More than 300 black-and-white illustrations vividly portray the fair and its many faces. Historic photographs show long-gone amusements-the wooden Cannon Ball roller coaster, an organ grinder and his monkey, reenactments of famous battles at the Grandstand-as well as early versions of fair scenes that know no era: crowds, traffic jams, trinket sellers, prize winners. Reproductions of advertisements, posters, ribbons, lapel pins, and newspaper cartoons give a glimpse of the cheerful hype of promoters and the tongue-in-cheek commentary that accompanied their efforts. And contemporary photographs capture the fair's varied moods and scenes, from the early-morning preparations in a church dining hall through the stresses and joys of showing animals, the thrill of the Midway, the lure of deep-fried foods, and the excitement of being crowned a queen, to the clean-up of tons of garbage in the night's wee hours.
Along with the glitter and the fun, the Minnesota State Fair has always been a microcosm of midwestern life. Almost 150 years of cultural, social, aesthetic, economic, and technological change have left their mark on the venerable institution. And, at the same time, the fair has made its mark on society-urban as well as rural. Displays of women's work or farm machinery, the fine arts or the prize bull-all have been part of the fair's dual mission of education and entertainment. Each of Blue Ribbon's chapters focuses on one such topic, showing how the state fair grew and responded to prevailing tastes and conditions-and how it sometimes acted as a powerful agent of change.
Art and architecture, politics, social movements, and agricultural history are all part of this story-along with the dimensions of giant radishes, the memories of early fairgoers, and a listing of the calories in favorite state fair foods. Like the fair itself, this book offers something for everyone. Here are the sights, if not the smells and sounds, of "The World's Greatest State Fair."
Frogtown is a discerning portrait of an ethnically mixed neighbourhood that lies within the shadow of the Minnesota State Capital near downtown St. Paul. Wing Young Huie combines 130 compelling black-and-white photographs, some 50 quotes from talks with residents, and his own commentary to produce a powerful depiction of life on Frogtown's streets and front porches, in its kitchens and backyards, shops and churches. The images are documentary in nature, but the perspective is that of an artist who leaves meanings open to interpretation. Drawn to Frogtown by his own abiding curiosity, Huie spent two years photographing and getting to know its people -- working class whites, Southeast Asian immigrants, African Americans, American Indians, and Latinos. These exquisitely rendered images of Frogtown show the multiple realities that make up a dynamic urban neighbourhood. At the same time, they reflect the changing faces of American cities.
The Land of 10,000 Lakes? Perhaps It Should Be Called the Land of 10,000 Ghosts
This collection of stories by Ruth D. Hein gets under your skin with eerie happenings, unexplainable events, and mysterious situations. There are tales of moving lights, footprints that suddenly stop and disappear, and even a jealous spirit that pushes people down the stairs Whether you believe in ghosts or not, the 33 stories presented here are as entertaining as they are thought-provoking. Warning: Do not read Ghostly Tales of Minnesota alone
In the 1930s and the 1940s Rondo Avenue was at the heart of St. Paul's largest black neighborhood. African Americans whose families had lived in Minnesota for decades and others who were just arriving from the South made up a vibrant, vital community that was in many ways independent of the white society around it.
The Days of Rondo is Evelyn Fairbanks's affectionate memoir of this lively neighborhood. Its pages are filled with fascinating people: Mama and Daddy--Willie Mae and George Edwards--who taught her about love and pride an dignity; Aunt Good, a tall and stately woman with a "queenly secretive attitude"; brother Morris, who "took the time to teach me about the street and the people I would find there"; Mrs. Neal, the genteel activist who showed her the difference between a salad fork and a dessert fork; Mr. and Mrs. Taylor, who started a girls' string band; and a whole assortment of street vendors and playmates who made up the world of her childhood
As she grew up, Fairbanks saw many different sides of her community. Her words bring to life the all-day Sunday services at the Sanctified church, the "perfect days" of her girlhood, and the ghost stories told on the porch of a soft midwestern summer evening. But she also remembers a visit to relatives in Georgia, the deaths of her Mama and Daddy, and the difficult lessons her free-wheeling brother taught her about friends and money. By the time Evelyn was a teenager, World War II was changing St. Paul and the whole world in ways that touched upon her own life. And through the years she was also discovering what it meant to grow up as a black person in Minnesota.
A gifted storyteller, Fairbanks has recreated the patterns of her neighborhood life in a northern city. Her story ends in the mid-1950s, a few years before the Rondo neighborhood was destroyed by freeway construction. In preserving her memories of this distinctive community, Evelyn Fairbanks has added an important dimension to our understanding of Minnesota during those years.
"Fairbanks spins yarns about St. Paul's black society with the flair of a campfire storyteller." --St. Paul Pioneer Press
"Must reading for anyone wanting a clearer understanding of the history of race relations." --Library Journal
"Narrative history at its best." --Choice
"Her prose is simple and concise and is leavened by a rich sense of humor." --Minnesota Monthly
"The Days of Rondo is an interpretive account of events in the life of a black family from the South struggling for survival and meaning in a northern city. Rich in humor and detail, it provides a well-illustrated mosaic of socioeconomic, ethnic, and class realities as seen through the eyes of a young black woman." --David V. Taylor, author of African-Americans in Minnesota
Eight fictional "Day in the Life" essays, as well as more than 75 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.
In this lively 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.
This book originated as a special issue of Minnesota History, the quarterly of the Minnesota Historical Society. It is being published to mark the 150th anniversary of the territory.
"If earth has a Paradise, it is here."--Harriet E. Bishop, Minnesota Territory promoter and school teacher, 1847
This best-selling book is a look at Minnesota's history as told through the letters, diaries and photographs of people who lived it. You'll find actual letters, journal entries, photos and more woven into a marvelous documentary of Minnesota. Discover what Minnesota was like for her people--explorers, farmers, homemakers, socialites, children, laborers, lawyers and lumberjacks. A classic in its 13th printing.
"The Architecture of Edwin Lundie has had a transformative effect on Minnesota architecture since its original publication in 1995. Many architects around the state have taken up Lundie's challenge of how to adapt traditional forms to today's needs. the book opened up new ways of thinking about 'regionalism' in Minnesota architecture, and for that, we are forever grateful."
--Tom Fisher, Dean of College of Design, University of Minnesota
"Sm4to, 121pgs. Full bound white paper wraps with black titling on front cover and spine. Book is solid and interior is clean and bright, replete with color images and floor plans of Edwin Lundie's houses. Corner tips have a touch wear else in excellent condition.