Tracing the History of Real Estate Covenants in Minneapolis

Racial covenants were used to bar people of a given race, ethnic origin, or religion, from buying or occupying property in Minneapolis. These discriminatory deeds underpinned an invisible system of American apartheid. This project, Mapping Prejudice, is headed up by a team of activists and scholars who are researching the city covenants with the help of volunteers. Using digital technology, they are assembling the first-ever map of racial covenants for an American city. Discover the hidden history of race in Minneapolis. An optional lunch follows the program.

The Hamiltons of Lake Calhoun

Most known for Widow Hamilton’s guest house overlooking Lake Calhoun (now called Bde Maka Ska), where Henry David Thoreau stayed in June 1861, members of the Hamilton family lived at times on both the south and west shores of the lake for more than 40 years. Explore this untold history of early days before the lake was dredged and the shoreline filled. Local historian Peter Sussman will lead the discussion on this much speculated local history topic.

Story Awakening at Bde Maka Ska

Join us as a Dakota historian speaks on the Dakota cultural perspective/name restoration of Bde Maka Ska, including the new public art installation (completion date, late summer). The Minneapolis City public arts project at Bde Maka Ska celebrates the history of Heyata Otunwe, a village at Bde Maka Ska/Lake Calhoun (1829-1839) and honors Mahpiya Wicasta/Cloud Man. The art work honors and educates visitors about the history and culture of the Dakota and other Indigenous peoples who frequented and resided in this area over time. This long-awaited recognition has been a community effort. Join us to learn more.

Exploring the Corner of 43rd and Upton

We will dig into the history of who has worked and lived in the buildings clustered around 43rd and Upton. Also, we’ll touch briefly on:

  1. competition with the 44th and France business district,
  2. aesthetics (including having the business district set on the descent of a hill), and
  3. any notable events such as the filming of movies.

Southwest Minneapolis 1930: From the Air

In the late 1920s and early 1930s, pioneer aerial photographer Joe Quigley was hired to take images of all Minneapolis schools. These remarkable high-resolution photos have been in the school district files for 80 years. Join local historians Michael Wilson and Tom Balcom to view the Southwest neighborhoods circa 1930.

U.S. Bank Stadium

What vessel has docked in the eastern edge of Downtown Minneapolis, near the bend in the Mississippi River? A Viking longship? A tricked-out Jawa Sandcrawler? Or US Bank Stadium, the new home of the Minnesota Vikings? Join us for a “special event” private group tour of this amazing facility, plus learn how its design was influenced by the region’s Scandinavian history and natural resources. Tour limited to a maximum of 20 persons. Tentatively scheduled for Saturday, April 21, at 10:00 a.m. Tour is 90 minutes and will cover vast territory. Bring good walking shoes. Elevators available.

Cost per attendee is $14.00 for the private tour. Details to be finalized by April 8th. Watch for email notice. Reserve your place by April 18th.

R.T. Rybak book discussion, 2/9/2018

Photo credit: Thomas Strand Studio LLC

“Pothole Confidential: My Life as Mayor of Minneapolis” with R.T. Rybak

Join R.T. Rybak for a talk about Pothole Confidential: My Life as Mayor of Minneapolis. In a memoir that is at once a political coming-of-age story and a behind-the-scenes look at the running of a great city, three-term Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak takes readers into the highs and lows and the daily drama of a life inextricably linked with the city over the past fifty years. Pothole Confidential is that rare document from a politician: one more concerned with the people he served and the issues of his time than with burnishing his own credentials. Books will be available for purchase and signing.

The Roots of the Arts & Crafts and Prairie School: John Ruskin’s Six Precepts of Architecture

We will explore the history and philosophy behind the Arts and Crafts and Prairie School movements by focusing on six rules for architecture stated by John Ruskin in an 1854 lecture.

Architectural historian Richard Kronick will show how several A&C and Prairie School architects responded to and expressed Ruskin’s ideas. He will also provide a profile of Ruskin – undoubtedly the single most influential voice in 19th century European architecture.

Don Fraser – Minnesota’s Quiet Crusader

Don Fraser’s career spanned the last half of the twentieth century. As a Minnesota state senator, U.S. congressman, and Minneapolis mayor Fraser was deeply involved in the key issues of his era, including the civil rights struggle, opposition to the war in Viet Nam, and efforts to combat urban poverty. Historian Iric Nathanson’s new biography, Don Fraser – Minnesota’s
Quiet Crusader
, sheds new light on a Minnesota political figure whose quiet demeanor masked a fierce resolve to move forward a progressive agenda. Suggested donation is $5 for non-members of LHHSG.

An optional holiday luncheon at Perkins Restaurant, 4917 Eden Ave, Edina, follows the program. We will order from the menu. Please reserve your space at the lunch by Tuesday, November 28th. Let us know the number in your party via email at, or call 612-926-0646 and leave a message if necessary. Everyone is welcome.