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2019 Parade Grand Marshall Teddy Nelson - photo by Paul Boblett

Winners of the 2019 Ms. Blarney and Mr. Malarkey Contest

Web posted March 12, 2019

Shamrock Prince & Princess Pageant was held on Saturday, March 2 at Manhattan Beach Lodge. Winners: 2019 Mr. Malarkey Joe Cook (left), 2019 Ms. Blarney Pamela Walker (right), pictured with the MC of the event Tess Taylor (middle) - photo submitted

Teddie Nelson is the 2019 Crosslake St. Pat’s Parade Grand Marshal

Web posted March 12, 2019
By Paul Boblett, Editor

Teddie Nelson was chosen as the Grand Marshal for the 2019 Crosslake St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Being named Grand Marshal came as a “complete shock” to Teddie.

“Never in my life did I think I would be chosen, I didn’t think I was worthy,” she laughed, “I thought you  had to give life and blood.”

Crosslake Chamber Director Cindy Myogeto said of Nelson, “The Grand Marshal is someone that is an advocate for the city, and Teddie is a perfect example of someone that is passionate about, and involved in Crosslake.”

Nelson said she loves Crosslake and one of the many things she is most proud of is the Crosslakers group.

“They’re doing such a good job promoting the city, and working to get the city back on the road to being a good town,” said Nelson. “I’ve always been interested in the city business, and always felt the need to protect my city.”

But her favorite part of Crosslake? The people.

“I love people, that's why at age 82 I haven’t retired - I would die. That’s how much I love people.”

Nelson was born in St. Paul 82 years ago, and first came to Crosslake in in 1942 when her parents bought property where Birch Hill Inne is.

“My father worked at the St Paul Airport repairing planes,” recalled Nelson, “We would come up two weekends a month and began the process of turning the carriage house into the restaurant.”

That restaurant was called “The Snack Bar”, but the family couldn’t make a living just selling snacks.

“We served giant plate size hamburgers, homemade pies, cakes and rolls, ham sandwiches, and beer. After two months my folks realized it wasn’t going to work”

So they augmented the menu and began serving BBQ Ribs and a Turkey dinner so famous it had commuters from the Twin Cities to Crosslake on Sundays just to eat.

“People came for the turkey dinner with mashed potatoes and gravy,” Nelson said, “my mom canned cranberries in the fall so we could serve them year round, and we built our reputation on that.”

After some years they sold Birch Hill Inne and moved across the street and opened an antique store. Nelson said the building the store was housed in was the very first cabin at Manhattan Beach, formerly the point of entry to Manhattan Beach Lodge. Nelson said they dragged to a location across from Loon Lake on CR 66.

She attended the one-room schoolhouse where Moonlite Square is now located - then attended and graduated high school in Pequot Lakes.

Right after high school, Teddie then moved to St. Paul to work, and after three months at Montgomery Wards she was promoted to assistant manager at the young age of 17. She loved the job, particularly waiting on women from South Africa who would visit the store and buy clothing, shoes and accessories.

She ended up finding work in art galleries in the TC, notably at the Wooden Bird Gallery. That job piqued her interest in fine art and over the 20 years she worked there she made a lot of connections with well-known artists. The whole time she lived in the Twin Cities, however she commuted to Crosslake nearly every weekend to help out with the family business - all the while raising six children.

Nelson moved back to Crosslake as a part-time resident in 1972 while still at Wooden Bird, eventually wecoming full-time in 1980.

Teddy purchased the People’s Store in 1989 from Harley Landy where she dealt in antiques and fine art, she also appraises items and has helped many families with estates. She was always bringing in new products and eventually began selling collectibles.

Nelson changed the name of the store to Curious Belongings, and paired the inventory down to just antiques around 5-6 years ago.

Teddie has six children and several grandchildren. Two, Rob and Valerie, live here permanently and her daughter Victoria comes for the summer to run the family’s Crosby location. Rodney and Debra live and work in the Twin Cities, and son Harvey lives Spring Grove, MN.

You can see Teddie in the parade Saturday, March 16th.

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