West End: Immigration

Tour curated by: Special thanks to local historians Gary Brueggemann, Jim Sazevich, and Tom Schroeder, local author Jerry Rothstein, and the West End neighborhood volunteers for their time and support. Additional thanks to the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota and the Historic Irvine Park Association for the use of their research.

Settlers’ and land-seekers’ endless pressure on the Federal Government rapidly displaced the Native Americans, eventually confining them in reserves with few of the promised payments or amenities. Migrants from the Eastern states, who had often made several moves before arriving in Saint Paul, joined new immigrants from Ireland and England, Germany and Prussia, Poland, Bohemia/Moravia, Slovakia, and Italy.

Locations for Tour

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…

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…

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…