Indian Mounds Park, St. Paul

The six burial mounds at St. Paul’s Indian Mounds Park are among the oldest human-made structures in Minnesota. Along with mounds in Crow Wing, Itasca, and Beltrami Counties, they are some of the northernmost burial mounds on the Mississippi River. They comprise the only ancient American Indian burial mounds still extant inside a major U.S. city.

Indochinese Refugee Resettlement Office, 1975–1986

Between 1975 and 1986, about 750,000 refugees from Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos resettled in the U.S. They passed through two initiatives: the Refugee Parole Program and the Orderly Departure Program. Voluntary agencies, sponsors, and programs managed by the Indochinese Refugee Resettlement Office offered help. As a result, Minnesota was one of ten states that accepted the largest numbers of refugees.

Industrial Exposition Building, Minneapolis

Built in less than a year, the Industrial Exposition Building in Minneapolis housed the city's first Industrial Exposition in 1886 and the Republican National Convention of 1892. It dominated the Mississippi riverbank east of St. Anthony Falls for decades.

Interstate State Park

The Interstate State Park, located on 295 acres in Taylors Falls, is the second-oldest state park in Minnesota. Created in 1895, its unique topography and geological history draw many visitors to the area. It is the first park in the United States to be located in two states, Minnesota and Wisconsin, with the St. Croix River serving as the border. The two parks are operated separately by the states’ Departments of Natural Resources.

Inyan Ceyaka Otunwe

Inyan Ceyaka Otunwe (“Village at the Barrier of Stone”), also called Little Rapids or simply Inyan Ceyaka, was a summer planting village of the Wahpeton Dakota. Located near present-day Jordan on the Minnesota River, the village was occupied by the Wahpeton during the early 1800s, and likely before. Burial mounds indicate that Paleo-Americans—possible ancestors of the Dakota—lived at the site as early as 100 CE.

Ireland, John (1838–1918)

Born in County Kilkenny, Ireland, in 1838, John Ireland came to St. Paul with his parents in 1852. He was ordained a Catholic priest in 1861, and by the time he was appointed archbishop of St. Paul in 1888, he was one of the city's most prominent citizens.

IWW Lumber Strike, 1916–1917

In December of 1916, mill workers at the Virginia and Rainy Lake Lumber Company went on strike, and lumberjacks soon followed. The company police and local government tried to crush the strike by running the lumberjacks out of town, but when the strike was called off in February, the company had granted most of the workers’ demands.

J.R. Watkins Medical Company

"If not fully satisfied, your money cheerfully refunded." We take statements like this for granted today, but when twenty-eight-year-old entrepreneur Joseph Ray (J.R.) Watkins of Plainview, Minnesota, put that message on a bottle of his Red Liniment, he was a trailblazer.

James J. Hill House

Sitting on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River and the city of St. Paul, the 36,500-square- foot, forty-two-room James J. Hill House stands as a monument to the man who built the Great Northern Railway. It remains one of the best examples of Richardsonian Romanesque mansions in the country.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 1, 1700

On his second visit to the region, French explorer Pierre Charles Le Sueur arrives at the mouth of the Blue Earth River. At this site he builds Fort L'Huillier, named for a chemist in France who had told Le Sueur that the blue clay found at this location on his first trip was rich in copper. Le Sueur travels with two tons of the clay to New Orleans, leaving nineteen men to continue operations. Unfortunately, further testing shows that the clay contains no copper, and when Le Sueur returned to the Blue Earth River the fort had disappeared. In 1907 A.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 1, 1820

Lewis Cass, governor of Michigan Territory, negotiates a peace treaty between the Dakota and Ojibwe at Fort St. Anthony.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 1, 1840

Lawrence Taliaferro, tired of bribery attempts by crooked individuals, steps down as Indian agent at Fort Snelling, a position he had held since 1820. Indians and whites alike esteemed him for his honesty and intelligence, and his diaries of life at Fort Snelling provide a detailed record of frontier Minnesota. He died on January 22, 1871, aged eighty-one.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 1, 1840

Joseph Haskell finishes constructing his farmhouse near Afton. His is the first commercial farm north of Prairie du Chien.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 1, 1840

Thomas B. Walker is born in Xenia, Ohio. After making his fortune in lumber, he would plan and develop the Walker Art Gallery, which opened in 1894. He would also play an instrumental role in the creation of the Minneapolis Public Library. He died in 1928.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 1, 1841

Father Lucien Galtier dedicates his log church to "St. Paul, the apostle of nations." This name is deemed superior to "Pig's Eye," the community's previous moniker, and St. Paul is incorporated as a town on this date in 1849. The log structure later serves as the first school of the Sisters of St. Joseph, and in 1856 its logs are dismantled, numbered, and hauled up the hill to the St. Joseph's Academy construction site. Unfortunately, the plan to rebuild the chapel as a historic site had not been communicated to the workmen, who use the logs to warm themselves and their coffee.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 1, 1847

Ard Godfrey arrives at the Falls of St. Anthony to build his sawmill. His house, Minneapolis's first frame building, still stands at the corner of University and Central Avenues.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 1, 1849

Henry H. Sibley is elected delegate to Congress, and other state officers are chosen in Minnesota's first territorial election.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 1, 1849

Minnesota Territory is legally organized when territorial governor Alexander Ramsey signs a proclamation written by Judge David Cooper.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 1, 1849

The legislature establishes funding for the territory's public schools. By decree of the Northwest Ordinance, one section in each township had been set aside to support a school, and in Minnesota these lands are not sold for short-term cash but are rented out to provide a steady and long-term cash flow. Martin McLeod authored the bill, which Territorial Governor Alexander Ramsey would consider his administration's most important piece of legislation.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 1, 1850

At the Minnesota Historical Society's first annual meeting, the Reverend Edward D. Neill gives a lecture, the Sixth Regiment's band provides music, and a grand ball is held in St. Paul's Central House.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 1, 1851

Cass and Chisago Counties are created. Cass is named for Lewis Cass, governor of Michigan Territory, who explored the upper Mississippi in 1820 and negotiated several Indian treaties. Chisago is named for the lake, a contraction of the Ojibwe name for the lake, Ke-chi-sago, meaning "large and lovely."

This Day in Minnesota History

January 1, 1855

At the Washington Navy Yard, Susan L. Mann christens the steam frigate Minnesota with a bottle of Minnesota water. On April 6 of the previous year, Congress had authorized construction of this ship and, coincidentally, the frigate Merrimac , which, rebuilt as a Confederate ironclad and renamed the Virginia, would attack the Minnesota during the Civil War.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 1, 1856

The territorial legislature incorporates the St. Peter Company, which is authorized to engage in milling and waterpower work and to develop real estate. The company's stockholders hope to move the state capital to St. Peter, but their efforts are thwarted (see February 27). James J. Hill would purchase the company's charter in 1901, hoping that its real estate powers would prove useful to the Great Northern Railway.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 1, 1856

Minneapolis is approved for a town government by the territorial legislature. It would become a city ten years later. The legislature also forms three counties: Lake County, named for Lake Superior; McLeod County, named for Martin McLeod, a fur trader and member of the territorial legislature; and Pine County, named for the extensive pine forests of the region or perhaps for the Pine River and Pine Lakes.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 1, 1856

The first issue of Ignatius Donnelly's newspaper, the Emigrant Aid Journal , is published in Philadelphia. This publication encourages recent immigrants to move to Nininger, a town Donnelly had founded on the Mississippi River downstream from St. Paul. Although 1,000 people live there at its peak, the town would eventually fail. Incidentally, the editor of the Emigrant Aid Journal is A. W. MacDonald, who would later edit Scientific American .

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