Minnesota Historical Society

St. Paul

$ 18.95

An Urban Biography

Author Bill Lindeke

Minnesota Historical Society Press (May 1, 2021)

A concise history of St. Paul, featuring stories that are familiar, surprising, and sure to change the way you see Minnesota’s capital city.


How did the city of St. Paul come to be where and what it is, and what does that show us about the city today? Bill Lindeke provides intriguing insights and helpful answers. He tells the stories of the Dakota village forced to move across the Mississippi by a treaty—and why whiskey sellers took over the site; the new community’s close ties to Fort Snelling and Winnipeg; the steamboats and railroads that created a booming city; the German immigrants who outnumbered the Irish but kept a low profile when the United States went to war; the laborers who built the domes over the state capitol and the Cathedral of St. Paul; the gangsters and bootleggers who found refuge in the city; the strong neighborhoods, shaped by streets built on footpaths and wagon roads—until freeway construction changed so much; and the Hmong, Mexican, East African, and Karen immigrants who continue to build the city’s strong traditions of small businesses.

This thoughtful investigation of place helps readers to understand the city’s hidden stories, surrounding its residents in plain sight.

Author information

Bill Lindeke is an urban geographer and writer who focuses on how our environments shape our lives. He writes MinnPost’s "Cityscapes" column, blogs at Twin Cities Sidewalks, and has written articles on local food and drink history for City Pages and the Growler. He has also taught urban geography at the University of Minnesota and Metro State University.  He is the author of Minneapolis–Saint Paul: Then and Now and the coauthor of Closing Time: Saloons, Taverns, Dives, and Watering Holes of the Twin Cities.

  • This title is also available at your favorite e-book vendor.
  • 192 pages
  • 6 x 9 inches
  • ISBN: 9781681342009

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