While the house at 470 Hopkins Street is not on the National Register, it has a rich history that can help explain the changes over time in the Railroad Island neighborhood. The stories of the people who lived here were discovered by a researcher for…

Swede Hollow. Even though it has been gone for half a century, there are people who still remember it fondly. A number of articles have been written about its history, often in a nostalgic manner. Some say it was a slum, while others think it was a…

The Brunson House, located at 485 Kenney Street and built around 1856, is thought to be the oldest brick residence in St. Paul. Its original owner was Benjamin W. Brunson who was born in Michigan and went with his parents to Wisconsin in 1835. He…

Benjamin Brunson, a surveyor of Saint Paul in 1847, planned Brunson’s Addition in what is now lower Payne Avenue. The neighborhood had pleasing views of Trout Brook, Phalen Creek and downtown, because no railroads had yet cut through the area. The…

Phalen Creek was a spring fed-stream flowing from Lake Phalen through a deep ravine that ancient waters had gouged from the land. It ended up forming a small delta on the Mississippi River floodplain. Surrounded by trees and wetlands, it served as a…

The Payne Avenue State Bank, a two-story brick building at 961-63 Payne Avenue, was constructed in 1923. With its four large classical columns it is probably the most impressive building on the commercial corridor of this part of the East Side. The…

Casa Bella Plaza Latina — whose building was once slated to become a pawn shop--is a colorful mercado with a wide variety of locally owned businesses. Its 35,000-square-foot commercial space is located at 925 Payne Avenue. The project was driven…

Francesco and Dora Yarusso were the founders of today’s Yarusso Brothers Restaurant at 635 Payne avenue. They arrived in St. Paul in 1904 and headed for Swede Hollow, where they started to raise their fourteen children. They soon moved up the hill…

Morelli’s, located at 535 Tedesco Street on the northwest corner of Payne Avenue, has been in the Italian food business since 1915. James Morelli and his young wife recognized that the growing number of immigrants who lived in the area were eager…