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Book Review: Recently released Minnesota books


Fri, Feb 16th, 2001
Posted in

Last month I attended the annual convention of the Upper Midwest Bookseller Association in downtown St. Paul, a gathering of authors, publishers and independent booksellers.

I was impressed, as I was last year, by the number of fine books of regional interest being published and I made promises to more than a couple authors and their publishers that I would review their books in the Journal. So here goes:

Painting the Dakota, Seth Eastman at Fort Snelling, by Marybeth Lorbiecki, Afton Historical Society Press.

A West Point graduate, Seth Eastman was a 19th century career army officer, who also happened to be an accomplished painter. In 1830 Eastman was stationed at Fort Snelling, which at the time, was the westernmost outpost in the country. Eastman started sketching the surrounding countryside paying particular attention to the customs and activities of the Dakota and the Ojibwe Indians of the area.

Eastman left Minnesota two years later for other assignments but returned to Fort Snelling in 1841 as Post Commander. By then he also had a reputation as one of America’s best landscape artists.

In Painting the Dakota, Marybeth Lorbiecki tells the engaging story of how Eastman juggled the two unlikely career pursuits of soldiering and painting. Her stories of the daily rhythms of the Dakota - their celebrations and games, their hunting and fishing practices and more - compliment the vivid images of Eastman’s watercolors.

These paintings along with Lorbiecki’s narrative are a powerful testament to an extinct way of life and a part of Minnesota’s history, that sadly, we know too little about.

Minnesota in the Civil War, An Illustrated History, by Kenneth Carley, Minnesota State Historical Press.

On July 2, 1863, a regiment of soldiers from the First Minnesota made a charge against Confederate lines at the Battle of Gettysburg. Author Kenneth Carley describes the men as, "way-worn and foot sore. . . weather-beaten, soil-stained, dirty and ragged from weeks of tramping and camping in heat and in dust, in rain and in mud . . ." Of the 262 Minnesotans who charged on that hot July day, only 47 of them came through unscathed. All told, the First Minnesota casualties amounted to 82 percent of their number killed or wounded.

"(We) got the worst cutting up we ever had - but not as is usually the case - without any satisfaction. To tell you the truth we did whip the Rebs handsomely, .....
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Fillmore County Pork Producers
Hoffman Stables

Rushford Library looking at expansion

Fri, Feb 16th, 2001
Posted in

Monday, November 20

To build or to remodel? That is the question a Library Taskforce has been considering for the past couple months in the city of Rushford.

The existing public library in the Tew Building, located near Rushford’s cent ..... 
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Gateway Towns

Fri, Feb 16th, 2001
Posted in

Austin


Greetings from Austin, Minnesota! Located on I-90, visitors from the west will come through this major city located on the Cedar River.

Austin is the home of the Fortune 500 company -- Geo. A. Hormel & ..... 
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Northeastern Iowa

Fri, Feb 16th, 2001
Posted in

Northeast Iowa shares much of the same topography of Historic Bluff Country. Limestone bluffs, meandering rivers, springs, and rolling hills in the east and softly rolling hills with rich prairie soil in the west. Minnesota and Iowa also share the sa ..... 
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Anytown, MN

Fri, Feb 16th, 2001
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Nestled in a deep valley of the Root River is the unique city of Anytown. This quaint townsite of less than one thousand residents, located in the state hardwood forest reminds one of the many hillside villages in Norway.

Strolling down the ..... 
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Not in my backyard

Fri, Feb 16th, 2001
Posted in

Monday, June 26, 2000

In the usually quiet burg of Spring Valley, the hot topic of conversation has switched as of late. While recent flooding has left the community with much to contemplate, another issue is sizzling to the forefront. What’s ..... 
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Wykoff, MN

Fri, Feb 16th, 2001
Posted in

When you visit the heart of Bluff Country, take the drive on MN Hwy. 80 and you will find Wykoff, "The Gateway to Forestville."

Our limestone karst region is dotted with "sink holes" which indicate caverns below ground. You can visit one of t ..... 
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Whalan/Highland area

Fri, Feb 16th, 2001
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Whalan, with a population of about 90, is one of the smaller towns on the trail, though one of the most memorable. The town provides excellent access to the [Read the Rest]

Stewartville, MN

Fri, Feb 16th, 2001
Posted in

Stewartville is a small city with a friendly atmosphere located in the beautiful Root River Valley 10 miles south of Rochester. Known as the Gateway to the Historic Bluff County, Stewartville has much to offer, whether you come for a visit or stay fo ..... 
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