Minneapolis Park History Resources: Maps

If you love history, you probably love maps. For students of Minneapolis history, including the history of the park system, two of the most fascinating maps are found at the website of the John R. Borchert Map Library at the University of Minnesota. Have a look at the digitized 1892 Minneapolis plat book and the 1903 Minneapolis plat book. Compare them to the city map at right that Horace Cleveland used to illustrate his “suggestions” for the Minneapolis park system in 1883. Search for your home, park, church, school; see how your neighborhood was created or has changed.

While your at the Borchert Libreary site be sure to investigate the aerial photos. Many excellent images of Minneapolis as it’s grown.

Warning: you could spend hours with these maps and photos. For me, they have the addicting power of video games. But the things you’ll discover! Such as: H. W. S. Cleveland owned a half-block of land in south Minneapolis in 1892. I know! Nobody cares! But it’s endlessly interesting for those curious about their surroundings and the people who created them.

If you have a favorite research tool or resource, let us know. Especially if it’s accessible while in pajamas.

David C. Smith


3 comments so far

  1. […] restored posts of interest are about resources for further investigation of Minneapolis history on maps, aerial photos and digitized books on […]

  2. Ryan Mattke on

    What a great site…and thank you for providing people with another way to discover our maps!

    Just a note, we had to change web servers and the links you have will be going away, unfortunately. The new links are:

    1892 — http://map.lib.umn.edu/collections/digitizedplatbooks/minn1892index.htm
    1903 — http://map.lib.umn.edu/collections/digitizedplatbooks/minn1903index.htm

    • David C. Smith on

      Thanks for the heads up, Ryan. I’ll change the links to those maps in the various articles in which I’ve mentioned them. And thanks for maintaining such a marvelous resource. They are not only wonderful maps, but you have made them so user-friendly. Endlessly fascinating. I just changed the address in my “favorites” bar as well, where I’ve always kept them for quick reference.

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