This post is part of a collection of posts written in 2016 for Glenwood’s 150 year celebration. To see the map and full list of locations included in the walking tour, click here.
City Hall – 137 East Minnesota Avenue
The land was purchased by the village of Glenwood in 1908 and a fire station and municipal building was constructed in 1910. (Glenwood did not become incorporated as a city until 1912, so we can’t actually call it City Hall until after that date.) The previous fire station stood where the Public Library now stands.
By 1972, the city had out grown its two story fire hall and city offices. A bond issue was passed to replace it. The new Glenwood City Hall was dedicated on June 29, 1973. It included an expanded Fire Department, ambulance service, Glenwood Police and Pope County Sheriff’s offices, dispatch center, jail, and Chamber of Commerce office as well as the City offices and meeting room. Today, the building houses the Glenwood Fire Department, Police Department and city offices and meeting room.
This location was also the site of the Fountain House hotel, which burned down in 1875. In 1869, just three years after the founding of Glenwood, it was described in the St. Cloud Journal as a “First class hotel – a fountain playing before the door, pure water carried in pipes from a spring on the neighboring hills to every part of the house.” Glenwood in 1869 was a cross road and an oasis in the prairie. “Here may be seen, side by side, the unique vehicle of the Red River half breed – a rude cart drawn by one ox and the stylish “rig” of the St. Paul or St. Cloud Businessman. This is on route to Fort Wadsworth and Big Stone Lake, for the St. Paul and Eastern travel, and here they take their last look at civilization before striking out on the broad west plains. Here we met Col. Barett, of St. Cloud, with his party of surveyors just starting out for the Fort Wadsworth country to extend the public surveys.
Another story about this site involves the Peabody family, who ran the Fountain House Hotel with the Robbinsons. The Peabodys were southern and came to town with a young black girl named Emma Ferris. By all accounts she was held in slavery by the Peabodys, even though this was several years after the Civil War. She was so poorly treated, that in December 1870, she ran away, apparently looking for her friend Miss Ingeborg Rigg who worked at the same hotel, and often saved Emma from beatings. Emma never made it to Ingeborg. Emma’s body was found the following spring in a swamp near the inlet (by Captains).
Here is an image of the first Fire Station in Glenwood. It stood where the Public Library stands today.