- 265 South Exchange Street // Saint Paul, MN 55102 - Take a trip back in time to the 19th century and visit one of the best-preserved Victorian houses in the country; this was the home of Alexander Ramsey, Minnesota's first territorial governor.…

Horseshoer seems like a little bit of an exotic profession today, but in the 19th century--in fact until the 1920's--a motorized truck could not haul as much weight as a draft horse and wagon. While intercity freight was transported by the most…

Women working outside the home for wages were a small minority of the wage-working class at least until the post World War I era. There were virtually no women employed in the brewing industry until the 1930’s. Industries that employed a…

Workers from Bohemia, and other Slavic minorities within the Austro-Hungarian Empire did not predominate in a single industry, like the Germans. Their most enduring monument is the three-story Czech and Slovak Protective Society building just off W…

German workers and German bosses had a monopoly on brewing beer in St Paul, as they did almost everywhere in the United States in the 19th and early 20th centuries. As historian Gary Brueggeman has explained (“Beer Capital of the State-St Paul’s…

Closely allied to the Omaha’s Randolph Street Shops was the Orme Brass and Iron Works at Drake and Armstrong streets, a foundry that furnished a range of cast iron and brass items to the railroad’s shops. Workers at the Orme Foundry belonged to…

Constructed beginning in the late 1800’s, the railroad shops of the Chicago, St Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railway (the “Omaha”) at Randolph and Toronto Streets employed nearly 1,000 workers for the first half of the 20th century. The West End…

Fort Snelling (constructed 1819-25), at the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers, was built to protect our northern borders from the British and to control development in the territories. It served as the mechanism for successive…

In 1873, the City and County Hospital opened, followed in 1891 by the Ancker School of Nursing. City and County Hospital was one of the first in the country to have onsite residences and training for nurses. The whole complex, located at Jefferson…

Some of the oldest public and private schools in the City and State are located in the West 7th neighborhood. While some schools have come and gone—Riverside, Davis, and St. Stanislaus—the community has rallied to ensure that neighborhood-based…

Federal and state transportation authorities wanted to connect Highway 5 with Interstate 94 by running a six-lane freeway between the two, dividing the West End neighborhoods and cutting off the area from others further “uphill.” In 1969,…

John Irvine’s gift to the young village had seen its zenith and a long decline, and so became a target for urban renewal. Many of the houses in the area were owned by absentee landlords and subdivided into minimal living units. Public acquisition…

Farmers and their allies supported improving the river’s shipping capacity once it became clear that railroad dominance meant higher shipping rates. The Equity Co-operative Exchange was formed in 1911 and built its first grain elevators on the…

Saloons in the West End formed a complex network of social support “agencies.” Local bars served as places to leave messages, sources of employment information, and social networking sites.

The development of Saint Paul centered at Seven Corners, the major intersection that included Third Street, Seventh Street and Eagle Street.

Bohemian influence in the West End also began early. From the 1860s to the 1880s, Czech (Bohemians, Moravians and Silesians) and Slovak immigrants engaged in a period of intense commercial and cultural development. Alongside Germans and Poles, Jews…

German immigration brought with it the need for beer. Fortunately, the West End—with its extensive sandstone cave networks and spring water—was ideal for establishing breweries. The Schmidt Brewery was the largest and longest operating brewery…