Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn. By Sarah Lovelace
Minneapolis sits majestic on the banks of the mighty Mississippi and adjoins there with the state capitol Saint Paul. These so-called Twin Cities will make a full July day of site seeing for our band of intrepid travelers. Minneapolis will undoubtedly capture the attention of Tom and me, as we both studied Creative Writing at Susquehanna and this city is known for drawing creative people to it for the theater, art, writing and music.
Originally a flour milling town, Minneapolis’s location next to the highest waterfall on the Mississippi allowed for impressive results in hydropower technology. This new power opened up opportunities for many industries to thrive here such as sawmills, woolen mills, iron works, cotton mills and paper mills and as a result put Minneapolis on the map.
While we’re here we may want to wander by the Pillsbury and General Mills plants to see how production of flour has evolved, or to see if we can nab a free bowl of Cheerios or a Crescent Roll.Hubert Humphrey and Martha Ripley are prominent figures to Minneapolis’ history of creating opportunities for fair and equal treatment. As we learn about these two figures we will also learn about the Teamsters Strike of 1934, the Maternity Hospital established by Martha Ripley, the American Indian Movement, and the Civil Rights movement and how they were important in shaping this city.
When we’re ready to take a break from the history scene we will definitely want to check out some form of the arts. Only New York City surpasses this city in live theater per capita, and the art museums here hold many pieces to captivate our senses.
But, since it will be summer, we will definitely want to check out the parks which I’ve heard are some of the nicest in the country. The Chain of Lakes should allow for a beautiful walk and the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway will give us a high note to drive out on.
St Paul’s Indian Mounds Park may be an interesting way to start off our site seeing around this city as they give insight into the city’s original inhabitants, the Hopewell Native Americans. Following these native settlers the French Canadians expanded their fur trade area, and the set up of local taverns enticed Yankees to call this city home.
People of note who hail from this city include Charles Schulz, and as a result there is a giant Peanuts statue erected in his honor. Another person of note from St. Paul is August Wilson who wrote plays about the African- American experience. Also painter LeRoy Neiman and photographer John Vachon come from this city, so hopefully we will see many of their works on display to enjoy.
(From top) Photo courtesy Meet Minneapolis; photo courtesy Meet Minneapolis; photo courtesy Meet Minneapolis; photo courtesy Meet Minneapolis; photo by m_e_mccarron courtesy Flickr.com; photo courtesy Meet Minneapolis; photo courtesy Minnesota Historical Society