The Growler: Issue 69 – July 2019 – History

Collage by Ben DiNino

It started with a black-and-white photo with tattered edges from the Prohibition era that I stumbled across on the Minnesota Historical Society’s digital archives.

Two young girls in heavy denim jackets and overalls stand in front of shelves filled with liquor bottles and a broken-down still column—one girl with a double-barrel shotgun at her side, the other with her hand tucked in a gun belt next to a holstered pistol.

The title, “Two female moonshiners arrested by federal agents near St. Paul,” initially drew me in, but it was the girls’ proud and knowing smiles that had me asking questions. Who were these moonshiners? If their operation had been busted, why were they smiling? Why would the authorities let them pose for a photo with their guns? The sheer absurdity of the photo lit the fire of curiosity in me and I went searching for answers.

It turns out the photo was of 15-year-old Florence Friermuth and her sister Susie Friermuth Doffing after federal agents raided their farm outside of St. Paul in 1921 and arrested their father Alex Friermuth as the operator of the illegal still. After unloading their weapons, the agents allowed the girls to pose for the photo. But this wasn’t the only time the name Florence Friermuth pops up in the papers. A little more digging revealed a woman by the same name made the pages of the Swedish American Post after running afoul of the law in 1929 for beating up a rival at a public dance. Suddenly this stale, flat photo and the people in it were brought back to life with a rich three-dimensionality.

This month, our “History” issue aims to bring more stories from the past back to life. Writer Terry Hortsman helps us relive Hall of Famer Elgin Baylor’s electrifying two seasons with the Minneapolis Lakers before the team moved to L.A. Author Andy Sturdevant tells the story behind the Maurer women, who were the only female saloon keepers in Minneapolis, and their legendary bar that we now know as Cuzzy’s. Food editor James Norton gets a firsthand taste of a Door County fish boil, an area tradition that can be traced back to the Potawatomi. Beer historian Doug Hoverson digs deep into the annals of Minnesota brewing history to rank the most important beers of all time.

While these stories make up just a small portion of the tapestry of our shared past, they serve as a reminder that only by keeping people and events alive in memory can we learn from the past and progress into the future.


Brian Kaufenberg



March 30, 1959 Elgin Baylor // Photo by Paul Siegel via the Minneapolis Star Tribune

G.O.A.T. in MPLS
The two transcendent seasons of Elgin Baylor
By Terry Horstman

Minnesota’s Most Famous Singing Trio
The Andrews Sisters’ inventive harmonies buoyed a nation at war and topped the charts
By Colleen Cowie, The Current

Artist Profile
The world’s an endless sea of collaging opportunity for Ben DiNino
By Lauren Sauer

Mistaken Minnesota
The mapmaking errors that shaped our state’s landscapes
By Eli Radke

Chips On Their Shoulders, Parks In Their Hearts
Heritage Wooden Looms and Toys at BEKA, Inc.
By Julie Kendrick

Ghosts of Maurer’s Saloon
The surprising history of Cuzzy’s in Minneapolis
By Andy Sturdevant

Mistaken Minnesota
The mapmaking errors that shaped our state’s landscapes
By Eli Radke

Growler Crossword
This month: “Not a General Knowledge Puzzle”
By Victor Barocas and Andrew J. Ries


The Most Important Beers in Minnesota History
A 12-pack of taste and influence
By Doug Hoverson

Brewer Profile: Bob Was There
From Town Hall to BlackStack, Bob DuVernois’ career spans Minnesota’s craft beer history
By Michael Agnew

Spirits Close-Up: Cobblers Had a Bumpy Road
A Recipe for a Dopple Cobbler
By Zachary Sapato

Wine Time: Back From The Brink
Three near-extinct wine grapes that have received a mighty second wind
By Britt Tracy 

What We’re Drinking
July 2019
By The Growler Staff


Boiling Point
The fiery Door County fish boil tradition has deep and native roots
By James Norton

Holding Court
For 30 years, the family-run Keefer Court has defined Chinese baking in Minnesota
By Joshua Page

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