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.
Mexican American migrant farm workers harvesting asparagus near Owatonna, c.1955. Rural Minnesota has always been demographically diverse and home to immigrant and migrant populations. Immigrants have played roles as farm owners and hired hands.
Grant County farmers among the marchers to the State Capitol, 1935. Photographer: George E. Luxton. Minnesota farm families practiced active citizenship and made demands on the government to honor their labor and protect their farms.
Farmers Cooperative Creamery, Milaca, c.1910. Photograph by Palmquist Studio. The challenges of the market caused Minnesota farmers to organize cooperatives both to sell their products and buy their supplies.
Women and child feeding chickens, c.1905. Photograph by Emil King. Minnesota farm families worked together to survive on the land. They also worked with hired hands, community members, animals, and machines.
Ojibwe men, possibly at 1857 or 1862 treaty signing in Washington, DC. Photographer: Matthew B. Brady. To make way for the farm, the land first needed to be alienated from native peoples. Treaty negotiations started this process.