Ramsey County History magazine offers a wide variety of articles on the people, places and history of Ramsey County.
Volume 56, Number 2: Summer 2021
How It Started; How It’s Going: Land O’Lakes Celebrates Ten Decades of Innovation
Author: Karen Mellott-Fosier
Arden Hills-based Land O’Lakes, Inc. celebrates a milestone birthday this year. A century ago on June 7, 1921, representatives from 320 of the state’s co-op creameries, gathered in the old state capitol building at Tenth and Wabasha Streets in St. Paul and created Minnesota Cooperative Creameries Association, forming a business developed, owned, and operated by and for the benefit of its members. Why did many Minnesota farmers choose to join this overarching association? They had three initial goals: make a better butter, standardize business practices in the dairy industry, and improve distribution and marketing. And speaking of marketing, they needed a catchy name for their sweet cream butter, so they ran a contest. Two creative Minnesotans submitted “Land O’Lakes” for the butter brand. Shortly thereafter, it became the permanent name of the company, as well. That was just the beginning. Today, Land O’Lakes is a $14 billion organization ($159 million returned to its 3,000 member-owners) with 9,000 employees working in all fifty states and fifty countries.
PDF of K. Mellott-Foshier article
Growing Up Hmong in the Twin Cities: Gatherings from Before
Author: Kao Kalia Yang
Large and extended family gatherings are a steadfast tradition for members of the Hmong community in the Twin Cities area. St. Paul writer Kao Kalia Yang reflects on these familial celebrations where aunties and cousins prepare fresh, traditional meals for scores of guests, children run and play in backyards, and the men visit and sometimes pray together under the guidance of a respected shaman. As COVID-19 shuttered the world, these gatherings came to an abrupt halt. A year and a half on, parties and soccer games are tentatively scheduled again as the community assembles to give thanks but also to mourn and remember.
PDF of K. Yang article
The Aesthetics of Bridge Design: A Paean to Two of St. Paul’s Elegant Park Bridges
Author: Christine Podas-Larson
It is said that bridges have the power to define the character of a city. Today in St. Paul, 320 bridges carry and connect motor vehicles, trains, and bicyclists, runners, and walkers. Author Christine Podas-Larson tells the story of two of these bridges—the South Channel Bridge in Phalen Park and the Montreal Bridge in Highland Park. Thanks to the vision and tenacity of park advocates, bridge engineers, and city leaders, these exquisite, twentieth-century pedestrian structures—one spanning a waterway, the other a roadway—“draw attention from afar and enchant while crossing above and traversing below in an experience that becomes more intimate while in the hold of the structures themselves . . . These are not the bridges of commerce. They are places where those who cross tend to dwell for a time.” After reading this article, we invite you to visit these two city parks (and Como Regional Park, as well) and take a leisurely stroll across the lovely bridges yourself.
PDF of C. Podas-Larson article
Summer 2021 Book Review
PDF of Book Review