Where We Began
Encounter between the native peoples of this region and Europeans is where the story of our statehood begins. The European perspective on the nature of these encounters--captured in accounts written by Jesuit missionaries, explorers like Father Louis Hennepin, early settlers like Johnathan Carver, and illustrated in early printed mappes--is what remains for us today of this early time, enriched by the memories and the life experiences, captured nearly a century later, of such men as Chatonwahtooamany, chief of the Kapoja band of the Mdewakanton Sioux. By the 19th century, encounter gave way to widespread settlement and industrialization. Cities like Duluth attracted businesses and immigrants; the expanding milling industry brought additional prosperity, so much so that Minneapoils could undertake such projects as the dredging of Lake of the Isles to expand its parkway system. Immigrants from Sweden and elsewhere throughout Europe, including the Isle of Man, flocked to Minnesota, changing the nature of our history of encounter. We acknowledge this rich heritage today in the names of our lakes, and arivers, our counties, cities, and streets, our institutions, and our celebrations.