The first people probably came to what is now Minnesota about 12,000 years ago. Tribes of Native Americans, including the Dakota Sioux, Arapaho, Cheyenne, Iowa, Omaha, Winnebago, and Ojibwe, among others, lived on the earth many centuries later. After the victory in the American Revolution, the United States took control of the land formerly held by Great Britain, which is now part of the Midwest. Then in 1803, the United States purchased the Louisiana Territory from France. Portions of land from both of these areas, as well as land obtained through treaties with Native Americans, were incorporated into the Territory of Minnesota.

Geography of Minnesota

Minnesota was later expanded through agreements with the Dakota Indians and in 1858 it became the 32nd state. At the start of the Civil War in 1861, Minnesota—a union state—was the first state to voluntarily take part in the fighting. The name Minnesota comes from the Dakota word for the Minnesota River, mnisota, which means “muddy, muddy water” or “sky-tinted water”. Minnesota’s official nickname comes from its French state motto, adopted in 1861: l’étoile du nord, meaning “star of the north.” Another unofficial nickname is the Land of 10,000 Lakes, because there are thousands of lakes in Minnesota – 11,842 to be exact!

Geography of Minnesota

According to, Minnesota borders Canada to the north, Lake Superior and Wisconsin to the east, Iowa to the south, and North and South Dakota to the west. Much of the state’s topography (or landforms) was created thousands of years ago by glaciers. These slow ice masses carved the Minnesota plains and low hills. They also created the state’s many lakes. Northern Minnesota boasts deep lakes and streams, rocky ridges, dense forests, and the state’s highest point, Eagle Mountain. This area borders Lake Superior, the world’s largest freshwater lake by area. To the west from the Canadian border to the edge of South Dakota is the Red River Valley, a mostly flat area with fertile soil. Southwestern Minnesota is characterized by dense glacial deposits of clay and gravel. The extreme southeastern part of the state is the only area that was not affected by glaciers during the last ice age. There are valleys, caves and high cliffs.

Wildlife of Minnesota

American martens, bobcats, muskrats, raccoons, and white-tailed deer are just some of Minnesota’s mammals. Gyrfalcons, great horned owls and snipes are among the birds that fly through the state. Amphibians of Minnesota include western choir frogs, eastern red-backed salamanders, and northern chart turtles. The state is also home to reptiles such as prairie skinks, garter snakes, and venomous forest rattlesnakes. Minnesota’s 52 native tree species include shake aspen, American elm, mountain maple, white spruce, and red pine (the state tree). Doll eyes (famous for their eyeball-like berries), black-eyed Susan, sunflowers, white meadowsweet, and sweet peas are some of the state’s wildflowers.


Population: 294.873 thousand people (2013)
Area: 145.5 sq. km
Founded: 1854
Time zone: UTC-6, summer UTC-5
Altitude: 214 m

Saint Paul is the capital of Minnesota and Ramsey County. Located at the confluence of the Minnesota River with the Mississippi, the city, together with neighboring Minneapolis, forms the Twin Cities agglomeration. See Minnesota cities.

In the pre-Columbian era, the most notable inhabitants of this area were the tribes of the Hopewell group, who left behind mounds. Immediately before the colonization of Minnesota, Dakota hunters lived here. In the 17th century, fur hunters from Mexico, Canada, and the eastern colonies of North America enter the area. Settlements began to appear only at the beginning of the 19th century. Fort Selling (1817) originally appeared. Later (in 1841) the French-Canadian Lucien Galtier built the chapel of St. Paul, after which the settlement was renamed. Already in 1857 Minnesota became part of the United States, and Saint Paul was listed as the capital of the 32nd state. In the 1860s, Saint Paul was referred to as the “Last City of the East”, hinting that the Wild West began beyond it. For some time the city was a staging post for pioneers setting off to explore the western territories.

Modern St. Paul is characterized by a multi-industry economy and a motley ethnic composition. Most of all in the city are the descendants of German settlers. Also in Saint Paul lives the largest Hmong diaspora in the United States (people in Indochina), there are many immigrants from Somalia.

The sights of Saint Paul are represented mainly by old (including administrative) buildings, such as the Minnesota Capitol. The local Cathedral of St. Paul was created in the likeness of the cathedral of the same name in Rome. Como Park stands out – a greenhouse and a conservatory under one roof. There are many museums, parks and monuments in the city.


Geography of Minnesota
Tagged on: