American Crystal Sugar Factory, Chaska

The city of Chaska is home to a factory that has survived decades of change in the Minnesota sugar industry. Since 1934 it has been part of the American Crystal Sugar Company, one of the leading sugar producers in the United States.

American Fur Company Fishing on Lake Superior, 1835–1841

In 1834, the American Fur Company established a commercial fishing operation on Lake Superior to supplement the company's profits. The financial panic of 1837 doomed the operation and the company declared bankruptcy in 1842. Commercial fisherman did not have a significant presence on Lake Superior again until the Duluth fishing boom in the 1870s.

Anderson, Alexander P. (1862–1943)

In December 1901, botanist Alexander Pierce Anderson created puffed rice while experimenting with starch crystals in his laboratory. Although he did not yet realize the significance of his discovery, Anderson's new breakfast food would make him a nationally known figure and the face of a Quaker Oats advertising campaign for almost a decade.

Anoka Post Office

Designed by the famed Minnesota architect James Knox Taylor, Anoka’s oldest extant public building, built in 1916, is known for its classic Georgian Revival style.

Artificial Limb Industry in Minneapolis

The milling, logging, farming, and railroad industries that made Minneapolis a prosperous town in the late nineteenth century also cost many men their limbs, if not their lives. Minneapolis entrepreneurs, many of them amputees themselves, built on the local need and made the city one of the leading producers of artificial limbs in the United States.

Betty Crocker

For many Americans, the name Betty Crocker evokes an image of domestic perfection. From the often-reissued Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook to the iconic red spoon logo that bears her signature, Betty Crocker is one of the most recognized names in cooking. It comes as a surprise to some that “America’s First Lady of Food” is, in fact, fictional.

Bonanza Farms, Red River Valley

Bonanza farms—large, commercial farming enterprises that grew thousands of acres of wheat—flourished in northwestern Minnesota and the Dakotas from the 1870s to 1920. Geology, the Homestead Act of 1862, railroads, modern machinery, and revolutionary new flour-milling methods all contributed to the bonanza farm boom.

Bongards' Creameries

Bongards' Creameries began as a small local creamery, helping farmers to process their milk. Since its beginning in 1908, it has grown to include satellite factories in Perham and Humboldt, Tennessee. It has also increased its range of products to include cheese and whey. In the twenty-first century, Bongards' Creameries is among the largest cheese-making plants in the world.

Brown, Joseph Renshaw (1805–1870)

During his five decades in Minnesota, Joseph R. Brown was a significant figure in territorial and state politics. Although he never held high office, he exercised great influence on how the region developed. His ability to produce legislative results earned him the nickname “Jo the Juggler.”

Bundt Pan

Many Americans can recognize a Bundt pan or have one at home. But few know that this iconic cake pan, created by H. David Dalquist, founder of the Nordic Ware Company, is rooted in Minnesota’s Jewish immigrant history. The design for the ring-shaped mold came from a pan called the Gugelhupf, which was brought to the United States by Jewish immigrants from Europe.

Burning of Red Wing Mills, March 4, 1883

Early generations of Minnesotans lived with the ever-present danger of fire. Many city histories tell of blazes that destroyed whole sections of their communities, but in most cases arson was not the cause. The Red Wing Mills complex, however, was almost certainly burned deliberately by an unknown arsonist.

Business and Professional Women’s Club, Crookston, 1960–1975

Crookston’s Business and Professional Women’s club (BPWC), started in 1921, was more politically active in the 1960s and 1970s than in its early years. BPWC members made sure to cast their votes for causes important to women, including equal pay for equal work and the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).

Cable Cars of the Minneapolis and St. Paul Street Railway Companies

Before Minneapolis and St. Paul upgraded their street railway systems from plodding horse cars to modern electric trolleys, both cities flirted with the use of cable cars. Costly to build, only two lines operated in St. Paul before both cities converted to electric streetcar systems.

Cadotte Trading Post

The Cadotte Post was a fur trade encampment in the late eighteenth century—one of three archaeological sites in Wadena County identified through Ojibwe oral tradition as a late-1700s trading fort. It stood just north of the Crow Wing River on its east bank, south and opposite the mouth of the Leaf River in what later became the Old Wadena County Park.

Chanhassen Dinner Theatres

Founded in the late 1960s, Chanhassen Dinner Theatres (CDT) is the United States' largest professional dinner theatre company. It is also the main tourist attraction for Carver County and a gem for musical theater enthusiasts. Home to many national and world premiere performances, CDT focuses on musical theatre and comedy shows as its mainstays.

Chaska Brick Industry, 1857–1950

The Chaska brick industry flourished from 1857 until 1950. First called "Chaska brick" in an 1894 Chaska Herald article, this distinctive brick is known for its unique "creamy" color, high clay content, and quality. Chaska brick remains closely tied to the history of the city it came from.

Citizens League

Since 1952, the Citizens League has had a major impact on public policies in Minnesota. A group of civic leaders had the idea of inviting leaders from different parts of the community to the table to solve big policy issues. This meant bringing together lawmakers, union leaders, heads of Minnesota companies, and experts from universities and industries. As a group, these experts and leaders would study an issue and then write a research paper they could all agree on. Then they would do the political work required to make their conclusions a reality.

Clarks Grove Cooperative Creamery

In 1890, the Danish American community in Clarks Grove established one of the first cooperative creameries in Minnesota. It became a model for the Minnesota dairy industry. Ten years later, there were more than 550 cooperative creameries in the state.

Cold Spring Granite Company and the Henry N. Alexander Family

St. Cloud was an ideal place to settle if you were a quarryman looking to make a living in the 1880s. The area was rich with a multitude of colors of granite. All that was needed was the right skill set. It was an opportunity just waiting for the likes of the experienced, Scottish-born quarryman Henry N. Alexander who at age nine began learning the craft from his stonemason father near Aberdeen, Scotland. Henry came to the United States in 1880 and established a family granite dynasty that today is the largest granite producing company in the United States.

Commerce Building, St. Paul

St. Paul's Commerce Building was originally built to house the Commercial Club of St. Paul and the offices of the St. Paul Association of Commerce. Years later, it reflects the economic strength and civic influence of St. Paul's business organizations at the beginning of the twentieth century. The Commerce Building is typical of buildings designed to house commercial and civic groups as well as private tenants.

Comstock, Solomon (1842–1933)

Solomon Comstock earned his law degree from the University of Michigan in 1869 but worked with railroads when prospects of finding a job in his chosen career path seemed dim. In Moorhead, he began a law partnership and traded in real estate with the Northwest Land Company. In the 1880s, he worked with James J. Hill’s Northern Pacific Railway to plat townships across Minnesota.

Coney Island of the West, 1884–1960

The history of Coney Island as a resort begins when Josephine Hassenstab sold the 31.85-acre island to Lambert Naegele in March, 1884, for $5,200. While Waconia already had several hotels such as the North Star, Lake House, and the Sherman House, the Coney Island Hotel and its resort became the most popular of all of Waconia's hotels and contributed to the town's status as a favorite summer resort.

Congdon, Chester A. (1853–1916)

Chester Adgate Congdon accrued a fortune working as a lawyer for the Oliver Mining Company and through investments in the Mesabi Iron Range. He also served as a Minnesota State Representative from 1909 to 1913.

Coon Rapids Hydroelectric Dam

Between 1913 and 1914 the Coon Rapids hydroelectric dam was constructed with the intent to provide power to Anoka County. The dam was shut down in 1966 after becoming too expensive to operate. It later became part of Minnesota’s environmental control program.

Crex Carpet Company

From 1898 to the early 1930s, St. Paul was the center of a national home furnishings industry based on wire grass, a plant that grew wild in the peat bogs of Minnesota and Wisconsin.

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