Saturday, September 8, 2012

On This Date in Minnesota History: September 8

September 8, 1884 – Nine people are killed and White Bear Lake is hardest hit when a tornado tears through Ramsey, Hennepin and Washington counties.”

Friday, September 7, 2012

On This Date in Minnesota History: September 7

September 7, 1926 - Detroit Lakes was originally named Detroit, which “came about when a French Catholic Priest camped on the shore of the lake with a view of the sun setting across the water. The water was low and revealed a sandbar, creating a narrow strait that glistened in the light of the setting sun. The Priest exclaimed, ‘What a beautiful strait.’ The word strait in French is detroit. Consequently, the city was named Detroit.”

“As a result of continuous postal mix-ups between Detroit, Minnesota and the better-known Detroit, Michigan, a special election was held on [this date] to change the city's name to Detroit Lakes. This befitting title has remained ever since.”

 An old postcard showing Washington Ave. in Detroit, Minn.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

On This Date in Minnesota History: September 6

September 6, 2002 - The Lester River Bridge-Bridge No. 5772 was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on this date. A Classical Revival, stone-faced concrete arch bridge designed by landscape architects Morell and Nichols,” it was “built in 1924–25 as part of [Duluth’s] parkway system.”1

The mouth of the Lester River is the most popular smelting area in Minnesota.”2


Lester River Bridge-Bridge No. 5772

For more info on smelting in Minnesota, visit:

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

On This Date in Minnesota History: September 5

September 5, 1882 – Centralized hydroelectric power came on for the first time in the United States in downtown Minneapolis on [this date]. Minnesota Brush Electric Company produced the power, beating a similar effort in Appleton, Wisconsin, by twenty-five days.”

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

On This Date in Minnesota History: September 4

September 4, 1866 - Organized on this date, Pope county was named in honor of General John Pope.  He graduated from West Point in 1842, and served as a lieutenant in the Mexican war. “In the summer of 1849 he was a member of an exploring expedition, under the command of Major Samuel Woods, which went from Fort Snelling up the Mississippi and Sauk rivers and past White Bear lake (since named Lake Minnewaska), in the present Pope county, to the Red river, and thence northward by a route at a considerable distance west of the river to Pembina. On the return, in order to make a thorough examination of the Red river, Pope and a small number of the party embarked in canoes and ascended this river to Otter Tail lake, made the portage to Leaf lakes, and thence descended the Leaf, Crow Wing, and Mississippi rivers.”

General John Pope

Monday, September 3, 2012

On This Date in Minnesota History: September 3

September 3, 1998 - In St. Paul, Khoua Her (24), a Hmong refugee from Laos, reported that she had strangled her 6 children ages 5-11. Police took her into custody after finding the six bodies. During the course of the investigation, police learned that Her had her first child at age 13 in a Thai refugee camp. In a plea deal, Khoua Her received 50 years in prison on six counts of second-degree murder.

Khoua Her 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

On This Date in Minnesota History: September 2

September 2, 1844 – “French Canadian voyageur, trader, and farmer Benjamin Gervais founded Little Canada [Minn.]. His gravestone says ‘the first settler of St. Paul.’"

Original gravestone in background.
Benjamin Gervais, 
St. John’s Cemetery, Little Canada, Ramsey County, Minn.