Woodbury Street Name History
There is a story behind many of Woodbury’s street names. In 2007, a Woodbury Senior Girl Scout, Lisa Clinton, documented the history of the street names of Woodbury for her Girl Scout Gold Award project. The result of her 200 hours of research were documented in a presentation to the Woodbury Heritage Society in January, 2008, and made available here.
1875 – Woodbury had 30 miles of road, not including Military Rd, Bailey Rd, or Afton Rd
1950 – Woodbury had 37 miles of road
1964 – Woodbury had 57 miles of road
1991 – Woodbury had 142.6 miles of road
2007 – Woodbury has over 464 miles of road
Thus, if there is road, there is history!
A Forgotten History
Woodbury, Minnesota – a city driven by development and change. Less than twenty years ago, the city was an agricultural town with miles of rolling cornfields. Today, the city of Woodbury has been named the 11th Best Place to Live (Small Cities Category, 2012) in the United States by Money Magazine.
As the city’s population grows, the memories of Woodbury’s historical attributes continue to fade. It is the aim of this website to connect current citizens with Woodbury’s history by showcasing the historical background of some of Woodbury’s street names.
The History of this Website
This website was created by Lisa Clinton from Senior Girl Scout Troop 2064 for her Girl Scout Gold Award Project. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest honor in Girl Scouting and is equivalent to the Boy Scout Eagle Scout. For her project, Clinton was approached by the Woodbury Heritage Society and asked to document the history of some of Woodbury’s street names. Lisa accepted the challenge and began her project in April of 2007. Under the guidance of her project advisor and troop leader Kathryn Ho, Clinton dug through Heritage Society archives, read a few books (including “Woodbury: A Past to Remember”), examined Heritage Society program transcripts (compliments of Cathy Hovda), interviewed street-history-saavy people (special thanks to Bernice Bielenberg, Ken Wolterstorff, Rose Heyerdahl, Bud Urtel, Ron Glubka, and Brent Skarsten), and spent countless hours in front of the computer researching online and creating, editing, and polishing this website. Clinton completed her Gold Award project’s website in August of 2007.
For more information about Lisa or her project please email her at [email protected].
If you wish to make additions or corrections to the information about street names on this website, please contact the Woodbury Heritage Society to have the information added to the project.
Afton Rd- Afton Road was named because it connected Woodbury and Afton. Afton Road was the second town road surveyed in Woodbury.
Andrew Dr (Windom Ponds, Victoria Place)- Andrew Drive was named after Andrew Mahle. All of the streets in the Windom Ponds development were named after members of the Mahle family, as the Mahle family originally owned the land. See “Mahle Ln” for more information.
Antrim Ct, Rd (Wedgewood Park)- Antrim Court and Road were named after Ray Antrim, a Minnesota insurance agency executive. Antrim was instrumental in the development of Wedgewood Park during the early years of the project, and thus, three streets in the development (Antrim Ct, Rd and Rae Ln) were named after him.
Arthur Dr (Windom Ponds)- Arthur Drive was named after Arthur Mahle. All of the streets in the Windom Ponds development were named after members of the Mahle family, as the Mahle family originally owned the land. See “Mahle Ln” for more information.
Bailey Rd- Bailey Road was the first town road and was surveyed in 1852. The original name of the road is unknown, but it was later renamed after the Bailey family, founders of the Bailey Nursery enterprise. John Vincent Bailey established the nursery in 1905 with 80 acres of property just outside of the Woodbury border in Newport. Today, Bailey Nursery is one of the largest wholesale nurseries in the United States.
Bailey Ridge Al, Bay, Ci, Ct, Draw, Dr (Bailey Ridge)- Bailey Ridge Drive and its offshoots were named after the ridge upon which they was built overlooking Bailey Rd. See “Bailey Rd” for more information.
Benjamin Dr (Fox Glen)- Benjamin Drive was named for Benjamin Thone, son of developer and Woodbury resident Tim Thone.
Bielenberg Dr- Bielenberg Drive was named after Orville M. Bielenberg. Bielenberg served on the Town Board for seven years prior to the incorporation of Woodbury. After the incorporation in 1967, Orville Bielenberg became Woodbury’s first mayor, a position he held for fifteen years. Mayor Bielenberg was an active community volunteer and often said that he “believed in a community where neighbors helped neighbors.” The story goes that Bielenberg Drive was renamed in honor of Orville Bielenberg while he was out of the country, as he, being a humble man, wouldn’t have otherwise accepted the name change.
Century Avenue- Century Avenue used to be the old beltway, called Highway 100, around what was then the twin cities. It is not known when Century Avenue was renumbered to 120, but it is believed to have been called Century because of it’s connection to the number 100. Century Ave acts as a county line between South Washington and Ramsey Counties.
Christian Curve (Windom Ponds)- Christian Curve was named after Christian Mahle. All of the streets in the Windom Ponds development were named after members of the Mahle family, as the Mahle family originally owned the land. See “Mahle Ln” for more information.
Colby Lake Ct, Dr (Summit Pointe)- Colby Lake Court and Drive were named after Colby Lake. Colby Lake was, in turn, named after the Colby family, who were early settlers of Woodbury. John Colby was chairperson of the first Town Board in 1858. In 1859, Mr. Colby suggested that the city be named “Woodbury” after his friend, Justice Levi Woodbury of New Hampshire. Additionally, John Colby’s daughter, Anna Francis Colby, was the first teacher in Woodbury.
Currell Blvd- Currell Boulevard was named after John Currell, who was a City Council member from 1979-1982.
Double Eagle Ln (Eagle Valley)- Double Eagle Lane was named by Jim Nunn, a Woodbury City employee after the golf term by the same name. According to About.com, a double eagle is a score of three under par on any individual hole. The name “Golf View” was also proposed, but the name Double Eagle Lane was favored because it incorporated both a golf term and the “eagle” theme of the Eagle Valley development.
Esther Ln (Woodbury Heights)- Esther Lane was named after Esther Raths, the wife of Town Board member Walter Raths.
Garbe Ave (Woodbury Heights)- Garbe Avenue was named after the Garbe Family, specifically, Paul Garbe, who was a member of the Town Board for 16 years. Paul Garbe was also quite influential on the local school board, for which he served for nearly 20 years.
Guider Dr (Classic at the Preserve)- Guider Drive was named after Dan Guider, a former mayor of Woodbury. Guider served the city of Woodbury for three terms as a city council member before being elected mayor for an additional three terms of service. Altogether, Dan Guider served Woodbury for 17 years in elected office from 1973-2000.
Hattie Ln (Woodbury Heights)- Hattie Lane was named after Hattie Zinschlag (nee Kuehl), the wife of Town Board member Ed Zinschlag. Zinschlag was a member of the Town Board for 20 years.
Heinbuch Trl (Homestead Hills)- Heinbuch Trail was named after the Heinbuch family, one of the first families to settle in Woodbury. The land of the Homestead Hills development was originally a part of the Heinbuch farm, which is why the street was named Heinbuch Trail. Yost and Jacobina Heinbuch came to Woodbury in 1868 and purchased 200 acres on the North West and North East sides of Tower Drive along Radio Drive.
Hudson Rd- Hudson Road was originally a territorial road which, hence the name, ran towards Hudson, WI. Hudson Road was the third road laid in Woodbury.
Jessie Ct (Park Place)- Jessie Court was named after Jessica (Jessie) Thone, daughter of developer and Woodbury resident Tim Thone.
Jewel Dr- Jewel Drive was named by Mr. Dornfeld, who owned the land and was a member of the Oakdale Town Board. Dornfeld didn’t like developers choosing street names, so he made sure that he would be able to select the street name when he sold his farm to developers. As Jewel Drive lined up with Jewel Drive in Cottage Grove and Jewel Drive in Lake Elmo (both cities used the standard alphabetical street naming plan), the street was named to coincide with the Jewel Drives in the other cities.
Jordan Ct, Dr (Carver Lake Meadows)- Jordan Court and Drive were named after Jordan Thone, daughter of developer and Woodbury resident Tim Thone.
Kalen Ci, Ct, Dr (Rolling Acres)- Kalen Drive and its offshoots were named after the second wife of developer Roger Nelson. Another street in Rolling Acres, Lynn Way, was named after Nelson’s first wife.
Lake Rd- Lake Road was named after Colby Lake, which, in turn, was named after the Colby family, the original owners of the land. See “Colby Lake Dr” for more information.
Lydia Bay, Ci, Ln (Windom Ponds)- Lydia Lane and its offshoots were named after Lydia Mahle. All of the streets in the Windom Ponds development were named after members of the Mahle family, as the Mahle family originally owned the land. See “Mahle Ln” for more information.
Lynn Way (Rolling Acres)- Lynn Way was named after the first wife of developer Roger Nelson. Another street in Rolling Acres, Kalen Dr, was named after Nelson’s second wife.
Mahle Ln (Windom Ponds)- Mahle Lane was named after the Mahle family, one of the original families to settle in Woodbury. Christian and Maria Heidel Mahle moved to Woodbury shortly after their wedding in 1859 and farmed the land surrounding their home on Woodlane Drive near Bailey Road. The Mahle’s original land is now the Windom Ponds development and all of the streets in the development were named after members of the Mahle family. Every year since 1888, the Mahles have held a family reunion on Thanksgiving Day.
Markgrafs Lake Al, Bay, Draw, Dr (Margrafs Lake)- Margraf’s Lake Drive and its offshoots were named after Margrafs Lake, which in turn was named after the Margrafs family.
Martha Ln (Woodbury Heights)- Martha Lane was named after Martha Scheel (nee Pribnow), wife of Erik Scheel, Woodbury’s first building inspector. See “Scheel Dr.” for more information.
Middleton Trail (Stonemill Farms)- Middleton Trail was named after the Middleton family, one of the first families to settle in Woodbury. William Middleton and his family emigrated from Ireland shortly there after. Middleton Elementary School was named after William Middleton.
Mile Dr.- Mile Drive was named because it was one mile in length.
Military Rd (County Rd 20)- Military Road was the first road in Woodbury, and it was surveyed in 1849 by Captain Stimpson. The road originally stretched 150 miles from Cottage Grove to Fort Gaines (Ripley), passing through Red Rock (Woodbury [Woodbury was known as “Red Rock” up until 1859 when the name was changed to “Woodbury.”The name was changed because there was a pre-existing town in Minnesota named “Red Rock” prior to the founding of Woodbury.]), St. Paul, and St. Anthony Falls. As the road led to Fort Snelling, it was used as an infantry route during the Civil War, hence the name “Military.”
Pioneer Dr.- Pioneer Drive was built in 1905 between Bailey and Afton Rd. It was shifted ¼ of a mile east of the section line (the original route) to better serve existing farms.
Pouliot Pkwy (Woodwinds)-Pouliot Parkway was named in tribute of Mike Pouliot, a former City Council member. Pouliot served Woodbury for nine years on the Planning Commission and eight years on the City Council, as well as on the Comprehensive Plan Task Force. Pouliot is currently Treasurer of the South Washington Watershed District.
Quarry Ridge Ln (Quarry Ridge)- Quarry Ridge Lane was named after the quarry that was originally near the development site.
Radio Dr (County Rd 13)- Radio Drive was named after the radio station (KDWB AM630), which was formerly located during the 1950’s where the State Farm building currently stands. Prior to being renamed Radio Dr, the street was known as Blacksmith’s Rd. and Saloon Keeper’s Rd.
Rae Ci, Ct, Ln (Wedgewood)- Rae Lane and its offshoots were named after Ray Antrim, a Minnesota insurance agency executive. Antrim was instrumental in the development of Wedgewood Park during the early years of the project, and thus, two streets in the development (Antrim Ct, Rd and Rae Ln) were named after him. The spelling of Antrim’s first name for use as a street name was changed from Ray to Rae for aesthetic purposes.
Rath Dr (Woodbury Heights)- Rath Drive was named for the Raths family, one of the first families to settle in Woodbury. The Raths family built the “Heritage House” located at the corner of Lake and Radio as an addition to a pre-existing farm house. There are a few theories as to why Rath Drive was spelled “Rath” instead of “Raths.” The first is that of pronunciation, as among the Raths family, some pronounce it “Ratz,” like the original German pronunciation, while others pronounce it phonetically as “Raths.” The modified spelling would favor the Americanized second pronunciation. It is more likely, however, that the “s” was dropped during the street naming process for the sake of convenience.
Salem Dr. (Salem Meadows)- Salem Drive was named after Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church. The church was founded in 1863 and still serves the city of Woodbury and surrounding areas from its current location on Bailey Road.
Scheel Dr.- Scheel Drive was named after Erik Scheel, Lorraine Raths’ father. Scheel was Woodbury’s first building inspector and consequently, spent a good amount of time working in the Woodbury Heights development when it was first being developed. The developer, noting Scheel’s great time commitment to the development, decided to name a street after him.
St. Johns Al, Bay, Ct, Dr (Fairway Meadows, Brookview Terrace, Powers Lake Overlook)- St. Johns Drive and its offshoots were named after St. Johns Lutheran Church. The church was founded in 1893 and still serves the city of Woodbury and surrounding areas from its current location on the corner of Valley Creek and St. Johns Drive.
Steepleview Rd (Royal Oaks, Royal ark, Steepleview Place)- Steepleview Road was named after the Woodbury Methodist Church’s steeple. The steeple is over 100 feet tall and was built in 1885.
Tamarack Bay, Cove, Rd – Tamarack Road and its offshoots were named after the nature preserve, which, in turn, was named after the abundance of tamarack trees that originally grew in the area. The Tamarack tree is unusual because it is a deciduous-coniferous tree. This means that while the tree has needles, like a coniferous tree, they fall in autumn, like a deciduous tree. Additionally, it is unusual that Tamarack trees grow in Woodbury, as they, being native to Canada and the North East Coast, are very rarely found at such a southern latitude.
Thone Ci, Ridge, Dr (Fairway Meadows)- Thone Drive and its offshoots were named after developer and Woodbury resident Tim Thone and his family.
Tower Dr (Country Rd 13A)- Tower Drive was named after the former airplane navigation tower located near the street. Originally, Tower Dr. was known the Buttermilk Road, as it was used by farmers to haul their whole milk to Newport for processing and then bring back skim milk for consumption.
Valley Creek Rd- Valley Creek Road was named after the Valley Creek. Valley Creek is a small creek that runs along the side of Valley Creek Trail in Afton. Certain parts of the creek support a trout population. Originally, Valley Creek Road was known as “Poor Farm Road” because it led to the poor farm in Ramsey County.
Woodbury Dr- Woodbury Drive was named after the city of Woodbury, which, in turn, was named after Levi Woodbury of New Hampshire. Woodbury was a lawyer, judge, and politician. He was the 9th US Secretary of the US Navy, the 13th Secretary of the Treasury, an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and would likely have been the 14th President of the US had he not died suddenly at the age of 61. Levi Woodbury was the first Supreme Court Justice to attend law school.
Woodlane Dr- Woodlane Drive was originally called Pig-Tail Alley because it was so curvy. At the time that it was built, roads were often shifted up to a quarter of a mile to allow access to a particular farm or to avoid certain terrain (such as a lake, swamp, or hilly area). When the road was straightened, it was given a more generic name, Woodlane Drive.
Bailey’s Arbor-All of the streets in the Bailey’s Arbor development have tree themed names.
Eagle Valley- All of the streets in Eagle Valley are named after eagles or eagle’s nests.
Royal Oaks- All of the streets in the Royal Oaks development have Scottish and “royal” themed names.
Summit Pointe- All of the streets in the Summit Pointe development were named after apples.
Turnberry- All of the streets in Turnberry were named after English and Scottish Golf Courses.
Wedgewood Park- All of the streets in Wedgewood Park were named after cities and places in Virginia.
Windom Ponds- All of the streets in the Windom Ponds development were named after members of the Mahle family.
Windwood-All of the streets in the Woodwind development have English themed names.
Woodlane Hills- All of the streets in the Woodlane Hills development have English themed names.
1. Street names must not duplicate or be similar to existing street names.
2. Street names within developments should maintain a common theme, i.e. names of states, flowers, presidents, etc.
3. East and West streets must be roads. North and South streets must be drives. Meandering streets may be Boulevard, Curve, Lane, Trail, Way, etc.
4. Streets with the same name must be continuous from beginning to end. Exceptions to this rule may be made when roads are planned to be continuous as future development occurs.
5. Streets that extend more than one-half of a circle must be given two street names. (To allow for proper addressing)
6. Cul de sac names will be the same as the street from which it is extended with a typical cul de sac name extension. Typical cul de sac name extensions are Alcove, Bay, Circle, Court, Draw, Echo, Place, Plaza, Ridge, and View, Consecutive cul de sacs will have name extensions in alphabetical order beginning at the most northerly or westerly cul de sac.
7. With the exception of cul de sacs, duplicate street names with different extensions are not allowed.