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Eaton's Ranch (Apple Valley)

Located on Cedar Avenue, before the "freeway" this was a popular ranch in the metro area.


Arthur J. 'Art' Eaton last owner's obituary tells some of the history.

Eaton, Arthur J. "Art" Age 87, of Randolph Township, passed away at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, on October 28th, after a hard fought seven week battle with aspiration pneumonia. He was surrounded by his family and friends. Art was born to Arthur J. Eaton, Sr. and Alice Hendrickson Eaton in Waukon, Iowa on February 16, 1929.

When Art was a year old, he and his family moved to Apple Valley where his parents owned & operated Eaton's Ranch, a business that would stay operational into the 1970's. Art worked with his family at the ranch helping with various chores such as hay rides, sleigh rides, trail rides and rodeos. Feeling that he would get a better education than from the one room school nearby, his parents drove him 13 miles one way to and from Nathan Hale Grade School in South Minneapolis for his elementary school education. Art then attended Breck School in St. Paul for two years and graduated from St. Louis Park High School in 1947. When Art was a teenager his parents purchased the Lilac Way Riding Academy and Pastime Arena in St. Louis Park, which is still in existence today as the Roller Gardens Skating Rink.

Art remembered riding horses down Lilac Way which is now Highway 100. Art proudly served our country in the Air Force during the Korean War as a communications specialist. Eaton's Ranch had been out of the family for several years but came back into Art's life when he and his wife Joan repurchased it in the mid 1970's and again offered horse boarding, hay and sleigh rides as well as a restaurant on site called The Maverick.

As Apple Valley started growing around the ranch property, they discontinued the horse part of the operation and turned the business into the very popular Eaton's Western Store which they operated until it was taken by the highway department for the expansion of Cedar Ave. in 1982.

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