Saint Paul, Minnesota
Chapter 4 covers Swede Hollow, which is located in a steep ravine upstream from the Mississippi River on the east side of Saint Paul, Minnesota. Swedish American and Italian American immigrant history are featured, including discussion of a feared cholera outbreak, varied perceptions of the spatial arrangement of homes along Phalen Creek, and exoticized depictions of the quasi-rural settlement. Brewer William Hamm, housing reformer Carol Aronovici, and painter Dewey Albinson are profiled and their relationship to the Hollow is described. Occupational and demographic information from Census data and city directories provides details on residents’ lives and social changes in the Hollow from the 1870s until 1956 when the St. Paul Fire Department burned the last remaining cottages to the ground. A mythic site in local history, Swede Hollow inspired painters and drew in curious visitors for decades. After 1973 the Hollow became a public park and a greenway traversed by walking and bike paths linking together a post-industrial lowland network of trails and recreational spaces.
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