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Curious Minnesota
January 14
Why did Minneapolis' famous flour boom go bust?

Why did Minneapolis' famous flour boom go bust?

The Mill City dominated the flour market for half a century. But it came to an end in 1930.
Curious Minnesota
January 14
Sharon Carlson

Listen: Meet the Curious Minnesota superfan behind some of our best questions

The Curious Minnesota podcast talks with Sharon Carlson about questions she has submitted to the column.
Curious Minnesota
January 7
The refurbished Jolly Green Giant billboard greets drivers along Highway 169 in Le Sueur.

The Jolly Green Giant has moved on from Minnesota. So who is maintaining his iconic billboard?

Roughly a century after its creation, the mascot continues to have a big presence in two Minnesota cities.
Curious Minnesota
December 31, 2021
From hidden gold to stadium repairs — your most popular questions of 2021

From hidden gold to stadium repairs — your most popular questions of 2021

Curious Minnesota tackled more than 50 reader-submitted questions this year.
Curious Minnesota
December 24, 2021
A family tours the Round Tower in June 2021.

What is the oldest building in Minnesota?

The storied 200-year-old structure is much older than the state itself.
Curious Minnesota
December 17, 2021
Sunrise over the Minnesota River Valley near Belle Plaine in September 2020.

What does 'Minnesota' mean and how did the state get its name?

Long before Minnesota was a state, the name referred to a major body of water in the area.
Curious Minnesota
December 10, 2021
An aerial view of the North Pole region. The film “Exposure” chronicles an all-women journey to the North Pole. (Dreamstime/TNS) ORG XMIT: 2943202

Why does Minnesota sometimes get colder than the North Pole?

How Minnesota's geography makes it particularly prone to extreme temperatures.
Curious Minnesota
December 3, 2021
What was the first movie filmed in Minnesota?

What was the first movie filmed in Minnesota?

Released a century ago, Minnesota's entrance on the silver screen has since become a history mystery.
Curious Minnesota
December 3, 2021
On the last day of streetcar service in 1954, Twin City Rapid Transit executives James Towey and Fred Ossanna hold a check from Northern States Power

Listen: Was organized crime behind the demise of Twin Cities streetcars?

The Curious Minnesota podcast examines how underworld characters influenced the region's transit company in the mid-20th Century.
Curious Minnesota
November 26, 2021
Frances McDormand plays the role of Marge Gunderson, the local police chief in the move 1995/96 “Fargo” made by the Coen brothers (native sons of

Why do Minnesotans have accents?

The state's well-known accent has come to symbolize folksy charm. But it has also been gradually evolving.
Curious Minnesota
November 19, 2021
Bodies are preserved at minus 321 degrees Fahrenheit in “cryostats” at the Cryonics Institute in Michigan.

Is there place in Minnesota where you can have your body frozen for the future?

Some Minnesotans want their bodies frozen and placed in long-term storage after death. No one knows if they will ever be revived.
Curious Minnesota
November 12, 2021
A deputy from the Hennepin County Sheriff’s office searched for a missing person in the Mississippi River in 2017.

How is the sheriff's office different from the police department?

From performing water rescues to selling foreclosed properties, county sheriff's offices handle a wide range of tasks.
Curious Minnesota
November 5, 2021
On the last day of streetcar service in 1954, Twin City Rapid Transit executives James Towey and Fred Ossanna hold a check from Northern States Power

Was organized crime behind the demise of the Twin Cities streetcar system?

The transit system was plagued by scandals before and after the switch from streetcars to buses.
Curious Minnesota
October 29, 2021
MnRoad operations engineer Ben Worel holds a core taken from an asphalt road in this 2005 file photo.

Listen: Why a slice of I-94 is a 'candyland for researchers'

The Curious Minnesota podcast examines how real-world traffic west of the Twin Cities is helping engineers build better roads.
Curious Minnesota
October 29, 2021
A hand-colored photograph of South St. Paul taken between 1912 and 1915. The structure at center is the Stockyards Exchange Building, which is still s

West, North, South, Park: Why are there so many suburbs named St. Paul?

Many east metro locales are named after Minnesota's capital city, though not all of their names neatly line up with the compass.
Curious Minnesota
October 22, 2021
The St. Croix River bridge connecting Minnesota and Wisconsin, photographed just prior to its completion in 2017.

How did Minnesota get its shape on the map?

Minnesota could have extended into present-day South Dakota, with a chunk bitten out by Wisconsin. Each of the borders is a separate tale.
Curious Minnesota
October 15, 2021
Deb Frethem, a tour guide at the caves since April 1998, led a cave tour of the Wabasha Street Caves in St. Paul. ] LEILA NAVIDI • leila.navidi@star

What is the most haunted place in Minnesota?

Ghost hunters believe many locations across the state are hotspots for paranormal activity.
October 13, 2021
A 2017 view of the St. Anthony Falls spillway, also known as the apron.

Listen: The mysterious wall that holds St. Anthony Falls in place

The Curious Minnesota podcast explores the questions being raised about a 145-year-old wall located deep beneath the Mississippi River.
Curious Minnesota
October 8, 2021
A rock carving at the Jeffers Petroglyphs site in southwestern Minnesota. It is one of the most extensive petroglyph sites in the world.

Which Indigenous tribes first called Minnesota home?

Archeologists and historians believe Native Americans have lived in Minnesota since the glaciers receded 13,000 years ago.
Curious Minnesota
October 1, 2021
People walking in front of a destroyed school building after the fires of 1918.

Historic wildfires once destroyed entire cities in northern Minnesota. Could it happen again?

More than a century after the deadly blazes of 1894 and 1918 killed hundreds of people, wildfires continue to threaten the North Woods.
September 27, 2021
A sign advertising the Early Vote Center in downtown Minneapolis in 2018.

What do you want to know about the 2021 election?

Star Tribune reporters will be answering reader questions about the 2021 election on a future episode of the Curious Minnesota podcast. Let us know…
Curious Minnesota
September 24, 2021
A C-130 aircraft carries service members back to Minnesota after a deployment in the Middle East in March 2020. These planes often fly over the Twin C

Why do military cargo planes regularly fly in pairs over the Twin Cities?

The large aircraft with four propellers are easy to distinguish from passenger air traffic.
Curious Minnesota
September 17, 2021
Antennas are affixed to a new cellular pole in south Minneapolis.

Listen: Why are there so many new 5G cell antennas in some neighborhoods?

The Curious Minnesota podcast explores the evolution of cellular technology and the reason for all the new antennas.
Curious Minnesota
September 17, 2021
After days of high winds, thousands of plastic bags from the Waste Management landfill in Elk River were trapped on the landfill’s perimeter fence i

Twin Cities area is recycling more than ever. Why hasn't landfilling declined?

Nearly half of the metro area's waste is recycled. But a significant share continues to be buried.
Curious Minnesota
September 10, 2021
The first capitol building in Minnesota was this structure erected in 1853 at what is now the corner of Tenth and Wabasha streets. First occupied on J

Did political shenanigans derail an effort to move Minnesota's capital?

The well-known tale about an 1850s proposal to move the capital to St. Peter has been passed down for generations.