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.

For a time in the 1820s and ’30s, settlers from a Swiss colony at Fort Garry (Winnipeg), along with a mixed group of Dakota, Métis and French Canadians, were allowed to use lands adjacent to Fort Snelling. When their use of fuel and forage…

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…

By the early 1900s, the river flats of Upper Landing gradually passed to the Italian immigrants from the region of Molise in south-central Italy. “Little Italy” was a thriving, almost self-contained community on the Upper Levee, below the High…