Black and white photograph of the flag case in the rotunda of the second capitol prior to demolition, 1937. Photographed by the Minneapolis Star Journal.

Flag case in the rotunda of the second capitol

Flag case in the rotunda of the second capitol prior to demolition, 1937. Photographed by the Minneapolis Star Journal.

Black and white photograph of the wrecking of the old State Capitol, St. Paul, 1938. Photographed by the St. Paul Dispatch.

Wrecking of the old State Capitol, St. Paul

Wrecking of the old State Capitol, St. Paul, 1938. Photographed by the St. Paul Dispatch.

Black and white photograph of the house chamber, second state capitol, ca. 1885.

House chamber, second state capitol

House chamber, second state capitol, ca. 1885.

Black and white photograph of the senate Chamber, second state capitol, St. Paul, ca. 1900. Photographed by Charles P. Gibson.

Senate Chamber, second state capitol,

Senate Chamber, second state capitol, St. Paul, ca. 1900. Photographed by Charles P. Gibson.

Black and white photograph of the Railroad and Warehouse Commission office in the second state capitol, ca. 1903.

Railroad and Warehouse Commission office

Railroad and Warehouse Commission office in the second state capitol, ca. 1903.

Drawing by Leroy S. Buffington, Architect, for the state capitol building, St. Paul, ca. 1881. Photographed by Farr.

Drawing by Leroy S. Buffington, Architect, for the state capitol building

Drawing by Leroy S. Buffington, Architect, for the state capitol building, St. Paul, ca. 1881. Photographed by Farr.

Black and white photograph of the second State Capitol, 1886.

Second State Capitol

Second State Capitol, 1886.

Minnesota's Second State Capitol

Fire destroyed Minnesota's first capitol building on March 1, 1881. The second capitol, completed in 1883, served as the seat of Minnesota state government for just ten years before state officials began planning a grander, more efficient capitol. The second capitol building stood on the site of the first capitol for fifty-five years until its demolition in 1937.

Charles Powell Adams, Senator and Civil War veteran who assisted in rescuing historic battle flags from the state capitol fire. Engraved by H. B. Hall & Sons ca. 1864..

Charles Powell Adams

Charles Powell Adams, Senator and Civil War veteran who assisted in rescuing historic battle flags from the state capitol fire. Engraved by H. B. Hall & Sons ca. 1864..

State Capitol Fire, 1881

As Minnesota state legislators met on the evening of March 1, 1881, two days before the end of their twenty-second session, two pages alerted them to a fire in the building. Quick action by lawmakers and nearby residents saved important documents, furnishings, and historical collections. The fire took no lives but destroyed Minnesota's first capitol building.

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