The Ten Thousand Lakes of Minnesota Association

Have you ever wondered how Minnesota became known as the land of 10,000 lakes? Every Minnesotan knows that the state boasts closer to 11,842 (give or take) lakes--significantly more than, say, Wisconsin. That number swells to 28,176 if you include ponds and wetlands, too. So where did the perfectly round number of 10,000 come from? The rise of the automobile industry brought with it a surge in tourism opportunities for middle-class

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Who the Heck Was Johan Hvoslef?

Johan Hvoslef was born in Norway in 1839. After graduating from the University of Norway, he came to the United States and settled in Chicago to attend Rush Medical College in 1872. After graduating, he moved to Lanesboro and started a medical practice there in 1876. In his free time, Hvoslef became an avid naturalist and keen ornithologist who spent hours in the woods and fields around Lanesboro recording observations in

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Grant House in Rush City

Rush City was platted in 1870 by the Western Land Association, a subsidiary of the Lake Superior and Mississippi Railroad Company that later became known as the St. Paul and Duluth Railroad. The rail line became an essential link between Duluth and the Twin Cities, and Rush City evolved into a major trade and service center. This rapid growth led to housing shortages

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Who the Heck Was Veda Ponikvar?

Veda Ponikvar was born in Chisholm in 1919 to Slovenian immigrants who worked in the mines that dotted the Iron Range. Ponikvar didn't learn English until she started school, but soon became a star pupil in her Chisholm school. By the time she was 11 years old, she'd made up her mind about her future--she wanted to run a newspaper. The idea likely came from watching

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The Adolph Biermann House in Rochester

The Adolph Biermann house in Rochester is the oldest documented structure in the Mayowood Historic District and one of the oldest in Olmsted County. The property was settled in 1854 and the house was built in the mid-1860s by John Harmon, a farmer from New York who moved west to acquire a large tract of land where he planned to grow wheat. His venture was unsuccessful and

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Asle Sorbel's Ride

Two weeks after the James–Younger Gang raided Northfield the gang appeared at the farm of Ole Sorbel on Lake Linden near Hanska. Ole spoke to the men briefly and his wife, Guri, provided the men with bread and butter for breakfast. The gang told the family that they were hunting in the area, but 17-year-old Asle Sorbel didn’t believe them. He had a hunch they were

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The Minnesota Home School for Girls in Sauk Centre

The Minnesota Home School for Girls was established by the state legislature in 1907 as a residential facility that would provide for the care, training, and education of girls who had been declared delinquent and committed by the courts. A preliminary budget of $25,000 was allocated for the purchase of land and initial construction costs. The state required the site to be at least

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A Dash of History: German Potato Salad Recipe from Grandma's in Duluth

When Grandma’s Saloon and Deli opened at the foot of the Aerial Lift Bridge, Duluth’s Canal Park area was far from an ideal location to open a new restaurant. It was a virtual wasteland of junkyards and crumbling warehouses. But owners Mick Paulucci and Andy Borg saw potential in opening their new restaurant near the lake and picked a spot just steps away

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