2014

Bernard Pietenpol – The Father of the Home Built Airplane

A new dawn of mechanical advancement was brought to the forefront of American consciousness because of the burgeoning automobile industry after World War I. Dreamers and adventurers alike were captivated by the use of...

The Gales of November: George Herbert Shipwreck

It was a typical Monday morning for the crew of the flat-bottomed scow, George Herbert. Captain Charlie Johnson and lumber clerk William Hicks were discussing their trip one-hundred miles up the north shore of...

James J. Hill’s North Oaks Farm

James J. Hill was the preeminent transportation pioneer in the American Northwest. He arrived in St. Paul, Minnesota on a steamboat in 1856 and planned on becoming a trapper and trader. Instead, he found...

Lilac Way: Showcase of the Belt Line

Although it’s difficult to tell now, Highway 100 in the west metro was once one of the most beautiful and serene roads in the nation. The roadway was conceived just after the start of...

Turnblad’s Painted Window

This hand-blown, enamel-painted window can be seen on the grand stairway landing of the American Swedish Institute (formerly the Turnblad mansion). The ornate window is a reproduction of the painting Valdemar IV Atterdag Holding Visby to...

The Nankin Cafe

The Nankin Cafe was a downtown Minneapolis landmark for over 80 years. Founder Walter James opened the Chinese restaurant at 14 South Seventh Street in 1919. The restaurant’s popularity soared — customers would come...

Minnesota’s First Vocational School

In February 1915, students poured into the first vocational school in the state. Located in the mining town of Eveleth, this school was the first education building in Minnesota to be devoted entirely to...

Architecture of the State – The Rochester State Hospital

In 1873, the State of Minnesota was looking for a way to house an increasingly problematic group of residents —“habitual drunkards.” In order to pay for a facility to care for these individuals, the...

Dirt on Their Skirts – The Minneapolis Millerettes

“It was a time when women took over men’s positions as they went off to war, not only in the field of manufacturing, but on the field of dreams.” —Annabelle Lee In 1944, a...

Wilder Public Baths

It’s hard to imagine a time when taking a bath or shower in your own home wasn’t possible, but the convenience of showering on a regular basis is a modern luxury. One hundred years...

Upper Post of Fort Snelling: Post Movie Theater

Fort Snelling was renowned for its recreational opportunities for servicemen and their families. One of the most popular activities for families was to go to the post theatre. The original theatre was nothing fancy....

Maine Prairie Corners: A Minnesota Ghost Town

A township of new settlers from Maine sprung up in Stearns County, Minnesota around 1856, but it wasn’t until 1858 that the small pioneer village officially adopted the name, Maine Prairie. During the Dakota...

Upper Post of Fort Snelling: Commandant’s Residence

Without a doubt, the post commandant’s residence was the grandest of all of the homes along Officer’s Row. The Second Empire style home was nearly 7,000 square feet in size, with six bedrooms and...

Minnesota’s Northwest Angle

At a glance, nothing peculiar stands out about Minnesota on a map. It’s when you take a longer look that you’ll notice it. Along the northern border there is a small piece of land...

Colonel Colvill of the First Minnesota

William Colvill — does that name ring a bell? Unless you’re a Civil War history buff, this name probably doesn’t mean anything to you yet. Perhaps he’s been forgotten because he was a good,...