Historic Coats from the Winter Carnival

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The Minnesota Historical Society preserves and makes available a wide range of materials chronicling Minnesota's history and culture. The goals of the Collections Department are to collect and preserve; provide access and interpretation; and engage in education and outreach. This blog is a tool to share these stories and let people know what is happening in the department.

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Historic Coats from the Winter Carnival

By: admin | What's New | November 6, 2007
Historic Winter Carnival coatsTwo historic coats worn for Winter Carnival activities in the early 20th century were recently added to the Society’s collection.

One of the distinctive “Hudson’s Bay” coats belonged to James J. Hill’s son, Louis, who succeeded his father as president and chairman of the Great Northern Railway. James J. Hill supported the first carnivals beginning in 1886. The festival was revived by Louis Hill in 1916 and has been a highlight of St. Paul’s colorful winter season ever since.

The second coat with similar blanket stripes has a long, full design and was worn by a member of the Great Northern Railway marching club. Both coats date from the years shortly after the 1916 carnival and were probably worn for many years after.

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