Minnesota is 150 years old today

May 11th, 1858 is the date of statehood for Minnesota. 150 years ago. Probably seems pretty young to those of you with New England and Mid-Atlantic roots. I grew up in historic Reserve Township in St. Paul, Minnesota and have been a lover of history from childhood. Today I spend much of my work time researching the original settlers of the land now called Minnesota. The Indians are a vital part of the history of the land. I know some of the descendants of those Indians and understand how important that land still is to them.

One of my great grandfathers, Michael Hanley, settled in Minnesota Territory before statehood. My children have several other ancestors who settled in the Territory before it became a state.

150 years ago does seem “recent” compared to the 164 year old house I visited today. I was in Raytown, Missouri, visiting the Rice-Tremonti Home. The house was built circa 1844 and today is on the National Register of Historic Places. The site is on the historic Santa Fe, California, and Oregon Trails. I was with a friend, Jan Davenport, who is a descendant of the Archibald Rice family. We spent time talking with Roberta Bonowitz, a 97 year young whiz about Raytown history, and Mick O’Neal, another Rice descendant. The three of them spent a couple hours pouring over family history details.

© 2008, Paula Stuart-Warren. All rights reserved.

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