Ramsey County History magazine offers a wide variety of articles on the people, places and history of Ramsey County.
Volume 8, Number 2: Fall 1971
Woodstoves, Hectographs—50 Years a Teacher, She Looks Back at Her First School
Author: Alice Olson
Beginning in 1914 the author taught at a tiny country school in what is now Maplewood. Years later she wrote her memoirs, from which this article was taken. She describes the school and conditions, her supplies, her first day, her life rooming with the Gausman family on their farm, highlights of her first year, breaking a leg during recess, her feelings toward her pupils, and her thoughts on fifty years as a teacher.
PDF of Olson article
Merriam’s Vision: Rural Village Between Cities
Author: John S. Sonnen
The Merriam Park neighborhood was the creation of Colonel John L. Merriam, father of Governor William R. Merriam. He imagined a rural village halfway between Minneapolis and St. Paul. Merriam platted the development and placed both the park and the school (which he also named, Longfellow) where they are today. He also imposed minimum housing standards that ensured “no cheap or inferior residences.” The village quickly grew and in 1884 was annexed by the City of Saint Paul.
PDF of Sonnen article
PDF of Merriam Park photo essay
Boats, Carts, Rails, Roads—The Trailways of History
Descriptions of three early, and vital, St. Paul transportation hubs and tracks: the Lower Landing, the crossroads of the Old Military Road and the Ox Cart Trail, and the Red River Ox Cart Trail. The first was the city’s main steamboat landing, the nexus of commerce into the 1870s. The second was the crossing of the first two main overland commercial “roads,” one leading north from Fort Snelling, the other connecting the St. Paul waterfront with the trading posts of the far northwest. The Red River Ox Cart trail established St. Paul as a major trading center, where furs from the frontier and goods from the rest of the world changed hands.
PDF of Trailways article
Forgotten Pioneers: George Loomis Becker
George Becker (1829–1904), like so many pioneer businessmen, was born in New York State and moved to St. Paul to seek his fortune, in his case in 1849. He was a lawyer and practiced with Edmund Rice, but he made his fortune in railroading, where he served as a “line president” of the St. Paul and Pacific Railroad. He also served as a St. Paul alderman, mayor, state senator, and state railroad commissioner. Becker County is named for him.
PDF of Forgotten Pioneers
Rice Park—How It Changed!
An account of the early years of Rice Park, which begins with the donation of the land for the park to the city and its early neglect. Later the importation of squirrels, the problems of cows, and rug-beating all had an impact on the park, but in time it became a beauty spot. Rice Park declined after World War II, but it was rescued and revived in the 1960s.
PDF of Rice Park
Hayden L. Stright, Together: The Story of Church Cooperation in Minnesota (Minneapolis: T.S. Denison & Co. 1971).
PDF of Book Review