Ramsey County History magazine offers a wide variety of articles on the people, places and history of Ramsey County.
Volume 35, Number 1: Spring 2000
The Two Worlds of Jane Gibbs: The Gibbs Farm and the Santee Dakota
Author: Julie A. Humann
This article begins with how a young girl, Jane DeBow, and the Santee Dakota people came to know and learn about each other, starting in 1834 when she was living near the village of the Dakota chief, Cloud Man, at Lake Calhoun (now part of Minneapolis). In the 1830s the Dakota were being encouraged to relinquish their traditional lifestyle of hunting and gathering for the uncertain risks and hardships of prairie agriculture. This experiment did not last for the Dakota; soon they and Jane DeBow both moved away to different places. In 1848 Jane married Heman Gibbs in Galena, Ill. and they moved to Minnesota (1849) where they settled on land that is now the Gibbs Farm in Falcon Heights, outside St. Paul. There Jane was reunited with many of her Dakota friends who camped on the Gibbs land during their travels back and forth between the Minnesota River and the wild rice fields to the north. The August 1862 U.S.-Dakota War, which cost the lives of many white settlers and Dakota, drove the Dakota from Minnesota and ended the Dakota visits with the Gibbs family.
PDF of Humann article
Gummy, Yellow, White Flint Corn—The Dakota Garden at the Gibbs Museum
Author: Janet Cass
At the Gibbs Farm, which was established by Jane and Heman Gibbs in 1849 outside St. Paul, the museum there offers a view of pioneer and native gardens side-by-side. These demonstration plots allow visitors to compare and contrast the different farming techniques used by pioneers and Dakota when raising corn. This approach to farming is not only educational, it also offers an example of how the Dakota in this area cultivated corn for many years in a way that was just as effective for their way of life as was the method that pioneers, such as the Gibbs, used when they settled in Minnesota.
PDF of Cass article
The Gibbs Farm, Its Neighbor, The University Farm, and How Both of Them Influenced Minnesota’s Agricultural History
Author: William F. Hueg Jr.
The 160 acres of farmland acquired by Herman and Jane Gibbs in 1849 in Falcon Heights proved to be some of the most valuable acreage in the history of agriculture in Minnesota. Most of the Gibbs property was later acquired by the University of Minnesota for an experimental farm near the campus of the School of Agriculture. In 1949 the Ramsey County Historical Society acquired the Gibbs farmhouse and some of the remaining Gibbs land (today about nine acres) and turned the Gibbs home and land into a museum about the pioneer and Dakota ways of life in this area.
PDF of Hueg article
Growing Up In St Paul: Mystic Caverns and Their Short-Lived Glory Days
Author: Ray Barton
In the 1930s, a hangout for gangsters and other colorful characters was Mystic Caverns, a nightclub built into the caves on the lower West Side of St. Paul. Its heyday was short-lived, however; within two years the owners were convicted of “illegal gambling activities.” The city later bulldozed over the entrance to Mystic Caverns and there is no remaining trace that this cave even existed.
PDF of Growing Up in St. Paul
Douglas R. Heidenreich, With Satisfaction and Honor: William Mitchell College of Law, 1900– 2000 (St. Paul: William Mitchell College of Law, 1999).
Thomas H. Boyd, “The Life and Career of the Honorable John B. Sanborn, Jr.,” 23:2 William Mitchell Law Review (1997): 203–312.
Edward J. Lettermann, Farming in Early Minnesota, second edition (St. Paul: Ramsey County Historical Society, 2000).
PDF of Book Reviews