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Forests, Fields, and the Falls: Connecting Minnesota

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Minnesota is many different places: the wide, treeless prairies; forests of giant pine that block the sun; quiet towns and busy cities; and the driving momentum of the great rivers....

In the late 1800s, the work that people did in these different places connected Minnesota. You see, all these places depended on each other. The lumbering of the white pine forest made possible settlement that turned the prairies into farms. The Mississippi River divides these two regions. And the bridge between them was the work at the capital of sawmills and flourmills: Saint Anthony Falls.

Choose a theme to explore the stories of four real people.


Lumber Story

This is a true story of life in a lumber camp, taken from the memories of Joseph DeLaittre.

Sawmilling Story

Melvin Frank remembers his childhood in the sawmilling district of Minneapolis. This is his story.

Farming Story

Settling and breaking the prairies was the hard, lonely work of an entire family. This is the story of the Carpenters, pieced together from Mary's letters.

Flour Milling Story

Reporter E.V. Smalley visited Minneapolis in 1886 and wrote about its people, industry, and especially its flour mills.

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