Government ship canal during a storm, Duluth, Minn.

Government ship canal during a storm, Duluth, Minn.

"Government ship canal during a storm, Duluth, Minn." Postcard c.1910.

Duluth Ship Canal Opening, 1871

The opening of the Duluth Ship Canal in 1871 was a historical turning point for the city of Duluth and the Twin Ports of Duluth and Superior.

Paul Bunyan playground at Bemidji

Paul Bunyan playground at Bemidji

This photograph, c.1955, of the Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox at Bemidji highlights a tourist attraction in one of Minnesota's lake cities. Photograph by Kenneth Melvin Wright.

Elevator row, Clara City

Elevator row, Clara City

This postcard of "Elevator Row" in Clara City, Minnesota, c.1910, shows one of the major reasons rural people have gone to town since the 1880s: to connect to the railroad to sell grain.

Ojibwe moccasin game drum

Ojibwe moccasin game drum

Ojibwe moccasin game drum, 1850-1900. When Anglo-Europeans arrived in the Great Lakes region, they found native people organized into seasonal villages with communal activities, including games and dances.

New township and railroad map of the state of Minnesota

New township and railroad map of the state of Minnesota

New township and railroad map of the state of Minnesota, [1890]. Author: St. Paul and Sioux City Railroad Company. The St. Paul and Sioux City was one of many railroad lines that carried people and goods, planted towns, and speculated on land.

Bird’s eye view of Minneapolis, Minn., 1891

Bird’s eye view of Minneapolis, Minn., 1891

Bird's eye view of Minneapolis, Minn., 1891. Author: F. Pezolt. Publisher: Imperial Printing Co. This map offers a not entirely unrealistic representation of the ambitious Minneapolis just before the start of the twentieth century.

How Cities and Towns Have Shaped the State

St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Minnesota's Urban Origins

Expert Essay: Professor of history Annette Atkins, author of Creating Minnesota: A History from the Inside Out, argues that "the Cities" and Minnesota's other urban and rural centers have made the state more than flyover country.

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