The Knights of Labor shaped business and political policy in Minnesota communities in the late nineteenth century by working with the Farmers' Alliance and advocating for shorter work days, equal pay for women, child labor laws, and cooperation between workers.
From early inns and boarding houses to the magnificent eight-hundred-room Hotel Lafayette, during the last decades of the nineteenth century, Lake Minnetonka was transformed into one of the resort capitals of America. In the 1870s and 1880s, tourists from across the nation came to stay at the resort hotels that prospered on the shores of one of Minnesota's most famous lakes.
Winnibigoshish, Leech Lake, and Pokegama Falls Dams were built in the Mississippi Headwaters during the late 19th century. These structures preceded the construction of the Headwaters reservoir system and played key roles in flood prevention and river control during the 20th century.
Liang May Seen was the first woman of Chinese descent to live in Minnesota. After escaping from a brothel in San Francisco, Liang learned English, married, and moved to Minneapolis, where she was a leader in the Chinese immigrant community until her death in 1946.
In 1880, two Minneapolis businessmen built the Lincoln Flouring Mill in Anoka, Minnesota. The Lincoln Mill became one the largest country flour mills in the state, surviving until 1939 in spite of catastrophes like the Anoka fire of 1884.
"Reform!" was the rallying cry of late nineteenth-century America, and John Lind was in the vanguard. His election as the fourteenth governor of Minnesota and the first non-Republican governor of the state in decades heralded a new progressive era.
The R.W. Lindholm Service Station in Cloquet, MN was designed by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Completed in 1958, it was the only building concept ever constructed from Wright's utopian vision of a model American community called Broadacre City.
Charles Morgridge Loring is known as the "Father of Minneapolis Parks." As the first president of the Minneapolis park board, he was the one most responsible for acquiring the city's lakes and their shorelines as parks. Loring Park near downtown Minneapolis is named for him.
Working as a lumberjack in northern Minnesota was a difficult job with poor living conditions. Many loggers blew off steam by drinking, gambling, or visiting brothels. "Sky pilots," or visiting ministers, tried to save the men's souls and put them on the road to holiness rather than vice.
Swedish immigrant Hans Mattson was a prominent immigration booster and politician. Working for the state and for private companies, he recruited many Swedish and Norwegian immigrants to Minnesota during the late nineteenth century. He was also the first Scandinavian elected to Minnesota office. During his lifetime, Colonel Mattson was one of the best-known Swedish Americans in United States politics.
The name of Dr. William Worrall Mayo is synonymous today with high-quality, compassionate health care. Dr. Mayo and his sons, William and Charles, helped put Minnesota on the map when they founded Mayo Clinic in Rochester.
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Fredrick McGhee was known as one of Minnesota's most prominent trial lawyers. In 1905 he was one of a group of thirty-two men, led by W.E.B. DuBois, who founded the Niagara Movement, which called for full civil liberties and an end to racial discrimination.
It is the rare financial institution that offers patrons an awe-inspiring architectural experience along with check-writing privileges. The Merchants National Bank in Winona, designed in 1911-1912 by the Minneapolis firm of Purcell, Feick and Elmslie, is one such edifice.
Well-connected socially and politically, William Rush Merriam rose through the legislative ranks to become the eleventh governor of Minnesota by age thirty-nine. In 1899, President William McKinley appointed him director of the twelfth national census.
Tired of ethnic discrimination as well as dangerous working conditions, low wages, and long work days, immigrant iron miners on the Mesabi Range in northeastern Minnesota went on strike on July 20, 1907. It was the first organized strike on the state's Iron Range.
Mickey Crimmons and Bert Mattson opened Mickey's Diner, located at 36 West Seventh Street in downtown St. Paul, in 1939. Such diners had gained popularity early in the twentieth century as inexpensive, often all-night, eateries. Built to resemble a rail car, Mickey's was particularly notable for its unique look. Its unusual architecture made it a local landmark, and earned it a place on the National Register of Historic Places.
On April 15, 1913, John Benson opened a Minneapolis law office to offer legal help to the poor. By 2013, the office had morphed into Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid. It has served hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans.
The Moorish/Byzantine-style building at 1004 Oliver Avenue North in Minneapolis was home to the congregation Mikro Kodesh (Holy Assembly) from the 1920s through the 1960s. It is one of the few physical remnants of the now-dispersed North Side Jewish community.
The Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie Railroad, commonly known as the Soo Line from a phonetic spelling of Sault, helped Minnesota farmers and millers prosper by hauling grain directly from Minneapolis to eastern markets.
The fifty-three-foot-high Minnehaha Falls was purchased by Minneapolis in 1889. It was the centerpiece of a new state park. The falls remain one of the state's most popular attractions for both residents and visitors. Their name is derived from the Dakota words mni for "water" and gaga for "falling" or "curling"—literally "water fall."
When James C. Burbank began his transportation business in 1851, it was a one-man operation. By 1859, Burbank's Minnesota Stage Company controlled all the major stagecoach lines in the state. In the years before railroads linked Minnesota, the Minnesota Stage Company played a crucial role in shaping the commercial and social life of the young state.