Voices of Minnesota

Minnesota's Greatest Generation Oral History Project: Richfield in the Postwar Era

View of housing development near John Tierney farm, Sixty Second Street and Penn Avenue South, Richfield, 1954.


DATE: February - October 2007

INTERVIEWER: Thomas Saylor

This project chronicles the lives of men and women who lived in the suburb of Richfield, Minnesota, following World War II. The interviews primarily deal with city and community leaders including former mayors, members of the Rotary Club, members of the Chamber of Commerce, city managers, members of the Richfield League of Women Voters, members of the state House of Representatives, and local business owners. Some of the subjects discussed include demographic and cultural changes in Richfield; Richfield's stages of commercial, residential, and industrial expansion; the city water system; the impact of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport; the public school system; tax increment projects; the idea of Richfield as a "bedroom community"; the sense of community; developing local parks and park spots; the postwar real estate market; impact of highway construction; lack of affordable housing; importance of religion; the New Ford Town housing project; and civic pride.

LENGTH OF INTERVIEWS: 32 hours 15 minutes

TRANSCRIPTS: 760 pages