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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Hotel Nicollet: 1905

Hotel Nicollet: 1905

Minneapolis, Minnesota, circa 1905. "Hotel Nicollet, Nicollet & Washington Avenues." 8x10 inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.

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Grandma was there

My grandmother, Marit Tobiasdatter Steivang (AKA: "May Thompson" in the US), immigrated to the US from Norway in 1903 at age 15 and, after a short stay in Stanley Wisconsin with her oldest sister (who was "too bossy" and expected my grandmother to do all of the household grunt work), moved on to live briefly with her brother Andrew's family in North Dakota. In ND she attended school with much younger grade school kids in order to learn English and, to earn her keep, did housework for the Mayor. She never learned to pronounce "vegetable" without a leading "W." Shortly thereafter she and a 3rd cousin, whose family had immigrated in an earlier generation, upped and moved to the big city where they worked together in a boarding house in downtown Minneapolis. This is a eyeball-scape she would undoubtedly have seen and I get pleasure in studying what she saw and in searching for her in the photograph. No 4½ foot woman in this photo though, so she was probably off peeling potatoes for the boarders. She was a perfecto grandmother and would be 130 years old next month, had she made it past 93 and kept on pluggin'. Oh, how I miss her!

It's easy to see how

The noble sport of jaywalking came about. No traffic conrol in force or needed. Still, judging by the way the couple behind the horse-drawn wagon are gingerly picking their next step, used organic products littering the roadway were a constant worry for those trying to keep a shine on their boots. I'm old enough to remember horses on the streets as a kid. Don't miss them.

The folks staring down the street are probably looking for the next streetcar. Amazing how these old photos often show wide streets. Rather remarkable planning foresight for future traffic or was land just inexpensive one wonders.

The Place to Be

"Even so, the Nicollet House was the place to stay in Minneapolis as the city began a post-Civil War economic boom. Guests included three U.S. presidents – Grover Cleveland, William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt — along with other local and national notables."

Ancient Architecture?

What are those lantern style structures on the roof? Natural lighting and ventilation for the staircases?

Clean Slate.

Everything you see here(and for blocks in all directions) is gone. Urban renewal in the 50s and 60s blessed the city with many parking lots. A bit of history here.

Widow's walks

What were they looking for in the distance? Errant Norwegian bachelor farmers?

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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