Minnesota - Local History
Joined at the Hip
A History of Jazz in the Twin Cities
Hardcover ISBN: 0873518179
Jazz first churned its way into the Twin Cities on the Mississippi river excursion boats, which brought the likes of Jelly Roll Morton and Louis Armstrong to listeners on the levee—and it never left. When Paul Whiteman, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, and other jazz greats toured the clubs and concert halls of the Cities, young musicians listened in the alleys outside, bought records, and learned more of this exciting new music. The local scene began to nurture players like Lester Young and Oscar Pettiford, who went on to bigger things, as well as those who remained close to home to ply their craft, like Rook Ganz, Percy Hughes, Doc Evans, and Dave Karr. Using an invaluable set of interviews taped with jazz personalities that were broadcast by Dave Sletten and Kent Hazen in the 1990s and rare photographs spanning the entire era, author Jay Goetting recounts the lore and explores the social aspects of the story: racism, the gangster era, unionization and strip joints, and the ever-evolving music itself. Jay Goetting, a journalist and bassist, has been a broadcaster, newspaper reporter, arts administrator, and county supervisor in Napa, California. He currently calls both Phoenix and San Francisco home. Leigh Kamman is the former host of Minnesota public radio’s popular long-running program The Jazz Image
The King of Skid Row
John Bacich and the Twilight Years of Old Minneapolis
Hardcover ISBN: 0816698295
City blue laws drove the liquor trade and its customers—hard-drinking lumberjacks, pensioners, farmhands, and railroad workers—into the oldest quarter of Minneapolis. In the fifty-cent-a-night flophouses of the city’s Gateway District, they slept in cubicles with ceilings of chicken wire. In rescue missions, preachers and nuns tried to save their souls. Sociology researchers posing as vagrants studied them. And in their midst John Bacich, aka Johnny Rex, who owned a bar, a liquor store, and a cage hotel, documented the gritty neighborhood’s last days through photographs and film of his clientele. The King of Skid Row follows Johnny Rex into this vanished world that once thrived in the heart of Minneapolis. Drawing on hours of interviews conducted in the three years before Bacich’s death in 2012, James Eli Shiffer brings to life the eccentric characters and strange events of an American skid row. Supplemented with archival and newspaper research and his own photographs, Bacich’s stories re-create the violent, alcohol-soaked history of a city best known for its clean, progressive self-image. His life captures the seamy, richly colorful side of the city swept away by a massive urban renewal project in the early 1960s and gives us, in a glimpse of those bygone days, one of Minneapolis’s most intriguing figures—spinning some of its most enduring and enthralling tales.
Making Minnesota Territory, 1849-1858
Paperback ISBN: 0873513738
In this collection of essays, historians reassess the events and meaning of Minnesota Territory 150 years after its creation. They describe how its birth in 1849 during the growing national conflict over slavery forever changed the lives of Minnesota's native and mixed-blood residents. Reinterpreting the rush to statehood in 1858, these writers offer fresh insights into the roles played by wildly optimistic territorial promoters and the no-holds-barred newspapers of the time. Eight fictional "Day in the Life" essays, as well as nearly 100 historical daguerreotypes, paintings, photographs, and curators'-choice artifacts, call up the sights, sounds and surroundings of ordinary people living in tumultuous territorial times. An essay on surviving buildings and landscapes offers readers the opportunity to see and experience territorial Minnesota today.
Market Bar-B-Que Confidential
Paperback ISBN: 193566686x
The Market Barbeque has operated continuously in downtown Minneapolis for the past sixty-nine years. Among family-owned restaurants in Minneapolis, only Jax Cafe in northeast Minneapolis and Murray’s Steakhouse downtown can claim a local history that long. As the heart of the city developed and the Target Center was built, the Market was forced to move several times, and the owners even established an offshoot in the suburb of Minnetonka. Today its exclusive location is at 1414 Nicollet Avenue on the south end of downtown.This is the story of the men who founded the restaurant and the social environment within which they lived. It takes us back to the arrival of Hyman Polski in the Twin Cities from Poland, his adventures in the world of bootlegging during Prohibition, and the founding of the first Polski restaurant in St. Paul. It details the efforts made by Hyman and his sons Willard and Sam to climb the “crooked ladder
Minnesota Goes To War
The Home Front During World War Ii
Hardcover ISBN: 0873515064
00 Brainerd, 1941: The first people began arriving at the depot at about eleven-thirty p.m. The mercury in the thermometer read twenty below zero, and it was still dropping. . . . A few minutes before midnight, the men the crowd had come to see marched into view--eighty-two of them, all dressed in khakis, responding on cue to barked commands. . . . The conductor called "all aboard." The band struck up "The Star-Spangled Banner." The men fell in and marched into the passenger cars. As the crowd surged forward, the men inside the train raced to the windows. . . . Hands reached out and grabbed each other. Final kisses were stolen. The train pulled away, slowly gathering momentum, and disappeared into the night. For many in Company A, 194th Tank Battalion, the part-time National Guardsmen who had trained at Camp Ripley, that was their last look at Brainerd. Their fate and the lives of the people they left behind comprise only one of the stories in this compelling chronicle of Minnesota's war efforts during World War II. Minnesota Goes to War records the state's role in the most significant event of the twentieth century. By telling the poignant stories of those who stayed behind--in support of the men and women overseas--this book is a tribute to the sacrifices made by ordinary people in extraordinary times. With much original research including photographs, letters, and interviews with veterans and their families, author Dave Kenney chronicles the uniquely Minnesotan response to war, from the starvation study at the University of Minnesota to the human centrifuge project at Mayo; from the Minneapolis and St. Paul rival scrap drives to the use of German POW farmhands in northwestern Minnesota; from those who eagerly supported the war to those who protested our nation?s involvement. These stories honor Minnesotans who faced the war with equal amounts of determination and dread, courage and fear in places as far away as the Pacific and Europe and as close as our own hometowns. "Minnesota Goes to War is a wonderfully rich, intelligently written, and singularly unique book." -- Joseph A. Amato, author of On Foot: A History of Walking and Rethinking Home: A Case for Writing Local History
Roadside Attractions in the Land of Lakes
Paperback ISBN: 081663632x
Only in Minnesota can you snap a Polaroid of a fifty-five-foot-tall grinning green man with a size seventy-eight shoe or marvel at the spunk of a Swede who dedicated his life to spinning a gigantic ball of twine. The world’s largest hockey stick, as well as the biggest pelican, prairie chicken, turkey, fish, otter, fox, and loon also make Minnesota their home. Where else can you ponder the mysterious "miracle meat" of Spam in a museum dedicated to pork products or have your head examined by the phrenology machines at the Museum of Questionable Medical Devices? Minnesota Marvels is a tour of the inspired, bizarre, brilliant, scandalous, and funny sites around the state. Look up in wonder at the several Paul Bunyan statues, including the original (Bemidji), the tallest (Akeley), and the largest talking version (Brainerd). Ease on down the road to visit the first home of the heel-tapping native of Grand Rapids, Judy Garland, or walk the "main street" of Sauk Centre immortalized by native son Sinclair Lewis. See the birthplaces of Charles Lindbergh, the Mayo brothers, the Greyhound bus, the snowmobile, and the ice-cream sandwich. Minnesota is also the home of such attractions as the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and the world’s largest aerial lift bridge in Duluth, and architectural wonders such as Frank Lloyd Wright’s modernist gas station in Cloquet and Frank Gehry’s arresting Weisman Art Museum. Stunning mansions with histories of ghost sightings, the hangouts and lairs of infamous gangsters, and old-fashioned breweries dot the state. Conveniently organized by town name and illustrated throughout, Minnesota Marvels is the perfect light-hearted guide for entertaining road trips all over the state.
African Americans in Minnesota
Paperback ISBN: 0873514203
While making up a smaller percentage of Minnesota's population compared to national averages, African Americans have had a profound influence on the history and culture of the state from its earliest days to the present. Author David Taylor chronicles the rich history of Blacks in the state through careful analysis of census and housing records, newspaper records, and first-person accounts. He recounts the triumphs and struggles of African Americans in Minnesota over the past 200 years in a clear and concise narrative. Major themes covered include settlement by Blacks during the territorial and early statehood periods; the development of urban Black communities in St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Duluth; Blacks in rural areas; the emergence of Black community organizations and leaders in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries; and Black communities in transition during the turbulent last half of the twentieth century. Taylor also introduces influential and notable African Americans: George Bonga, the first African American born in the region during the fur trade era; Harriet and Dred Scott, whose two-year residence at Fort Snelling in the 1830s later led to a famous, though unsuccessful, legal challenge to the institution of slavery; John Quincy Adams, publisher of the state's first Black newspaper; Fredrick L. McGhee, the state's first Black lawyer; community leaders, politicians, and civil servants including James Griffin, Sharon Sayles Belton, Alan Page, Jean Harris, and Dr. Richard Green; and nationally influential artists including August Wilson, Lou Bellamy, Prince, Jimmy Jam, and Terry Lewis. African Americans in Minnesota is the fourth book in The People of Minnesota, a series dedicated to telling the history of the state through the stories of its ethnic groups in accessible and illustrated paperbacks.