The Ada Village Hall served as the center for local government in Ada for over a century. It was an important public meeting hall and social facility through the 1970s. Architecturally, the building is an excellent example of the combined city hall and fire hall buildings that were constructed in Minnesota during the early 1900s.
Buildings along the main streets of Minnesota's earliest communities were particularly vulnerable to fire. Even small blazes could grow quickly and incinerate wood-frame structures in densely packed business districts. The 1880s fires in Cannon Falls serve as an example.
Libraries have been a part of Carver County history since the county was started. The earliest library began in 1858, and many more followed. In the twenty-first century, there are five full libraries and three express library branches. Total circulation is over one million books per year and rising.
The city of Carver has a long and rich history as one of the earliest communities in Carver County. Located on the Minnesota River, it was often the first place immigrants to Carver County visited. From there, they spread out to other towns and farms.
St. Paul's Central Park began in 1885 as an amenity for a new, upscale neighborhood north of the business district. As the city around it changed, so did the park; by the 1930s it had become a playground and meeting place for children and students. In 1975, it became a parking ramp.
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.
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.
The city of Waconia, in Carver County, Minnesota, has a long and rich history. Located just thirty miles southwest of the Twin Cities on the south shore of Lake Waconia, it has long been a tourist destination.
Horace W. S. Cleveland was a pioneer landscape architect. His greatest achievement was designing a system of parks and parkways in Minneapolis. He advocated preserving spaces for parks in the rapidly growing cities of the American West. Cleveland was especially influential in preserving the banks of the Mississippi River gorge in St. Paul and Minneapolis as parkland.
The Deerwood Auditorium is a prime example of a modern municipal facility made possible by the relief programs of the New Deal. It provided local residents with an auditorium and gymnasium space, council chambers, a library, and a fire hall. The building expanded the range of services available to the residents of Deerwood and enhanced their quality of life.
The Duluth Armory has served as both a military training facility and an entertainment venue since its construction in 1915. Notable for its neoclassical design, the armory was central to the work of the National Guard and Home Guard. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2011.
In 1871 Minneapolis built the first public waterworks in Minnesota to pump water from the Mississippi River. The city's attempts to provide clean, safe water led to decades of efforts to improve and expand the waterworks.
The Father Louis Hennepin Bridge was built in 1855 to take advantage of the transport possibilities provided by the Mississippi River above St. Anthony Falls. It was the first bridge built to span the Mississippi river, and made crossing its length above the Falls much easier. The rushing rapids helped to create industry on the river and spurred a population boom that made Minneapolis the most populated city in Minnesota.
Minnesota Territory experienced a boom period starting in 1855. Industry flourished region-wide and companies amassed incredible wealth. The Financial Panic of 1857 brought the good times to a halt and interrupted the growth of the fledgling state.
Since 1929, the Foshay Tower has been a vital part of the Minneapolis skyline. When it was built, the thirty-two-story tower was the tallest building between Chicago and the West Coast. In the 1970s and 1980s, much taller skyscrapers were built, but the attractive Foshay Tower remained a crowning glory of Minnesota architecture.
Clontarf, a railroad town in Swift County, was established by Bishop John Ireland of St. Paul in 1877 as a Catholic colony on the prairie. Early arrivals named Clontarf for the site of the eleventh-century victory of the Irish king Brian Boru over Viking invaders.
St. Paul in the late 1920s and early 1930s was known as a “‘crooks’ haven”—a place for gangsters, bank robbers, and bootleggers from all over the Midwest to run their operations or to hide from the FBI. The concentration of local organized crime activity prompted reformers and crime reporters to call for a “cleanup” of the city in the mid-1930s.
Ghost towns convey a certain image, thanks to popular culture. Despite this portrayal, ghost towns are simply former towns, places settled and then abandoned for a variety of reasons. Every state in the United States has them and they are part of the history of a region, including Carver County.
The Harrington-Merrill House is the oldest wood-framed structure in Hutchinson and one of the oldest in McLeod County. Lewis Harrington was one of Hutchinson's founders. Harry Merrill, who served as superintendent of schools for thirty-three years, was likely the most important educator in the town's history.
Carver County's history is documented in the records of its cities, city agencies, and government center. Schools, school districts, churches, and civic groups have archives as well. Four historical societies call Carver County home. These are the Chanhassen Historical Society, the Chaska Historical Society, the Watertown Area Historical Society, and the Willkommen Heritage and Preservation Society of Norwood Young America.
With the rapid growth of the cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis in the mid-nineteenth century, the need for a reliable form of public transportation became apparent. Horse-drawn streetcars provided the answer and sparked the growth of what would become one of the most extensive streetcar systems in the country.
When Alfred T. Andreas chose Minnesota as the subject for his new atlas, the state was only fifteen years old. Andreas's publication of An Illustrated Historical Atlas of the State of Minnesota changed the way state atlases were written, illustrated, and distributed. The atlas also put the social and cultural landscape of early Minnesota literally on the map.
From 1883-1915, Imdieke Brickyard in Meire Grove produced bricks using traditional European methods. Residents supported this business venture by purchasing materials to create structures that represented their German culture.