The Norwegians, who first arrived in territorial days, created lasting farming settlements, especially in the Red River Valley. Their Lutheran churches continue to dot the landscape. But their experience was also urban, as they entered the trades and industries of the Twin Cities. Today, the Norwegian influence is evident in Minnesota art, culture, cuisine, and speech. Norwegian culture permeates the state's character and helps define Minnesota's unique social, political, and business environment.
In the 1930s, at the height of the Great Depression, the federal government put thousands of unemployed writers to work in the Federal Writers Project of the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Out of their efforts came the American Guide series, the first comprehensive guidebooks to the people, resources, and traditions of each state in the union.
The WPA Guide to Minnesota is a lively and detailed introduction to the state and its people. Much has changed since the book's first publication in 1938 when, as the authors noted, some Minnesotans could "clearly recall . . . the sight of browsing buffalo herds, and the creaking of thong-tied Red River carts." But the book vividly recaptures the era when annual fishing licenses cost fifty cents, farmers ran barn dances for motoring townfolk, Duluth was the headquarters of the Hay Fever Club of America, and the nearly new Foshay Tower loomed on the Minneapolis skyline.
The guide has much more than nostalgia to offer today's readers. Twenty auto tours and six special city tours tell the stories of the state's people and places and offer a fascinating alternative to freeway travel. Essays on major themes such as native peoples, history, arts, transportation, and sports provide an authentic self-portrait of 1930s Minnesota in humorous, loving, and literary prose.
This time-travelers' guide to Minnesota is an evocative reminder of the state's past and a challenge to contemporary readers who seek to find how that past lives on today.
Special features include 20 road trips, 6 city tours, 15 boundary waters canoe trips, 12 maps, 22 drawings, an introduction by the renowned Midwestern writer Frederick Manfred, a chronology, and a revised bibliography.
This guide is an essential tool for all genealogists researching Minnesota family, local, and state history. Highlighting the many holdings of the society, this unique handbook features a lengthy, annotated listing of resources in subject areas such as: biographical, census, naturalization, cemetery, school, religious, business, court, government, legal, military, and veterans' records; official state-wide death records and index, 1908-96; photographs, personal papers, oral histories, ethnic resources, and local and county histories; family histories, newspapers, directories, passenger ship lists, and publications of genealogical organizations; maps, atlases, and other geographical resources.
he Myers family--practical, idealistic father, dainty, dignified mother, serious older brother Bob, rascally younger brother Everett, and Marjorie, the middle child and only girl--moved to the island cottage every summer once school let out and stayed until classes began again. Her story of those peaceful seasons is a fond reminiscence of a loving and supportive family and a powerful reminder of the timeless beauty of Minnesota summers at the lake.
"Crane Island, 'a tiny scrap of land in the remote western end of Lake Minnetonka's Upper Lake, ' is the setting for Marjorie Myers Douglas's engaging memoir, Barefoot on Crane Island. Children here form pirate gangs that meet at midnight in the icehouse, play tiddly winks with watermelon seeds, and gather in canoes to watch the sunset. Lovingly rendered, Crane Island recalls all of our summers at the lake. Yet it will appeal particularly to those readers eager for a return to a remembered time, before automobiles and television, when imagination and friendship were enough to fill the long summer days." --Mary Francois Rockcastle, author of Rainy Lake
The author has captured the summer-at-the-lake experience so familiar to many residents of the Upper Midwest. Writing about her coming-of-age years on Crane Island during the early part of this century, she reminds us of youthful adventures and the woods, water, and social activities that still occur in our Minnesota vacation places." --Carol Ryan, Star Island Historian
Hardwood Heroes tells the tale of Minnesota basketball, including high school, college and professional male and female teams. It is a great book full of wonderful stories, along with personal memories and photos.
First came The Lutefisk Ghetto. Then there was Leftover Lutefisk. Now Art Lee brings us a third collection of stories about Scandinavian America. Leftover Lefse focuses on modern tales, which are as entertaining and enlightening as his earlier works.
Minnesota is many landscapes, but none of them fully define her. And where is it, exactly? Easterners see it as part of the West, Westerners as part of the East. Minnesotans often split the difference and call their home the Upper Midwest. Everyone, save Canadians, agrees that it is in the North. To be sure, winter is both a trial and a point of perverse pride for natives. Minnesotans also take a more universally understood pride in their state's quality of life; with its progressive political traditions, Minnesota always ranks high in national rankings that consider the environment, economic well-being, thriving arts communities, health, and education. In Minnesota, John Radzilowski explores the history of the peoples--native Americans, Norwegian, Swedish, French Canadian, German, Irish, Finnish, Polish, and more who have made the state what it is today. He explores the rich and distinct cultural histories of the Twin Cities, Minneapolis and St. Paul, as well as outstate Minnesota, the largely rural land beyond the sprawling metro area.
A visual tribute to the industrial spaces and commercial interiors of Minnesota's prewar era. A milling district along the Mississippi River. A railroad bridge on Washington Avenue. Jim's Hamburgers in Duluth. A spiral staircase in the Schmidt Brewery. These are the spaces that capture the moods of Minnesota's prewar era. These are the everyday places where ordinary people lived and worked. These are the images that show us the remnants of a city's past. In The Quiet Hours, Mike Melman records a vanishing era of Minnesota's towns and cities through a series of seventy black-and-white photographs taken from 1985 to 2002. Working in the half-light of predawn hours, Melman brings a new perspective to familiar places, one shaped by his training as an architect and his particular affinity for old buildings. Melman's atmospheric photographs give us insight into the bygone life of a city where we had not thought to look for one before. In his essay, Bill Holm compares Melman's work to that of Walt Whitman and Carl Sandburg, artists who embrace and celebrate the urban experience. Holm writes, "These photographs take us a long way toward an understanding of that mighty heart of a city. . . . These are very American pictures in their stubbornness, then integrity, and their dogged affection for the working-class life buried inside them." Through his artistic and historic images, Melman exposes the speed at which American cities change and presents a gritty yet contemplative portrait of urban Minnesota.