Minnesota History
Featured Items
Gunflint: The Trail, the People, the Stories
Gunflint
The Trail, the People, the Stories
Paperback      ISBN: 159193009x

The Gunflint Trail in northeastern Minnesota, with its unique natural beauty, is a place where cell phones don't work and there are no billboards to block the sky. Modernization without commercialization in the area is a result of the conscious efforts of the Gunflint Trail community. In the Trail's rich history are early resort successes, attempts at mining and colorful characters whose stories have endured. Accompanying CD contains the stories of people of the Gunflint Trail in their own words.

Minnesota Treasures: Stories Behind the State's Historic Places
Minnesota Treasures
Stories Behind the State's Historic Places
Hardcover      ISBN: 0873514718

Why should we save the historic buildings in our cities and towns? What makes a building a historic landmark? What can we uncover of Minnesota's history by studying its historic structures? What do buildings and sites tell us about time and place, experience and memory, people and their needs? Historian Denis P. Gardner beckons us to learn about the profound value of historic buildings and places in this engaging collection of essays. His stories, accompanied by gorgeous color photographs, tell the very human side of our state's history by showcasing some of the state's gathering places, houses, commercial hubs, industrial and agricultural properties, and Native American sites that hold our collective history. Read about Guri Endreson, a Norwegian immigrant widow who defiantly returned to the family's small log cabin near Willmar after her husband and son were killed in the U.S.-Dakota War--and see the evocative photograph of the log structure as it stands today. Or hear of the second-most famous aviator in Minnesota history, Bernard H. Pietenpol, who built airplanes in his garage/workshop in the heart of Cherry Grove, and see one of his prototype airplanes preserved for display. Learn of the wood-framed Classical Hennepin County house of one of Minnesota's most prominent African Americans, Lena Olive Smith, and hear how Smith, the first African American women licensed to practice law in Minnesota, was a tireless crusader for equal rights. As Richard Moe, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, writes in the foreword to Minnesota Treasures: These places help us understand who we are . . . they constitute a unique family portrait of us. And what a colorful, complex, endlessly fascinating portrait it is. In their remarkable variety, the places in Minnesota Treasures may at first glance appear to be a random collection of unrelated artifacts--but in fact they share one very important trait in common: They are all worth saving. Just as we learn about our fathers and mothers--who they were, what they believed, how they lived--from the buildings they left for us, our children will learn about us in the same way.

The Days of Rondo
The Days of Rondo
Paperback      ISBN: 0873512561

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

Chinese in Minnesota
Chinese in Minnesota
Paperback      ISBN: 087351470x

Minnesota's first Chinese settlers, fleeing racial violence in California, established scores of small businesses after they arrived in the late 1870s. Newspapers eagerly published reports of the small Chinese community's activities, including New Year's festivities, marriages, and restaurant openings--as well as allegations of tong activity and of their political ties to China. Beginning in 1882 federal laws stopping Chinese immigration and denying citizenship put particular pressure on the community, which was also accused of resisting Americanization. By the 1960s, a new wave of immigrants, including students, businessmen, and professionals from both Mainland China and Taiwan, began to bring new energy and issues to the state's Chinese community.

This concise history of the Chinese in Minnesota, the newest addition to The People of Minnesota series, examines the rich history of this ethnic group including immigration patterns, cultural and social organizations, businesses, politics, education, and family life.

Author Sherri Gebert Fuller relates their story from the early days to the flourishing of ties between Minnesota and China and the professional, educational, and cultural successes of this vital community.

Minnesota Impressionists
Minnesota Impressionists
Hardcover      ISBN: 0963933868

"Minnesota Impressionists" is a beautiful book that treats an important and previously unexplored chapter in American art. The period covered is pre-1940. Twenty-seven artists including Nicholas Brewer, Elizabeth Chant, and Alexis Jean Fournier and their paintings are addressed in separate essays, arranged alphabetically for easy reference.



Gentle Warriors
Gentle Warriors
Paperback      ISBN: 0873513185

Gentle Warriors tells the moving story of the final phase of the Minnesota women's struggle for the vote under the leadership of the remarkable Clara Ueland. Clara Ueland, socially prominent wife of a successful Minneapolis attorney and mother of seven children, became president of the Minnesota Woman Suffrage Association in 1914. To that challenge she brought considerable skills acquired as a teacher, a household manager, and a community activist. She was a new woman of her time: politically astute, enormously competent, and widely respected. Under her leadership, enthusiastic, persistent suffragists were organized in some five hundred towns throughout Minnesota by 1919 - the year the state legislature ratified the Nineteenth Amendment.

Through research in family papers, organizational records, and the vast literature on women's history, Stuhler shows how Minnesota's campaigners for equal voting rights reflect America's second generation of suffragists. Unlike the first generation of leaders - Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and others - the women who carried the struggle to its brilliant victory in 1920 are largely forgotten. Gentle Warriors brings them back to life, re-creating their energizing achievements, their bitter disappointments, their conflicts and friendships. On these pages, those committed suffragists who struggled on with such bountiful imagination, humor, dedication, and vision, take their rightful place in history.

Germans in Minnesota
Germans in Minnesota
Paperback      ISBN: 0873514548

Minnesota is often associated with its Scandinavian heritage, but in fact Germans are the largest single immigrant group in Minnesota history and were the largest ancestry group in the 2000 census. Author Kathleen Neils Conzen tells the story of German Americans and their profound influence on Minnesota history and culture.

Conzen recounts their triumphs and struggles over the last 150 years in a clear and concise narrative. Landing in poverty, Germans transformed acres of wilderness into productive farms and brought to America their love of art, music, and sociability. Immigrants came to America intent on creating, in the words of one agent, "an earthly paradise of this Minnesota" and "a new Germany" soon rose in Stearns County. Conzen explores not only the well-known enclaves in Brown and Stearns Counties but also looks at the smaller communities of Winona, on the Iron Range, and along the North Shore, as well as in the Twin Cities.

In recent times, a renewed interest in German heritage can be seen in towns like New Ulm, home to the thirty-two-foot statue of Hermann the German, hero of the wars against the ancient Roman legions, and Heritagefest, the ethnic heritage festival that occurs every summer.

Minnesota's Irish
Minnesota's Irish
Hardcover      ISBN: 0942934075

A Lively Account in text and photos that highlights the accomplishments of such national and international figures as Archbishop John Ireland (whose Catholic colonization program brought thousands of Irish families to farms in southwestern Minnesota), F. Scott Fitzgerald (the golden boy of the jazz age he created), and oil-rich philanthropist Ignatius Aloysius O'Shaughnessy.

Pigskin Pride: Celebrating a Century of Minnesota Football
Pigskin Pride
Celebrating a Century of Minnesota Football
Hardcover      ISBN: 0931714877

Minnesota√s football history comes to life like never before. The Vikings, the Gophers, the Tommies and more, this book is an entertaining collection of facts, stats, photos and memories. It includes pro, semi-pro, college and high school.

Through Dakota Eyes: Narrative Accounts of the Minnesota Indian War of 1863
Through Dakota Eyes
Narrative Accounts of the Minnesota Indian War of 1863
Paperback      ISBN: 0873512162

"This volume brings together an invaluable collection of vivid eyewitness accounts of the Minnesota Indian War of 1862 and its aftermath. Of greatest interest is the fact that all the narratives assembled here come from Dakota mixed-bloods and full-bloods. Speaking from a variety of viewpoints and enmeshed in complex webs of allegiances to Indian, white, and mixed-blood kin, these witnesses testify not only to the terrible casualties they all suffered, but also to the ways in which the events of 1862 tore at the social, cultural, and psychic fabrics of their familial and community lives. This rich contribution to Minnesota and Dakota history is enhanced by careful editing and annotation."--Jennifer S. H. Brown, University of Winnipeg

Praise for Through Dakota Eyes:

"For anyone interested in Minnesota history, Native-American history, and Civil War history in this forgotten theater of operations. Through Dakota Eyes is an absolute must read. . . . an extremely well-balanced and fascinating book that will take it's place at the forefront of Indian Historiography."--Civil War News

"An important look at how the political dynamic of Minnesota's southern Dakota tribes erupted into a brief, futile blood bath. It is also a vital record of the death song of the Dakota's traditional, nomadic way of life."--Minnesota Daily

"An appreciation for the diversity and complexity of Dakota culture and politics emerges from Through Dakota Eyes. . . . captures some of the human drama, tragedy, and confusion which must have surely characterized all American frontier wars."--American Indian Quarterly