The Historyapolis Project

Kirsten Delegard is director of the Historyapolis Project, which is part of the history department at Augsburg College. The Historyapolis Project seeks to bring fresh attention to the history of Minneapolis and is working to unearth stories that can explain how the city took shape. During 2014, Delegard is compiling an inventory of historical resources pertinent to Minneapolis with the help of a team of students and citizen-researchers associated with the Historyapolis Lab. For more details visit our website at This project has been made possible by the Legacy Amendment’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, which is administered by the Minnesota Historical Society.
May 06, 2015

In the last quarter of the 19th century, when Minneapolis was in its infancy and housing was almost impossible to find  in the growing city, new Americans  created a squatters' village on the banks of the Mississippi River. Home to 1,000 people, this enclave was tucked beneath the Washington Avenue bridge and was accessible by a flight of 79 wooden stairs descending from the top of the river bluff.

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