Burnsville in the 1960s and 70s
During the winter of 1963 my husband and I began looking for a new house. Our family was growing and our home in North St. Paul was getting too small. My husband worked in Hopkins, quite a drive from North St. Paul, and the Minnesota Twins were in Bloomington! We spent winter weekends looking at existing housing in the south metro area. My husband also stopped to look at houses on his way home from work. One evening he arrived home and announced that he had stopped by a new development in Burnsville and thought that instead of buying an existing home, we should build a new one.
We were the first family to move into our cul- de-sac. Fifty one years later, we are the only original owners in our circle! We became residents of our home in River Hills on November 30, 1963. Much of the interior work on the house remained to be done since President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated eight days earlier, and the people of the United States had watched transfixed as events unfolded in the Nation’s capital. Many did not go to work during that time.
Our first winter in Burnsville was an interesting one. One big question was where to shop for groceries? We found that there was a grocery store, Sullivan’s Supervalu, in a shopping center called Jet Plaza, later this became Valley Ridge Shopping Center. I had never been to Burnsville before we started looking at houses in River Hills, and I often became lost trying to find County Road 5, where Sullivan’s was located.
In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, several new shopping malls were built in Burnsville, each having a grocery store. Sioux Trail Shopping Center, located at Highway 13 and Cliff Road, had a Penny’s Market, a number of clothing shops, and a four screen theater, as well as a variety of other shops. Cobblestone Court was built at Nicollet and County Road 42. Sullivan’s South, Cole’s Children’s Barber Plus, and St. Paul Book and Stationery were among the stores that were located there. Diamondhead Mall was a two-story shopping mall, and housed the Red Owl Grocery Store. It would later become the Burnsville High School Senior Campus, and Burnsville Senior Center/ Diamondhead Education Center. Sullivan’s Supervalu also built a free-standing grocery store on County Road 11, just off of Highway 13. It was called Sullivan’s East.