- History of Maplewood
- Post World War II
Post World War II
After World War II, the housing boom began in New Canada Township. Veterans could receive discounts on new homes and developments began around Wakefield Lake. Residents wanted improved services like sewer, water, and better roads. These items were the subject of debate at the township meetings.
In 1953, Little Canada broke away from the township and became a city. Many new people were hired to replace the empty spots on the town board. These were the people who set the wheels in motion for the City of Maplewood
Not only was the population of New Canada increasing, industry also had interest in the area. 3M was looking for expansion and bought a large chunk of land in the southern leg. This land was outside of the city limits of St. Paul. Rumors began that St. Paul wanted to annex the area where 3M was going to be.
An offer was made to the New Canada Township to swap a connection to St. Paul's sewer and water to add the 3M land to the city limits. The township didn't like this idea and decided that the best action was to form a city on its own. On February 26, 1957 the vote was 5 to 1 in favor of becoming a village.
Waldo Luebben was the first mayor, and many of the former New Canada Township board members became village officials. Ed O'Mara was one of the persons who suggested the name "Maplewood". Warren Berger went out to his backyard and traced a maple leaf, and that became the village logo.
Maplewood had a population of 14,200 people when it incorporated. For a few years, life in Maplewood was much like that of the former township. The village operated out of the same building attached to the Gladstone Fire Building.
The township constables slowly evolved into the Maplewood Police Department. Len Pepin became a constable in 1954, and was later Maplewood's first chief of police. Fire protection for the Village of Maplewood was by the Gladstone, Parkside, and East County Line Fire Departments. These organizations merged into the Maplewood Fire Department in 1997.
Old Gladstone Site
In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the city continued to use buildings in the old Gladstone site. The Police Department had a converted house, and the Engineering Department was in an old barber shop and grocery store. According to legend, work on the new village hall was so slow, Building Inspector Oscar Londin grabbed a shovel and said
I'll do it myself! The two story city hall was built on Frost Avenue in 1965. It only took 20 years to outgrow the new city, hall and a new one was built in the woods off County Road B and White Bear Avenue.
Village to City
The Village of Maplewood was changed to the City of Maplewood by the 1970s and adopted the council manager form of government. The Maplewood Mall opened in the early 1970s and became the major center of retail business in Maplewood. In the late 1960s and 1970s, there was a Maplewood Fall Festival with parades and a Miss Maplewood pageant. The main event of the city became the 4th of July celebration held at Wakefield Park in the 1970s and 1980s and at Hazelwood in the 1990s. The highlight of each event is the fireworks display.
By 1990, 30,954 people lived in Maplewood. The city was rapidly being developed, especially the southern leg. Open space became a concern. The home of the 3M Post-It Note became one of the first cities in Minnesota to buy land and set it aside to remain undeveloped.