Map Monday: 1897 Rand McNally Minneapolis and Saint Paul

Via David Rumsey’s great website, here’s a fun map you can check out from 1897, a colorful atlas view of the Twin Cities during the early heyday of streetcars.

The overview:

1897 Mcnally Tc Map 1

Here’s the close-up of the downtown areas:

1897 Mcnally Tc Map 2


It’s fun to Imagine all the farmland that surrounded the streetcar lines that had just been laid out through the southern parts of both cities.

3 thoughts on “Map Monday: 1897 Rand McNally Minneapolis and Saint Paul

    1. Bill LindekeBill Lindeke Post author

      That’s true sort of. Our existing bus system is actually pretty on par with the 1897 streetcar network, both for coverage and speed but (probably not) for headways. I once compared the 1920 streetcar to Excelsior schedule to today’s bus to Excelsior schedule and they were almost the same.

      Of course an up to date transit system for 2018 would be better than the 1897 transit system, which is your point I guess.

  1. Sean Hayford OlearySean Hayford Oleary

    The naming differences are interesting — although I suppose some could be the mapmaker’s error. But some things that jump out:

    • 1st Ave S continues into downtown (now Marquette Ave)
    • Lake Amelia (now Nokomis
    • Grass Lake (now split by 35W/Crosstown junction), SE half named Richfield Lake)
    • Rice Lake (Hiawatha)

    Also interesting how tight the grid shown is immediately south of downtown MInneapolis — like 3rd 1/2 Ave, and how elegantly the downtown grid merges with the north-south grid.

    This also explains the weird name shift for Lake St at France Ave — Minnetonka Blvd. (I have personally though the name change would make more sense at Excelsior Blvd, or at the other Lake St intersection just west of 100.) This shows Lake St ending at France, and the historic village of St Louis Park somewhat south (Walker/Lake area).

Comments are closed.