block and south a couple is Benson Avenue and my next stop-The Flat Earth Brewery,

The inviting logo of the Flat Earth Brewery on Benson Avenue, Highland Park

Flat Earth does offer tours but not on this evening so I was again forced to use my imagination and my water bottle to quench my thirst. Although Flat Earth may be the smallest brewery I’ve toured, the beer compares quite favorably. Saint Paul has a legacy of brewing that goes back to the mid-1800s. While none of those early breweries, Hamm’s, Schmidt and Stahlman’s, remain in operation, Flat Earth is one of several smaller breweries that have sprung up in the past 20 years around the West End of Saint Paul. I’ll have more about them, including the Summit Brewery, in future posts.

Just add tracks and this railroad lover will be in heaven. Selma Lane, near Montreal Avenue, seen on the way home on August 3, 2011.

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