Bohemian Flats was a community of immigrants that thrived for 60 years about 1880-1940 on the West Bank river flats down below current-day Seven Corners in Minneapolis. It was a first home in a new land for Slovaks, Swedes, and Irish immigrants, many of whom worked in the mills up-river. The words of the immigrants themselves were collected by WPA Writers and published in 1941. These interviews help us understand how the immigrant made Minnesota great!
~Cherie Sidlo Neima, St. Paul, MN
The largest and only continual immigrant neighborhood in Minneapolis is the West Bank. It started in the early 1800s with the Bohemian Flats, a little idyllic hamlet next to the River. Italians, Swedes, Norwegians, Danish, Italians, Slovaks, Czechs, Irish, Romanians, Hungarians lived along those banks. Since then, the west bank has been home to Russians, Koreans, Chinese, Polish, Eritreans, Ethiopians, Somalis, Mexicans, Thai, and many other small and large immigrant communities. You might even like to include Hippies, which are sort of like social immigrants! Each group has left its lasting mark on the neighborhood in the form of restaurants, bakeries, grocery stores, retail stores,and organizations.
~Susannah Dodge, Minneapolis, MN