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Fredrick C. Pillsbury Mansion in Minneapolis

The Fredrick C. Pillsbury mansion in Minneapolis was considered the finest of all of the homes in the Pillsbury family. The house was built in 1888 and designed by noted architect Leroy Buffington. It...

District #28 School in Ramsey

The District #28 School was constructed in Ramsey in 1892 to replace a smaller, wood frame school house. Buff-colored bricks manufactured by the nearby Kelsey Brickyard cover the exterior of the school. Inside, one...

Frank E. Little Mansion in Minneapolis

Frank E. Little was a partner in a Minneapolis-based real estate firm. He didn’t leave behind much of a legacy in the city he called home, but this architectural rendering of his mansion near...

Terrace Theatre Gallery

Located in Robbinsdale, the international-style Terrace Theatre opened on May 23, 1951. At the time, it was one of the most luxurious and modern theaters in the country.

The Young-Quinlan Housewarming

It was on this day ninety years ago that the doors to the Elizabeth C. Quinlan building in Minneapolis first opened its doors. It was the new home of the Young-Quinlan department store. The...

Fred D. Young of the Young-Quinlan Company

While many people recognize the name Elizabeth Quinlan because of her public role and decades of leadership at the Young-Quinlan Company, few know about Fred Young. Frederick Dean Young was born in Freeport, Illinois...

Elizabeth C. Quinlan Building: The Ramp

This week marks the 90th anniversary of the opening of the Elizabeth C. Quinlan building in downtown Minneapolis. The building at 901 Nicollet was home to the Young-Quinlan Department Store. I’ll be sharing interesting...

Japanese Garden at Normandale Community College

Earlier this week I visited the Japanese Garden at Normandale Community College in Bloomington. The garden is only two acres in size, but there is plenty of room for quiet contemplation. It was designed...

Schmid Farmhouse Ruins

The Schmid Farmhouse is located on a hill above Lake Minnetonka. It was constructed in 1876 by German immigrants Joseph and Benedict Schmid. Although Benedict was known to have lived in the home at...

The Horatio and Charlotte Van Cleve House

On March 22, 1836, Charlotte Ouisconsin Clark married Horatio Phillips Van Cleve, a graduate of West Point Military Academy and Second Lieutenant with the United States Fifth Infantry Regiment. Horatio had been serving frontier...

Edith Robbins Daniel

Edith Robbins was the eldest daughter of Robbinsdale’s founder Andrew B. Robbins. She attended prep school at Macalester and Carleton Colleges, and then went on to graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree from...

Hotel Del Otero on Lake Minnetonka

Lake Minnetonka’s glory days began after the Great Northern Railway extended their line into Spring Park around 1882. More than fifteen trains per day pulled into Spring Park bringing hundreds of tourists to the...

Dakota and Ojibwe Battle Near Anoka

On this day in 1839, Dakota warriors engaged in two battles with the Ojibwe. The first took place near the mouth of the Rum River (Anoka) near where this photo was taken. The other,...

The Eight Days in May Protests

For many at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus, May 9, 1972 started out like any other day. The weather was much cooler than normal, so students rushed to and from their classes. The...

John S. Bradstreet – The Apostle of Good Taste

Names like Louis Comfort Tiffany and Gustav Stickley are well rooted in many American’s minds as two of the key players in interior design and the decorative arts of the early twentieth century. For...

Kresge’s Five and Dime

A 1957 Valentine’s Day window display at Kresge’s Five and Dime in downtown Minneapolis. Kresge’s was located on Nicollet Mall, across from Donaldson’s. Kresge’s Five and Dime stores would later evolve into K-Mart. Photo...

Van Cleve Park

Ice skating at Van Cleve Park in Minneapolis in 1901. This 1.5 acre pond was created in the southern half of the park in 1890. That winter, and for several years after, the park board...

A. Knoblauch and Sons

Alois Knoblauch arrived in Minneapolis from Germany in 1854. The following year, Alois established the first shoe store in the city at 26 First Street N. Alois ran the store for more than 30...

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...

A Daring Robbery

The Queen’s float at the Anoka Street Carnival on October 13, 1906. Queen Margaret Saunders and King Robert Streetly are seated in the back of the float. A daring robbery took place during 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

The Minneapolis Industrial Exposition

Minneapolis’ most prominent citizens were shocked to learn that the Minnesota State Fair would take up permanent residence St. Paul. When the announcement was made, these citizens sprung into action to plan a fair...

How Betty Crocker Became America’s First Lady of Food

Betty Crocker was born in a boardroom of The Washburn Crosby Company of Minneapolis in 1921. A flood of questions from the public about baking had overwhelmed the company. In a brilliant marketing move,...

Quinlan’s Renaissance Revival Palace

Elizabeth C. Quinlan was the cofounder of the Young-Quinlan Department Store in downtown Minneapolis. The popularity of her store was due, in large part, to offering exceptionally-made clothing and accessories to not only the...

Elizabeth Quinlan – The Queen of Minneapolis

In an age before women had the right to vote, Elizabeth C. Quinlan was a natural entrepreneur who had a business acumen that rivaled most men of her era. Quinlan made a name for...

The Brickyards of Coon Rapids

The first road through Anoka County was established in 1835 to aid those traveling between Minneapolis and Anoka. The road was commonly known as the Red River Ox Cart Trail, now East River Road...

Mary Fridley – An Inconvenient Wife

You may recognize the name Fridley by having passed through the northern suburb of Minneapolis while driving along 694, or recognize it as the home to the corporate behemoth Medtronic. But, as with most...

Wonderland’s Glass Castles

At the turn of the 20th century, urban amusement parks were a popular form of communal entertainment. Throughout the country, parks modeled after Coney Island in New York were popping up in most major...

Mr. Weatherball

When the Weatherball is glowing red, warmer weather’s just ahead. When the Weatherball is shining white, colder weather is in sight. When the Weatherball is wearing green, no weather changes are foreseen. Colors blinking...

Tangletown’s Guardians of Health

The Washburn water tower sits on a hill in the heart of the Washburn Park (commonly known as Tangletown) neighborhood. It is  surrounded by winding city streets and picturesque south Minneapolis homes. It is...

The Original Plan for the Anoka Asylum

The serene group of cottages around a horseshoe shaped drive that we see today was not the first plan for the new asylum in Anoka. The original architect, Warren B. Dunnell, had a different...

Maple Hill Cemetery

Dedicated in 1857, the rolling slopes of Maple Hill became the final resting place of early settlers of Minneapolis, and Civil War veterans. During the first 30 years, over 5,000 bodies were buried here....

Walker Art Center’s Idea House

An explosion of interest in domestic design took place in the early 1940s. Families were becoming interested in the benefits of open and efficient home planning and the practicality of cutting-edge features. In June...