August 26, 2020. With a hobby background in archaeology and many volunteer hours, Robbinsdale Lion Beth Good uncovered a lost Lilac Way handcrafted stone staircase.
- In 2018, she uncovered the path and wall leading to the stairs and part of the V-shaped retaining wall.
- In 2019, Beth found the wall near staircase and the ‘Promontory Point’ of the V-shaped wall.
- And in August 2020, she reached the first step of the lost staircase.
She referenced old park photos and MnDOT reports that said it was buried in the early 2000s. THANK YOU to Beth and all of the Robbinsdale Lions and volunteers for their dedication to preserve this historic 1939 Lilac Way park, one of only 2.5 remaining of the seven original parks. We are all SO GRATEFUL for your volunteer efforts. YAY!
Sadly, MnDOT needs to rebury steps for bridge support system
A MnDOT contractor will restore (rebury) the stairway in 2021. It was covered as part of the support system for the rebuilt Broadway Ave. bridge. It is possible MnDOT will be able to reclaim some of the walk/wall materials to be used in other areas. But we have seen them, know they are there, and hope to see them again someday.
Graeser Park has been under the proud volunteer stewardship of the Robbinsdale Lions Club since 2008.
The effort to find this lost stairway was led by Lions Beth Good and Jeannine ‘Niner’ McDonald. Beth’s singular vision to find that bottom step kept everyone going for more than two years.
If you can see a stone path in the park today, it is because a Lion uncovered it.
With a hobby background in archaeology, Beth devoted hundreds of volunteer hours to find this long-lost 1939 stairway. Her dogs Buster and Skye join her as unofficial Graeser Park Mascots.
Jeannine ‘Niner’ McDonald
Like Beth, Niner is a ‘get-the-job done’ Robbinsdale Lion. Committed to excavation and conservation, this Physical Education teacher volunteers a lot of time at the ‘Graeser Park Gym’.
Graeser Park, buried staircase found in 2020!
Two years of a Lilac Way archeological dig finally unearthed the bottom step of a lost 1939 handcrafted stone staircase. Buried by MnDOT in the early 2000s, we are thrilled that Beth Good, Jeannine McDonald and the Robbinsdale Lions Club has found this historic Graeser Park structure.
Graeser Park, searching for a buried staircase, 2018-20
Devoted Graeser Park Beehiver Beth Good and other volunteers spent many hours and weekends with one mission—find an original 1939 stone staircase that we think was buried by MnDOT in the early 2000s.