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Photo of train at Breckenridge, 1873.
Minnesota from the Railroad

Minnesota's landscape is the product of many forces, both natural and cultural. Those forces, from glacial action to highway construction, have wrought profound changes on the land. One major agent of change was the entry into Minnesota, nearly 150 years ago, of the railroad. Railroads transformed nearly every aspect of life. They affected the way Minnesota developed, where towns grew and how people made a living. Perhaps the most influential was James J. Hill's Great Northern Railway, which eventually stretched from St. Paul to the Pacific Northwest. From city to town to countryside, the Great Northern played a pivotal role in shaping Minnesota's landscape.

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Photo of St. Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba Railway Company Shops.
Go to selection of Railroad properties. Railroad Properties
Building types built by railroad companies to support their operations.
Photo of Ada Village Hall.
Go to selection of Community Growth properties. Community Growth
Railroad expansion promoted settlement and fueled community growth.
Photo of Freeport Roller Mill.
Go to selection of To Market properties. To Market
Industries relied on railroads to ship raw materials and finished goods.
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Minnesota Historical Society Click here to visit the Minnesota Historical Society Web Site. Click here to visit Minnesota's State Historic Preservation Office Web Site.