Central Minnesota

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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...

The Pine Tree Lumber Company

Pine Tree Lumber Company was established in Little Falls in 1890. Located on the banks of the Mississippi River in central Minnesota, the company was run by Charles Weyerhaeuser and Richard “Drew” Musser. Little...

West Riverside School Near Cambridge

Built in 1898, the West Riverside School was originally known as District #38 School. Isanti County once had 67 rural schools similar to this. Aside from teaching children, one of the important roles of...

Jefferson Highway Through St. Cloud

Lincoln Avenue, located on the east side of St. Cloud, became part of the Jefferson Highway system in 1916. Edwin T. Meredith of Iowa believed an international highway from New Orleans to Winnipeg would...

The Fire Relief Houses of Pine County

After a devastating forest fire had obliterated the villages of Finlayson, Hinckley, Miller, Mission Creek, Pokegama, and Sandstone in Pine County on the afternoon of September 1, 1894, the state put forward an unprecedented...

Lundring Service Station in Canby

As the popularity and accessibility of automobiles grew throughout the 1920s and 1930s, the problem of planning where to put filling and service stations became a concern for residents and city officials. Filling stations in...

Thomson Pioneer Cemetery Gallery

The Thomson Pioneer Cemetery is located within the boundary of Jay Cooke State Park near Carlton. This cemetery was the burial place for many pioneer families of the nearby village of Thomson. The majority of the graves...

Historic Ness Lutheran Church

The Ness Congregation was originally organized as the Norwegian Evangelical St. Johannes Congregation of Meeker and surrounding counties in 1861. The name was changed to Ness in October of that year. By 1864, the...

Ness Memorial Cemetery Gallery

The  Ness Memorial Cemetery is located on the same property as the historic Ness Lutheran Church. The first burial took place in 1858—sixteen years before the church was built. More information about Ness Lutheran...

Mail-a-Book

Have you ever wondered how avid readers in rural communities kept up with their favorite authors in the 1950s and 1960s? If they lived in Aitkin, Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, or Pine county,...

Hasty: A Minnesota Ghost Town

The town of Hasty in central Minnesota began with the construction of a new Great Northern Railway line. The tracks were laid in 1881, adjacent to land owned by Warren Hasty. The new line...

The Pressroom at the Little Falls Herald

Take a look inside of the pressroom at the Little Falls Herald in the 1910s. The The Herald was a weekly newspaper that covered local news in Little Falls and served as a news...

Historic Park Island Hotel Threatened With Demolition

The Park Island Hotel in Center City opened in 1900. The secluded, lakeside property offered guests nearly 3,000 square feet of space to relax on the main level alone–including a large dining room and...

Bailey Brothers Prove They Sell Durable Overalls

In 1902, a large crowd surrounded the Bailey Brothers Store on Main Street in Belle Plaine as the brothers demonstrated the durability of the overalls they sold in their store. The publicity stunt was...

Expeditionary Crew for the Northern Pacific Railway

This 1869 photo shows the main expeditionary crew for the Northern Pacific Railway. The crew consisted of one Native American woman, two Native American men, and twenty-five railroad scouts. Together, they charted a westward...

Tenney – The Evolution of a Ghost Town

For several years, Tenney held the distinction of being Minnesota’s smallest town. The 2010 census showed that Tenney boasted two families, and an average age of close to 57 years old. The total population...

Waverly’s Moderne Village Hall

The original village hall in Waverly was built in 1893. The two-story, brick and stone building sat on the corner of Third Street and Elm Avenue. Built in the Romanesque style, the town hall...

Oliver “Tuddy” Kaldahl

Spectators flocked to this 1942 ski jumping tournament in Glenwood, MN. Glenwood became a popular place to hold tournaments because it was the home town of Oliver “Tuddy” Kaldahl. Tuddy was the 1916 junior...

Fandel’s Department Store

Interior view of Fandel’s Department Store in St. Cloud from 1946. Fandel’s opened in 1900 on St. Germain Street, between Sixth and Seventh. The building was razed in the 1980s to make way for...

Herdliska Jewelry Store

The Herdliska Jewelry Store was located at 101 South 10th Avenue in Princeton. Raleigh Herdliska also co-owned the hardware store just a few buildings away. Pictured here in 1900 are Mr. Herdliska, August Schlesner,...

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...