Romansh in Minnesota

Between 1820 and 1910, it is estimated that at least 30,000 people emigrated from the Swiss canton of Graubünden to the United States. Included in this number were Romansh people—members of an ethnically distinct Swiss population—headed for Minnesota. Beginning in 1854, they settled in Stillwater, St. Paul, the St. Henry Colony (Le Sueur County), the Stillwater-sponsored Badus Colony (South Dakota), and other communities throughout the region.

Theater Mu

Theater Mu is Minnesota’s first professional Asian American theater company. Since its founding in 1992, it has impacted both local and national theater landscapes, helping to create a pan-Asian community of artists and presenting world-premiere productions that illuminate Asian American experiences.

Dakota, Ho-Chunk, and French Indigenous Communities Between St. Paul and Prairie du Chien, ca. 1300–1865

The stretch of land between present-day St. Paul, Minnesota, and Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, served as a highway for Native and mixed-ancestry fur traders—especially those with French heritage or kinship ties—during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Building on Native trade networks, they created new communities, adapted to cultural change, and contributed to Minnesota’s recognition as a state in 1858.

Northwestern National Bank, Minneapolis

The Northwestern National Bank of Minneapolis opened its doors in 1872. During its long history, it survived locust plagues, economic panics, a major milling disaster, the turbulent times of the Great Depression, and a devastating fire. Acquisition of smaller banks and a growing list of services made it one of the top banking companies in the region. In 1929 it became a bank holding company organized as Northwestern Bancorporation (later Norwest Corporation). Norwest merged with Wells Fargo in 1998.

Minnesota Opera

Since its founding in 1963 as the Center Opera Company of the Walker Art Center, Minnesota Opera has maintained a reputation as a highly regarded opera company. In the twenty-first century it produces standard classics while also commissioning and creating compelling new works.

DFL Feminist Caucus

The Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party Feminist Caucus was founded in 1973 to advocate for feminist positions on issues like poverty among women, abortion, and the Equal Rights Amendment. Its members lobbied the Minnesota State Legislature, endorsed candidates, and produced a US Senate candidate of their own in 1984.

Clara Barton Club

Nurses organized the Clara Barton Club at Westbrook’s Schmidt Memorial Hospital in 1948 with three goals. First, they aimed to study the health needs of their community. Second, they promised to keep themselves updated about new drugs and evolving nursing methods. Third, they pledged to support their hospital.

Hutterian Brethren, Cottonwood County

South Dakota Hutterite families with roots in the Anabaptist Reformation of the sixteenth-century moved to Cottonwood County in 1994. There, they established the Neuhof Hutterian Brethren Colony and the Elmendorf Hutterian Brethren Colony south of Mountain Lake, Minnesota.

St. Paul Resettlement Committee

The St. Paul Resettlement Committee formed in October of 1942 to assist with the relocation of Japanese Americans from the concentration camps established by the US government in March of 1942. It was one of thirty-five such committees that operated across the country during World War II.

Great Western Band of St. Paul

The Great Western Band of St. Paul, formed in 1860, was one of the earliest and most popular brass bands in Minnesota through the late nineteenth century. This group of amateur musicians helped to bring a measure of sophistication to early St. Paul as it played for a variety of civic and private events. The band was busy during the 1870s and 1880s, but toward the end of the century, it faded from view. A new version formed in 1977, and over the next ten years, St. Paul residents enjoyed some of the same band music that the city’s early residents had enjoyed a century earlier.


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