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Railroad Construction: Overview

Best Bets

The Great Northern Railway: A History, by Ralph W. Hidy, et al.
Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business School Press, 1988.
MNHS call number: Reading Room HE2791.G775 G73 1988

The History of the Northern Pacific Railroad, by Louis Tuck Renz.
Fairfield, Wash.: Ye Galleon Press, 1980.
MNHS call number: Reading Room HE279.N855 R45

Great Northern Railway Corporate Records.
Corporate records of the St. Paul-based Great Northern, its predecessors, and its subsidiaries and affiliates.
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid

Northern Pacific Railway Corporate Records.
Corporate records of the St. Paul-based Northern Pacific, its predecessors, and its subsidiaries and affiliates.
MNHS call number:  Digital Finding Aid

Overview

The first land grants for the construction of railroads in Minnesota came in 1857, finally fulfilling the desire of Minnesota pioneers eager to see their adopted home on the road to progress and statehood.

The construction of railroads was important to Minnesota's development in many ways: it civilized the vast wilderness of Northern Minnesota, connected Minnesota with the thriving East Coast states and with the rest of the frontier, allowed grain grown in Minnesota to be shipped to markets across the nation, and brought thousands of immigrant laborers to the booming territory.

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