Minneapolis wasn’t built in a day. This dynamic, prosperous city is the current incarnation of its unique past – a history impacted by the region’s natural beauty, its original indigenous and immigrant residents and its fluid relationship with the mighty Mississippi River.
1600-1850 - Mighty Mississippi
Minneapolis was born on the Mississippi, on land the Sioux and Ojibwe people had long called home. Around 1680, Father Louis Hennepin christened scenic St. Anthony Falls, which, centuries later, would give the burgeoning city enormous industrial power. The Louisiana Purchase in 1803 and the construction of Fort Snelling in the 1820s ushered more Europeans into this pristine region for trading, trapping and settlement.
1850-1930 - Flour Power
Minneapolis grew beside the Mississippi River where St. Anthony Falls fueled the lucrative flour milling industry. From the 1880s to the 1930s, flour production made Minneapolis the milling capital of the world, and established modern corporate giants such as Cargill, General Mills and Pillsbury. Tourists and artists also flocked to the only waterfall on the river, spanned in 1883 by the landmark Stone Arch Bridge, which remains today.
1930-TODAY - Economic Growth
A progressive city claiming many commercial, political, medical and cultural firsts, Minneapolis continues to make history, the city has one of the most stable economic bases in the country and includes global leaders Medtronic, Best Buy and 3M within its broad, successful business community.
PRESENT DAY - Increasingly Diverse
Minneapolis has always been empowered by its people, including native residents, pioneers, immigrants and transplants from around the world. Many Lakota Sioux and Ojibwe names – Minnehaha, Minnetonka, Nokomis – attest to the continued presence of Minnesota’s first residents. The cultural influences of the city’s first settlers – Scandinavian, Irish, German, Italian, French-Canadian, Greek, Polish, Jewish and people of many nationalities – can be seen in neighborhood churches, businesses, architecture and events. A massive influx of Scandinavians in the late 1800s had a well-known and lasting impact on area culture. Today the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area boasts the largest Hmong and Somali populations in the country as well as other diverse ethnic groups. This includes recent immigrant groups such as the Karen and Liberians, whom hold large populations in Saint Paul and Brooklyn Park, respectively.