Who the Heck Was Eloise Butler?

Eloise Butler’s interest in the natural world began when her aunt taught her how to identify the plants in home state of Maine. After graduating college, Butler began teaching high school botany before moving to Minneapolis in 1874 to teach at Central School. In addition to teaching, she continued her own studies by taking courses at the University of Minnesota.

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Daniel Piper House in Medford

Daniel Piper came to Minnesota from New Hampshire with his wife and daughter in early 1877. Although he had been a successful lumberman out east, he decided to try his hand at farming in Minnesota. He purchased a tract of farmland near Medford and began building his New England style farmstead in 1877.

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The Ruins of the Archibald Mill

The Archibald mill is located on the banks of the Cannon River in Dundas. Brothers John S. and Edward T. Archibald came to Hastings in 1856 from Ontario, Canada. John worked at the Ramsey Mill for a short time, while Edward operated a real estate business. After witnessing the success of the Ramsey Mill, the brothers decided to strike out on their own and operate their own mill.

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The Church of the Holy Cross

The Church of the Holy Cross in Dundas is a Gothic-style church built in 1868. John S. Archibald of the prominent Archibald milling family was the driving force behind the formation of the Episcopal congregation and construction of the church. The church was constructed across the street from his brother Edward Archibald’s home. Edward lived in the Greek Revival-style home with his wife and two sons

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The Almelund Creamery

The first cooperative creamery opened in Almelund in 1896 and quickly gained a reputation for producing high-quality products. One of the co-op organizers was  T.H. Haecker, a professor of dairying at the University of Minnesota and staunch advocate for farmer-owned cooperative creameries. In 1897, co-op member Emil Blomquist became state butter

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The Geldner Sawmill in Cleveland

The Geldner Sawmill stands on a narrow strip of land that separates Lake Jefferson and German Lake near Cleveland. It was constructed nearby in the 1860s and moved to its present location around 1876. The sawmill operated until 1973, helping to carve farmland out of the Big Woods that were once rife with elm, basswood, sugar , and red oak.

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Almond White and the Motley Castle

Vermont-native Almond A. White came to Minnesota after the Civil War and settled in Brainerd for a short time before moving to Moorhead in the early 1870s. White and business partner Solomon Comstock founded a real estate business that would grow into one of the largest real estate firms in the great northwest. On the day of his graduation in 1864

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Lost Highway 61

History buffs and curiosity seekers revel in finding a piece of the past. Stumbling across something long forgotten is an excellent way to travel back in time, even if it’s only for a few moments. Thanks to the internet, the stumbling has become easier. In the summer of 2013, Google maps helped me stumble across an abandoned section of Highway 61—one of

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Florence Town Hall

Florence Town Hall is located along Highway 61 in Frontenac Station. The land to build the town hall was donated by Israel Garrard--a wealthy sportsman who established nearby Frontenac--in 1875. An addition to the tiny hall was added in 1916 that included a stage, dressing rooms, and an indoor bathroom. Tourism brought both performers and an

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Roscoe Butter and Cheese Factory

By the end of the 19th century, dairy was quickly out-pacing wheat as the top agricultural commodity in the southeastern part of the state. Small but efficient factories began dotting the countryside to process the milk into butter and cheese. By the end of the 1930s, there were 19 creameries and 17 cheese factories located throughout Goodhue County alone.

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The Dudley Mansion in Duluth

Most of us wouldn’t consider a 13,000 square foot mansion situated on a six-acre wooded lot with more than 400-feet of Lake Superior shoreline anything less than the very finest. But having a majestic estate like Glensheen for a neighbor is tough! When Harry and Marjorie Dudley built their home, they chose not to compete with their (very familiar) neighbors to

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The New Ulm Company Service Station

Built in 1926, the New Ulm Company Service Station is the best remaining example in a series of whimsical stations designed by George Saffert of the Saffert Construction Company during the 1920s. Each station was custom-designed for its location for independent oil companies. Saffert-designed stations often used strong yet fanciful

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Spencer Brook: Nearly a Ghost Town

Settled in 1854 by Pennsylvania native Benjamin Spencer, Spencer Brook was one of the first communities in Isanti County. During the 1850s, Spencer Brook became a favorite spot for east coast Yankees seeking lumbering opportunities. The nearby Rum River provided the flowing waters needed to float logs downstream to the Twin Cities.

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