Foshay Tower, Minneapolis

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.

Foshay, Wilbur (1881–1957)

In 1932, singer Bing Crosby had a major hit with his recording of E. Y. Harburg and Jay Gorney's song "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" Its lyrics could have been the story of Wilbur B. Foshay: "Once I built a tower up to the sun/ brick and rivet and lime/ Once I built a tower, now it's done/ Brother, can you spare a dime?" Foshay built a fortune, built a tower in Minneapolis—and then lost it all in the stock market crash of 1929.

Founding of Clontarf

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.

Founding of Hanover

In 1891, homesteaders in Hanover realized their dream of officially incorporating their farming community. It had been thirty-six years since Jacob Vollbrecht, a German immigrant, first arrived by canoe from St. Anthony Falls (later Minneapolis) after coming to the area from New Orleans. Jacob staked his land claim in Minnesota Territory and made the area his home. He and his brother William, who followed in the next year, are credited with founding the village of Vollbrecht Mills, later renamed Hanover.

Fournier House

The Fournier House was designed by architect Lawrence A. Fournier and built in 1910. The house blends early Prairie School-style elements with a more dominant Arts and Crafts style. It is also one of the first homes built in North Minneapolis.

Fournier, Alexis Jean (1865–1948)

Artist Alexis Jean Fournier is well known in Minnesota for his atmospheric paintings of Minneapolis and St. Paul landscapes. Fournier is also renowned beyond Minnesota as an important figure in the Arts and Crafts movement.

Fourth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment

The Fourth Regiment of Minnesota Infantry witnessed much of the action in the Civil War's Western Theater. They were part of minor skirmishes as well as major battles, expeditions and campaigns. They were fortunate to avoid heavy casualties in some large battles they were in, but they proved themselves good fighters. The officers and men saw Vicksburg surrendered. They were in Battles around Chattanooga. They marched with Sherman to the sea and witnessed the surrender of a major Confederate Army. Years after the war, the Fourth served as the subject for a famous artist's painting.

Francis, Nellie (1874–1969)

Nellie Francis pressed the limits of what an African American woman was permitted to achieve in early twentieth-century Minnesota. She was a churchwoman, clubwoman, suffragist, organizer, singer, civil rights worker, patriot, and wife to Minnesota’s first African American diplomat, William T. Francis.

Francis, William T. (1869–1929)

William T. Francis, Minnesota’s first African American diplomat, served as U.S. Minister and Consul to Liberia, West Africa, from 1927 until his death. He investigated and reported on Liberian government complicity in the forced labor of Liberian men and died in Monrovia of yellow fever on July 15, 1929.

Frank Schott Barn, Stevens County

The stone barn built by German immigrant Frank Schott in 1923 is a prime example of innovative Midwestern architecture. The barn, located just southwest of Chokio, stands out above the fields near the Stevens and Big Stone County lines. Many feel it serves as a reminder of the determination and skills of the immigrants who did their own building throughout the Midwest. Though the barn’s wooden roof collapsed in 1993, its stone walls remain standing in the early twenty-first century.

Frederick Spangenberg House, St. Paul

When completed in 1867, the Spangenberg house was surrounded by an eighty-acre dairy farm, well outside the St. Paul city limits. Today, the house is surrounded not by fields and barns but by the paved streets and ample houses of the Highland Park neighborhood.

How Jews Have Shaped the State

From Exclusion to Integration: The Story of Jews in Minnesota

Expert Essay: Writer and historian Laura Weber explores more than 150 years of Jewish history to reveal stories shaped by immigration, resistance to anti-Semitism, and eventual integration.

How The Environment Has Shaped the State

From Sustenance to Leisure on Minnesota Land

Expert Essay: Associate professor of history Michael J. Lansing, published in Environmental History as well as Ethics, Place, and Environment, highlights the many ways people have made use of Minnesota's flora and fauna over time and reviews the state's more recent efforts at conservation.

How Indian Americans Have Shaped the State

From the Ganges to Ten Thousand Lakes: Immigration from the Subcontinent to Minnesota

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, job prospects in farming and on railroads drew the first Indian immigrants—mostly men—from Asia to the United States. It wasn’t until the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, however, that Minnesota officially opened its doors to Indians.

Gág, Wanda (1893–1946)

Wanda Gág (rhymes with "cog") was determined to be an artist from an early age, and ultimately she succeeded. Her talent steered her through family hardship and hesitant early artistic efforts until she created Millions of Cats, her 1928 children's book. It has never been out of print.

Gangster Era in St. Paul, 1900–1936

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.

Gedney Foods Company

The official source of "the Minnesota Pickle" and creators of the State Fair pickle line, Gedney Foods is an iconic Minnesota company, with products distributed throughout the Midwest. Founded in 1880, Gedney continues to grow one of the more successful pickle brands in the United States.

Gehl-Mittelsted Farm

The Gehl-Mittelsted Farmstead is located in the far southern part of Carver County, in San Francisco Township. One of Carver County's many historic properties, the farmstead was placed on Minnesota's Ten Most Endangered Historic Sites list in 2006.

German Prisoners-of-War Camp, Moorhead, 1944–1946

During World War II, prisoners of war helped relieve a severe labor shortage in many rural areas of the U.S. In Clay County, Minnesota, POWs worked on farms to plant, tend, and harvest the crops that otherwise might have been lost.

Ghost Towns of Carver County

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.

Gilbert, Cass (1859–1934)

One of America's first celebrity architects, Cass Gilbert is best known as the architect of the Woolworth Building in New York City, but he also designed the current Minnesota State Capitol building.

Glensheen Historic Estate

Glensheen, a mansion and grounds completed in 1908 on the shores of Lake Superior in Duluth, was built by Chester and Clara Congdon. It is famous for its beauty inside and out, and as the site of one of Minnesota’s most notorious murders.

Godfrey, Joseph (ca.1830–1909)

The U.S.–Dakota War of 1862 was a turning point in Minnesota history. Joseph Godfrey, an enslaved man , joined the Dakota in their fight against white settlers that summer and fall. He was one of only two African Americans to do so.

Gold Star Mothers in Minnesota

During World War I, families began to hang flags in their windows that displayed a gold star for each relative killed in military service. The title “gold star mother” was used unofficially to describe a woman who had lost a child in service until the national organization American Gold Star Mothers, Inc., was established in 1929. Many Minnesota mothers claimed membership, and local Minnesota chapters followed.

Goodhue County

In March 1853 Goodhue County was created by Minnesota's territorial legislature. It was formed from the original Wabasha County, which lay between the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers.

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