Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Something About Minnesota Avenue

A road of clear blue water?

I’m mildly curious if there is a street somewhere in every state named after the state. Is there an Idaho Avenue somewhere in Idaho? How about Ohio Boulevard? Where is Tennessee Parkway?

I bring it up because I found some notes about Anthony Monday walking down Minnesota Avenue – “the main street of town” – to visit the Hoosac library in The Treasure of Alpheus Winterborn (1978) [p.8].

This site has documented how the fictional town of Hoosac, Minnesota, is a composite of two different communities where Bellairs lived. Geographically it resembles Winona, Minnesota, and much of the town includes inspirations from his hometown of Marshall, Michigan.

While there is a Minnesota Street in Winona, it is anything but a major thoroughfare, running only north-south for four blocks in the western part of the city. The short street is only a few blocks east of the former College of Saint Teresa, where Bellairs taught for two years during the 1960s. And from the image above, it intersects with Howard Street. While Howard is the name of Anthony’s father, I doubt there is any relation.

More than anything the name Minnesota Avenue should clue us into its true inspiration: the similarly named Michigan Avenue, the main street of Marshall.  There is more to address about Michigan Avenue later and I see - yet again - someone has notes in the archive waiting attention.

Onward!

2 comments:

Russ said...

Well there are at least two Ohio Avenues in Ohio, probably more. One in Cincinnati runs about six blocks and is near the University. I know there is one in Columbus also.

Jean said...

There's a California St. in Berkeley, CA!