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East Side Oral History Project: Interview with William C. Godwin
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: William C. Godwin was born in White Bear, Minnesota. After high school, he became a mechanic and eventually manager of Finch Chevrolet. In the mid-1950s he bought Payne Avenue Hardware, which he still ran at the time of the interview. He was an East Side activist who had worked on the Winter Carnival, published the "Eastsider" newspaper and been involved in community groups like the Phalen Area Community Council and the East Side Improvement Association. SUBJECTS DISCUSSED: Detailed history of the East Side starting with early Italian settlers in the 1850s and the immigrant waves that followed. Descriptions of the early East Side and some detail on the business evolution there. Mention of the gas lights, old homes, old cow paths, the size of Lake Phalen. Details of Godwin's neighborhood activism including his interaction with various government agencies. Starting and running the "Eastsider" newspaper. His plans for the East Side and dealing with the absentee landlords. Changes in the hardware business between the 1950s and present. Comments on building codes, city inspectors and the city council. The Payne Arcade Festival, The St. Paul Winter Carnival. Lake Phalen Ice Palace. Working with 3M and the Ford Foundation.
1.5 hours sound cassette
21 pages transcript
Content Category: sound recordings
Content Category: text
01:31:10 running time
Interviewee: Godwin, William C.
Interviewer: Galt, Margot Fortunato
|Holding Type||Oral History - Interview|
OH 99 (Library Call Number)
AV2003.92.7 (Accession Number)
MHS Library Catalog
Oral History - Project, MHS Collection, project: 'East Side Oral History Project'