The history of St. Paul, Minnesota, dates back to 1838 when our city was first established as a trading and transportation center.
The settlement was near the Sioux tribe Dakota Native American territory, on the east bank of the Mississippi River near its confluence point with the Minnesota River. These geographic features placed the city in a strategic location. At this time in American history, fur and whiskey traders were traveling west. The nation was commercially expanding, and St. Paul was a significant stopping point during that journey.
Today, many of St. Paul’s landmarks have names dating back to this time in our city’s history. For example, Pierre “Pig’s Eye” Parrant was a bootlegger, and former whiskey trader, who ran a famous tavern named “The Pig’s Eye.” This is the namesake for the “Pig’s Eye Landing”.
Early on in the settlement's history, in 1841, Father Lucien Galtier, a French Catholic Minister, came to the area and established a chapel. His chapel was named after Paul The Apostle, which would later be the origin story for the name of the city when St. Paul became the capital of the territory in 1849. Again providing strategic geographical significance during the expansion west, St. Paul became a place of importance for the railroad. St. Paul was the main gateway for traveling to both the Pacific Northwest and north to Canada. This gave St. Paul a significant economic advantage for trade and transportation, which led to the rise of the St. Paul Union Stockyards and one of the larger livestock and meatpacking markets in the world. The city was not without its troubles. In 1904, a tornado and thunderstorm damaged much of the infrastructure in downtown. Then, with so many people traveling through, and so much business happening, there was a rise in crime in the 1920s and 1930s. Damage from extreme weather has always been a problem that St. Paul has had to face, but the city has always risen and dealt with it. At Service Restoration, we're proud to be a part of that culture and the continual regrowth and restoration efforts of this city that has always risen against whatever has come its way.
During the 1970s, St. Paul was revitalized with a fresh rush of new people moving to the area, mainly African Americans, Asian Americans, and Latino Americans. Today, roughly one-third of St. Paul's population is from one of these three groups. While the city is always changing, the history of St. Paul, Minnesota, teaches us that it also stays the same. St. Paul has remained a city of economic importance in the American landscape. Today, we flourish as an industrial center, and still have strong railroad and trucking industries, tracing back to our roots as a trade and transportation center in the United States.