Lens on History: Need launched an early Rochester boarding house

November 14, 2018

History Center of Olmsted County archives

Howard and Carolina Naves moved to Rochester in 1946. Howard had taken a job at the State Hospital as a supervisor in the laundry, Carolina took care of the housekeeping and cooking, and their daughter Wilma entered Lourdes High School as a junior.

When they were asked to open their home to a visitor to a local hospital, Howard and Carolina realized a need in their community. More visitors asked to stay. Soon, the Naves were building an addition to their home at 104 Second Ave. NE.

The basement became the main dining hall with a larger kitchen, and more guest rooms were added upstairs, converting the once-private home into a boarding house.

In 1947, at a time when African-Americans could not stay at most of Rochester’s hotels or eat in the city’s restaurants, they were welcomed at Naves’ Lunch Room.

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