Location and General Characteristics
The Wenonah neighborhood is located on the southern edge of Minneapolis. Highway 62 is the southern border and 54th Street is its northern extent. Beyond the main southern border, a small piece of the neighborhood extends into Richfield. The neighborhood is bordered by Cedar Avenue and Lake Nokomis on the west and 34th Avenue on the east. Wenonah neighborhood is named after Hiawatha's mother, the daughter of Nokomis, from a legend that Henry Wadsworth Longfellow attributes to Ojibwe people in his poem, The Song of Hiawatha. Before 1900 the neighborhood was a major American Indian center. The majority of the existing single-family homes were built between the 1920s and the 1960s. A large reason for the development in Wenonah during this time was the availability of streetcar routes and rail lines that date back to 1865. Today, Wenonah is part of the Nokomis community and the Nokomis East Neighborhood Association (NENA). NENA encompasses a total of four neighborhoods, including Keewaydin, Minnehaha and Morris Park. Public and shopping amenities abound for Wenonah and the NENA neighborhoods with parks, lakes, a post office, a library and shops either in Wenonah or other NENA neighborhoods.
During the winter Lake Nokomis looks like an open field, covered with a sheet of ice and snow. From the shores of the lake and across Woodlawn Boulevard, downtown Minneapolis can be seen. The lake's name honors Nokomis, the grandmother of Hiawatha. Hiawatha is the legendary Ojibwe hero of Longfellow's poem, The Song of Hiawatha.
Last updated Sep. 27, 2011