West End: The West Side

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.

The West End is Saint Paul’s and Minnesota’s first urban neighborhood. With West 7th/Fort Road as its spine, it extends from Seven Corners near downtown to the overlook on the east bank of the Mississippi River across from Fort Snelling. This was also the last stretch of the historic fur trade route from Eastern states and Canada.

From the arrival of Zebulon Pike in 1805 to the West End of today, a number of recurring themes shaped this community’s development. Most symbolic of this process is the Mississippi, the Great River, which has been the integral connector for all the encounters we have experienced, understood, forgotten, and recovered.

Locations for Tour

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…

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…