A History of a House
by Julian Locke
I feel like I know the man who lived in my house decades ago. He worked as a clerk for Northern Pacific Railway. He and his wife often had renters living with him. I know what year they put in a telephone and what year they built their garage. Also, there is a mystery: the real estate documents indicate my house was built in 1903, whereas the original building permit issued for the house was 1917!
These are the kinds of things that anyone can learn about their house. In Ramsey County, we are lucky to have plenty of great resources to do this kind of research. Anyone can go to the Minnesota Historical Society, Ramsey County Historical Society, and the St. Paul Central Library for history books and documents.
If you encounter a mystery, there are many people in town that may be able to help you find out the true history of your house. Also, if you are interested, the Minnesota Historical Society offers classes in researching your home.
Ramsey County Historical Society: (651) 222-0701
Minnesota Historical Society: (651) 296-6126
St. Paul Central Library: (651) 266-7000
Banner image is of St. Paul, 1857 -- photo taken from the top of the court house.
Here are some great first steps: