VP Theodore Roosevelt Visits the State Fair, 1901

“We must raise others while we are being benefited,” declared Vice President Theodore Roosevelt to a full crowd in the band stand during the keynote address at the Minnesota State Fair opening day on September 2, 1901. Roosevelt’s speech, titled “National Duties,” emphasized the United States’ role at home and in world affairs. During the speech, Roosevelt used the phrase “Speak softly and carry a big stick—you will go far.” An old proverb, this phrase came to be associated with Roosevelt.

Following his speech, Roosevelt attended a luncheon at the Fair’s Woman’s Headquarters. Roosevelt sat with prominent Minnesota officials, including Governor and Mrs. Van Sant. Archbishop John Ireland said the blessing before the luncheon. The souvenir luncheon cards (pictured above) were designed by Mary Moulton Cheney, a prominent Minneapolis artist, and featured Roosevelt on a bucking broncho on the Minnesota State Seal.

During the evening of September 2nd, the celebration in honor of Roosevelt continued with a dinner at the Minneapolis Club. Representing Minneapolis at the banquet table were, among others: Thomas Lowry, president of the Minneapolis Street Railway Company; William H. Dunwoody, grain merchant, banker, and creator of the Dunwoody Institute (endowed through his will); Cyrus Northrop, president of the University of Minnesota; Frank H. Peavey, founder of Peavey Company.  

Roosevelt’s visit to Minnesota was one of his final appearances as Vice President. Four days later, on September 6, 1901, an assassin shot President McKinley at the Pan-American exposition in Buffalo, NY. When McKinley died of his wounds on September 14th, Theodore Roosevelt became the 26th President of the United States.

The second part of writer in residence Hans Weyandt’s interview with Special Collections Librarian Bailey Diers.

chpinthestacks:

CHP In the Stacks: An Interview with Bailey Diers, Hennepin County Library’s Special Collections Librarian (Part 2)
What have you enjoyed most about having a writer/reader in residence?Hans has been exploring bits and pieces of all of our collections. It’s been fun to pull materials from collections that are not often used, like the Fine Press and Book Arts Collection, which has over 2,000 artists’ books and books about books! Hans, a book lover, reacts to each item he sees as if each one is a work of art. Many of our patrons read the content, taking little notice of the book as object.
Has having a writer/reader in residence made you look at your collection differently? If so, how?Most of our patrons come into the department with a pretty specific research topic in mind (or with no interest in research, but just to take in the space). When Hans first came in he was open to and interested in exploring everything. It really made me realize how vast and incredible our collections truly are, but it also made me consider the levels of access we provide to our materials. We’re a non-browsing, non-circulating collection, which can make it difficult for an artist, or anyone, to browse our materials. However, more and more of our material is becoming available online and we are improving ways that patrons can virtually browse our collections, including the new online catalog (currently in beta) which will be fully released this fall. Improving access to our collections will expand the range of uses for the collections.Hans Weyandt is currently a writer-in-residence at the Central branch of the Hennepin County Library. Join us Thursday, September 18th at 6:15 pm for a tour of the collection and a conversation with Hans and Bailey. Visit our Facebook event page for more info.  
High-res

The second part of writer in residence Hans Weyandt’s interview with Special Collections Librarian Bailey Diers.

chpinthestacks:

CHP In the Stacks: An Interview with Bailey Diers, Hennepin County Library’s Special Collections Librarian (Part 2)

What have you enjoyed most about having a writer/reader in residence?

Hans has been exploring bits and pieces of all of our collections. It’s been fun to pull materials from collections that are not often used, like the Fine Press and Book Arts Collection, which has over 2,000 artists’ books and books about books! Hans, a book lover, reacts to each item he sees as if each one is a work of art. Many of our patrons read the content, taking little notice of the book as object.

Has having a writer/reader in residence made you look at your collection differently? If so, how?

Most of our patrons come into the department with a pretty specific research topic in mind (or with no interest in research, but just to take in the space). When Hans first came in he was open to and interested in exploring everything. It really made me realize how vast and incredible our collections truly are, but it also made me consider the levels of access we provide to our materials. We’re a non-browsing, non-circulating collection, which can make it difficult for an artist, or anyone, to browse our materials. However, more and more of our material is becoming available online and we are improving ways that patrons can virtually browse our collections, including the new online catalog (currently in beta) which will be fully released this fall. Improving access to our collections will expand the range of uses for the collections.


Hans Weyandt is currently a writer-in-residence at the Central branch of the Hennepin County Library. Join us Thursday, September 18th at 6:15 pm for a tour of the collection and a conversation with Hans and Bailey. Visit our Facebook event page for more info.  

Minnesota High School Curriculum in 1887-88

Think you studied hard in high school? Look at the 1887-1888 Minnesota High School Board Syllabus. Students had to select from one of four tracts:  Classical, Scientific, Literary (for college-bound students) and General (for non-college bound students). Instruction in classical subjects, such as the “History of Greece and Rome” was required in all four tracts.

Compare the 1887-88 requirements to Minnesota and Minneapolis high school graduation requirements today. Minneapolis students today need one year of health, art, and physical education in addition to other academic classes.

Discovering the Fascinating Past of 1421 5th St. NE

A few years ago I lived down the block from a house with one odd architectural feature: above the doorway was a large piece of stone with “MRS A H WALSTEN - AD 1900” carved into it. I’d always wondered who exactly Mrs. A. H. Walsten was — the sort of person who carves their name into stone usually seems like the sort of person with a good story behind them. I decided to do a little digging this summer.

My first step was to look at the old building permit card for the house (formerly 1427 5th St. NE, now 1421 5th St. NE). It referenced a “Hannah Walsten” which gave me more of a name to go off of. Next I took a look at the digitized city directories to see if I could find any listings by that name. I found a reference to an “August Walsten” living there in 1900 and a “Mrs. Hannah M Walsten, midwife” living there in 1901 but not much else by that specific name. Next I decided to try a slightly different resource: the digitized issues of the Minneapolis Journal from the early 1900s. Maybe I could find a reference to their marriage? Or a real estate transaction for the house?

I ended up coming across much more than I anticipated! It turns out Mrs. Hannah Walsten had gone by five different names and been married to four different men (including August H. Walsten on two separate occasions). This came to light when she was arrested for performing a “criminal operation” (an abortion). She had been running what was referred to at the time as a “baby farm” (essentially an unlicensed orphanage) out of her home.

The old Minneapolis Journal had multiple stories detailing her trial and the various dramatic scenes which unfolded in court. She was ultimately found guilty — one story said she was the first woman to be successfully convicted of performing an abortion in Hennepin County — and sentenced to 28 months in Stillwater Prison.

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This post was researched and written by Special Collections volunteer Nick Steffel. Photos of the house were taken by Nick.

Check out this interview with Special Collections Librarian (and curator of this Tumblr) Bailey Diers. Part I of II.
chpinthestacks:

CHP In the Stacks: An Interview with Bailey Diers, Hennepin County Library’s Special Collections Librarian (Part 1)
How many years have you worked in this collection?3 years, full-time for the past 15 months.What is the focus of your collection?
Special Collections houses six collections, the largest and most heavily used being the Minneapolis History Collection, one of the area’s best local history resources. The collection contains historic and current materials related to the city including more than 300 archival and manuscript collections, thousands of files of newspaper clippings, maps, photographs, postcards, yearbooks, periodicals, and more.Our other collections are primarily rare book collections, though several also include manuscripts and other primary documents: Kittleson World War II Collection, Huttner Abolition and Anti-Slavery Collection, Nineteenth Century American Studies Collection, Hoag Mark Twain Collection, and the Fine Press and Book Arts Collection.
Who is the primary patron of your collection? How do they use your collection?We’re a public library so our patron base is broad. Regular repeat patrons include historical researchers, historical preservationists, and city planners, who primarily research buildings, businesses, people, and neighborhoods. High school and college students often use our collection for local history courses and projects. And many of our walk-ins are members of the general public seeking information on their home, family, business, or any number of random topics.What are some of the more unique items in your collection?Our archival collections contain some of the most unique material in our collections—hundreds of menus from Minneapolis restaurants from the 1800s to today, the late 19th century diaries of a young boy named Ezra Fitch Pabody, thousands of early 20th century political cartoons by Charles Bartholomew, original music manuscripts by local conductors and composers, hundreds of thousands of photographs of the city of Minneapolis—the list goes on.If you could lock the doors and spend a whole day just browsing for yourself, what would you look for? What books interest you the most?
I would like to spend time digging through the more personal items in our archival collections—the handwritten diaries and correspondence documenting the often trivial happenings of daily life in an earlier Minneapolis and the scrapbooks bursting at the seams with news clippings, theater programs, photographs, and personal mementos. These days, so much personal information is online, available for the world to see. When the scrapbooks and diaries in our collection were created many decades ago, their creators likely never imagined the content could one day be made public, so who knows what secrets they hold!Hans Weyandt is currently a writer-in-residence at the Central branch of the Hennepin County Library. Join us Thursday, September 18th at 6:15 pm for a tour of the collection and a conversation with Hans and Bailey. Visit our Facebook event page for more info.  
High-res

Check out this interview with Special Collections Librarian (and curator of this Tumblr) Bailey Diers. Part I of II.

chpinthestacks:

CHP In the Stacks: An Interview with Bailey Diers, Hennepin County Library’s Special Collections Librarian (Part 1)

How many years have you worked in this collection?

3 years, full-time for the past 15 months.

What is the focus of your collection?

Special Collections houses six collections, the largest and most heavily used being the Minneapolis History Collection, one of the area’s best local history resources. The collection contains historic and current materials related to the city including more than 300 archival and manuscript collections, thousands of files of newspaper clippings, maps, photographs, postcards, yearbooks, periodicals, and more.

Our other collections are primarily rare book collections, though several also include manuscripts and other primary documents: Kittleson World War II Collection, Huttner Abolition and Anti-Slavery Collection, Nineteenth Century American Studies Collection, Hoag Mark Twain Collection, and the Fine Press and Book Arts Collection.

Who is the primary patron of your collection? How do they use your collection?

We’re a public library so our patron base is broad. Regular repeat patrons include historical researchers, historical preservationists, and city planners, who primarily research buildings, businesses, people, and neighborhoods. High school and college students often use our collection for local history courses and projects. And many of our walk-ins are members of the general public seeking information on their home, family, business, or any number of random topics.

What are some of the more unique items in your collection?

Our archival collections contain some of the most unique material in our collections—hundreds of menus from Minneapolis restaurants from the 1800s to today, the late 19th century diaries of a young boy named Ezra Fitch Pabody, thousands of early 20th century political cartoons by Charles Bartholomew, original music manuscripts by local conductors and composers, hundreds of thousands of photographs of the city of Minneapolis—the list goes on.

If you could lock the doors and spend a whole day just browsing for yourself, what would you look for? What books interest you the most?

I would like to spend time digging through the more personal items in our archival collections—the handwritten diaries and correspondence documenting the often trivial happenings of daily life in an earlier Minneapolis and the scrapbooks bursting at the seams with news clippings, theater programs, photographs, and personal mementos. These days, so much personal information is online, available for the world to see. When the scrapbooks and diaries in our collection were created many decades ago, their creators likely never imagined the content could one day be made public, so who knows what secrets they hold!


Hans Weyandt is currently a writer-in-residence at the Central branch of the Hennepin County Library. Join us Thursday, September 18th at 6:15 pm for a tour of the collection and a conversation with Hans and Bailey. Visit our Facebook event page for more info.  

Crowds outside the State Fair Grandstand, 1900 
The State Fair of 1900 was decidedly different from the State Fair of today. Gambling and alcoholic drinks were prohibited, meals were provided by church and social groups, and it is almost certain that not a single one of those meals was deep-fried or on a stick.
What did 25 cents buy for the average fair-goer back in the day? In the year this photo was taken, visitors could expect to see not only such State Fair standbys as livestock exhibitions, carousel rides, and fireworks, but also some types of attractions which have since fallen out of favor—for example, conjoined twins Millie and Christine McCoy, and an anonymous “ossified man” (likely an individual with fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, a rare connective tissue disease that causes severe bone overgrowth).  
Crafts such as tapestries and china painting and homemade pickles and preserves were on offer in the Woman’s Building, which purported to showcase “everything dear to the feminine heart.” The fireworks display offered a touch of recent history, with a re-enactment of the American conquest of the Philippines. Many of the re-enactors were Twin Cities military men who had actually served in the Philippines—as the Tribune put it, “the display probably comes closer to ‘the real thing’ than any other exhibition of its kind.”
The current State Fair may not offer a fireworks-laden re-enactment of an incredibly brutal recent war, but there are bacon-wrapped turkey legs and fried chicken served in a waffle cone. Public library patrons who show their library card at the fair today (August 27, 2014) receive discounted admission.
Photograph by Edward A. Bromley, scanned from glass plate negative.
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This post was written by Special Collections intern Helen Walden-Fodge. Helen has been working with several archival collections this summer, including the Bromley glass plate negative collection. High-res

Crowds outside the State Fair Grandstand, 1900 

The State Fair of 1900 was decidedly different from the State Fair of today. Gambling and alcoholic drinks were prohibited, meals were provided by church and social groups, and it is almost certain that not a single one of those meals was deep-fried or on a stick.

What did 25 cents buy for the average fair-goer back in the day? In the year this photo was taken, visitors could expect to see not only such State Fair standbys as livestock exhibitions, carousel rides, and fireworks, but also some types of attractions which have since fallen out of favor—for example, conjoined twins Millie and Christine McCoy, and an anonymous “ossified man” (likely an individual with fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, a rare connective tissue disease that causes severe bone overgrowth). 

Crafts such as tapestries and china painting and homemade pickles and preserves were on offer in the Woman’s Building, which purported to showcase “everything dear to the feminine heart.” The fireworks display offered a touch of recent history, with a re-enactment of the American conquest of the Philippines. Many of the re-enactors were Twin Cities military men who had actually served in the Philippines—as the Tribune put it, “the display probably comes closer to ‘the real thing’ than any other exhibition of its kind.”

The current State Fair may not offer a fireworks-laden re-enactment of an incredibly brutal recent war, but there are bacon-wrapped turkey legs and fried chicken served in a waffle cone. Public library patrons who show their library card at the fair today (August 27, 2014) receive discounted admission.

Photograph by Edward A. Bromley, scanned from glass plate negative.

____________

This post was written by Special Collections intern Helen Walden-Fodge. Helen has been working with several archival collections this summer, including the Bromley glass plate negative collection.

History of Brooklyn Park Library
Brooklyn Park Library opened to the public for business on April 26, 1976, with a ribbon cutting ceremony and official opening on May 5. Due to significant carpet installation problems which required resolution the official dedication was delayed to September 26.
U. S. Congressman William Frenzel was the featured speaker at the dedication and music was provided by the Park Center High School Band and the North Hennepin Senior Citizens Chorus.  
A unique feature of the library - a time capsule on permanent display in the library’s community room - was sponsored by the Brooklyn Park Bicentennial Commission.  Planned contents were taped interviews with some of the city’s older residents, a Bicentennial plate, current newspapers and photographs and predictions for the future made by both local and national officials. 
With the opening of the library, the dozens of bookmobile routes which crisscrossed Brooklyn Park, were phased out.  Some of the stops, such as the one at the Tessman farm, had been in operation for decades. The Thursday night stop at the Zanebrook Shopping Center had been one of the busiest in the county. 
The Library enhanced community service by forging a close working relationship with nearby North Hennepin Community College.  Brooklyn Park’s periodical collection was selected to complement the college library’s periodical collection. The two libraries also consulted when planning Brooklyn Park’s audio-visual collection.  This cooperation included programming with a short course in children’s literature offered by North Hennepin Community College at the Brooklyn Park Library on several occasions.
The opening day collection contained 50,000 books plus newspapers, magazines, pamphlets and art reproductions. Print and audio-visual materials were intershelved and numerous multi-purpose listening centers were located throughout the library for radio, cassettes, records or cartridges using individual headsets.
After the 1999 renovation, the collection held 63,000 books, DVDs, and CDs as well as 46 public access computers.   The first Kid Links was opened on September 9, 1999.  In 2005 more than 430,000 items were checked out – almost twice as many as the opening year of 1976.  The Metropolitan Council projected a population increase of 20% from 2000 to 2020 (from 67,388 to 80,500) and county demographers projected that more than 5800 jobs will be added. A new library will be built in 2014 to meet the expected increase in demand. High-res

History of Brooklyn Park Library

Brooklyn Park Library opened to the public for business on April 26, 1976, with a ribbon cutting ceremony and official opening on May 5. Due to significant carpet installation problems which required resolution the official dedication was delayed to September 26.

U. S. Congressman William Frenzel was the featured speaker at the dedication and music was provided by the Park Center High School Band and the North Hennepin Senior Citizens Chorus. 

A unique feature of the library - a time capsule on permanent display in the library’s community room - was sponsored by the Brooklyn Park Bicentennial Commission.  Planned contents were taped interviews with some of the city’s older residents, a Bicentennial plate, current newspapers and photographs and predictions for the future made by both local and national officials. 

With the opening of the library, the dozens of bookmobile routes which crisscrossed Brooklyn Park, were phased out.  Some of the stops, such as the one at the Tessman farm, had been in operation for decades. The Thursday night stop at the Zanebrook Shopping Center had been one of the busiest in the county. 

The Library enhanced community service by forging a close working relationship with nearby North Hennepin Community College.  Brooklyn Park’s periodical collection was selected to complement the college library’s periodical collection. The two libraries also consulted when planning Brooklyn Park’s audio-visual collection.  This cooperation included programming with a short course in children’s literature offered by North Hennepin Community College at the Brooklyn Park Library on several occasions.

The opening day collection contained 50,000 books plus newspapers, magazines, pamphlets and art reproductions. Print and audio-visual materials were intershelved and numerous multi-purpose listening centers were located throughout the library for radio, cassettes, records or cartridges using individual headsets.

After the 1999 renovation, the collection held 63,000 books, DVDs, and CDs as well as 46 public access computers.   The first Kid Links was opened on September 9, 1999.  In 2005 more than 430,000 items were checked out – almost twice as many as the opening year of 1976.  The Metropolitan Council projected a population increase of 20% from 2000 to 2020 (from 67,388 to 80,500) and county demographers projected that more than 5800 jobs will be added. A new library will be built in 2014 to meet the expected increase in demand.

In The Stacks with Hans Weyandt:

chpinthestacks:

One happy surprise of my time spent in Hennepin County Library’s Special Collections is how it has bled into other parts of my life.

By extension, I am riding the light-rail more frequently than normal. I get on at the 46th St. station and exit at Nicollet Mall. Less than a five minute walk and…

Digging through the collections for amazing books about books!

Join us Thursday, September 18th at 6:15 pm for a tour of the collection and a conversation with Hans. Visit the Facebook event page for more info.

Minneapolis Cookbook Collection

Recently we scanned a selection of cookbook covers from the Minneapolis History Collection. The cookbook collection covers a wide time range and variety of local institutions, from churches and schools, to flour companies. Stop by to view, among others, butcher Charles Mettler’s Medley of Meat Recipes or discover the Favorite Recipes of Our Minnesota Legislators and Supreme Court Justices (circulating copy available).

Minnesota Woman Working at the Twin Cities Ordnance Plant

Between 1941 and 1976 (with some pauses between WWII, Korea, and the Vietnam wars), the United States Army operated a munitions factory about half an hour from downtown Minneapolis, in New Brighton, MN. Originally the Twin Cities Ordnance Plant, renamed the Twin Cities Arsenal in 1946 and then finally as the Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant in 1963, its workers produced small arms ammunition. Unsurprisingly, it was at its most busy during World War II, when it was staffed almost exclusively by women. The women working there were indispensable to the war effort, not just in the munitions they produced, but in their likenesses.

All of the above photos were printed in Minneapolis newspapers in 1942 and 1943 both as simple reporting, but also as propaganda: the United States had resources, was producing munitions like mad, and the work was being done by strong, attractive women.

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This post was researched and written by Special Collections Intern James Morrow. James spent the summer working on various components of the Minneapolis Historic Photo Collection in the Hennepin County Library Special Collections.