Lunchtime tourist

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August 2, 2004 // UPDATED 2:51 pm - April 25, 2007
By: Linda Koutsky
Linda Koutsky

Summer scavenger hunt IV

Summer's not over yet, but this is the final summer scavenger hunt.

Here's a quick review of the rules: Figure out the mystery location described below, go there, and then prove it by answering the "Scavenger hunt" question.

The person with the most correct and most quickly submitted answers wins a free membership to the Hennepin History Museum just south of Downtown.

The mystery location will be revealed in the next issue (Monday-Sunday, Aug. 9-15),

as well as the name of the scavenger hunt winner.

Today, Downtown shoppers have many options for sound purchases and impulse buys, but Minnesota's retail trade actually began in the 1840s at the solitary, practical Fort Snelling trading post. Furs, tobacco, yard goods and other necessities of the day filled the shelves.

Soon, shops sprang up along the banks of the Mississippi, and by the 1880s, Donaldson's and Powers had opened so-called "department stores" on Nicollet Avenue, selling a variety of merchandise underone roof.

When it came to clothing, though, these stores primarily carried outerwear, coats and jackets. Most attire was made at home or by local tailors.

Then, in 1894, another kind of store burst into popular culture.

Owned by a woman and her business partner, this ready-to-wear apparel store was only the second of its kind in the country. Women's fashions were just beginning to be manufactured and "E" was the only woman buyer in the entire New York fashion scene.

The Downtown Minneapolis store was so successful that by 1926 it moved into an architect-designed building that had many state-of-the-art facilities: it was the first store in Minneapolis with electric lights; the first store to bring imports to the Northwest; the first store with an auto park and, years later, the first store to offer a complete men's line. More than 20,000 people attended the opening event.

The store lasted nearly 60 years, and today the building continues to house a destination for fashionable attire.

Scavenger hunt question: Check out the Hennepin History Museum panel in the building's main public corridor. Send the name of society's distinguished brassiere designer to thelunchtimetourist @hotmail.com -- before your competition does.

LUNCH TIP: Celebrate in-store dining at Marshall Field's Oak Grill, 700 Nicollet Mall, 12th floor.