Ramsey County History Magazine: Volume 17-2 1982

Ramsey County History magazine offers a wide variety of articles on the people, places and history of Ramsey County.

Volume 17

Volume 17, Number 2: 1982

The St. Paul Farmer’s Market: A 130-Year-Old Tradition
Author: Rosemary Palmer
The St. Paul Farmer’s Market is one of the oldest institutions in the city. In 1853 a man built a market house with a second floor that served as a place for community gatherings and where farmers could sell their produce. The city leased it, but later built its own market on 7th Street that was open Monday through Saturday. The street level was for selling produce and visitors could lunch in restaurants in the basement and see dances or plays on the second floor. Thanks to the growing trucking industry, the market developed into a wholesale center that was a regional attraction. It expanded and occupied to cover four blocks with 682 stalls. Suburbanization took its toll and freeway construction took land containing 2/3 of the sheds. No longer fashionable, by the early 1980s it had become a retail operation again that was only open on weekends.
PDF of Palmer article

Swede Hollow: Sheltered Society for Immigrants to St. Paul
Author: Mollie Price
Swede Hollow was an important St. Paul immigrant neighborhood along Phalen Creek on the city’s East Side. As early as the 1840s a few hunters and trappers staked claims and an enterprise or two started using water power. In 1865 three Swedish families arrived in the valley and many more followed in the 1870s. They called it “Svenska Dalen” or Swedish Valley. They constructed homes and put outhouses on stilts over the creek. The author found, through city directories, that most of the residents were employed as laborers in jobs at the railroads or Hamm’s Brewery, located at the north end of the community.

Starting in the 1880’s, Italian immigrants took over many of the homes as their predecessors moved into the neighborhoods elsewhere. The newcomers usually had large families and often took in boarders and brought their own culture of religion, festivals, food and gardens. Water was still drawn from artesian springs in the hillside. By the 1930s Mexican Americans began to join the earlier groups. City health officials began questioning sanitation in the area and condemned it in 1956. The sixteen remaining families with their eighty-five members were evicted and their homes burned. The area became abandoned and abused, a victim of illegal dumping. In the 1970s it became, however, a nature center and park.
PDF of Price article

PDF of Board of Directors