Marian Townsend Maxson: "It Was A Baby Boom"
Suburban growth after World War II was spurred on by the rapidly growing birth rate, which has come to be called the "Baby Boom." In a 2007 oral history interview with Thomas Saylor, Richfield resident Marian Maxson remembered that her post-war neighborhood was swarming with kids.
TS: What kind of people, Marian, were moving in as the new houses were built? Were they younger people, older people?
MM: No. They were all our age kind of. Returning . . . some hadn’t even gone in the service. We had two of our neighbors who hadn’t gone in the service and they had four children. I think back, and it was like a baby boom. Because every family that moved in had children. And it was a wonderful area because most of the mothers were stay at home moms, and if your kids went out and played at somebody else’s house, you knew that that mother was going to be watching them. And when they came to my yard we had a tire swing and we had a sandbox and we had the corn to run through. So we had a lot of children around our yard. But I would try to see that nothing happened to the children. Send them home at lunchtime. All of us did that. It was a community of mothers and children working together.
TS: How well did you get to know the other mothers?
MM: Oh, we shared babysitting and we had birthday parties with all the kids and we just really knew each other real well. The families that were in our little area. And you always knew when they needed something. Maybe you would send over a hot dish or make a cake or share a special occasion with them.
Maxson, Marian; Thomas Saylor, Interviewer, Marian Maxson Oral History Interview, Richfield Oral History Project, Minnesota Historical Society Oral History Collection, 2007.