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Street scene, 1904

Street scene

Frank Wostrel's hardware store, left side of the image, where the first floor exploded during the cyclone, dropping the second level to the ground, 1904. Part of the first floor walls can be seen just to the left of the building.

Black and white photograph of the Sherman House Hotel, 1904

Sherman House Hotel

The Sherman House Hotel after the storm, 1904. It is the building in the center, next to the large tree. The photo shows the entire front of the building laying in the street in the foreground. Witness accounts say nothing inside the building was moved.

Sherman House Hotel

Sherman House Hotel

Sherman House, Joseph and Albert Miller, Prop. Waconia, Minnesota, c.1890s.

Waconia Cyclone, August 20, 1904

On August 20, 1904, a large cyclone hit the City of Waconia, changing the face of the city forever.

photograph of several individuals standing in front of a field of young trees

Alvin C. Rose "tree claim," Deuel County, South Dakota.

Estelline, Dakota Territory. Members of the Andrew F. Rose family gatherered on the Alvin C. Rose farm, c.1880s.

photograph depicting a road through a grove of trees

A good tree claim in Lyon County

A good tree claim in Lyon County, c.1900.

The Timber Culture Act of 1873

When Congress enacted the Timber Culture Act of 1873, many hoped that giving settlers deed to public lands in return for growing trees would reshape the environment of the West. However, legal loopholes meant that most of the tree claims filed under the Timber Culture Act were never planted with trees. Fraudulent claims and wild speculation meant that the act was repealed less than twenty years after it was enacted.

Snowstorm, Mankato

Post-blizzard Mankato, c.1880.

photograph of Dawson school with children playing in the snow.

Dawson School, Dawson

Dawson School in Lac Qui Parle County, on the western border of Minnesota, c.1890.

Children's Blizzard, 1888

The winter of 1887-1888 was ferocious and unrelenting. But nothing prepared southwestern Minnesota for the January storm that came to be known as the Children's Blizzard.

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