Red River Steamboats

Beginning in 1859, steamboats on the Red River linked St. Paul, Minnesota, and Winnipeg, Manitoba (Fort Garry), for over fifty years. The boats are credited with helping Winnipeg grow quickly in the 1870s. Eventually, railways and motor vehicles replaced Red River steamboats, but the network that the steamboats strengthened still exists in the twenty-first century.

Somali Poetry in Minnesota

Somali poetry is a unique art form with an ancient history and a living legacy. Since 1991, it has connected Somali and Somali American refugees living in the United States with those who remain in their East African homeland. In the twenty-first century, Somali Minnesotans have kept their poetic traditions alive by forming arts groups, organizing public performances in the Twin Cities, and encouraging young people to become poets.

Hjemkomst (ship)

While recovering from a fall in 1971, Moorhead Junior High School guidance counselor Robert Asp read a book on Viking shipbuilding. This sparked the thought that he should build and sail his own Viking ship. After ten years of planning, building, and training, the ship named Hjemkomst sailed from Duluth, Minnesota, to Oslo, Norway.

Red River Carts

Red River carts were used by the Métis for bison hunts and for trade between the Red River Colony (present-day Winnipeg) and St. Paul in the early 1800s. By the mid-1800s, nearly continuous use of the carts had worn trails into the prairie grasses. These trails connected the hunting-farming culture of the Métis on the Red River with the growing industrial culture of St. Paul on the Mississippi River.

Minneapolis Flour-Milling Industry during World War I

The Minneapolis flour-milling industry peaked during World War I when twenty-five flour mills employing 2,000 to 2,500 workers played a leading role in the campaign to win the war with food. Minneapolis-produced flour helped to feed America, more than four million of its service personnel, and its allies.

Milwaukee Road in Minnesota

The Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad Company, better known as the Milwaukee Road, was a large railroad network that operated in the state of Minnesota for nearly 130 years. It provided freight and passenger service to many communities, playing a vital economic role. In 2017, much of the Minnesota route survives as a part of the Canadian Pacific Railway.

Oak savanna

Oak savannas—open grassland studded by tall, spreading oak trees—once covered 10 percent of Minnesota, mostly in the southeast quarter of the state. They are an attractive ecosystem for animals such as deer, turkeys, and red-headed woodpeckers. Before European immigration, indigenous people valued the savannas for the good hunting they provided, fostering and maintaining them through the regular use of fire. In 2017, only about 1 percent of the savannas that existed 200 years ago remains.

Northern Pacific Railway Como Shops

St. Paul’s Como Shops served as a major passenger-car repair facility on the Northern Pacific railroad between 1885 and the 1970s, providing employment to many St. Paul residents. The durability of the shops’ construction guaranteed their longevity, and in 1985 the facility was listed as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places.

Officers’ Training Camps At Fort Snelling, 1917

At camps held around the country during World War I, the U.S. Army quickly trained the officers it needed to grow from a small defensive force into one of millions, ready to step onto the world stage. Fort Snelling hosted two such camps in 1917: one between May 11 and August 15 and another between August 28 and November 27.

Precision Agriculture

Precision agriculture is a farming method that uses the global navigation satellite system (GNSS), sensors on the ground, and drones in the air to study individual farm fields. With these tools, farmers can fine-tune their approaches to planting, harvesting, and maintaining crops to save themselves time and money. Minnesota farmers have used the technology since the early 1990s to improve crop yields while protecting the health of their soil.


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