Ramsey County History Magazine: Volume 34-1 Spring 1999

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

Volume 34

Volume 34, Number 1: Spring 1999

In the Beginning: The Geological Forces that Shaped Ramsey County and the People Who Followed
Author: Scott F. Anfinson
“Ramsey County lies in a setting that is geologically complex, both in its bedrock and its glacially produced features.” Beginning about sixty-five million years ago when the region was very close to the equator and much warmer than today, the author traces the geological story of Ramsey County, including the retreat of the glaciers about 13,000 years ago, the formation of Lake Agassiz, the Glacial River Warren, and the formation of a waterfall on top of hard Platteville limestone, which we know today as St. Anthony Falls in Minneapolis. The article concludes with an overview of prehistoric peoples in the region and European contact with Native Americans in the seventeenth century.
PDF of Anfinson article

A Short History of Ramsey County: The Territorial Years and the Rush to Settlement
Compiled from multiple published sources, this long article is just what its title indicates. The history begins with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 and carries the account forward to 1858, which Minnesota was admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state. A useful timeline of key dates is included.
PDF of History of Ramsey County

Ramsey County’s Heritage Trees
Author: Joe Quick
Adapted from the author’s Eagle Scout Community Service Project, this short essay identifies sixteen heritage trees in Ramsey County. The tree species include Eastern cottonwood, white oak, black willow, and burr oak.
PDF of Trees article

The Dakota Perspective: “We Have Been Cheated So Often”
Author: Mark Diedrich
Before white Minnesotans organized Minnesota as a territory in 1849, the Native American population of the region consisted mainly of Dakota, who had been living in the area of Lake Mille Lacs since the 1600s. One division of these Dakota, called the Mantantons migrated southward to the vicinity of the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers. Later they were joined by the Mdewakantons, who established themselves above the Falls of St. Anthony. By the early 1800s, these two tribes had come together and shared the same hunting ground and warred constantly with the Ojibwe. The author then summarizes events involving white settlement in the nineteenth century, treaties with the U.S. government with the Dakota’s associated dependence on annuities, and the decrease of game locally. The article concludes with a brief analysis of the causes of the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862, the subsequent forcible expulsion of the Dakota from the region, and the abrogation of the treaties by the U.S. Congress.
PDF of Diedrich article

Ramsey County History Preserved in Its Survey Office
Author: Ramsey County Public Information Office
A brief overview of the history of the surveying of public lands in Ramsey County using the rectangular grid system established in the Ordinance of 1785. In the 1890s Ramsey County was resurveyed to replace old or worn-out markers with granite monuments. The county is charged with maintaining accurate land records, the survey system, and administering these. Today new tools are in use, but the survey is still an important part of the county’s history.

The remainder of this issue consists of excerpts from articles previously published in Ramsey County History that provide brief histories of the cities of White Bear Lake, Little Canada, New Brighton, and North St. Paul. Other excerpts provide accounts of the feuding Territorial-era newspaper editors in St. Paul, farming in the region in the mid-nineteenth century, a winter dog sled trip from Winnipeg to St. Paul in 1859, and the great horse market at Prior and University Avenues from the 1880s to the 1920s.
PDF of History of Ramsey County Part 2

Book Review

Anne E. Neuberger, Jane Gibbs: “Little Bird That Was Caught,” with illustrations by Tessie Bundick (St. Paul: Ramsey County Historical Society, 1998).
PDF of Book Reviews

PDF of President’s Message