Our family first used the beehive fireplace at the old Lilac Park at Minnetonka Boulevard and Highway 100 in 1983. We have a picture of our toddler there. When my husband John Olson became a trustee, then vice president, then president of the St. Louis Park Historical Society, we got involved in the first discussions (I via home reports) about saving some of the 1930s structures along Highway 100.

The Historical Society and John led the effort to move the beehive fireplace to the new Lilac Park near Nordic Ware. Yet Historical Society Board Member Bob Jorvig cited neglect of the rock garden, which then became my mission, renaming it Rock Island and getting volunteers to tend it with us until the City Council approved ownership. Restore Lilac Way documented this sojourn.

It should be noted that a couple family health matters scaled back my work after late 2018. Karen Laukkonen then upped efforts beyond media. She became the main liaison between government (MnDOT, the City Council, etc.), key volunteers, and the rest of us along Lilac Way. It’s like a relay race. Karen and cohorts will likely get the sites and us all over the finish line.
Submitted 12.13.2023