St. Paul & Suburbs

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Historic Mendota Gallery

I had some free time last weekend so I decided to venture down to historic Mendota. You may remember my photos this summer from the Sibley Historic Site, but there are a few other...

Finding the Extraordinary in University Grove

University Grove is an eclectic jumble of 20th-century homes situated on tree-lined streets in a secluded area near the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota. The 103 architect-designed homes are virtually all...

Sibley Historic Site in Mendota

Over Memorial Day weekend, I was lucky enough to attend the pre-grand opening of the Sibley Historic Site in Mendota with several of my DAR friends. After a brief reception, we were given a...

The Gates of Stonebridge

In 1907, St. Paul businessman and inventor Oliver Crosby purchased twenty-eight acres of land on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River in St. Paul. There, he built a twenty thousand square foot brick estate...

The Olympis Quartet

Meet the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railway’s singing porters. This group of gentlemen were known as the Olympis Quartet in 1922. Many railway lines throughout the country trained their porters in quartet singing...

St. Patrick’s Day parade in St. Paul

More than 300 people were on hand for the first St. Patrick’s Day parade in St. Paul in 1851. For several years the parades were led by the Irish Catholic Temperance Society, and in...

St. Agatha’s Conservatory of Music and Art

As the nineteenth century began to wind down, the residents of Minneapolis and St. Paul became eager to establish institutions that would nurture American culture while enhancing a reputation of philanthropy within the music...

Artist Nicholas Brewer

Nicholas Brewer was a prominent 19th-century portrait and landscape painter. He was born in Olmsted County and was raised on a farm along the Root River. He was a student at the National Academy...

The Emporium

The Emporium opened in downtown St. Paul in 1920. It was located on the corner of Robert and Seventh Streets, which was a busy shopping district at the time. Rothschild’s, the Golden Rule, Schuneman’s,...

Travel in style!

Here is an interior view of the North Coast Limited All-Pullman train. The train went into service on May 16, 1930. The modern Pullman car was exhibited for a week before going into service...

Indian Mounds Park Toboggan Slide

Toboggan slide at Indian Mounds Park in St. Paul. When these photos were taken in 1939, the park covered 135 acres and included this slide, a warming house, refectory house, two tennis courts, and...

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...

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...

Hamm’s Homes of Sky Blue Waters

From the Land of Sky Blue Waters, From the land of pines, lofty balsams, Comes the beer refreshing, Hamm’s the beer refreshing. The Theodore Hamm Brewing Company was established in 1865 when Theodore Hamm...

Secret Ruins Give Clues to an Opulent Past

Before Summit Avenue became a magnet for the state’s empire builders, St. Paul’s elite built their estates in the Sherburne Hill neighborhood (today known as Capitol Heights.) By the time construction on the State...

Who Killed Ruth Munson?

On Thursday, December 9, 1937, the badly burned body of Ruth Margaret Munson was found in the southwest corridor on the second floor of the Aberdeen Hotel in St. Paul. Munson and two friends...

St. Paul’s Oakland Cemetery

Under the cover of darkness, the living and the dead would come together to Jackson Woods. Here, the living would offer their final goodbyes to their loved ones before burying them in an unmarked...

The Grandest Apartment Hotel in the Twin Cities

The Aberdeen Hotel may not have been the first luxury apartment hotel in the Twin Cities, but it was undeniably the grandest of them all. Built in 1889 for $250,000, the hotel was located just...

The Rise of the Selby Avenue Streetcar Line

As the population of St. Paul grew, people began moving out of the city’s core and into quieter, cleaner residential areas west of downtown. One of the most popular areas to live in the...

The Metropolitan Hotel in St. Paul

Built in 1869-70, the Metropolitan Hotel once stood at the corner of Washington and Third Street in St. Paul. On June 27, 1870 proprietor Gilbert Dutcher opened the hotel in grand style. The Metropolitan...

The End of the Line: Wildwood Amusement Park

Take any car for Wildwood at Wabasha and 7th Streets. Fare to Wildwood, each way, 15 cents; time, 40 minutes; distance, 12 miles. Past North St. Paul and Silver Lake, with pretty farms and...