Color illustration of a Crex Carpet Company employee operating a carpet loom, c.1908.

Crex Carpet Company loom and employee

Illustration of a Crex Carpet Company employee operating a carpet loom. Originally reproduced in a Crex Carpet Company catalog (Chicago: Hollister Press, c.1908).

Crex Carpet Company

From 1898 to the early 1930s, St. Paul was the center of a national home furnishings industry based on wire grass, a plant that grew wild in the peat bogs of Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Steamboats Itasca and War Eagle at the St. Paul levee, 1859.

Steamboats

Steamboats Itasca and War Eagle at the St. Paul levee, 1859.

Painting showing a view of St. Paul, 1855.

View of St. Paul

Painting showing a view of St. Paul, 1855.

Watercolor painting of an interior view of Fort Snelling made c.1853.

Interior View, Fort Snelling

Watercolor painting of an interior view of Fort Snelling, c.1853.

Oil on canvas painting of Fort Snelling created c.1855.

Fort Snelling

Oil on canvas painting of Fort Snelling, c.1855.

Black and white photograph of St. Anthony Falls taken c.1860.

Falls of St. Anthony

Black and white photograph of St. Anthony Falls taken c.1860.

The Rock Island Excursion of 1854

On February 22, 1854, the Chicago and Rock Island Railroad completed the first rail line to connect the Mississippi River to the Atlantic Ocean. To promote that feat the company contacted notable East Coast citizens and journalists and invited them to ride their train to Rock Island. From there, the visitors took a steamboat trip up the Mississippi, stopping at St. Paul. The journalists, pleased with what they saw, wrote of the beauty and splendor of a region that many in the East thought was little more than a wilderness.

Black and white photograph of open pit mining, Mesabi Range, c.1950.

Open pit mining, Mesabi Range

Open pit mining, Mesabi Range, c.1950.

Black and white photograph of view from Mesabi Range, c.1916.

View from Mesabi Range

View from Mesabi Range, c.1916.

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