“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
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Minnesota Facts and Figures

Gleaned from the Historical Marker Database


on February 23, 2020

1876 artwork by Henry Mitchell, via Wikipedia Commons

 Minnesota ranks 32nd among states and provinces with markers in this database. Minnesota is a state in the United States of America located in the American Midwest. It is also in the Upper Plains region. Minnesota is some 87 thousand square miles in size with a population of around 5.6 million people. The state is divided into 87 counties and 72 of them have entries in this database. In Minnesota we have discovered historical markers in 232 cities and towns lying in 242 different ZIP Codes.

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How many historical markers are there in Minnesota? There are least 978 of them, by our count. We have cataloged 974 historical markers and 102 war memorials—each individually presented on 1,053 illustrated, annotated, and searchable pages of the Historical Marker Database. In addition, we are reasonably certain of another four historical markers in Minnesota that we don’t yet have, and instead show on our Want List. Our correspondents have been finding and adding hundreds of markers a month to the database from all over the world, so next time you visit this page you will probably find that the numbers here have changed.

The first Minnesota marker in the database, Birthplace of Greyhound Lines, was added September 30, 2007. It was photographed in Hibbing in Saint Louis County and was erected in 1953. The last one added was submitted on February 17, 2020, and titled William Warren, Two Rivers House Site and Peter MacDougall Farmstead. It is in Royalton in Morrison County. Keeping in mind that the erection date of many markers in the database is not known, the earliest historical marker we know of in Minnesota was erected in 1866. It was this one: Pioneer Monument, and one of our correspondents found it in New Ulm in Brown County on September 16, 2013.

Minnesota Historical Categories
265 • Settlements and Settlers
170 • Industry and Commerce
151 • Man-Made Features
139 • Indian Wars
129 • Waterways and Vessels
116 • Native Americans
96 • Churches and Religion
79 • Notable Buildings
55 • Railroads and Streetcars
52 • Military
    ... and more ...

Minnesotans don’t want to forget their Settlements and Settlers history. How do we know? Because there are more historical markers in the database from Minnesota about Settlements and Settlers—265 of them—than about any other historical category. It is followed by Industry and Commerce with 170 markers.

The first marker added to the database with the Settlements and Settlers category was George R. Stuntz, added October 8, 2007. It had been erected in 1935 in Hibbing in Saint Louis County. The last one submitted was submitted on December 7, 2019, and titled The Museum in the Streets: Minneapolis, Minnesota. It had been erected in 2012 in Minneapolis in Hennepin County. The earliest marker erected with the Settlements and Settlers category that we have listed was erected in 1878. It was Ness Cemetery State Monument, was found near Litchfield in Meeker County on November 25, 2013.

Counties, Cities and Towns

The Minnesota county with the most historical markers listed in this database is Hennepin County, with 132 of them. It is followed by Saint Louis County with 94 markers. The Minneapolis area of Hennepin County has the highest number of markers within its limits, 84. In Saint Louis County the area with the most markers, 37, is Duluth.

Historical Markers in These
Minnesota Counties
132 • Hennepin County
94 • Saint Louis County
80 • Brown County
71 • Nicollet County
68 • Ramsey County
50 • Kandiyohi County
49 • Washington County
45 • Morrison County
41 • Renville County
37 • Dakota County
    ... and more ...

Checking the database for the city or town in Minnesota with the most markers we again find Minneapolis at the top of the list with 84 markers in or near it. It is followed by Saint Paul in Ramsey County with 57 markers. For the ZIP Code with the most markers it’s 56073 at the top of the list with 54 markers in its delivery area. (ZIP Code 56073 is assigned to New Ulm MN including the Essig, Klossner, and Searles delivery areas.) It is followed by ZIP Code 56345 with 44 markers. (56345 is assigned to Little Falls MN including the Elmdale, and Sobieski delivery areas.)

Historical Markers Near These
Minnesota Cities and Towns
84 • Minneapolis
57 • Saint Paul
50 • New Ulm
43 • Little Falls
37 • Duluth
34 • Fairfax
29 • Stillwater
27 • Hibbing
26 • Morton
22 • St. Peter
    ... and more ...

Getting back to Hennepin County, the first marker added to the database from there, Westminster Presbyterian Church, was added November 19, 2007. in Minneapolis. The last one submitted—also the last one submitted in all of Minnesota—was uploaded on December 7, 2019, and is titled The Museum in the Streets: Minneapolis, Minnesota and was erected in 2012, in Minneapolis. The earliest marker erected in Hennepin County that we have listed was erected in 1890. It was Civil War Monument, found in Bloomington on June 30, 2012.

Latest entry from Minnesota. Click to go there
By McGhiever, July 3, 2017
Latest Entry from Minnesota
“William Warren, Two Rivers House Site and Peter MacDougall Farmstead”

And finally the first, last, and oldest markers from Saint Paul. The first: F. Scott Fitzgerald House, was added April 15, 2008. It had been erected in 1971. The last: What Did They Do? added on July 19, 2019. The earliest marker erected was erected in 1948: Jacob Fahlstrom, added on August 29, 2014.

Who Puts Up Historical Markers?

The Minnesota Historical Society is currently in charge of official historical markers found all over the state and the Minnesota Department of Transportation typically installs and maintains those that are roadside. We have 212 of their markers in the database. Also, a number of counties have erected historical markers on their streets and roads and within their public areas, as have some cities and towns.

Latest entry from Minnesota. Click to go there
By Ruth VanSteenwyk, May 24, 2016
A Minnesota Historical Society Historical Marker

Then there are federal government agencies that put up historical markers, especially in national parks and other areas under their jurisdiction. And finally, there are the numerous public and private organizations and individuals that erect markers. Some do this as a continual endeavor, and others once in a while, to mark something, someone, or someplace they find important or interesting. When one of our correspondents comes across one that satisfies our criteria, we add it to the database.

Off the Beaten Path

You’ll find that even the smallest, least populated, or most rural areas of Minnesota have been marked with history. Check out Clearwater County, Chippewa County and Cass County. We've only found one historical marker in each. Visiting one or more of these parts of Minnesota might make for a pleasant road trip, and maybe you’ll discover more historical markers while you’re there. If you do, perhaps you’ll take the time to photograph them and, when you get home, become an HMdb correspondent by adding them to the database. Happy Hunting!

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