Becoming Minnesota

Dublin Core


Becoming Minnesota

Collection Items

By the Lake
Camp site at Camp Widjiwagan near Ely, 1946.

Camp Widjiwagan Records, Kautz Family YMCA Archives

Shallow Waters
Canoeing on the Gunflint Trail at Camp Menogyn, near Grand Marais.

Minneapolis YMCA Records, Kautz Family YMCA Archives

Ice Palace, St. Paul
Clarence Wigington was the first African American to be appointed as an architectural draftsman in the City Architect's office in St. Paul (1915). He remained there for the next thirty-four years, designing many city-owned structures, such as park…

Uptown Theater, Minneapolis
Designed by Liebenberg & Kaplan to replace a building heavily damaged by fire, this structure still stands at Lagoon and Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis.

Liebenberg & Kaplan Papers, Northwest Architectural Archives, Manuscripts Division

Snow Week
University students go tobogganing during a winter week of outdoor activities. Pictured are Leone Droppa of Fertile, Minnesota; Helen Ormseth of Raymond, Minnesota; Bee Jay Stockerger of St. Paul; and Karen Sandberg, Fertile, Minnesota.


Figure Skater
Student in a physical education class on the St. Paul Campus around 1916.

Photograph Collections, University of Minnesota Archives

Football Fans at memorial Stadium
The crowd roars as Minnesota wins the Little Brown Jug at the 25th homecoming game.

Photograph Collection, University of Minnesota Archives

American Hercules
The Minneapolis 5th Street Northeast YMCA Friday night strength contest in 1948.

Minneapolis YMCA Records, Kautz Family YMCA Archives

Mankato Normal School
The 1910 basketball team from Mankato Normal School

Joseph Brom Photograph Collection, Immigration History Research Center Archives

Polish National Alliance
The 1939 Polish National Alliance baseball team in East End Park in Winona, later renamed Gene Gabryck Park (fourth from right, front row).

Photograph Miscellany Collection, Immigration History Research Center Archives

Finnish American Athletic Club
Minnesota's Iron Range was heavily populated by immigrants in the early 20th century. They often established physical education and sports programs within their various organizations, such as this Finnish American men's athletic club from Virginia,…

The Auroras
During the 1930s the Auroras played for Emanuel Cohen Center against teams at other Minneapolis community centers.

Upper Midwest Jewish Archives

Loudmouth George and the Fishing Trip
Nancy Carlson is a children's book author and illustrator who has published more than 50 books. She is on of the few people who know even back in kindergarten what she wanted to do for a living: "Make pictures and tell stories!"

Kerlan Collection,…

A Minnetonka Summer
An alumnus of the University of Minnesota, Borghild Dahl's passion was teaching. Despite being legally blind, she published 17 books, most of them children's tales of immigrant life in Minnesota.

Kerlan Collections, Children's Literature Research…

Lumberjack Dinner
Sharing the evening meal at Camp Widjiwagan, the St. Paul YMCA's north woods camp near Ely.

Camp Widjiwagan Records, Kautz Family YMCA Archives

Elizabeth Lyman Lodge, Lake Minnetonka
Campers arrived by train from the Great Northern station or rode the trolley car to Excelsior and then took a boat across the lake to camp. Room and board for two weeks was $12.00. The lodge also hosted weekend camps for female office and factory…

Tenth Annual Report of the Board of Park Commissioners of the City of Minneapolis, 1892.
This report provides insights into the work of the Board as it created the foundation for the park system that is widely enjoyed today. For Lake Harriet, "a new sectional boat dock was constructed, the parts of which are connected by bolts, so that…

Hockey Puck
Official hockey puck of the Twin Cities Gay Hockey Association, one of the largest Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender (GLBT) Hockey Leagues in the world

Twin Cities Gay Hockey Association Records, Tretter Collection in GLBT Studies

Pirates of Lake Minnetonka!
Pageants, "stunts," and plays were popular camp activities. Campers at the Minneapolis YWCA's Elizabeth Lyman Lodge were advised to pack "stunt costumes" along with their other camp supplies.

Minneapolis YWCA Records, Social Welfare History…

Off the Edge
Divers display their technical skills at Camp Ihduhapi near Loretto.

Minneapolis YMCA Records, Kautz Family YMCA Archives

Debutantes and Escorts
The Minneapolis-Saint Paul Links presented these debutantes and escorts at the 1989 cotillion. The Links, Incorporated is a not-for-profit organization of more than 12,000 women of color, committed to enhancing the quality of life in African American…

Sweeping a Win
Minneapolis Roosevelt High School Blued High-Y plays a game of Broom Hockey, January 26th 1961.

Minneapolis YMCA Records, Kautz Family YMCA Archives

University of Minnesota Cartograph
This colorful and whimsical depiction of the University Campus features a White Castle and a Dayton's University Store.

Cartograph Collection, University of Minnesota Archives

"University Week" at the Minnesota State Fair
Talks, demonstrations, and films by University faculty at the State Fair represent the University's continued mission of outreach to the people of Minnesota.

Poster Collection, University of Minnesota Archives

Melvin Calvin
St. Paul native Melvin Calvin obtained his PhD in chemistry from the U of M. He received a Nobel Prize in 1961 for his work describing aspects of photosynthesis.

Upper Midwest Jewish Archives

Minnesota Men of Color
AIDS education is an important aspect of the work of many health related organizations. During its existence Minnesota Men of Color often used posters featuring men of several different races as an effective mans of reaching the multi-racial Gay…

New Skills
Men and employed boys learn stenography at the Minneapolis YMCA around 1910.

Minneapolis YMCA Records, Kautz Family YMCA Archives

Rev. Wenceslau Sholar
Sholar (1st kneeling on the left) was a Slovenian immigrant priest who served in Illinois and Minnesota where many Slovenians had settled.

Wenceslau Sholar Papers, Immigration History Research Center Archives

Learning Hebrew
The Minneapolis Talmud Torah, founded in 1894, teaches children to read and write Hebrew even today.

Upper Midwest Jewish Archives

Elementary school classroom
Nashwauk, Minnesota

Fred Torma was born in 1888 in Kihnio province, Finland, and came to Nashwauk in 1906. This is a photo from his collection of a classroom of students with their teacher.

Torma-Silvoia Family Papers, Immigration History…

PLATO Courseware advertisement
Control Data developed PLATO, a comprehensive computer-based educations system, as a way to provide cost-effective, individualized instruction to large numbers of employees, students, and others needing basic education and vocational training. CDC…

Fair Break Advertisement
In 1978. Control Data opened its first Fair Break centers in Minneapolis and St. Paul, providing remediation, work readiness, occupational and vocational training through computer based education.

Control Data Corporation Records, Charles Babbage…

First U of M Grads
Henry Martyn Williamson and Warren Clark Eustis became the first graduates of the University of Minnesota in 1873. Eustis went on to become a practicing physician in Owatonna, Minnesota, and Williamson engaged in horticultural and editorial work in…

Corky the Killer: A Story of Syphilis
Harry Wilmer used the five degrees that he earned in eight years the the University of Minnesota to create a unique method for educating the public about a serious health problem. He created Corky as a representation of the corkscrew-shaped bacteria…

Learning English
Eight members of the Minneapolis YMCA's English class for Chinese speakers, seated on the steps of the YMCA around 1905.

Minneapolis YMCA Records, Kautz Family YMCA Archives

On the North Side
During the 1940s and 1950s, the student population at John Hay grade school on Minneapolis' North Side was about 80 per cent Jewish. Shown here is a fourth grade class.

Upper Midwest Jewish Archives

Passing Poultry
Mrs. John Kruse teaches a YMCA class on poultry in 1916.

Minneapolis YMCA Records, Kautz Family YMCA Archives.

Religious Celebration
John A. Vannelli and sister Anne pose for his confirmation and her first communion, the St. Francis de Sales Parish, Saint Paul, 1924.

Stella del Nord (local chapter of the American Italian Historical Association) Records, Immigration History…

Boys' Night Out
The first night school for boys, begun by the Minneapolis YMCA just prior to 1900.

Minneapolis YMCA Records, Kautz Family YMCA Archives

In the Well of the House
A Minneapolis student addresses the Youth in Government session at the Minnesota House of Representatives, Minnesota State Capitol, 1969.

YMCA of the USA Records, Kautz Family YMCA Archives

Antler Bear Canoe: A Northwoods Alphabet Year
Bowen is the author-illustrator of several books for children. Reviewers have described her distinctive woodcuts as bold, rich, and handsome. She has lived with her family on the rugged north shore of Lake Superior in Minnesota for more than thirty…

St. Paul Jewish Community Center
Theater has always been fostered at the Community Center. Pictured here is a 1967 production of "Potpourri."

Upper Midwest Jewish Archives

In 1935, Clement Haupers (1900-1982) became the state and regional director of the New Deal's Federal Art Project in Minnesota, which hired unemployed artists to decorate public buildings and parks. This untitled painting was done by Haupers of his…

Opera Performance
Finnish Socialis Opera House performers pictured on stage from the play "The Gypsy," in Virginia, Minnesota. Date unknown.

Photograph Miscellany Collection, Immigration History Research Center Archives

Centennial Showboat
The Centennial Showboat was purchased by the University Theatre to commemorate the state's centennial in 1958. The first summer production performed was Under the Gaslight.

Department of Theatre Arts Scrapbooks, University of Minnesota Archives

The Epic of Minnesota's Greatest Forests
This study of the mural located in the Forestry Department's Green Hall on the St. Paul Campus depicts Minnesota's timber era. Stoeckler was a College of Design professor from 1940-43 and 1961-81.

Hazel Stoeckler Papers, University of Minnesota…

Minnesota Orchestra Suite
Sir Neville Marriner was appointed the seventh conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra in 1979 and led it for the next seven years. he is best noted for being conductor of London's Academy of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields for many years. He took the…

Minnesota Ukrainian Chorus Dnipro
The Dnipro Chorus was founded in 1958 to promote Ukrainian culture through song. The photo of the group and its conductor Mykola Bryn was taken at the church hall of Sts. Volodymyr & Olga Ukrainian Orthodox Church of St. Paul. The Chorus performed…

Penumbra's artistic director, Lou Bellamy, starred in the theatre's first production of August Wilson's Fences, which later won Pulitzer and Tony awards. This poster was created by Seitu Ken Jones.

Penumbra Theatre Archives, Givens Collection of…

Three Eumenides
In 1967 and 1968, the Guthrie Theater staged "The House of Atreus," based on plays called "The Oresteia" by ancient Greek playwright, Aeschylus. The costume design shown here was prepared for three Furies, or "Eumenides," who appear in the play.…

Israeli Dance Group
Hillel, the Jewish Student Center on the U of M Twin Cities campus has an active Israeli dance group. This photo was taken in 1948.

Upper Midwest Jewish Archives

Love and Roast Chicken
Knutson (1959-2005) was an artist, storyteller, internationally renowned children's book illustrator and author, and employee of The Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul. Much of her work focused on the retelling and illustration of African and South…

Gone is Gone
Gag was born March 11, 1893, in New Ulm, Minnesota. In 1928 she published her first book for children, Millions of Cats. The book is considered by many to be her finest work and received a Newbery Honor citation in 1929. The four book cover studies…

The Cherry Orchard
Desmond Heeley, one of the leading costume and stage designers in the US, is noted for the impressionistic quality of his design sketches, perhaps best typified by these sketches for the Guthrie Theater's revival of Checkhov's famous play, "The…

Scenic Backdrops
Drawings for scenic backdrops for theaters, depicting idealistic, mythical gardens.

Twin Cities Scenic Design Studios Collection, Performing Arts Archives, Manuscripts Division

Disk Harrow Plow, St. Paul Campus
Used at the University's Agricultural Experiment Station to prepare the soil by breaking up crop residue, uproot weeds, and cover seeds to produce a firm seedbed.

Photograph Collections, University of Minnesota Archives

4-H Junior Livestock Show
4-H has been engaging youth in Minnesota since its founding at the University in 1904.

Wilbur Utley of Preston and his Chester White won first prize in 1922.

Unidentified boy in 1924 with his prize sheep.

Photograph Collection, University of…

St. Paul Campus Scene with Cows
Contented cows graze against the backdrop of the St. Paul Campus.

Photograph Collections, University of Minnesota Archives

Tractor assembly shop, Minneapolis Steel & Machinery Company
A view of the assembly floor where large steam-driven tractors were being made at the company's plant in Minneapolis. For many years, the company marketed its tractors under the name "Minneapolis Moline."

Trade Catalog Collection, Northwest…

Lumber Train
A locomotive engine car on a sled pulls a load of lumber, New York Mills, 1900s. Large numbers of Finnish immigrants settled in New York Mills in the early 1900s.

Einar Saarela Papers, Immigration History Research Center Archives

Advertising Brochure, Minneapolis Honeywell Regulator Company
Honeywell was one of the largest manufacturers of thermostats, dating back to the last years of the 19th century. Early thermostats were regulated by means of chains that ran through holes in the floor from the thermostat to the dampers in the…

"Seventeen Salutes Minnesota, Star of the North"
in 1955 Seventeen magazine distributed a poster that used a familiar folklore character to illustrate many of the industries and products made in Minnesota.

Paul Bunyan Collection, Children's Literature Research Collections

Magnetic Storage Drums sales brochure
Engineering Research Associates (ERA) was founded in 1946 in St. Paul in an effort to continue the work of a classified war-time Navy cryptology unit. ERA was responsible for producing Minnesota's first digital computer, and became a division of…

William Bros Boiler Company, Minneapolis
Factory views from a product catalog.

Bros was a prominent manufacturer of boilers and other heating equipment for many years. The factory, shown in this illustration, stood at the corner of east Hennepin Avenue and Johnson Street. The site is…

Early Trading
Joseph Ullmann built an impressive international business trading furs with Indians. The firm was based in St. Paul.

Upper Midwest Jewish Archives

Thermo King Corporation
Thermo King Corporation revolutionized the shipping of perishable foods in 1938 by creating transport refrigeration for trucks, trains, buses, ships, and planes. Fred Jones, a gifted African American engineer designed the units, and Joe Numero, owner…

Railway Builders
Picture of Italian railway workers on the tracks, Frank Oliver and Mike Perzichilli are identified in the center, Dilworth, Minnesota.

Stella del Nord (local chapter of the American Italian Historical Association) Records, Immigration History…

Control Data Corporation Exhibitors at the Minnesota State Fair
Headed by William C. Norris, Control Data produced high-speed scientific computers. Control Data became one of the top ten computer manufacturers in the world; it produced among the fastest computers of their day, including the CDC 6600, designed by…

Archie Givens, Sr. at the Givens Ice Cream Bar
The Givens Ice Cream Bar opened in 1947 at the corner of Sixth Street and Lyndale Avenue. Givens would later become a prominent businessman and Minnesota's first African American millionaire.

Givens Foundation Photos, Givens Collection of African…

28-story "Cloudscrapper"
Buffington was awarded a patent for his structural design of the "cloudscrapper" in 1886. His invention called for a steel frame to carry the load of high rise buildings. Buffington claimed the right to receive royalties on every building that…

"Sanakaku" Residence, Burnsville, Minnesota
John Howe was Frank Lloyd Wright's chief draftsman for almost 30 years. he opened his own office in Minneapolis in 1967 and designed a number of beautiful residences in the Upper Midwest. "Sankaku" was Howe's own home from about 1971 to 1992. As was…

Farmers Co-operative storefront, Kettle River, Minnesota
One of the strongest Finnish business enterprises were the cooperatives. This undated photo shows one of many such cooperative stores that existed throughout Minnesota.

Photograph Miscellany Collection, Immigration History Research Center Archives

Publishing in Minnesota
Agriculture isn't the only industry in Minnesota, we also house a number of independent presses. Lerner is just one of the publishing companies located in the area.

Kerlan Collection, Children's Literature Research Collections

SS Goldish
Before a highway along Lake Superior's North Shore was build, the SS Goldish sailed out of Duluth, picked up fresh fish from villages along the lake, packed them in ice, and rushed them to the Twin Cities.

Upper Midwest Jewish Archives

The University Library's strong and distinctive collection of beekeeping books has been chosen to be digitized by Google. Learn more about the beekeeping archives at

Learn to Feed the World
The School of Agriculture promoted modern scientific farming methods that would feed the world and benefit Minnesota.

Poster Collections, University of Minnesota Archives

Sources of the Mississippi River, in 1820...
Henry Rowe Schoolcraft was an ethnologist who contributed significantly to the study of Native American populations. In 1820, he was a member of the Cass and Doty expedition to explore the Upper Great Lakes and to search for the source of the…

At Home in a New Land
Sandin's own background inspired the research that went into the Long Way to a New Land, The Long Way Westward, and At Home in a New Land, three self-illustrated early readers which tell the story of an immigrant family's journey from Sweden to the…

Welcome New Neighbor to Minnesota
State of Minnesota Commission on Resettlement of Displaced Persons, ca. 1950.

Minnesota received many new emigres after WWII. The State of Minnesota Commission on Resettlement of Displaced Persons was formed to process these newcomers. Prof.…

Annual Report of the Board of Trade of Minneapolis, 1876.
Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Minneapolis Railroad Depot, 1876

The Annual Report of the board of Trade of Minneapolis details the city's financial position, educational institutions, churches, transportation, and manufacturing, among other…

Minnesota Miscellany, a collection of pamphlets
Advertisement for J.A. Christian & Co.

Milling, whether it was of grain or lumber, was an important enterprise in Minneapolis--taking advantage of the power supplied by the Mississippi--and of interest to the Board of Trade. The "A" mill depicted…

Tenth Annual Report of the Board of Park Commissioners of the City of Minneapolis, 1892
Excavating Lake of the Isles

This report discusses such things as the acquisition of land for Powder Horn Park and the completion of the Minnehaha Parkway. For Lake of the Isles, the report notes that the dredge was kept in operation from May 1st…

Minnesota Miscellany, a collection of pamphlets
Duluth in May 1870

This engraving is taken from a pamphlet titled Duluth, of the type commonly produced for immigrants in the late 19th century, on the many benefits of settling in Duluth, establishing business there, or buying property.


History of the Indian Tribes of North America, with biographical sketches and anaecdotes of the principal chiefs...
Weshcubb, a chief of Red Lake, north of the source of the Mississippi

Ojibway woman and child

Chatonwahtooamany (Little Crow), a chief of the Kapoja band of the Mdewakanton Sioux

These hand-colored lithograph portraits are based on paintings…

Travels through the interior parts of North-America, in the years 1766, 1767, and 1768
Jonathan Carver, a native of Massachusetts, was commissioned in 1766 to investigate the commercial viability of the Mississippi River valley. Carver eventually settled in Minnesota on the shores of Lake Pepin.

James Ford Bell Library

A new discovery of a vast country in America, extending above fourth thousand miles between New France and Mexico: with a description of the great lakes, cataracts, rivers, plants, and animals: also, the manners, customs, and languages of the several native Indians, and the advantage of commerce with those different nations...
Father Hennepin's St. Anthony Falls

Named by Father Hennepin after his patron saint, the falls also made an impression on Jonathan Carver, who traveled extensively throughout the region. Here, Father Hennepin's thoughts are paired with the image…

Partie occidentale du Canada ou de la Nouvelle France ou sont les nations des Illinois, de Tracy, les Iroquois, et plusiers autres peuples..
Map of New France

Venetian cartographer Vincenzo Coroneli's map of new France emphasizes the territories of the various Native American peoples encountered by the French traders and missionaries; here the Mississippi River ends at St. Anthony…

Nouvelle decourverte d'un tres grand pays situe dans l'Americque, entre le Nouveau Mexique, et la Mer glaciale.
Father Hennepin's Map of the the Mississippi River Valley

Franciscan missionary Louis Hennepin was among the first Europeans to explore the Mississippi River basin, traveling as far north as Mille Lacs in about 1672.

James Ford Bell Library

Relation de ce qui s'est passe de plus remarquable aus missions des peres de al Compagnie de Jesus en le Nouvelle France, les annees 1670 & 1671.
Lac Tracy (Lake Superior)

This map of Lake Superior, called Lac Tracy by the French military, was drawn in about 1670 by two Jesuit missionaries who were considered to be "of considerable intelligence, interested in research and very…

Frederick Manfred
Frederick Manfred (1912-1994) was born Feike Feikema in Doon, Iowa, and changed his name after becoming an established novelist and poet. He lived most of his life near Luverne, in southwestern Minnesota, and set all of his books in the area, which…

Wedding Bells
Minneapolis, 1914

Maria Procai was born in 1887 in the village of Dorichin, Sokal, Ukraine, and came to American in 1902 to join her brothers in Pennsylvania. A year later she arrived in Minneapolis. In the early 1950s she and her daughter…

Leisure Time
A group of young men hanging out on Plymouth Avenue in the 1950s.

Upper Midwest Jewish Archives

Pillsbury House
Minneapolis, 1930s.

Pillsbury Settlement House and other community centers provided sports, clubs, activities, education programs, and health care for city residents. With origins dating to 1879, Pillsbury House is now part of Pillsbury United…

25 Years a Neighbor
Gertrude Brown, first head resident of Phyllis Wheatley Settlement House is shown with a group of young settlement members. Phyllis Wheatley house has been active in north Minneapolis since 1924.

Pamphlet Collections, Social Welfare History…

Pride Grand Marshal
In 2001 GLBT Pride/Twin Cities elected Beverly Little Thunder (Standing Rock, Lakota) as the first Two-Spirit native American Grand Marshal of a Pride Festival [pictured center].

GLBT Pride/TC Records, Tretter Collection in GLBT Studies

Bronko Nagurski
Gopher football player from 1927-29, Nagurski was the only player ever named All-American at two positions in the same year: fullback on offense and tackle on defense.

Photograph Collection, University of Minnesota Archives

The Jesse James Stories
Original Narratives of the James Boys #1; originally published May 11, 1901, reprinted December 1938.

Minnesota was the last stop for the James-Younger Gang in 1876. Their target was the First National Bank of Northfield, located far outside of…

Bell's Passion for History
In 1953, James Ford Bell, founder of Minnesota's General Mils Corp., established at the University the first and only library in the world dedicated to the history and impact of trade. Among his first purchases for the new library: the 1424 nautical…

Family Homestead, Alango Township
Pictured is the Kutsi (Nestor) family homestead, one of the early Finnish pioneer families that came to settle in Alango. An example of what a Finnish family homestead looked like in the early 1900s.

Photograph Miscellany Collection, Immigration…
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