Mickey's Diner

Mickey Crimmons and Bert Mattson opened Mickey's Diner, located at 36 West Seventh Street in downtown St. Paul, in 1939. Such diners had gained popularity early in the twentieth century as inexpensive, often all-night, eateries. Built to resemble a rail car, Mickey's was particularly notable for its unique look. Its unusual architecture made it a local landmark, and earned it a place on the National Register of Historic Places.

Photograph of flour mills and grain elevators overlooking Red Wing’s crowded riverfront, c. 1900.

Red Wing riverfront scene

Flour mills and grain elevators overlook Red Wing’s crowded riverfront, c. 1900.

Late 1860s photograph showing barges along Red Wing's Mississippi River waterfront awaiting wheat for shipment to customers downriver.

Red Wing

This late 1860s photograph shows barges along Red Wing's Mississippi River waterfront awaiting wheat for shipment to customers downriver.

Spectacular Fair: The Minnesota State Fair

In this Collections Up Close video podcast, Minnesota Historical Society collections assistant Christopher Welter shares a few of the thousands of State Fair photographs in the MHS collection, with a special emphasis on the fair’s more spectacular offerings.

Black and white photograph of Red Wing riverfront including remnants of Red Wing Mills, c.1885.

Remnants of Red Wing Mills, c.1885

Remnants of Red Wing Mills ruins are visible next to the plant's 136-foot-high chimney in this photo of the city's Mississippi River waterfront c.1885.

The Burning of Red Wing Mills, March 4, 1883

Early generations of Minnesotans lived with the ever-present danger of fire. Many city histories tell of blazes that destroyed whole sections of their communities, but in most cases arson was not the cause. The Red Wing Mills complex, however, was almost certainly burned deliberately by an unknown arsonist.

Black and white photograph of Red Wing Iron Works building, c. 1890.

Red Wing Iron Works, c. 1890

Frances Densmore’s father Benjamin and his brother Daniel started Red Wing Iron Works in 1866. Its financial success allowed the family to support her studies at Oberlin Conservatory of Music.

Photograph of Carlson's limestone kiln

Carlson kiln

A Milwaukee Road train pulls up to G.A. Carlson's limestone kiln, still in existence today, on the Mississippi River side of Barn Bluff, c. 1895. Red Wing became known as Minnesota's "Lime Center" in the 1870s as local quarrying firms and their kilns reduced limestone to lime.

photograph of limestone kiln

G. A. Carlson kiln

Red Wing's leading quarry owner G.A. Carlson built this 1882 Barn Bluff limestone kiln near the Milwaukee Road's tracks. He wished to facilitate shipments of lime and cement. The kiln, pictured about 1885, still exists.

photograph of a group of quarrymen at Barn Bluff

Quarrymen posing

A group of Barn Bluff quarrymen pose for a photo about 1890.

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