Edina, Minn., Sept. 14, 2021 – The City of Edina will honor the community’s Black pioneers and dedicate Yancey Park, 5220 Hansen Road, 4:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 4.
The names of Edina’s pioneering Black families are these: Byley, Carson, Fyte (Fite), Gillespie, Gleason, Joice, Joy, Lucas, Mitchell, Payne, Pittman, Sigger, Staples, Stoddard, Washington and Yancey. According to Census records, their birthplaces were generally east and south of Minnesota.
Some families stayed for several generations and some moved on as opportunity presented a better chance at work. The Yancey family name was a constant in the Census through many decades and founders B.C. and Ellen Yancey loom large throughout the early history of Edina.
In honor of the Yancey family, Garden Park has been renamed “Yancey Park.” The renaming serves as a reminder of the many contributions of the Black families who settled in Edina with other early homesteaders.
“The dedication of Yancey Park uncovers an inspiring piece of history of our city,” said Paramedic/Firefighter Ivan Mazurkiewicz, one of the City staff members planning the event. “Through this park, that history will continually be told as well as new memories made. The visions the Yancey family had for the future of our city will forever continue through the youth who enjoy it. As a community, join us in being a part of the story.”
The dedication is free and open to the public. Race & Equity Task Force Co-Chairs Jessi Kingston and James Pierce and Human Rights & Relations Commissioner Jasmine Stringer Moore will share the story of the park’s renaming and Mayor Jim Hovland will make closing remarks. The event will include complimentary refreshments and family activities.
For more information, contact Race & Equity Coordinator Heidi Lee, 952-826-1622 or Hlee@EdinaMN.gov.