Cole's Mill after cyclone, Rochester. Photographed by Elmer & Tenney, August 21, 1883. At Cole's Mill, eight cars of flour were overturned, the west end of the mill was blown in, machinery was blown about, and the roof was blown off.
A devastating cyclone hit Rochester on August 21, 1883. It killed dozens of people and injured many more, but emergency health services in the tornado's aftermath also led to the eventual creation of the Mayo Clinic.
The one million acres of land and water bordering Minnesota and Canada called the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, or BWCA, began to be set aside for preservation purposes in 1902. MN90 producer Marisa Helms recounts some of its history.
During the 1870s, grasshopper plagues made life miserable for Minnesota's farmers. The insects traveled in swarms so large they darkened the sky, destroying crops and farmers’ livelihoods along the way. Learn more about the government response to the crisis and the lasting damage that was left behind.
On June 12, 1873, farmers in southwestern Minnesota saw what looked like a snowstorm coming towards their fields from the west. What seemed to be snowflakes were in fact grasshoppers. In a matter of hours, knee-high fields of grass and wheat were eaten to the ground by hungry hoppers.