Ramsey County History magazine offers a wide variety of articles on the people, places and history of Ramsey County.
Volume 46, Number 2: Summer 2011
From Thomery to “The Anchorage:” The Larpenteurs and Their Journey to St. Paul
Author: Michele Murnane
One of the best-known avenues at the north end of St. Paul is Larpenteur, named after the French-American Auguste Louis Larpenteur (1823–1919), who came to St. Paul in the 1840s, enjoyed productive careers in trading and retail, provided significant support to the local Roman Catholic community and sired ten children with his wife Mary Josephine Presley (1825–1902). Notably, he built the first post office boxes in St. Paul. A family home was known as “the French Chateau,” while the immense home of Auguste Louis, on North Dale Street, was called “The Anchorage.” The article is enhanced by brief profiles and photos of Larpenteur family members and the family patriarch who was also known as the “Grandfather of St. Paul.”
PDF of Murname article
With Style, Grace, and Pride: The Gardens at the Minnesota Governor’s Residence
Authors: Karine Pouliquen and Lori Schindler
The Summit Avenue mansion of lumber tycoon Horace and Clotilde Irvine is celebrated for its elaborate gardens. Built about 1910, the residence included one of the early twentieth-century Victorian-style gardens that was in vogue at the time. It featured glass houses to show off its exotic plants. Two of the Irvine children, Olivia and Clotilde, donated the family home and its gardens to the State of Minnesota in 1964 to serve as the official residence of its governors and their families. This article is complemented by drawings of the entire property and the gardens in front of and behind the mansion. Over the years, these gardens have been restored and improved so that their natural beauty is unmistakable. One of the leaders in this ongoing program has been the St. Paul Garden Club, especially since the 1980s. Distinguished guests of the governors have included Eleanor Roosevelt, Crown Prince Harald of Norway, Senator Edward Kennedy, and a well-known Minnesota native, Chief Justice Warren Burger. The Governor’s Residence and Gardens are periodically open for public tours.
PDF of Pouliquen article
Growing Up in St. Paul: The Rondo Years, 1948–1950
Author: Susanne Sebesta Heimbuch
The author describes her years growing up in the Ramsey Hill district in the late 1940s. The neighborhood was a mix of whites and blacks, as she recalls it, but was known as Cornmeal Rondo and was considered by many as the poorer part of St. Paul’s African-American community. Her mother’s Irish relatives—Clancies, Conways, Lawlers, and McIntyres—lived in the nearby parishes of St. Luke’s, St. Mark’s and the Cathedral. This is an intimate portrait of Heimbuch’s family that captures both the highs and lows of growing up in a family under stress. The account ends with the family moving in the summer of 1950 to a home in rural Anoka County, an area that was fun for the children to explore and experience, but a place of physical isolation for their mother who longed to be in close proximity to her relatives and friends in St. Paul.
PDF of Growing Up in Saint Paul