“I walked through Graeser Park last evening and just began to cry. The restoration is so wonderful, and the photo of me with my older siblings is one of few of my youth. We lived at 4509 Quail Avenue North in Robbinsdale, and often had picnics here! In this July 1960 photo, I’m on the left and was 4, my brother Curt Brookins was 6 and lives in Golden Valley, and my sister Annette Brookins Petta was 9 and now lives in Arizona.”

Submitted July 3, 2023


Paula Brookins PentelGolden Valley, Minnesota

“My grandfather Julius Atsch was an immigrant from Hungary and a stone mason and bricklayer. He played a big part in the construction of the beehive fireplaces. We often had picnics at Graeser Park in Robbinsdale. Fond memory! (more…)

Patty BurretsMinneapolis, Minnesota

I recall throwing coins in Graeser Park’s fountain as a little child on a picnic with my mom and cousins. I think the first time was with my mom and dad in the early to mid-1960s. We grilled burgers in the beehive grill. I have memories of grilled burgers with ketchup and mustard and Old Dutch Bar-B-Q chips!

Submitted 3.31.2021

Tammy MarieChanhassen, Minnesota

It is wonderful news that MnDOT will install salvaged stone picnic tables in Graeser Park. I am proud of the cleanup work the Robbinsdale Lions Club has done. All of the benches were pretty overgrown when I cleaned up the park with fellow Lions. I had the thrill of uncovering one of the benches that I sat on as a kid—I just started clipping away at an edge and little by little – voila! There is much more to be done. (more…)

Monica Johnston MurphyRobbinsdale, Minnesota

“I flew back to MSP for my Dad’s 80th birthday. My plan for weeks was that once I was in my rental car, I was going to take my husband to Graeser Park to check out your preservation efforts. I was probably 10-12 years old the last time I set foot in the park. I was looking forward to my “homecoming” tour. It was like walking back into my childhood home. (more…)

Bryan HowellDallas, Texas

“Growing up in Crystal, I remember a birthday party in Robbinsdale’s Graeser Park back in the 1960s. All the kids at the party lined up on one of the curved benches and we walked along it.

Graeser Park and the original Lilac Park near Minnetonka Boulevard were in a sense landmarks on our journey to visit relatives in southern Minnesota. As an adult, I had a job off of Highway 100. Seeing the beehive fireplace in Lilac Park would bring back memories of family celebrations at my relative’s homes. I alway thought I’d be able to see that park from Highway 100. Guess not.”
Restore Lilac Way note: The beehive was moved in 2008 from Minnetonka Blvd. to renewed Lilac Park near Highway 7 and is now visible in the SE corner of Highways 100 and 7.)
Submitted 5.17.2020
Anonymous Lilac Way Fan #1Withheld

“I was born in 1939, grew up in Robbinsdale. My father had a sister who lived in Osseo with her husband and family, on a farm. Back in those days that was a Sunday trip for us. My mom would pack a picnic lunch and we would stop and eat at Graeser Park. I loved to go to there as a child and also as a teenager. We grilled hot dogs in the beehive fireplace, and I remember the benches and rock gardens.

As a teen in the early 1950’s we would pack a lunch and meet with friends and just sit around and chat or lay in the sun with blankets on the grass. (more…)

Sharon EggerichsBrooklyn Park, MN

“Love Graeser Park! Grew up just a few blocks from the park on 44th and Welcome Avenue in the 1960s-70s. The park was my happy place, too! I would jump on my bike and go find a spot in the park to read. Or have brown-bag picnics with my sisters during summer. Never got to see the fountain working, but would imagine it was.

We were trying to keep the park nice, even as kids. We would spend time clearing out the old leaves and trash each spring. If I still lived in Minnesota, I would certainly be one of your volunteers, helping to restore the parks. Thanks for your efforts and hard work! Hope to bring my grandchildren for a picnic there sometime and visit the old neighborhood.”

Submitted 2.1.20

Sally Hillyer

“We often had family picnics in Graeser Park in Robbinsdale. We always just called it ‘the picnic place on Lilac Lane’. My sister remembers it as I do—Highway 100 on one side and West Broadway on the other side.


Pam SchmitzLakeville, Minnesota

“My brother and I loved it when my parents closed the store on Sunday afternoon to go for a ride, and my dad would drive us around and around the cloverleaf. After my father passed away in 1987, we’d pick up Eddy Arnold’s chicken and eat at Graeser Park on West Broadway with my mother and my two daughters.”


Jacqueline PasterCrystal, Minnesota