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Woodbury history snapshots

In 2017, we celebrate the 50th year of the city of Woodbury.

A few facts about the past:

  • 1844 — White settlers first came to Woodbury.
  • 1855 — The first school in Woodbury held sessions in the Middleton family home.
  • 1858 — Red Rock Township was formed.
  • 1859 — Red Rock Township's name was changed to Woodbury Township, named after Levi Woodbury, a New Hampshire judge and friend of the first town board chairman.
  • 1875 — Thirty miles of road existed in Woodbury, in addition to Bailey and Military roads.
  • 1876 — O’Halloran and Murphy started as a church goods store and soon after expanded into funeral services for Irish immigrants in St. Paul.
  • Late 1800s — Residents crossed Tamarack Swamp via Corduroy Road, which was made of Tamarack logs laid crossways.
  • 1890s — The telephone was introduced to Woodbury residents.
  • Aug. 19, 1919 — The Woodbury Light Co. first turned on electricity in Woodbury, metered from Tower Drive and 65th Street.
  • 1920 — Military Road was upgraded.
  • 1920s — Living by the motto "We are laborers together," the ladies of Woodbury Community Club were a driving force behind activities that helped people in Woodbury.
  • 1921-22 — A big, red barn now known as the Miller Barn was built.
  • 1922 — Miss Stella Lietzau, a teacher at Middleton School in Woodbury, organized Woodbury 4-H Club, the first 4-H club in Washington County.
  • 1932 — Woodbury purchased its first stop sign for $1.
  • 1936 — Afton Road, from Century Avenue to Woodbury Drive, was the first blacktopped road in Woodbury.
  • 1947 — Men were allowed to join the Woodbury Community Club.
  • Mid-1950s — Development of the Woodbury Heights neighborhood occurred.
  • Mid-1950s — Menomini Park was the first park in Woodbury, with 11 acres consisting of a ballfield, ice rink, playground and basketball court, and thus the site of the earliest Woodbury Days celebrations.
  • 1957 — Woodbury Women’s Club formed to provide an opportunity to cultivate neighborhood friendships and acquaintances, as well as the advancement of civic, recreational and social interests, and the promotion of better community relations and higher standards for Woodbury.
  • Early 1960s — For $60,000, the city purchased its first water supply system from the developer of Woodbury Heights. The system furnished water for homes in the neighborhood.
  • 1961 — Voters approved their first bond issue for construction of water and sewer.
  • June 9, 1961 — Woodbury Fire Department incorporated as a nonprofit corporation.
  • 1963 — Woodbury’s fire auxiliary formed.
  • Jan. 1, 1965 — Howard Radke was hired as Woodbury Township's first full-time employee.
  • April 1, 1965 — William Krueger became the first full-time town clerk in Woodbury.
  • Nov. 5, 1965 — A joint incorporation with Cottage Grove was denied by a vote of Woodbury Township residents. If the proposal had been ratified, the megalopolis of Washington would’ve been formed.
  • Mid-1960s — The neighborhoods of Royal Oaks and Park Hills developed.
  • December 1965 — Woodbury Jaycees established as a group of active young men interested in community service and personal development, supporting programs in government, international relations and youth involvement.
    • 1966 — Woodbury constructed its first Public Works building, along Tower Drive.
    • Feb. 14, 1967 — A petition to incorporate the township as a village was ratified by election.
    • April 4, 1967 — Woodbury's first Village Council was elected: Orville Bielenberg, mayor; Stanley Olander, councilman at large; Francis Sheppard, Fred Strong and Robert Wolterstorff, councilmen from their respective precincts.
    • April 10, 1967 — The Woodbury City Council met for the first time.
    • April 20, 1967 — The Council held its first public meeting, at which residents complained about property taxes.
    • April 24, 1969 — The Provisional League of Women Voters of Woodbury held its first meeting, with a membership of 41.
    • 1970s — The first shopping malls came to Woodbury.
    • 1970s — Kinderberry Hill had three locations — near Roseville, Edina and 3M Center in Maplewood.
    • August 1972 — Woodbury Wanderers, a snowmobile club seeking approved trails, was organized.
    • 1974 — Woodbury became a city.
    • June 4, 1974  — Voters approved a bond that provided $395,000, making it possible for the city to partially develop Ojibway Park and build a park activity building there.
    • 1983 — Woodbury Heritage Society was founded.
    • 1983 — Developers proposed a pari-mutuel horseracing track on 350 acres near the intersection of County Road 19 and U.S. Highway 12 (known later as Interstate 94).
    • 1983 — Woodbury hired its first two female firefighters.
    • Sept. 5, 1983  — Woodlane Flowers, the city’s only flower shop at the time, opened at Woodlane Shopping Center.
    • 1985 — Interstate 94 opened along Woodbury’s northern border, keying the city’s growth.
    • 1986 — Travel By Nelson opened in Seasons Market, near the intersection of Radio Drive and Tamarack Road.
    • Nov. 5, 1987 — The Woodbury Bulletin published its first edition of the weekly newspaper.
    • Nov. 11, 1987 — Radio station KDWB, which inspired the naming of Radio Drive, announced its impending move to Minneapolis.
    • 1988 — Salon Ultimo opened in Seasons Market shopping center, with husband John Mingo and wife Rebecca Erickson as proprietors.
    • 1988 — Voters approved a $4.4 million referendum for a city hall, public safety building, and fire station.
    • 1989 — Voters pass a District 833 bond issue that will pay for two new elementary schools in Woodbury, as well as land for three other future school sites.
    • August 1989 — A.J. Alberts Plumbing opened for business.
    • 1990 — YMCA activities started in Woodbury, including swimming lessons at Woodbury High School, day camp, and summer basketball.
    • 1990 — Woodbury City Hall opened near the intersection of Valley Creek Road and City Centre Drive.
    • 1991 — One of the new elementaries is named after Gordon Bailey, the other is named after the Middletons.
    • Oct. 31, 1991 — Twenty-eight inches of snow fell in Woodbury, during the Halloween snowstorm, and snow removal cost $52,000.
    • Aug. 12, 1992 — The city approved the construction of the interchange at Lake Road and Interstate 494.
    • 1993 — Carver Lake Park and Beach was christened, with 150 acres.
    • Sept. 22, 1993 — Bill Hargis is named Woodbury mayor.
    • Oct. 23, 1993 — Gary and Nikki Robbins opened Peace of Mind Early Education Center in 10,000 square feet of space at the Woodgate Business Center.
    • 1995 — Southeast YMCA opened doors at its new building in Woodbury.
    • 1999 — Sheree Powers bought Travel By Nelson from Gary and Sandra Schmidt, who mentored her before the transaction.
    • 2002 and 2003 — Central Park was built.
    • 2003 — Peace of Mind Early Education Center bought a former church building and converted it to use as a private day care and elementary school. It continues to operate as a day care, preschool and pre-kindergarten, with K-6 summer camp, before and after school offerings, and leadership camp for sixth- to ninth-graders.
    • 2003 — Seven concerned citizens started the Friends of Woodbury, raising money for a the purchase of a grand piano for Central Park the following year.
    • 2005 — Friends of Woodbury officially became Woodbury Community Foundation.
    • Dec. 5, 2005 — Kinderberry Hill opened in Woodbury.
    • 2005 — Stonemill Farms Park North was created, with 5 acres.
    • 2006 — Stonemill Farms Park South was created, with 8 acres.
    • 2006 — The Woodbury YMCA expanded, bringing in its preschool and adding a new family locker room and a large part of its second floor.
    • 2006 — Husband-wife team Shannon and Chris Schultz bought Salon Ultimo outright after a 1-1/2-year partnership with Mingo and Erickson.
    • Spring 2007 — A.J. Alberts Plumbing opened its showroom in Woodbury.
    • Oct. 22, 2007 — Primrose School opened at 10350 City Walk Drive.
    • 2013 — O’Halloran and Murphy opened its funeral home in Woodbury.
    • March 13, 2016 — Three hundred fifty people attended the first annual Chili Hubbub at Guardian Angels Catholic Church in Oakdale.

    Making History in Woodbury is published with advertisers' support. The Woodbury Bulletin is attempting to get a grip on some pieces of our town’s history — a series of stories about the history of Woodbury through the eyes of the businesses and nonprofit organizations that help make it great. This series is better because of our advertisers’ support. For more information about being featured in Making History in Woodbury, contact Laurie Levine at or 651-319-4513.