Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Map of the Week-Thinking Big in St. Paul

The Minnesota Historical Society is sponsoring an exhibit called "Minnesota on the Map" at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul. The exhibit runs through September 7th and features four centuries of maps from the Society's collection. Below is an unusual example. Published by the St. Paul Board of Trade in 1871, it shows the "projected" railway system for 1900. The map was a response to an earlier map from that year published in the St. Paul Press. The Press map showed the "dominating influence of the St. Paul system" of railroads but displayed "extreme modesty" in "underrating the future of the Great Metropolis...."

The main detail that stands out is the St. Paul & London Inter-Continental Double Track Railway, featuring a "most magnificent" suspension bridge over the Atlantic Ocean.

Other details emerge when zooming in on the map such as the Sub-Oceanic tunnel under the Pacific to "Peek-in" that will be excavated by "gopher power" and the "Balloonic Route" to the North Pole. The text at the bottom details the need to move Minneapolis and the small town of Kandiyohi far to the north to accommodate the growth of the Metropolis. It also mentions that Duluth will be "wiped out entirely, as it deserves to be for having the temerity to exist."


Michael5000 said...

Way cool. I love a Board of Trade with a sense of humor.

Anonymous said...

Haha this is awesome. Still waiting on that train to London. That would shorten my commute considerably.

Marlena Van Auken Gilbert said...

My Great Great Grandfather, Philander G. Van Auken, was Vice-President of the St. Paul Board of Trade. I wonder if he was one of the guys with the stupendous vision of the future shown in this map!