George Vrtis is a professor of environmental studies and history at Carleton College. His recent publications include "Nature’s Crossroads: The Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota," co-edited with Christopher Wells; and "Mining North America: An Environmental History since 1522," co-edited with John McNeill.
Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from the book, “Nature’s Crossroads: The Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota,” which you can find here. To read the entire chapter, go here. In the second half of the nineteenth century, the Twin Cities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis grew from tiny, remote outposts on the margins of […]