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

Minnesota Facts and Figures

Gleaned from the Historical Marker Database


on February 7, 2023

1876 artwork by Henry Mitchell, via Wikipedia Commons

 Minnesota ranks 30th 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 all of them have entries in this database. In Minnesota we have discovered historical markers in 321 cities and towns lying in 330 different ZIP Codes.

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There are at least 1,516 historical markers in Minnesota, by our count. We have cataloged 1,512 historical markers and 136 war memorials—each individually presented on 1,617 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.

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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 January 21, 2023, and titled The West End Landscape / The Changing West End Landscape. It is in Saint Paul in Ramsey 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 Topics
393 • Settlements and Settlers
353 • Industry and Commerce
228 • Native Americans
227 • Waterways and Vessels
170 • Indian Wars
135 • Churches and Religion
128 • Parks and Recreational Areas
116 • Architecture
93 • Education
90 • Charity and Public Work
    ... and others ...

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—393 of them—than about any other historical topic. It is followed by Industry and Commerce with 353 markers.

The first marker added to the database with the Settlements and Settlers topic 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 January 7, 2023, and titled The First Bridge over the Red River. It had been erected in 2007 in Moorhead in Clay County. The earliest marker erected with the Settlements and Settlers topic that we have listed was erected in 1878. It is Ness Cemetery State Monument, was found near Litchfield in Meeker County on November 25, 2013.

What is the most interesting historical marker in Minnesota? What we know is that Hill of Three Waters or the Triple Divide is the most viewed entry in the database from Minnesota since it was added in 2010. It is located near Hibbing in Saint Louis County. This year so far, the most viewed Minnesotan entry is located in Saint Paul in Ramsey County. It is Battle Creek Regional Park.

Counties, Cities and Towns

The Minnesota county with the most historical markers listed in this database is Hennepin County, with 199 of them. It is followed by Ramsey County with 125 markers. The Minneapolis area of Hennepin County has the highest number of markers within its limits, 138. In Ramsey County the area with the most markers, 102, is Saint Paul.

Historical Markers in These
Minnesota Counties
199 • Hennepin County
125 • Ramsey County
118 • Saint Louis County
87 • Brown County
74 • Nicollet County
60 • Lake County
60 • Washington County
52 • Dakota County
51 • Morrison County
50 • Kandiyohi County
    ... and others ...

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 138 markers in or near it. And Saint Paul also shows up again in next place, with 102 markers. For the ZIP Code with the most markers it’s 56073 at the top of the list with 61 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 55616 with 48 markers. (55616 is assigned to Two Harbors MN.)

Historical Markers Near These
Minnesota Cities and Towns
138 • Minneapolis
102 • Saint Paul
56 • New Ulm
52 • Duluth
45 • Little Falls
37 • Two Harbors
36 • Fairfax
35 • Morton
32 • Stillwater
29 • Faribault
    ... and others ...

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 was uploaded on January 12, 2023, and is titled 2845 10th Avenue South: Elevator X, 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, September 4, 2022
Latest Entry from Minnesota
“The West End Landscape / The Changing West End Landscape”

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: The West End Landscape / The Changing West End Landscape added on January 21, 2023. The earliest marker erected was erected in 1903: St. Paul Civil War Memorial, added on July 11, 2010.

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 296 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 Lincoln County, Kittson County and Hubbard 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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Feb. 7, 2023