Abandoned Amusement Park Gallery

Stewart Creek Stone-Arch Bridge

“The Picturesque is seen in ideas of beauty manifested with something of rudeness, violence, or difficulty. The effect of the whole is spirited and pleasing, but parts are not balanced, proportions are not perfect, and details are rude. We feel at the first glance at a picturesque object, the idea of power exerted, rather than the idea of beauty which it involves.” — Andrew Jackson Downing, American...

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 the mid-1910s were merely a curbside gas pump connected to an underground tank. The pumps were designed to fill a tin can, which would then be taken home and stored in...

Enter Marlon Brando

Founded in 1858, Shattuck Military Academy in Faribault was one of the oldest and most respected college preparatory boarding schools in the Midwest. Shattuck was known for its rigid military discipline, strong academics, and was used to dealing with students who had been expelled from other schools. Enter Marlon Brando. After being expelled from his local high school for reportedly riding a motorcycle through...

Upper Post of Fort Snelling: Post Library

Libraries like the one located at the Upper Post of Fort Snelling were established by the American Red Cross (ARC) in thirty-two cantonments and National Guard training camps during World War I. These special buildings were erected by the American Red Cross and each of the libraries was under the control of a trained librarian. The libraries were designed to be 40×120 feet in size, one-story high,...

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 date to the 1880s and 1890s and most of them are unmarked.

Forgotten Minnesota Turns Five

This year marks the fifth anniversary of the Forgotten Minnesota website. The first article was posted on January 3, 2011—about two days after I decided to start a website. It all started as something to keep me busy after my job of ten years was made redundant. My goal was to write a short history of as many places as I could find throughout...

Oxford Mill Ruin

The Oxford Mill was located on the bank of the Little Cannon River near Cannon Falls. When the mill was built by C.N. Wilcox and John and Edward Archibald in 1878, it was part of the wheat boom sweeping through the state. Annual record yields of wheat generated the need to process the harvests, causing flour mills to spring up along every river and stream....

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 congregation had raised the $100.00 needed to purchase forty acres of land that had previously been set aside as a cemetery since the first interment there six years earlier. This...

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 Church can be found here.

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 one time, Joseph and his family spent the most time living and working on the 156-acre farm. Their livestock included dairy cows, horses, cattle, pigs, chickens, and sheep and the primary...

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 duty at Fort Howard and Fort Winnebago in the territory that is now Wisconsin, and Charlotte lived with her parents at Fort Snelling. After their wedding, the couple moved to...

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 the University of Minnesota in 1894, and a Master of Arts in 1896. For several years, Edith Robbins taught in the various grades of the public school of Robbinsdale. Her...

The Wreck of the Arthur Orr

The Arthur Orr was a 286’ steel package freighter built by the Chicago Ship Building Company. She was entered into service as a package freighter on the Great Lakes in 1893. The Arthur Orr served faithfully out of Duluth, carrying packages and small freight up and down the north and south shores of Lake Superior. After leaving Duluth with a mixed cargo on November...

National Duties

On September 2, 1901, Vice President Theodore Roosevelt delivered a speech titled “National Duties” to 10,000 people at the Grandstand of the Minnesota State Fair. The speech was the first time Roosevelt used his famous line, “Speak softly and carry a big stick” in a public address. Four days after Roosevelt spoke at the fair, President McKinley was shot by an assassin in Buffalo, N.Y....