Ramsey County History Magazine: Volume 52-2 Summer 2017

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

Volume 52

Volume 52, Number 1: Spring 2017

 The Ties That Bind: Mounds-Park Nurses and the Great War
Author: Johannes R. Allert

After the United States entered World War I in 1917, some graduates of the Mounds-Park Nursing School in St. Paul joined the American Red Cross, which played a supportive role in the conflict, and twenty-four graduates volunteered for service in the ranks of the U.S. military. Because most of the American soldiers who were seriously wounded in France were shipped home to U.S. Navy hospitals for additional medical treatment and rehabilitation, nineteen of the Mounds-Park nurses provided care for these casualties. Just when the medical staffs at these hospitals were providing treatment to so many who had been wounded in the last months of 1918, they also had to confront the world-wide influenza pandemic. This essay focuses on the service of two Mounds-Park nurses, Anna Dahlby and Esther Kirbach, who died from the flu and are forever remembered at Ramsey County’s Peace Memorial.
PDF of Allert article

A Good Turn for the Great Minnesota Get Together: The Boy Scout Service Camp at the Minnesota State Fair
Author: M.D. Salzberg

Beginning in 1913 and lasting into the mid-1970s, Boy Scouts from Region 10 camped on the grounds of the Minnesota State Fair and provided a variety of volunteer services to fairgoers. The primary job that the Scouts performed every day during the Fair was operating the public parking lots. They also counted laps at the afternoon auto races and gave helpful directions to fairgoers who were seeking a particular livestock barn, program, building, or exhibit. In return for their orderly operation of the parking lots, the Scouting program gained wide visibility that helped recruit new members and demonstrated the service orientation of Scouting and the individual Scouts who participated in the Camps experienced memorable adventures.
PDF of Salzberg article

William Nettleton, John G. Wardell, and the Highland Spring Water Company in St. Paul
Author: Donald L. Empson

William Nettleton (1822–1905) was born in Ohio, relocated to northern Minnesota in the early 1850s, and was one of the founders of Duluth. Around 1871 he moved again, this time to St. Paul where he bought a large farm on the western outskirts of the city. Today this land is at the corner of Randolph and Lexington avenues. The mansion that the previous owner had built on the farm was destroyed in a fire in 1876, but Nettleton built a large, new home on the same site. Then in 1883 he moved to Spokane and the Nettleton family sold the St. Paul farm in 1900 to John G. Wardell, a local entrepreneur. Wardell established the Highland Spring Water Company there and took advantage of the natural spring on the property to produce bottled spring water and, for a time, carbonated beverages such as ginger ale, which he and his son sold in the city and the surrounding area. Between 1951 and 1965, the Wardell family sold portions of the property to housing developers. Although apartment buildings and a high-rise residence occupy this site today, the natural spring still flows to the surface.
PDF of Empson article

Can America Be Bombed? The St. Paul Science Museum’s Answer
Author: Brian McMahon

In the spring of 1941 the St. Paul Science Museum (predecessor to today’s Science Museum of Minnesota) opened an exhibit provocatively titled “Can America Be Bombed?” The Museum’s president, Charles Lesley Ames, was alarmed by the military aggression of Adolf Hitler and wanted to educate the public about the potential danger that the Axis nations posed for the United States. The director of the Museum, Dr. Lewis Powell, oversaw the development of this innovative exhibit, which included specially constructed globes that used new mapping technologies and a patented mount for supporting a globe so that it could be moved about a plurality of axes. The exhibit was then publicly displayed not only in the Twin Cities, but also in selected cities around the nation, including Washington, D.C. Although the oceans still separated the United States from Europe and Asia, this exhibit demonstrated that America’s physical isolation from possible aerial attack was about to end.
PDF of McMahon article

Book Review
Stephen E. Osman, Fort Snelling and the Civil War (St. Paul: Ramsey County Historical Society, 2017)
PDF of Book Reviews