Historic Railroad Map of Minnesota - 1874

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Township and Railroad Map of Minnesota published for the Legislative Manual, 1874.

The Minnesota Territory was designated in 1849 with St. Paul named as its capital. By 1850, St. Paul contained 257 families and held a population of 1,294.

While the region had been inhabited by Native Americans for thousands of years, the city of Milwaukee can be traced back to a series of trading posts established by French fur-trader, Jacques Vieau, in 1795. Solomon Juneau purchased the trading post that Vieau had established at the mouth of the Milwaukee River in 1820.

During the 1830's, three settlements emerged around this portion of the river, one being a settlement called Juneautown, founded by Solomon Juneau and his new partner, Green Bay lawyer Morgan Martin, who purchased 160 acres of land between Lake Michigan and the Milwaukee River. Land west of the Milwaukee River was purchased by Byron Kilbourn, who founded the settlement of Kilbourntown. South of these two settlements, the town of Walker's Point was founded by George H. Walker in 1835. The three settlements engaged in fierce competition to attract residents and grow their towns. When the Wisconsin State Legislature ordered the construction of a bridge over the Milwaukee River in 1840, it was to Juneautown's advantage. In 1845, Byron Kilbourn destroyed a portion of the bridge. This began what is known as the "Milwaukee Bridge War" which resulted in the injury of several persons involved in skirmishes. On January 31, 1846 the three settlements merged into the incorporated city of Milwaukee, with Solomon Juneau elected mayor. The new city was now the largest in the territory, with a population of about 10,000.

In 1858, Minnesota was made the thirty-second state, with St. Paul as capital. St. Paul grew quickly from that point with increased farming and manufacturing opportunities, and improved railroad facilities.

Copper began to be mined in the area of Duluth, and then iron ore. An extension of the Lake Superior & Mississippi Railroad from St. Paul was added in the late 1860's. This railroad line enabled Duluth to transport the region’s iron ore and cut timber more easily and the town prospered greatly because of it.

Brainerd was founded along the Mississippi River in the 1870's when a railroad junction was planned at that location. The Northern Pacific Railway maintained railroad machine and car shops at Brainerd.

In 1874 the legislature moved to alter Ramsey and Dakota county lines and incorporate West St. Paul. Bridge toll fees were removed at that time. Twenty million bushels of wheat were then being marketed annually through St. Paul.


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