bread loaf

Saint Paul Bread Club

We knead to bake!

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Rumored Ovens in Minnesota

A “rumored oven” is an oven that is rumored to exist.

  • It might not exist.
  • It might not be an oven.

Joyce Kilmer Memorial Fireplace

This section updated June 7, 2011

Sometimes this structure has also been referred to as the “Joyce Kilmer Fireplace.”

Como Park has an interesting vestage of the past, the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Fireplace

I thought originally it might be rehabilitated into an outdoor oven, but since it is a historical site, and another group was already interested in rehabilitating the area, I scratched this off the list of possible oven sites.

It has been in the news lately since the rehabilitation has been underway:

So-called Beehive Oven (Saint Louis Park, near MN-7 and MN-100)

This section updated August 2, 2009

According the original design blueprints, this is a triple fireplace, or at least the remains of one.

It was relocated from its original location to a new park in Saint Louis Park, near MN-7 and MN-100.

There is a rich history associated with the “beehives” and Lilac Way. But it is not as detailed as I would like.

I created a gallery of some pictures I took of the beehive in Saint Louis Park and the other remaining one in Robbinsdale.

Here are some of the key questions.

  • How were the double and triple fireplaces intended to be used?
  • Did the designers know that some of the designs could be used as ovens?
  • Did any of the fireplaces have doors to close off baking chambers?
  • Were there available box ovens that could use the heat received from sitting on the steel plates to turn them into ovens?

I’ll update the info here as I get more answers.

Beehive Oven (behind Corner Table, Nicollet and 43rd St., Minneapolis)

Thank you to Rich Schuster for pointing out this oven.

This was a cob oven (with a brick base covered with clay and straw). The Corner Table restaurant did not own it, although they used it in the past. It was badly weathered, when I looked at in in 2006. The owner of the Corner Table talked about allowing people to use it in 2007, but by 2008 it was gone.

Powderhorn Park Oven

For years I have heard mention of an oven in Powderhorn Park, but not been able to find anybody who knows where it is. There have been hints (such as this photo Cat in the bread oven) that I have seen.

According to e-mail that I received on Oct. 2, 2008, there are at least three working ovens in the Powderhorn Park neighborhood. I’m going to try to visit them some time soon.

An e-mail that I received from Bob Cooper (on 10/9/2008) puts one of them in the category of community oven so you can follow the link to there to see pictures of it. (On 10/17/2008 I went to see it for myself. It’s pretty neat.)

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

MNLA Brick Oven

I have heard (by e-mail on Oct. 2, 2008 and Aug. 7, 2009) that there is a clay oven at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum built in 2005 by their Therapeutic Horticulture staff in the Sensory Garden area, as part of a program for teens recovering from substance abuse issues. It mostly gets used just for educational programming.

I asked about teaching baking classes at MNLA, but I was told that they plan their classes about a year in advance.

Robb Graeser Park, Robbinsdale

I saw mention of this in a video about the old Lilac Way, now Minnesota Highway 100. KARE-11 had a video about the facilities, and mentioned “beehive ovens,” which were pictured in some of the historical photographs.

The shape is similar to some beehives, but it’s not clear if they were ever intended to be used as ovens.

Lilydale Regional Park

I received a Google Alert about a mention in a blog post of a brick oven that turns out to be in Lilydale Regional Park. Obviously, it has been there for years, but I only found out about in on August 7, 2009.

I have visited the site, and personally I don’t think it’s an oven.

  • It’s not sited like an oven would be.
  • It’s not shaped the way an oven would be.
  • The interior doesn’t look like an oven to me.

But, folklore seems to have it as a brick oven.