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Dan Patch Days 19731973 - Originally Kearney's IGA, then Bob's IGA, now Valley Foods Fairway.Nov 25, 2021
Dan Patch Days 19731973 - ad for Razor's Edge Barbershop at 121 Vine Street (now Ottawa Avenue).Nov 25, 2021
Dan Patch Days 19731973 ad - Savage VFW, location across the street from the Municipal Liquor Store (Next to the Vine Street Bar).Nov 25, 2021
Dan Patch Days 1973Ad for Mark Egan's Texaco at Highway 13.Nov 25, 2021
Burnsville Historical Society 2021 - 2022The Historical Society updates its informational flyer for the coming year.Nov 12, 2021
Jack Kennelly's Community Builder Award 2019September 17, 2019 from the City of Burnsville.

Jack Kennelly

I'm pleased to inform you that you were nominated by Marty Doll for a Community Builder Award and that your nomination was approved by the City Council.

The City Council will present the awards Tuesday, October 22 at 5:30 p.m. at the City Council meeting at city hall....

The afford was for historical projects, photography and this website....
Nov 10, 2021
City of Burnsville has a rich historyA history of Burnsville, including a photo of Buck Hill, published by the Sun/Thisweek News 2020 - 2021 (date on printed page incorrect).Oct 30, 2021
Burnsville History provides contextA history of Burnsville, including a photo of District 16 students, published by the Sun/Thisweek News 2019 - 2020.Oct 30, 2021
City of Burnsville has a rich history A history of Burnsville, including a photo of School District 15, published by the Sun/Thisweek News 2018 - 2019.Oct 30, 2021
Jack Kennelly is in restless pursuit of local history 2021October 22, 2021 Burnsville Eagan Sun/Thisweek News

Has posted thousands of photos, documents

Jack Kennelly’s scavenger hunt for local history is restless and relentless.

He’s the chief supplier of photos, newspaper clippings and other documents on the well-stocked website of the Burnsville Historical Society.

Kennelly is a frequent poster on the “You know you’re from Burnsville/Eagan/Savage if ... ” Facebook page, where his found artifacts, such as old Burnsville newspaper ads or pictures of pumpkin patches past, often generate long comment threads.

One of his latest projects is combing, cataloging and scanning highlights from the Del Stelling collection — some 2,000 photo negatives left by the late newspaperman, who started with the Minnesota Valley Review in 1959 and finished his career with the city-sponsored Savage Review paper in 1994.

Kennelly is also doing volunteer grunt work for the Dakota County Historical Society, arranging piles of old newspaper clippings in chronological order (which in some cases starts with the 1850s).

“It sounds like, ‘Oh, God,’ but it was manageable, because I’m doing maybe two folders a week,” said Kennelly, 70. “I’m not doing them all at one time. And I’m finding things like an interview with a Civil War veteran named Lynch, from Burnsville, that we don’t have on our website. I didn’t even know of the Lynch family.”

Kennelly has done most of his historical work in the last six years, after retiring as marketing director for St. Paul-based City & County Credit Union. It accelerated during the pandemic, especially via the internet.

“Some people think it’s an obsession, and actually it isn’t,” Kennelly said. “They’re surprised at how much I can accomplish. Some of these projects I’ve been doing with the internet and finding photos — I found I can uncover 10 things a day, and that takes an hour. And in a month I’ve found 300 items.”

He’s from the self-described “Burnsville side” of the Irish immigrant Kennelly clan, which also has an “Eagan side.” The clan traces its roots to Thomas and Mary Kennelly, who settled in what is now Lebanon Hills Regional Park in Eagan in 1853 or 1854, Kennelly said.

(If you ask, he’ll patiently explain why the surname has had five different spellings in St. Paul, Burnsville and Eagan — a quirk that dates back to County Kilkenny.)

Jack is the son of John and Margaret Kennelly, who lived for his first seven years in the Lawrence Casey farmhouse that still stands at Highway 13 and Cliff Road. The family then built a home on the site of what would become the Sullivan’s Super Valu store on County Road 11 and later moved to South River Hills.

Jack’s late uncle, Joe Kennelly, had a farmhouse on the other side of Cliff Road on land now occupied by a strip mall and townhomes. The house stood for years after Joe stopped farming and became a community landmark, with pumpkin sales every fall.

“What people will remember in the end is just basically the farmhouse, the barn, and the animals and the pumpkins,” Kennelly said. “The fields are along gone by the ’70s.”

Kennelly was fresh from college with a journalism and marketing degree when he was recruited to work on the first of two Burnsville history books — “Burnsville ’76 — A Community History.” At the time he was marketing director for the nonprofit Community Action Council (now 360 Communities) and a freelancer for the weekly Burnsville Current.

The Mendota Heights resident is still captured by Burnsville-area history, though he hasn’t lived here since 1974.

“You just grew up with Burnsville and know it; you’re just interrelated,” he said. “My parents stayed there until they died.”

He knows local history transcends modern municipal boundaries. Until about 1964, he said, Burnsville mail had a Savage mailing address and Burnsville residents bought groceries there.

In the early 1900s, one had to go to Savage or the Nichols Station in Eagan to board a train, he explained.

“That’s why I’m actually good at this project,” Kennelly said of his history work. “When I find an Eagan photo, I understand the relationship between Eagan, Burnsville and Savage.”

His contributions to the Burnsville Historical Society quickly mounted after its defacto leaders at the time, Jeff and Pat Jerde, handed him the keys to the castle.

“One day (Jeff’s) son said, ‘Why don’t we just give Jack the password and let him put the photos on there himself?’ ” Kennelly said. “And that’s when this insanity happened.”

Since then, the site has grown from about 2,500 photos to 23,000, Kennelly said.

His sources are varied. Facebook postings generate potential photo exchanges. Aerial photos of Burnsville were donated by the city, Kennelly said. Burnsville-based Ames Construction has responded to his requests for photos, from an aerial of the Ames property that held the original Town Hall to construction photos of the County Road 5-Highway 13 overpass.

Kennelly also shoots his own photos, such as the “mirror image” shots he’s doing for the Del Stelling project on behalf of the Dan Patch Historical Society and the city of Savage. Kennelly takes photos of the exact locations Stelling shot decades ago, contrasting the streetscapes of today and yesteryear.

Before the pandemic, he visited high points in Burnsville — the Best Western Premier Nicollet Inn, Fairview Ridges Hospital, the Maven Apartments — and shot panoramic images to capture the present landscape.

Lately he’s taken to asking Realtors for their aerials of Burnsville properties.

“I don’t have a drone and I don’t know that I every will,” Kennelly said, “but I’d love to learn how.”

He’s a hunter-gatherer historian who says his finds might provide the foundation for a book, but not one he’s interested in writing.

“I try to look at it from the perspective of things that people have witnessed and be a little less biographical,” Kennelly said. “I just scanned today photos of a circus that the Jaycees did in the 1970s at Burnsville Bowl. These things can now be posted in Facebookworld and somebody’s going to respond, ‘I was at that, or this happened,’ or whatever. It’s more creating images of an event that multiple people will react to.”
Oct 29, 2021
Interview with Historical Society volunteer Jack KennellyOctober 22, 2021 - Burnsville Eagan Sun/Thisweek News - by John Gessner

Kennelly in restless pursuit of local history....
Oct 22, 2021
Sadie Kennedy Egan diesDied December 30, 1980 - a life long resident of the Savage area. Born August 12, 1888 in Credit River and June 3, 1908 married George Egan. She was mother of Mark, Frank, Joe,Ray, Arthur Egan and Jane Penz.Oct 20, 2021
Harold Savage 1976August 1976 - Burnsville Sun interview with Harold Savage, son of Marion W, who owned Dan Patch.Oct 20, 2021
Dan Patch Days festival begins Friday in Savage 1976August 4, 1976 Burnsville Sun -

Friday August 6, will mark the opening of Dan Patch Days, the annual celebration in Savage which honors one of the world's greatest horses.
This year's festival will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the record breaking pace set by Dan Patch in 1906...
Oct 20, 2021
1960 Dan Patch Days program1960 - The Dan Patch Days program was a single two sided informational piece. Oct 19, 2021
1960 Dan Patch Days program1960 - The Dan Patch Days program was a single two sided informational piece.Oct 19, 2021
1963 - Dan Patch Days program1963 - Stage Coach Food, Guns, Museum, Located on Highway 101 between Savage and Shakopee (Page 5).Oct 19, 2021
1963 - Dan Patch Days program1963 - Savage Municipal Liquor Store (Page 7).Oct 19, 2021
1963 - Dan Patch Days program1963 - Connie's Standard Service, Savage (Page 1).Oct 19, 2021
1963 - Dan Patch Days program1963 - Savage Cafe, same owner, same business, same location, better foods, 15 consecutive years (Page 1).Oct 19, 2021
1963 - Dan Patch Days program1963 - Farm Engineering, Agricultural Systems Engineers (Inside cover).Oct 19, 2021
1963 - Dan Patch Days program1963 - George Allen Garage INC, Allen's Mobil Service Station, 24 hour ambulance and towing service (Inside cover).Oct 19, 2021
1963 - Dan Patch Days program1963 - Dan Patch Days program back cover International Stock Food Company.Oct 19, 2021
1963 - Dan Patch Days program1963 - Dan Patch Days program cover.Oct 19, 2021
Dan Patch Days Program 19631963 = El Dorado (Formerly Herbie's), 1/4 mile west of Highway 65 (Lyndale or 35W) on Highway 13, Burnsville (Page 26).Oct 18, 2021
Dan Patch Days Program 19631963 - Jim Brady Drugs (Page 8).Oct 18, 2021
Dan Patch Days Program 19631963 - Kearney's IGA Market and Variety (Page 8).Oct 18, 2021
Dan Patch Days Program 19631963 - Savage Natural and LP Gas Service, One mile west of Savage on old Highway 13 (Page 22).Oct 18, 2021
Dan Patch Days Program 19631963- Norm's Watch and Clock Repair Shop, 116 Vine Street, Savage (Page 22).Oct 18, 2021
Dan Patch Days Program 19631963 - Zinn Sign Company, 113 Minnesota Street (Page 22).Oct 18, 2021
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