Featured Magazine Articles

The award-winning quarterly magazine published by the Ramsey County Historical Society is filled with wonderful stories, well-written articles, photos, and maps reflecting the lives, history, and culture of our capital county.

Please use our full catalog to search for specific topics or articles.

You may also research back issues of Ramsey County History in our Research Center.


Ramsey County History – Fall 2022: William Mahoney

Jim McCartney

Volume 57, Number 3: Fall 2022 Farmer-Labor Founder William Mahoney and his Battle with Communists Author: Jim McCartney Writer Jim McCartney and William Mahoney, St. Paul mayor (1932-1934), have something in common—a house on Dayton Avenue. The McCartneys have lived there for thirty years. Mahoney owned the home from…

Ramsey County History – Fall 2022: Retracing the Red River Trail

Terry Doerksen

Volume 57, Number 3: Fall 2022 A Man, a Woman, an Ox, and a Cart: Retracing the Red River Trail Author: Terry Doerksen Remember your teachers assigning the annual class essay, What I Did on Summer Vacation? Canadians Terry and Patty Doerksen were kind enough to share Terry’s one-of-a-kind…

Featured Books

RCHS publishes fiction and nonfiction books and historical coloring books on a variety of historical subjects for readers of all ages.

Grasshoppers in My Bed: Lillie Belle Gibbs, Minnesota Farm Girl 1877

Terry Swanson, Author and Peggy Stern, Illustrator

It is 1876—Christmas day—which just happens to be the eleventh birthday of Lillie Belle Gibbs. Her mother and father present her with a new journal. Now she must decide how to fill the pages. Grasshoppers in her bed, a smudge pot to keep the mosquitos at bay, the one-room schoolhouse…

Mairs & Power at 90: A Rich History, A Bright Future

Dave Beal

Over the last nine decades, nearly all the firms in the tumultuous and unforgiving financial services industry have been rolled up, split up, spun out, or blown up. A shining exception: St. Paul’s Mairs & Power, the oldest continuously independent investment management firm in Minnesota and one of relatively few…

Neighborhood Architecture–Irvine Park, Saint Paul: a coloring book.

Jeanne Kosfeld, Illustrator and Richard Kronick, Author

Twin Cities-based illustrator Jeanne Kosfeld and author Richard Kronick have together transformed a simple sketchbook featuring pen and ink drawings into a brief storytelling of the Irvine Park neighborhood’s unique 173-year history. Artists of all ages and abilities may colorize their own imagined versions of these historic edifices, including fanciful…

Featured March of the Governors Podcasts

The “March of the Governors” podcast series provides brief snapshots of Minnesota’s governors during their terms in office. As you might imagine, there’s far more to each of their stories, both positive and negative. Thank you for joining us on this journey. We hope you will be inspired to learn more.

Minnesota has been governed by forty-one leaders. RCHS uploads a new podcast at the start of each month. Check the publishing catalog frequently for the newest episode.

March of the Governors #21: Theodore Christianson

Paul Nelson and Matthew Wright

March of the Governors #21: Theodore Christianson (Series Podcast #22) Theodore Christianson (1883-1948) was a farm boy from Lac Qui Parle County and a progressive Republican who proved eminently successful as a vote-getter and as a government reformer. He was the…

March of the Governors #22: Floyd B. Olson

Paul Nelson, Fred Johnson, and Tom Beer

March of the Governors #22 Floyd Bjornstjerne Olson (Series Podcast #23) By age thirty, Floyd Bjornstjerne Olson (1891-1936) had been a shabbos goy, a college dropout, a stevedore, and a Wobbly. By age forty, he had served ten years as Hennepin County…

Featured RCHS General Podcasts

RCHS, with author and interviewer Paul Nelson, has developed a series of podcasts featuring interviews on subjects of historical interest.

Ramsey County History Podcast #13 – Spring 2019: International Institute of Minnesota

Paul Nelson and Krista Hanson

International Institute of Minnesota The International Institute of Minnesota opened its doors in St. Paul in December of 1919 to serve the needs of recent immigrants and refugees. One hundred years later, the world has changed, but the International Institute is still in St. Paul, still doing…

Ramsey County History Podcast #12 – Winter 2018: Crusade for Forgotten Souls

Paul Nelson and Susan Bartlett Foote

Crusade for Forgotten Souls Podcast Link In the late 1940s and early 1950s, Minnesota led the nation in reform and modernization of the treatment of the mentally ill. But it didn’t last. Author Susan Bartlett Foote has told the story, a story at the same time inspiring…

Featured RCHS Videos and DVDS

RCHS has partnered with Twin Cities Public Television on two documentary films. 


RCHS/TPT Film – North Star: Civil War Stories


North Star Civil War Stories Ramsey County Historical Society is proud to partner with TPT-Twin Cities PBS to produce a ground-breaking new documentary, North Star: Civil War Stories, which uncovers hidden details of African-American men from Minnesota involved in the Civil War. Using emerging research and scholarship, North Star: Civil War…

Featured Book Reviews

One sure thing about history – there’s a lot of it – and so, by default, there’s a lot written about it. We include reviews of the latest Minnesota and/or Ramsey County history books in our quarterly magazine, Ramsey County History, but sometimes we have more reviews than we have room to print in the thirty-two-page publication. Don’t worry. We will continue to share book reviews in the magazine, but as we move forward, one of our goals is to increase our online presence, so if you’re looking to read even more reviews, hop online and check our catalog to see what’s new – there’s always something new about all things old.

Browse our catalog and enjoy the reviews. Chances are they’ll lead you to stop by Ramsey County Historical Society to purchase the actual book. We have many of the books available for sale at the Landmark Center.

Whiteness in Plain View: A History of Racial Exclusion in Minnesota

Reviewer: Renoir Gaither

Chad Montrie St. Paul, MN: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2022 272 pages; 26 b/w photos and 4 maps, notes, bibliography, index; $19.95 Reviewed by Renoir Gaither Chad Montrie’s book, Whiteness in Plain View: A History of Racial Exclusion in Minnesota, examines racial exclusion around job and housing discrimination meted…

A Natural Curiosity: The Story of the Bell Museum

Reviewer: Anne Field

A Natural Curiosity: The Story of the Bell Museum Lansing Shepard, Don Luce, Barbara Coffin, and Gwen Schagrin Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2022 400 pages; cloth cover/jacket, 310 color plates, $34.95 The Bell Museum, located on the edge of the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul…